Anyone who has built a successful Vape Shop Franchise understands that, in a sense, all customers are not equal. Some customers spend more with us, pay their bills on time and even recommend us enthusiastically to other customers. There are some options for customers who are buying their first vape shop or starting their own new vape shop from the ground up.
The most cost-efficient and powerful method of “selling more franchises” is to build advocates out of your existing franchisee base. People tend to mix with people who are similar to themselves. So who could be better to find you new franchisees than your existing franchisees?
Let’s pursue this line of thinking further and applying what I have called here, the seven laws of loyalty.
Law #1 – Deliver outstanding quality and value
If you don’t get this right, there is no way you can ever build advocates, because nobody wants to recommend a poor product to a friend or colleague.
How does your franchise system stack up in the product/service quality stakes? Do your support systems add value to your franchisees’ businesses? Do you return phone calls when you say you will? Does your system deliver on its promise? Would your franchisees answer “yes” to the following questions?
“If I had my time over, Would I buy this franchise again?”
“Would I recommend this franchise to others?”
Law #2 – Be sensitive to moments of truth
I define a moment of truth as when a person is vulnerable in some way, and you make an effort to assist them. This is the single most powerful way to build loyalty. Think of your own experience where someone had helped you when you were feeling exposed in some way. How did you feel? Grateful? Encouraged? And would you go out of your way to put in a good word for this person? You bet you would.
When a franchisee is vulnerable do you go all out to support, motivate and reassure them and in doing so, build a business advocate? Or do you use this as an opportunity to show them how tough you are and in doing so, alienate them for life?
Law #3 – Offer transformations
Any marketer will tell you that people are not interested in products or services. They are interested in having their needs met and transforming their lives in some positive way. For instance, they may want to be successful in the eyes of others, to belong to a group of like-minded people, to enjoy challenging work, to have a sense of independence, or to have a happier family life. Does your franchise system offer people the opportunity to experience such a transformation?
Remember, you are in the business of providing people with the systems and support that enable them to achieve their personal and financial aspirations. Or at least, that’s what you’re supposed to be doing.
Law #4 – Become an expert in your people
The more you know about a person, the more likely they are to be loyal to you, providing, you do not abuse this knowledge. Do you treat your franchisees as individuals with unique interests, needs, and goals? Do you keep track of their level of business development and give them appropriate support? Do you understand their behavioral style and treat them in a way that they like to be treated? Or are they all just a bunch of “franchisees” who have a job to do and obligations to fulfill?
Law #5 – Be a pleasure to deal with
How is it dealing with your organization compared to the numerous other franchise businesses that are available? When someone inquires about your franchise, are you straight-forward and easy to communicate with? Is your franchise selection process a thorough, enlightening and pleasant experience?
And what about your dealings with your existing franchisees? Do you genuinely want your franchisees to be successful and do you show this concern through your actions? A franchisee who thinks you genuinely care about their success is far more likely to recommend your franchise to others than someone who feels all you are interested in is your weekly royalty check.
Law #6 – Be Consistent
People want to know who they are dealing with. If you are a different person every time they meet you and have various types of deals going with different people, you will leave them wondering. If you want to earn the loyalty of others, they must be able to see you as honest and fair. And for most people, consistency is equated with fairness.
Is your business consistent in its regular dealings with franchisees? Do you walk the talk with your company’s values? Do you stick to your agreements? Are you consistent in your behavior – or are you up one day and down the next?
It’s great to be innovative with your ideas, products, and services providing you are consistent with your values, attitudes, and behavior.
Law #7 – Grow from within
I am of course referring to the staff of existing franchisees. Sure, it may take them a few years before they are ready financially or personally to take on the responsibilities of a franchise. But why look out when the answer is within? I would much rather find a way to finance good people who I know into my franchise than take a risk on a stranger.
What better people to back into your system than those who know how your system works and who have a proven track record of performance.
What we are talking about here is a virtuous cycle because, by offering these people a great career opportunity, you are also building your Vaping Franchise advocates of tomorrow.
Water your own lawn
I guess my message is that if the grass seems greener on the other side of the fence, maybe you need to put more effort into watering your own lawn.