So, you have just opened a new franchise brokerage business or are contemplating doing so. Your business experience, educational background, and pure, unmitigated drive are all part of a winning formula.
But what about consistently landing new clients—and the right kind? That will take more than just “a little bit of luck and whole lot of hard work.” It will take a well-thought-out strategy that brings in a constant stream of prospects.
It’s true that there are five million or more businesses in the U.S., and many of them are commonly bought and sold. This might make you think that finding clients for your franchise brokerage business would be almost automatic. And while there are only around 3,000 business brokerages in the country—one for every 100,000 people and every 2,000 businesses—the clients are out there, to be sure, but to find them, you will need to sift through the “hay stack” in an extremely efficient manner.
Here are a few basic strategies to help you generate a steady stream of prospects and new clients:
1. Focus on Online Lead Generation
There is still a big place for word-of-mouth referrals and more “old-fashioned” advertising methods. That said, experienced brokers will tell you that newspapers are no longer a high-response way to advertise in the industry these days—the Internet is. The easier way for interested buyers to find you is to look online, so set up multiple websites to advertise your for-sale businesses. Then send out follow-up information as email attachments. You will need to work on SEO, creating ads, landing pages, an online sales funnel, and building segmented prospects lists. It can be a real investment, but it pays real dividends.
2. Include Direct Mail Campaigns
Once you have done the hard work of forming a prospects list for a specific local area (or buying/renting one if necessary), you can send well crafted, highly targeted direct mail to those most likely to respond. If you offer consulting services, include messages to that effect, along with promoting the franchises or other businesses you are selling. Direct mail costs a bit more, but has one of the highest response rates, so it is wise to use it at least occasionally.
3. Limited, Targeted, Traditional Advertising
Newspapers may not be the tool they once were in the franchise brokerage business, and traditional advertising can be expensive, but there are still worthwhile venues. Buy ad space in real estate and business-focused journals and magazines. Get yourself included in directories and yellow pages, as well. Also consider establishing a newsletter, which can be delivered both by email and postal mail. Offer industry news, business tips, inspiring entrepreneurial stories, and more along with your businesses listed for sale and your services repertoire.
4. Curry Favor and Win Referrals
Whenever you land a client and you have satisfied them 100%, don’t be afraid to ask them for a referral. If they don’t have anyone in mind right away, you can sign them up for your newsletter or otherwise keep in contact and keep the lines of communication open. Give them a promotional gift (that includes your brokerage’s name and number, of course). And be sure to have an official feedback system, which can be used to generate customer testimonials that work like a de facto referral system in their own right.
Once you have established productive systems and methods for generating clients, it will be much easier to simply maintain them. To learn more about getting the customer flow started strong, reach out to an experienced franchise sales consultant at Transworld Business Advisors today!