By Evan Hackel
More and more of your potential franchise buyers today are members of Generation Y and Generation Z. Do you understand them? Are you sure you are selling to them in the most effective ways possible?
Just to review, members of Generation Y (who are also called millennials) were born in the 1980s and 1990s and are roughly between the ages 30 and 40 today. Members of Generation Z were born between the mid-1990s and the early 2010s. The older members of this group, who are about age 25 today, are out there shopping for franchises today too.
If you think back on the people who have been talking to you about buying a franchise, you will realize that a growing number of your potential franchisees are members of Generations Y and Z.
But are you talking to them in the right way?
What Has Changed?
A great shift has taken place in the way members of those generations shop for franchises, compared to how members of older generations did. In brief, here is one thing that has changed . . .
- Members of Generation Y and Generation Z do a much larger percentage of their buying research online. They prefer this method. They are likely to know a lot about you before they even talk to you.
- Members of older generations will review information online, but will still prefer to learn about you by having conversations with real, living people.
One difference is that potential franchisees from Generation Y and Z will usually know a lot more about your franchise before they contact you. They will often tell you, “I have read everything on your website, and I need you to tell me more.”
The other difference is Generation Y and Z members will give low marks if you’re not providing enough information. In fact, they may not ever make the call if you haven’t satisfied their needs or if you have presented yourself poorly.
How can you do a much better job recruiting those members of Gen Y and Z?
Provide a Deeper Level of Information Online
On your website and your social media channels too, be sure to provide:
- Testimonials from your current franchisees. Make them videos, and have them really tell a story.
- Deeper information about who you are, what you sell, how your systems work, and more.
- Information about the unique technology you use, because technology “speaks” to members of those younger generations.
- In-depth information about the training you offer, because when potential franchisees understand that you offer exceptional training, they feel more confident that they will know how to succeed if they become your franchisees. Also let them log in as users, test out some of your eLearning, and take a few courses.
- Still more information about your annual franchise conventions, the systems you use to communicate with franchisees, and more. The more information they know, the more confident they will feel about coming on board.
What About Securing Your Information?
I have sometimes heard franchise executives say, “I hesitate to put too much information about our system online, where anyone can see it – our competitors, for example. We have to protect ourselves.”
That is a valid concern, but keeping your information hidden from sight can be a mistake in a day when many more of your potential franchisees – those members of Generations Y and Z – want to know everything before they will consider joining your franchise family.
One solution to this problem is to include a questionnaire on your website that potential franchisees can fill out to request more in-depth information or a call from a member of your franchise sales team. On this form, you can ask potential franchisees to indicate their locations, how far along they are with their decision-making process, and of course to provide contact information. Once these potential buyers become “qualified leads” by filling out your questionnaire, you can start those conversations while feeling more secure about providing them with a level of in-depth information that you might not want to provide openly on your website for all visitors to see.
And One Last Thought . . .
The more information you provide before the conversation starts, the more serious the prospects will be when your conversation starts. You will have fewer tire kickers.