Your Salespeople Have A Free Franchise
Does your sales staff fully appreciate their FREE franchise?
Think about it, what do typical franchisees receive when they invest their life’s savings in a franchise?
Franchisees pay for the rights and privileges of using a recognized name and trademark. Your station name, heritage, format, and logo provide a strong brand for your sales people to represent.
Typical franchisers offer protected territories as long as the franchisees meet agreed-to quotas. Most broadcast organizations offer their “sales franchisees” similarly-protected account lists.
Franchisers continuously improve their products and services. Broadcasters too are constantly improving programming to grow audiences.
Franchisees rely on the training provided in their franchise agreements to teach them the "tricks of the trade" they have invested in. Successful broadcasters continually provide professional training for their sales executives.
Franchisers provide proven systems and procedures. Radio account executives utilize the broadcaster’s traffic, accounting, ordering, and billing systems.
Franchisers advertise to enhance the value of their brand. Stations advertise and promote on-air and in other media to keep their brands current.
Franchisers invest in market research for their franchisees, just as broadcasters invest in research like Nielsen, Arbitron, TOMA, and various other research and marketing tools.
Last but not least, franchisee remuneration is directly proportionate to the success of their franchise. Commissioned radio executives earn incomes directly proportionate to their success.
I have had the opportunity to consult several national franchise organizations and their franchisees. Many franchisees pay $50,000 to $100,000 or more just to buy a small local franchise. They also pay for real estate, equipment, support staff, and ongoing royalties. In spite of their large investment, typical franchisees will earn LESS than the top biller at your station!
One of the benefits franchisers promote is “being in business for yourself but not by yourself.” In most radio sales departments, professional salespeople are given the latitude to manage their time and their accounts and account strategies, but they have good management supporting and coaching them each step of the way.
Telling your staff about their free franchise can inspire a commissioned salesperson to be more passionate and professional about managing their franchise.
I have learned, however, that not all franchisees experience the same degree of success. More importantly, I’ve discovered that it is the franchisee who makes the franchise succeed above and beyond expectations, NOT the franchisor.
Here’s what your account executives can learn from the more successful franchisees in other fields across North America;
When a franchiser introduces new products, ideas or changes it is because they are committed to improving results for the franchisee….and the success of the franchiser is directly dependent upon the success of its franchisees.
Your station’s success is also dependent upon the success of its salespeople. When management introduces change it is because they are convinced it will make their salespeople, and themselves, more successful. The most successful franchisees always give change a chance.
Rally Behind the Flag
In franchising, there is a thing called “The Franchisee Dependency Curve." When a new franchisee comes on board they are initially delighted, learning new things every day, managing their own business, and appreciating what the franchiser brings to the table.
But some franchisees become complacent. As their learning curve flattens, they begin to begrudge the royalties they are sending the franchisor. These franchisees begin to fail when they say, “But my market is different” or “ I know better than head office."
Your account executives’ fates are no different. When an A.E. says, “But my account list is different” or “ I know better than management,” they begin to lose the benefits of their franchise.
Go Beyond the Call of Duty
The most successful franchisees I’ve met actually go beyond what the franchiser expects. If, for example, the franchiser expects them to participate in one local charity for publicity and networking, the most successful franchisees will get involved with two or three charities.
The most successful franchisees actually improve upon and build upon management initiatives and volunteer to sit on franchisee project committees.
And when they do find an improvement that works for them, they enthusiastically share it with the franchiser for the benefit of all franchisees. They recognize that a stronger team benefits the entire franchise as well as their local franchise.
These same three keys will maximize the success of each of your salespeople’s franchises; one, embrace change; two, support the brand; and three, go above and beyond the minimum expectations management sets.
Wayne Ens is the president of ENS Media Inc. and producer of SoundADvice, the radio e-marketing system and advertiser seminar that is persuading local advertisers across North America to drop their print advertising in favor of a radio-Internet media mix. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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