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Franchise Sales and Use of Online Franchise Directories
Franchising Directory Sites-Paid Advertising, Lead Generation for Franchising
Franchising Directory Sites are not doing the Industry any good. Typically they charge a fee for advertising per month or charge per sales for the lead, there must be 50 such sites. Only a few are able to generate significant leads, which you as a franchisor must pay heavily for. Each day our Franchise Company gets hit up by these online companies pitching their great lead generation sites, we cannot get them to stop calling us actually. They promise you leads that are qualified and generally none are of value, after all just because someone filling out a form says they have $500,000 to spend does not mean they do.
At $15-40.00 per lead, you get people surfing around who hit maybe ten to twelve different franchises on these sites, generating for those companies about $400.00, yet the potential buyer has signed up for 10 different franchises. Then each franchisor sends mail out packages and pays for this lead about $10.00 - 15.00 each. Costing the franchisors an Additional $150.00 then the potential buyer rebuffs calls and then after getting all the videos, CDROMS, in the mail, thinks this is entertaining and does it again with another 10-12 franchisors on the same site or maybe another site. Some of these companies advertise to get people to come to their sites and fill out online forms, which generate income for them and work and cost for franchisors, many are college students, who have no money or intention on buying anything. Do you see the problem yet?
Many of these electronic leads, people have no money or job and are stuck at home surfing around the Internet. Unfortunately they are taxing the industry and raising the price of franchise fees due to sales cost increases without actual sales. They are hurting the consumers who are legit in higher fees and admin costs due to bogus advertising sites, claiming to be great qualified lead generators. The fact is many or these websites are just starting out and do not generate any large amount of qualified leads. They just charge lots of fees, which are passed onto to future team members of your franchise system. A franchisor should have some sort of web presence and strategy to get real buyers, who are really serious. Generally we find the average at our site is 1 lead in 20 are legitimate buyers. The rest simply looky lous, competitors, regulators, entrapment coercion folks working with agencies, or simply surfers screwing around filling out forms and getting lots of mail, CDs, Coupons, Videos, Three Color Brochures, etc. What a waste of money to the franchisors and future franchisees where fees are passed onto. So what is the solution. Well the solution to pollution is dilution. If all franchisors stop paying these companies and start with strict criteria for inquiries then the online directory sites will leave.
Today we got a call from a company out of Miami just starting out, typically; FREE LISTING FIRST THREE MONTHS, then of course they start charging per lead. Trying to make something out of nothing. This site is a free site for all and the directory sends people directly to the franchisors sites, it does not charge companies per lead or for advertising. It is incredible the number of consultants, wannabes, paid advertising sites on the Internet, which inflate or embellish their market prowess and quality of lead. That is simply a lie and when franchisors participate in that lie they hurt their own team with higher costs and all consumers in the market are damaged by higher prices by those future franchisees in the goods and services produced due to the Return on Investment needed by the franchisees.
All consumers are damaged when parasites to our industry take fees and hyper inflate their performance, if you will notice the steady turn over in these directory or paid advertising sites in franchising you will have to ask yourself if they worked why do the franchisors keep leaving? And if they work so well, why do we get SPAMMED every single day by at least two Paid Franchise Internet Sites? Why? If it works so good, why the constant emails, phone calls and junk mail to coax you into advertising? Why the trial basis deals to get you in? Why are the leads bogus? Are they coming from people who are friends of the paid sites filling out forms? For instance if their friends filled out 10 forms on their sites and those leads sold for $40.00 they just mad $400 for doing nothing but lying. And if regulators go there and fill out forms to check on franchisors then they are contributing to the lying game and costing franchisors too at $40.00 per whack.
A cost of doing business? Maybe, but if you are involved in franchising on the unit owner small business side or employed at a franchisor HQ it affects you and your family, if you are a buyer of products in a franchise business which we all are, since 1/3 of every consumer dollar is spent on franchising, then what is the percentage of cost in those dollars you spend? Is it 1%, .05% if it is it is similar to the raise in sales tax only your competition is not paying. Get yourself a good online website strategy, write some PR articles, get to know your buyers and hold onto your brand identity where you can control it on your own website. Because there are no silver bullets in franchising and paid franchise websites are simply not that great in our observation, experience and opinion.
Another issue is these sites immediately list your Federal Trademarks and Brand Names to attract buyers and then show all your buyers all kinds of other franchisor sites, thus stealing your sales leads. They use you Trademarks in their key words, titles and meta-tags on their sites and rank well in search engines due to the number of pages they have. Yet they are stealing your traffic and then selling you back your own buyers. Now if you are a little franchisor then they steal leads from the larger brand names and give them to others such as yours. But meanwhile cost you since the buyers are not really interested in your company and are looky lous and thus cost you lots for little return, mail outs and costs per lead.
Small franchisors will thus even though at high cost be better served, they will also disseminate much information to the competition this way and send out hundred of packages to no avail. I have to question the ratios of 1:100 since this has been our experience. So for those numbers at $40.00 per lead you will pay $4,000 per sale, but if you could get that lead without paying them you could lower your costs by 4,000 dollars in your franchise fee. That would be better for your buyers ROI, your new team member whose success directly relates to your success.
The more franchisees and success the better the company can grow and assist Americans with better choices and quality of life and higher standards of health, wealth and happiness in their standard of living. I will debate this issue with any company wanting to debate with me. Any online company, regulator, Franchisor or franchisee and certainly any competitor snooping for information, Pre-IPO Investment banking team gathering corporate intelligence or the guy I learned today used his house cat's name to attain free videos, CD ROMS from a franchisor's sales team. He watched the videos and then he uses them to re-tape his favorite shows and recent vacation. Give me a break. Mr. Teadore Katz. Meeeow! Sounds like a tidy cat commercial.
But in all seriousness, I cannot believe how easily duped these franchise companies marketing departments or CEOs are to honestly believe these sites are generating relevant sales for them at a price becoming of market reality. The money these sites, steal in my opinion is a tax on our industry. We need to abstain and practice safe sales.
"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs
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