In Part 4 of our home-cleaning franchise series, we looked at why it’s so important for franchise partners to be hip to a wide array of traditional and contemporary marketing techniques. But marketing is only half the battle. Here in Part 6 of our series, we look at what a franchisor can and should do to assist you with profitably, converting leads, and closing sales.
Let’s face it, selling is hard. It’s never easy to ask for the close (the money) and many a small business owner has failed for focusing too much on the parts of the business they love rather than the parts that ensure the business will grow sustainably over time.
Especially in home cleaning, heavy emphasis on converting leads into sales and, more important, into recurring (weekly, biweekly, or monthly) accounts, is a key area of focus from Day One. It’s important for securing cash flow and for attracting and retaining great cleaning staff by offering reliable work schedules and pay.
The struggle is real though. There’s typically so much going on in the first few months of a business startup — securing and designing office space, hiring and training staff, planning and executing marketing strategy, building digital and social media footprints, and so forth. It’s extremely easy to become distracted and to give yourself excuses for avoiding the tough part, which is the selling.
A related trap for newbies is being so eager to close sales and to put new business on the books, that they allow savvy customers to negotiate down their rates, throwing away — sometimes even eliminating — profits in the process. A big job for your franchise partner is to share knowledge, to minimize distractions, and enable you to focus on adding new accounts, at market competitive, profitable rates, to rapidly establish a stable cash flow. With that said, here are a few key questions that will quickly reveal how dedicated a franchisor is to helping you sell:
- Do you have sales experts on staff? What are their qualifications and performance track records?
- How do you support franchisees with direct training and/or support for sales through the business-launch phase?
- If I am honestly disinterested in selling, does it disqualify me for business ownership? Are there other options such as a national sales/call service center that I can choose instead?
- If there is a sales service center, describe your approaches to hiring, training, and managing staff as well as the costs and benefits I can expect from choosing such an option.
At MaidPro, each of our franchisees have a personal business coach to help them with all aspects of their business...especially sales and sales metrics. This is to ensure everyone has the right business structure from which to grow.
We also have a National Sales Center that is open seven days a week (with extended hours) that is staffed with MaidPro professionals to answer prospective customer calls. The National Sales Center can be used by franchisees who want a more hands-off approach to selling and for those who just want a little help with sales overflow.
Be sure to tune in for Part 7 of our series in which we’ll focus on the very important distinctions between so-called franchise consultants and personal business and marketing coaches.