By Katrina Vo posted July 22, 2021

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. It may be a cliche, but it's true. This applies to initial contact with prospective franchisees, first meetings between field managers and franchisees, and senior executives meeting franchisees for the first time. We've seen many examples where franchisor executives have come across poorly in these initial exchanges, damaging their credibility and the willingness of franchisees to engage with them in the future. In this Positive Franchising Update we provide:

  • Seven tips to ensure a successful first meeting with franchisees.
  • A surprising franchising fact about the credibility of Franchise Development Managers.
  • Details about an exciting webinar on improving franchise operations.

By the way, on the subject of leading with credibility, our Franchisor Wheel of Excellence contains a whole piece on this topic. You can see Greg Nathan describing this here in this 2-minute video.

BEST PRACTICE: 7 tips to build credibility in a first meeting

These tips were recently compiled by a group of Field Consultants in an Advanced Field Manager Bootcamp. They were asked to reflect on what builds credibility in an initial meeting with a franchisee. Here's what they came up with:
1. Ensure you are well prepared. Have a shared agenda, compile relevant information, and set clear expectations around purpose, process and outcomes.

2. Be relaxed and punctual. If it is a face to face meeting consider parking or traffic, and if virtual, check your technology beforehand. Start with a calm, focused, mindset.

3. Match your energy with others. Be aware of how others are responding to you, and adjust your speed and energy so they feel comfortable engaging with you.

4. Pay attention to your personal presentation. Dress appropriately, especially in virtual meetings from your home, where you may be tempted to dress down.

5. Be authentic and show humility. Be yourself, and avoid bragging, dominating or trying to prove how great you are. Most franchisees will see through this.

6. Listen with genuine curiosity. Take the time to get to know others by asking open-ended questions, and allow plenty of space for them to talk.7. Watch the jargon. Use clear, simple sentences and avoid corporate-speak or acronyms that may confuse others.

FRANCHISING FACT: Responsiveness of Franchise Development Managers 

The latest 2021 data on the behaviour of Franchise Development Managers, collected by FranConnect from 607 franchise brands, show that 51% of enquiries from prospective franchisees are not responded to. We repeat. Over half the people enquiring about a franchise are left wondering. Another amazing franchising fact is that 82% of candidates that go on to sign a franchise agreement were contacted within four hours. By the way, the tips above for building credibility in first meetings are just as relevant for Franchise Development Managers as they are for Field Consultants.


FRI has a range of professional development programs to upskill your team. These include:

  • Franchisor Excellence Masterclasses for senior executives responsibile for creating strategy or leading division teams.
  • Culture of Franchising Workshops for supprt office staff who interact with franchisees as part of their work.
  • Field Manager Bootcamps for field managers who support franchisees to improve their businesses.

Click here for details.

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