Your first contact with a franchisor is likely to be with someone from their franchise recruitment team. This first contact is usually a phone call and is generally a high-level conversation where you both find out more about each other.
The franchise recruiter will be asking you questions that will allow them to understand if their model will be suitable for the accomplishment of your objectives and to get a feel for how you potentially would fit in with the culture of the franchise.
You can tell a lot about the culture of a franchise by the introductory call. Is it professional? Does the conversation feel structured? Did the call finish with clear deliverable’s and next steps? The call may feel like an interview and, in a way, it should.
The idea of the introductory call is for you to establish contact with a franchisor and to decide whether this is a conversation that you want to continue. It’s as simple as that.
At this stage, you don’t have enough information to make any formal decisions as to whether the franchise is right for you or not, but at the very least you want to decide if this is something you want to invest time in exploring further.
It helps to turn up to the call with a good set of thoughtful questions to hand. Franchisors field an unbelievable amount of calls from people who are simply tyre kicking. Many of them may have had a dreadful day at work and sent off several enquiries, but have no real desire to make a change.
Going into this introductory call with an intelligent set of questions and a genuine interest in learning more about the franchise opportunity will help you to stand head and shoulders above other applicants.
With good franchisors, the conversation will usually end with a clear set of outcomes. This can be the franchise recruiter sending you additional information, a form for you to fill out and return, a second call or Discovery Day scheduled or all the above.
Try to be concise in your communications; if the franchisor requests a form back by a certain date then be sure to get it to them before that date. If you’re going away to check your schedule for attending a Discovery Day then be sure to get back to them the same day, if possible.
As soon as you move a franchise recruiter into a position where they’re chasing you, the faster you drop down their scales of your seriousness’s of exploring their opportunity, even if you are in fact very interested.
Some franchisors will schedule a second phone call as part of their discovery process. This phone call is usually a follow up to the first call and a chance for you to discuss the franchise opportunity now that you’ve received additional information and had more time to reflect.
It can be common for this second phone call to be in an interview format that lasts between twenty to ninety minutes. It is a two-way conversation with plenty of opportunity for you to ask questions but really it is the franchisor screening you and deciding if they will invte you to their Discovery Day, depending on how serious you are.
As you will soon find out, a Discovery Day is when the franchisor will show you the inner workings of their franchise. Some franchisors will give you a thorough understanding and leave the intricate details to their training program, while others will give you a comprehensive insight, thus franchisors are usually selective about who they invite along to attend.