If Discovery Day is a sales pitch, beware

That’s my Tannerisms #15. In an earlier blog post, I advised prospective franchise owners that if you are serious about franchising and are about to ink a big check, you must see and touch the people you are going to be working with and relying on until you exit the business. I added that franchising is like a marriage. It is, but I’ll keep that conversation under the covers until a later date. With this post, I want to address the “sales pitch.” In the interest of full disclosure, any franchise representative who says he is not trying to pitch you on the positives of the business and to sell you to buy into the business, one, is not being entirely truthful with you, and, two, is not doing his job. He is selling you from his initial “Hello.” So don’t be surprised if when you attend a Discovery Day—and every franchise business you consider must have a Discovery Day or walk away—it has a feel of a sales pitch. You want to be sold on the business. What I caution is for franchise prospects to beware of an “aggressive” song and dance. If you start hearing hard-sell phrases like, “Don’t miss this opportunity.” “Now it’s time for you to decide.” “Act now.” “Don’t waste your hard-earned money on that other franchise concept.” “You’re the first person we’ve made this offer to.” “Don’t wait for success to come to you.” It’s OK to be wooed, but you have to ask yourself: “Why are they pushing me to make a decision?” If it’s to fish or cut bait, there’s some validity to that. (Back to the marriage analogy: one partner may not want to date forever.) However, if there’s a tinge of desperation during the Day, it could be because your franchise fee may cover next week’s payroll, the lease payment on the founder’s company car, or to keep the IRS at bay. You’ve heard the lines before and sensed an unusual sense of urgency in the voice when you bought a car or listened to a telemarketer’s spiel. If you hear it, you have to ask: “Why are you pushing me to make a decision?” If it’s more of the same catch phrases delivered like a carnival barker, don’t ink that big check. You may want to check your wallet to see if anything is missing after that last break. I’m sure it won’t come to that, but beware the high-pressure pitch. Salesy is OK, and should be expected.

Posted in Franchise, Franchise Information

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