Want Better ROI On Your Franchise Investment? Make Sure Sales Is A Part Of Your Plan!Terri McCulloch
It is every business owner’s dream that marketing could be put on auto-pilot, money would come rolling in, and life will be good. One less thing to juggle in the busy life of a franchise owner. However, the idea of “marketing only” can set a business, including a franchised business, up for missed revenue opportunities due to:
If you do not pay attention to high and low seasons in your industry or take advantage of seasonal opportunities such as Mother’s Day or the Christmas holidays, automatic marketing without oversight will result in lower-than-expected sales.
It is important to pay attention to what interests your neighbors, and if that attention is sparked by anything specific. As an example, local schools may not have the budget to support art programs the next school year. You could propose as an alternative kids’ painting classes once per month or quarter on mini canvases in a lower budget range.
Competitive moves can change frequently and without notice. If your paid advertising is not managed and a competitor gets aggressive, you may see lower sales since your business has lost online visibility. Can you afford a month or two before you figure it out?
Prospective customers who need a relationship to build trust
Needs may be as simple as talking to a person and answering their questions so they feel comfortable. As well-known author Jeb Blount’s book states in its title, People Buy You. You may also have someone who wants to plan a party. There is stress in planning and if you are unavailable when they are trying to secure a party date, plans for the event, etc, they will find a competitor who is.
Prospective customers who need a relationship before they become your “marketing advocate”
As the saying goes, people must “know you and like you before they trust you,” which also means they must feel confident in your performance if they recommend you to their friends and family.
Risking the possibility that the prospective customer’s perception of your product or service would not meet their particular needs
Websites and brochures do not always tell the full story. Before consumers spend their hard-earned money, they want any questions they might have answered. Nothing replaces a human that is warm and responsive.
Some people, no matter their professional level or experience, do everything they can do to avoid selling their goods or services. It can be uncomfortable, especially if you have the used car salesman stereotype in your head. Sales does not require a plaid jacket and leisure pants. You don’t have to be “that” person. Sales is about going out, meeting your community, building relationships, answering questions and being the face of your business.
If you are hiding behind your computer or not answering your phone or responding to voice mails until hours later, your marketing return on investment (ROI) will be negatively impacted. Every person in a business must be salesperson. Salespeople who persistently and consistently focus on their customers and prospects, whether inbound or outbound, help more people and businesses which – guess what – means they make more money.
If you are considering a franchise, it is important to plan both sales and marketing activities into your business strategy. Most franchise systems offer resources and/or training that align with their business model’s best practices. In addition, local Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) host free or inexpensive workshops and training webinars to help you gain knowledge and experience.
Bottom-line: building relationships reaps a better return on your hard-earned investment than a marketing-only approach.