Recruiting franchisees usually requires that you have an effective sales brochure. Franchisors are aware that generating enquiries from prospective franchisees can be costly, so obviously every effort must be made to maximize the chances for a successful franchisee appointment. Your web site should hopefully have made a positive first impression but the brochure will have a significant influence by amplifying the messages broadcast by your promotional activity and web site. So, it’s important to get it right.
Having spent much of my career in franchising I’ve prepared many franchise sales brochures. Here are a few things I’ve learnt along the way about how they should be effectively created and used.
- Align your brochure and web site. A typical aim of a franchise web site will be to encourage viewers to request more information by applying for a brochure. But, you need to make sure that you haven’t crammed your web site with so much information that there’s not a great deal else for the brochure to tell. The design of your web site, brochure and follow-up process must therefore be carefully planned and aligned. That does not just mean ensuring you adopt a consistent style and tone (which are both critical); you need to take enquirers on a journey of discovery, with each step carefully designed to heighten appeal of the franchise and increase the appetite for further details.
- Make sure the brochure persuades, not just informs. You want readers of the brochure to get a good feel for the franchise opportunity and to answer the question ‘Is this a business that seems to suit my aspirations, capabilities and budget?’ So, it should inform with authority but must also amplify the excitement created by your advertising and web site. A brochure provides a canvas on which to persuasively make your case about the franchise. Be comprehensive, but not long-winded and text heavy.
- It must establish credibility. This would be achieved through the brochure’s tone and content, using engaging language to provide a good insight into the pedigree of the franchise, its potential, the mechanics of how it operates, and the potential rewards it offers. The effective use of photographs, with clear captions, and charts to provide visual proof is vital.
- It must excite. Be careful not make the tone of your brochure too ‘corporate’ – rather stuffy and dull. It has to excite and be compelling, so you should aim for the tone used in your advertising to carry through into your sales material.
- Brochure copy should begin with your customer, not your franchise. That is, it should make the person reading your brochure feel that his or her key motivations are understood before moving on to discuss how they could be satisfied by your franchise. Build rapport first, then sell.
- Remember your customer, and talk about the money! To potential buyers of your franchise the most-important thing is how it relates to themselves. So, your brochure copy must answer their questions and overcome their objections. You can integrate these in the copy or pull them out as separate sections, but either way, face up to common questions and objections in your brochure copy. ‘How much does it cost?’ will always be the primary question, so I think that to be credible you shouldn’t avoid answering it in the brochure. If the amount is likely to change then provide this information separately, perhaps in an insert, so you can update when necessary.
- Make the expectations clear. In my view a brochure should broadly explain what the expectations of a franchisee are. It’s better that you spend time for a Discovery Day or meeting with candidates that have understood what would be expected of them to qualify rather than with those that clearly don’t.
- Invest in good photography. A poorly executed photo can ruin a brochure design. Smartphones make it so easy to take photos but they will never achieve the impact of a professionally staged and lit image taken by a professional.
- Weave in testimonials. There is nothing more compelling to a prospective investor than the reassurance that the success of others gives. So, make testimonials central to the design, not stuck at the end or in an insert. Case studies are also excellent devices for underscoring the credentials of a franchise.
- Print the brochure and send it in the post. This may seem to fly in the face of accepted wisdom – surely we’re all now used to receiving information electronically and an emailed PDF or a link to an online brochure will save a fortune in printing costs. This is true, but in my experience the response to a brochure sent by post is simply always better than to one sent electronically. If you are asking prospects to take you seriously and to make a substantial investment to buy your franchise then I think receiving a printed brochure conveys a better impression. It’s tangible, more engaging and offers greater reassurance.
- End by directing to the next step. By the end of the brochure make it absolutely crystal clear to the reader how they can find out more about your franchise. If you run Discovery Days explain how they work and what they offer. Most obviously, include a call-to-action, with contact details.
A good brochure will provide informed, enthusiastic candidates with a genuine desire to meet with you and learn more. It is therefore essential you ensure that it is properly planned and integrated into your complete franchise marketing strategy.
If you need help with your franchise marketing strategy give me a call (023 8027 5710), or email firstname.lastname@example.org