Why directories and portals remain relevant means of franchise recruitment: portals and directories are not better at recruiting franchisees than any other recruitment option, but they are a necessary complement.

Author:Schwartz, David

Wouldn't it be great if there were a cost-effective way to provide your franchise development team with contactable, qualified entrepreneurs guaranteed to become your next franchisee? Well, there is.

Online lead generation portals and directories have been a part of the franchise recruitment process for more than 15 years. Now that the nation is emerging from the nadir of the economic downturn, it's time to reassess the professional relationship between lead generators and franchises, and to remember how and why directories and portals remain relevant means of recruitment.

It's Clear: We Need Transparency

The relationship between franchises and franchise lead generators has always been tenuous-and for good reason. It's not uncommon for the two not to see eye to eye, but there's a simple solution for that: greater transparency.

Franchise development teams often do not fully understand the details of the lead generation process, especially as it pertains to the resources required for a successful campaign. On the part of the directory or portal, a greater effort needs to be made to explain operations and lead generation processes to the franchise client. Explanations as to how leads will be generated and where advertising dollars will be spent can go a long way in eradicating any distrust or anxiety about investing in an online lead generation campaign. In response, franchise clients should remember that it takes some time to properly develop an effective lead generation campaign; that, and some patience.

There's a widespread misconception that generating leads is instantaneous; it isn't. The moment one gives up is the moment before his or her hard work and investment pays off. Unfortunately, depending on the patience level of franchise directories and portals is often one good lead away from a long-term business relationship or one dissatisfactory lead away from a short-term relationship. As lead generation is an industry that's based largely on the participation of others, that kind of dynamic can be particularly nerve wracking for a portal or directory.

While franchises would do well to ask themselves the value of a potential candidate in terms of time and money (and remember to be patient), franchises should also communicate to online portals and directories what is and is not working. Positive feedback is as equally helpful as constructive criticism. At the end of the day, lead generators and franchises want the same thing: qualified...

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