If you’re in the business coaching franchise “discovery” process, head’s up: it’s not so much an educational journey of discovery as it is a carefully planned and executed sales process.
After several years working in the business coaching franchise industry, I have a clear “behind-the-scenes” picture of what exactly they’re doing.
Now don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing inherently problematic about having detailed and specific sales processes. All business coaches should consider themselves salespeople. As the old adage goes, “Nothing good happens until something gets sold.”
But as a prospective business coaching franchisee, it’s important for you to understand exactly what they’re doing and why, so that you can remain level-headed as you make what is, for many, the most significant financial decision of your life.
So if you’re in the discovery (or sales) process with a business coaching franchise, here’s what you can expect:
Step 1: Qualify the Prospect
First, understand that the business coaching franchisors are carefully monitoring you against historical conversion rates that are measured to the tenth of a percent. Whether or not you INDIVIDUALLY can and will buy their franchise is discussed in countless meetings between franchise sales consultants (often posing as a career coach of some kind), franchise development directors, and the owners of the franchises themselves. I’ve been in the war-rooms and they’re all focused on one question: “What can we do to get this person to buy?!” Franchise sales representatives learn to size up a prospect in a matter of minutes based on their responses to certain questions.
Once the franchisor gets your contact information, he hands this information over to his sales staff (or what they term the “franchise development team”). A salesperson is assigned to your case and follows up with you to invite you to a meeting where you have the opportunity to get to know each other.
The intent of these first few meetings is not to pressure you into buying their franchise, but to learn as much about you as possible. This way, the franchisor can better anticipate and overcome your objections later as you move through the sales funnel.
Early in the process, you will fill out and submit a personal statement of net worth. This is important to the Franchisor, of course, because they don’t want to waste their time with you if you’re broke. Remember, this is a science to the franchisor.
Step 2: Deflect Questions about Earnings
As you learn more about the model, you will naturally begin asking questions about how much you can expect to make as a business coach. The franchise sales rep will decline to answer this question, citing their inability to make “earnings claims.”
Instead, they’ll point you to some of the current franchisees. As you might expect, this is a controlled process. You will meet a carefully selected group of franchisees on group conference calls, panel calls, question and answer calls, and the like. If all goes well, the franchisor hopes you won’t feel the need to begin making phone calls to franchisees individually, which can be very risky, from the franchisor’s perspective.
Step 3: Send the Franchise Agreement
Once it is determined that you have the desire and the cash (or can get financing against your 401k or other investments), the franchisor will send you the Franchise Agreement. It is your responsibility to ensure that the agreement matches your understanding of the relationship. Don’t let your enthusiasm or excitement get in the way of prudent decision-making.
It is far better to halt or delay a decision until you understand its ramifications than it is to go ahead and jump blindly in without knowing all the facts.
It is far better to halt or delay a decision until you understand its ramifications than it is to go ahead
and jump blindly in without knowing all the facts.
Step 4: “Award” the Franchise
When you’ve finally completed your due diligence and are exhibiting all the usual buying signals, the franchisor will offer to “award” you a franchise. The term “award” has been used for decades to remove the stigma of buying something so expensive. It creates the impression that you should be proud to be accepted into the club.
If you accept the “award,” the next step is the actual business transaction where you sign the Franchise Agreement and hand over your money. Most franchisors set up “signing meetings” face-to-face or over the phone. These are a big deal in the franchisor’s head office. Whenever there’s a signing, a reverential hush descends on the troops and they wait with baited breath for the money to change hands.
When it does, the office goes wild–because they’ve just landed themselves a huge sale.
Remember: the business coaching franchise discovery process isn’t what it’s billed to be–it’s a sales process. Go into it with eyes wide open so that you can get the information you really need to make an informed decision.
For everything you need to launch and grow a business coaching practice WITHOUT the massive risk, explore our Rock Star Coaching Program.