"Sales" seems to be a dirty word to many people, especially those that don't have sales experience. But should lack of sales experience stand in the way of franchise ownership? We don't think so! Wipe away the images of Glengarry Glen Ross from your memory. Motivating employees can be very different than the threat of being fired. And you feel like a used car salesman when dealing with customers.
The process of exploring franchise ownership will bring up many questions. We often hear candidates say that they might not be a good franchise owner since they have never had sales experience. The fallacy here is the assumption that a franchisee will have to follow Alec Baldwin's ABC rule: always be closing. The fact is that the daily life of a franchise owner may not directly involve selling at all.
HEAR PETE and nat discuss how sales experience ≠ success
Sales Experience Does Help Franchise Ownership
If you have a background in sales, your experience may help. All businesses are inherently about sales in one form or another—you are selling a product to a customer. Having experience with the psychology of sales will be advantageous if you are on the floor interacting with customers. You can roll-up your sleeves and get involved in the process of making your business successful. You can directly improve your profit margin, providing a feeling of security.
With sales experience, you also have the opportunity to train your employees. You can show them what has worked for you over the years and ingrain these characteristics into your location's sales process. This can grant you more latitude and control over the customer experience and the salesperson interaction and, in turn, increase your reputation.
Franchise ownership might be easier with sales experience if you only concern yourself with training and selling. Training employees is undoubtedly important. Without well-trained staff, a business will not succeed. And personally selling may be a huge advantage, but this depends on the demands of your franchise.
Franchise Ownership Doesn't Need Sales Experience
Here is some great news for those looking to purchase a new franchise or franchise resale without sales experience: you are part of a franchise and they are here to help!
The franchisor knows every candidate will not have a spectacular background in sales and they have developed training to help with that. One of the advantages of becoming a franchisee is the support the franchisor provides. They want you to be successful and will do what they can to help you achieve your goals.
Every franchise has training requirements for new franchisees. This is scheduled before opening a new franchise location, and sales training is often included. Any franchisee who feels like this is important should ask about the training a franchisor provides during their discovery period. Each franchise will handle this differently dependent upon the amount of sales needed for a successful location.
The franchise you choose may not be sales heavy in the traditional sense. Light retail franchises don't often require a "hard selling" stance and service-based franchises might not require any traditional sales tactics at all. When completing your investigation, every candidate should find out what the sales process is like for their franchise and if the process doesn't fit with your personality, you may want to stay away from that concept.
As a business owner, you will also be hiring employees. Hire someone who loves sales if it isn’t your strength. Finding the right salesperson for your business can fundamentally change your bottom line. It is common practice to hire for your weaknesses. Knowing the right traits to look for in a salesperson might be daunting, but, again, your franchisor is there to help. Make sure to ask questions and seek assistance when needed.
Learning and Franchise Ownership
To succeed in business you have to be constantly growing, and not just your revenue. Never be afraid to admit you need to learn something new to make your business better. Any deficiency you have can be corrected through learning. The internet has many options and resources. A quick Google search for "sales techniques" or "how to become a better salesperson" will provide plenty of options to explore.
More tried and true resources, like books, are easy to find. Go to your local bookstore or library and peruse the shelves of the business section. You will find many options. Not sure what the "best" book to read might be? Google is your friend. A quick search will provide many, many lists of sales books.
Reading isn't your thing? You can purchase online courses created by experts, watch YouTube videos, and listen to one of the innumerable sales podcasts that are available for free. Once you hear a tip you like, try it out and see what happens. You and your business will grow and be better for your effort.
The Sales Franchise Ownership Myth
The idea that you must be good at sales to own a business makes sense. Yet, any candidate who talks to other franchisees will find that many of them didn't have any sales experience and are thriving. These franchisees often work "on" their business, instead of "in" their business. You may think getting out there and selling is the best use of your time as a business owner, but often there are a thousand other things you could do to improve your business even more. You have many options as a franchise business owner.
Owning a business has many facets and sales is only one part. Remember, the franchisor is there to help you. There are many ways to fix any lack of experience in sales. If your dream is to own a business and free yourself from corporate life, you will have many assets to bring to your franchise location. Not having sales experience is no reason to stop. It is time to live life on your terms and control your destiny.
Ready to consider taking the first step to HIRE YOURSELF? We are here to help you find the best franchise match for you.