The term “Discovery Day” can be a bit misleading. While there is certainly an element of discovery in a prospective franchisee visiting your company and meeting stakeholders for the first time, Discovery Day is meant more to be the final step toward signing an agreement. You should go into it expecting to conclude with something along the lines of, “I’ll be sending out the final agreement tomorrow. We can then coordinate a signing time and begin the onboarding process.”

It’s not that easy, of course, and there are many aspects to cover and agree upon in order to reach that point. Here are a few tips to make Discovery Day a deal-maker and not a deal-breaker:

Cover the Basics Beforehand

Again, Discovery Day should happen toward the end of the sale, when both the franchisor and franchisee are coming in with a warm reception. The rapport, trust, and basic information all need to be present before you ever schedule Discovery Day so that your job is simply to close the deal. See our article, 6 Discussions That Should Take Place Before Discovery Day, to avoid the pitfalls of pouring time, money, and resources into ill-fated Discovery Days.

Create an Agenda

There are many different ways to conduct a Discovery Day. Will it be a single tour at headquarters? Will you take the prospect to several different locations? Whom will they meet within your company? These variables, along with those the candidate might have already inquired about, will help you set and accomplish goals for the day. The overarching objective is to equip the candidate with all the information they need to make a decision.

Inform Franchisee(s)

Introducing a candidate to franchisees is a great way to get the candidate excited about buying a franchise with your company. We always tell franchisors that their current franchisees are their best salespeople in terms of bringing on new franchisees, because they are walking, talking testimonials.

Encourage franchisees to share their positive feedback when you stop by on Discovery Day. Because they are taking time out of their day to help you sell a franchise location, it’s not uncommon to compensate or provide a special discount for their participation.

Be Welcoming

Sometimes, franchisors will invite multiple candidates to a joint Discovery Day. While this may be efficient, it can present a risk in tainting an entire batch of prospects. If you believe there might be a negative or overpowering personality in the group, consider holding separate Discovery Days for each candidate.

Perhaps most importantly, go out of your way to make every candidate feel important—because they are. Express to them why you believe they are a great fit for the opportunity, and engage them in dialogue or demonstrations as often as possible throughout the day.

Reach a Verbal Agreement

Remember, Discovery Day is not a hard sell. You’ve come this far and invested a great deal of time; the same goes for the candidate. Now, you just need to address any and every remaining question they might have. If all goes well, it is completely reasonable—and expected—that a final agreement will be delivered shortly after.

Are you looking for more tips on franchising your business? At Soden & Steinberger, APLC, we provide complete legal counsel for franchisors. Learn more about our firm, and call us at 619-239-3200 to schedule your free franchising consultation. You can also submit your request online.

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Robert Steinberger
Robert Steinberger, who often goes by Bob, is a founding partner of the Law Offices of Soden & Steinberger, LLP. He is adept at both creating the best legal structure for enterprises as well as setting the foundations for franchise owners and buyers. While Bob’s practice focuses on both business entity formation and litigation, his specialty is franchise law. As a part owner of a franchise, he brings a unique perspective to navigating the franchise landscape. His free Franchisor Workbook gives a head start on expanding a business empire.

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