Are your lead numbers down? Franchise sales are taking longer in 2023, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reach your goals. It just means you may have to approach them differently. So, how long does it take to sell a franchise right now?
Where 2022 delivered a historic franchise growth average rate of 2% – beating pre-pandemic numbers – 2023 is predicted to grow at a slightly lower rate of 1.9%, according to the International Franchise Association’s 2023 Economic Outlook for Franchising.
A growth rate of 1.9% is a healthy number. And industries like personal services and quick service restaurants (QSRs) are anticipating an amazing 2.5% growth rate.
The bottom line is you can not only grow your franchise brand this year, but you can meet your sales goals. The secret is to focus on bringing in top-quality leads. These are the people who are most likely to sign on the bottom line, rather than “tire kickers.”
When the economy is good, franchises have plenty of targets to choose from. Leads are easy to come by and franchise sales teams rest a little easier knowing that with so many leads, they are bound to close enough franchise sales to hit their numbers.
Currently, however, the economic situation is a bit tricky. Interest rates and inflation are up, and leads are down, so the franchise sales cycle is longer.
To combat this situation, here are two simple tactics: Focus on creative, and aim at the middle of the funnel.
Focus on Creative
One way to attract higher-quality leads is to up your game with creative. Because some franchisee prospects may be hesitant to buy a franchise right now, your advertising creative should highlight attributes that build trust and credibility.
To demonstrate that your brand is solid and stable, emphasize the longevity of the company and how many units you have. To show that your franchise is a sound investment, you might call out affordability and financial incentives that you offer new franchisees.
You also should showcase any rankings or prestigious lists that your franchise is on, such as Entrepreneur’s prestigious Franchise 500, Top Low-Cost Franchises or Best Franchises for Veterans. Accolades from an outside organization, like a media outlet, provide third-party validation that your franchise is as awesome as you say it is.
At Curious Jane, we include badges from those lists on creative as often as possible. In many cases, ads featuring badges are extremely high performers. Rankings and other accolades carry a lot of weight with franchise prospects.
Aim for Mid-Funnel
With targeting, focus fran dev campaigns more on the middle of the funnel, or consideration efforts. This strategy nurtures users who are already in your sales funnel but may not be ready to buy. Consideration efforts teach users more about brands and franchise opportunities to help move them to the bottom of the funnel, where they will be ready to buy.
In the consideration phase, users are likely to engage with educational content, or information about a brand’s values, support programs for franchisees and more. At mid-funnel, the goal is to drive users to the company’s website so they can research the brand and the franchise opportunity. A good choice for a mid-funnel campaign might be a social media traffic campaign.
Curious Jane clients are finding success with mid-funnel ads on Meta (primarily Facebook and Instagram), which are served to users passively, as well as Google search ads, which are served after a user searches for the brand.
Because the economy is unsettled, this is not the year to fixate on lead volume. If you broaden targeting enough to meet (or beat) last year’s year-over-year lead numbers, you may inadvertently fill up your lead funnel with tire kickers.
However, if you stay focused on getting higher-quality leads with the knowledge that you’ll have to nurture them a bit more, you can attract more serious prospects and achieve your sales goals.