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The Franchise Sales Process

What Is A Process?

If you are here explore our franchise and development content, you  probably already know franchise sales is unlike anything you have ever done.

Though we often refer to the franchise sales process, it would actually be more accurate to refer to it as the mutual evaluation process. Semantics is the first step to a correct mindset about this process. If you are trying to “sell” your franchise, you may end up with the wrong candidates in your system! As any experienced franchisor will tell you, one “wrong” franchisee can wreak havoc in an otherwise strong system. For a young franchisor, if one of your first franchisees is not a good fit, they can devastate your system and stunt your growth for years to come.
Having said that, a franchise sales process is simply a systematic way in which interested individuals work their way from inquiry to franchise document execution, as efficiently as possible, and are able to exclude themselves as quickly as possible if they are not the right fit.

Why Do You Need One?

The first key to a successful mutual evaluation process is to have a process! While this may seem obvious, we have interacted with many young franchisors who simply answer the phone or call the leads and talk about their brand, send out a disclosure document when they “feel” like the time is right, and basically provide a reactive sales experience to the candidate. A clearly defined sales process provides that everyone involved; the prospect, the sales team, and the leadership team and, have a clear understanding of what to expect as they navigate the mutual evaluation process.

How To Create A Sales Process

As you will experience consistently throughout our advice on franchising, the first key is to document everything. You should have initial qualification scripts, a detailed outline for your program review and FDD review, a list of objections with answers, a list of red-flags, and guidelines to set up for discovery days or in interviews, and location visits. By documenting the process, you are able to maintain consistency and candidate experience as you expand or if key personnel leave the company.
Additionally, it is important that you are using a robust CRM that allows you to track a candidate’s steps through the process, and pull detailed reporting on pipeline, lost deals, and bottlenecks. Understanding where people are getting hung up, or at what part of the process a particular sales person is struggling, will allow you to modify your process or training to react to these issues.

What Is The Sales Process?

The franchise sales process or mutual evaluation process must be tailored to your unique brand and current market position. When you ask for an application, when you allow candidates to talk to franchisees, and when you provide your disclosure are all affected by your brand strength, investment, and complexity. Here are the general steps for a strong mutual-evaluation process. Keep in mind that your actual process should be much more detailed than this, with sub-steps in each section.


This is the initial call or two where you and the candidate learn precursory information about each other, and make sure that, at least at a high level, there is some modicum of interest in working together.

Discovery/Program Review

During this time you will provide your candidate with more detailed information about the franchise, including what a day-in-the-life looks like, investments, potential returns, industry outlooks, etc. This process will likely include some combination of phone calls, web presentations (webinars), and in-person meetings. You will also be learning more about your candidate through well-formulated open-ended questions, and possibly an application.


This process is where your candidate will validate what you have told them through investigation, speaking with your franchisees, visiting locations, and reviewing your disclosure document. You will validate what you have been told be taking an application (if you haven’t already), checking references, and performing credit and criminal checks.


This is the final step. The closing process often includes a discovery day at corporate, an executive interview, and a final closing call.

The End Goal

The end goal of your mutual evaluation process should be to allow both you and your candidate to make an informed decision in a reasonably quick time frame. The entire process often takes from 5-12 weeks. It is important to remember that there is no such thing as the perfect franchisee or the perfect franchise model. The goal is to find out if you are perfect for each other!
If you want to learn more about how to set up a mutual evaluation process, or if you want to talk to us about your current franchise sales process, don’t hesitate to reach out. Of course, as always, if you want to learn more about how to franchise a business, franchise beacon is your key resource!

What Is The Be First Or Be Last Method?

The Be First Will Be Last Method Of Franchise Sales is a method of mutual evaluation that franchise beacon has perfected over the last decade. To explore this method in depth, visit our page on The Be The First Or The Last Method.

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