After reading a recent pragmatic article about how to handle this uncertain economy, I asked myself this question: In light of what we hear about falling stock prices and rising gas prices, what will we do internally to make the best of this time?
Who Says We Have to Do It Alone?
As a Fast Company advertiser recently said about the climate crisis, “It’s too big for one person to solve. It’s going to take all of us, working together.” In fact, these words make sense in all arenas, and the franchising world is no exception.
Not long ago I brought a guest sales expert, Britt Schroeter, into a Closing Sales 2.0 Tele-Huddle. The topic was how to talk with franchise prospects about the economy. (I love the idea of bringing experts onto the calls because we create more impact together.)
What we wound up talking about was attitude. Consider this:
- If we’re putting all our purchase decisions aside until the economy strengthens, how can we expect a prospect to purchase our business concept?
- If we’re halting our travel because fuel prices are high, how can we expect a prospect to fly out to our D-Day?
In other words, we need to look within ourselves first, name our fears, and begin to face them. We’ll then have a far easier time helping our prospects name and overcome their own fears, and thus increase their ability to move forward.
Making the Most of Difficult Times
Robert Safian, in Fast Company’s May 2008 “Letter from the Editor,” reminded us that “many of today’s most successful businesses were born in the cauldron of difficult times.” So, he asked, “Where is opportunity lurking today?”
Let’s look at some steps to figure this out:
- Pick up a book on the topic of fear. Britt Schroeter suggests Feel the Fear . . . And Do It Anyway, by Susan Jeffers (Ballantine Books, 2006).
- Do all that it takes to shake off your own negative thoughts (you know, that voice in your head that’s asking, How can I sell anything in this economy?).
- Plan for your own future with strength.
- Take a good look at your franchise concept.
- Name the ways that it can brighten the future, move our society forward, keep us grounded in tough times.
- Find specific examples of franchisees in your system that have had a banner year, despite the odds, and look at what they did right to make that happen.
- Pass on the good news to your prospects.
- Bring your prospect back to good, solid decision making — for the long term.
Note: An audio recording of the Closing Sales Tele-Huddle 2.0, featuring how to handle fears about the economy, is available at floschell.com.
Flo Schell, EdM, is former vice president of Franchise Development for Sylvan Learning Systems Inc. and founder of Franchise Coaching Systems. She has also written a book, Stop Selling…Start Clicking!, that explains her successful sales process. To learn more about the services offered by Franchise Coaching Systems, visit FloSchell.com.