In case you don’t know, I’m a recovering franchise broker. And, while I wasn’t the most successful one among my peers and competitors, I was able to sleep soundly every night. Would you like to know why?
I stuck to my core values. I focused on doing the right things.
For example, if I didn’t feel that a potential franchise ownership candidate of mine had, “The right stuff” -personality-wise, to become an owner, I wouldn’t work with them. If their financials were a bit light, I would tell them, and then encourage them to seek another solution to their career woes. (In other words, I wouldn’t work with them, because it was too risky for them to invest in a business.) If one of my candidates was getting close to making a yes or no decision about investing in a specific franchise opportunity, I would strongly encourage them to seek legal guidance from a franchise attorney.
Correction: I would tell them to call one.
And, I would stress the importance of having a franchise business plan.
So, that’s my little story, and it serves as an introduction to the person that you’re about to meet-virtually; Sabrina Wall.
As you may know, I’m picky as hell. I won’t take just any company on as an advertiser or strategic partner. I get calls and emails all the time from people that want to do totally promotional guest posts, and the like. I also get offers from potential advertisers to place text link and banner ads on my websites.
I only accept guest posts and advertising money from companies that meet my standards. I have a no flake rule.
So, if you’re not a flake, let’s talk; I’m always on the lookout for mutually beneficial opportunities.
The following interview is a great example of someone that I’ve embraced because of their focus on quality. Sabrina works really, really hard, and from what others in her franchise brokerage group tell me, she’s absolutely focused on doing the right things. I like that
(Disclosure; the FBA is an advertiser of mine, and I’ve been asked to speak at their upcoming convention in sunny Orlando.)
Meet Sabrina Wall
Joel: What is the Franchise Brokers Association?
Sabrina: We are a training and resource center for anyone who participates in the sale of a franchise. We were formed because, before us, there was no one location for all franchise brokers to meet and collaborate. There was no source to help the franchise sales industry professional fine tune their craft and receive advanced education. There was no FLS system or professional standardized tools. We have been successful since the day we opened our doors and we are happy to report that we are raising the bar in the franchise brokering industry. We believe in franchising as the easiest way to create wealth and therefore we proudly promote franchising in all its different forms.
Joel: In your vision statement, you say that the FBA is an association that’s dedicated to helping franchise brokers and consultants build thriving practices. Can you give my readers a couple of examples of how you’re going about it?
Sabrina: If a franchise broker is trying to succeed, they need the proper tools to be able to function effectively. Just like a real estate agent must have the MLS system to find houses that match the candidates needs, franchise brokers need a FLS system to find the right franchises. We have a FLS system with 55 different search criteria, making it easy to find the right franchises quickly. We also have powerful franchise presentations, franchise comparisons charts, videos, ongoing trainings for franchise candidates and much more the broker can use to engage and retain the candidate.
We have a full fledged certification program called the Certified Franchise Broker or CFB certification. This program includes community participation, industry participation, highly in depth training on franchising and at is fundamental core is how to ethically and professionally sell franchises.
We also hold an the Annual Franchise Brokers Conference and Expo for all brokers to collaborate, network, meet franchisors, receive quality trainings and develop their business.
Joel: As you know, I’ve written many articles about the franchise brokerage industry. I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion that there are way too many franchise brokers around. (Compared to 11 years ago, when I started out as one) What is your take on the number of brokers that are currently in business?
Sabrina: There are many franchise brokers in the industry that didn’t have the proper training or tools to support their business. Many of them have failed, but still retain the title of franchise broker. There are several strong broker networks that do a great job of supporting their brokers. There are others that do the bare minimum they can get away with. We call them broker mills. Yes there are more brokers, but I don’t believe the amount of truly active brokers has changed significantly. Prospective brokers should know, it takes time to develop this business just like anything else worth doing.
A broker only needs to sell a handful of franchises per year to make a very good living, so I don’t believe the market is anywhere near saturation. I think that the world needs to be made aware of the power of franchising and see what a good franchise system can do for a franchisees ability to create wealth. Too many people think that franchising is only food. They don’t even know what a franchise broker is. That to me says we are at the beginning of a huge evolutionary shift and I like knowing that we are positioned to help it happen.
Joel: Your association is really focused on training, and that’s one of the reasons that I’m proud to support you. What are one or two things that you teach new brokers that can help them set themselves apart from other ones?
Sabrina: First, we teach brokers to control the process. If a broker thinks that they can send a referral over to a franchisor and then just receive a check in the mail, they have been misinformed. There are too many emotional factors involved in a decision like this and therefore candidates need help. That’s where brokers come in. We can become a valuable asset to the candidate or just an afterthought. We choose to be unforgettable.
Second, it’s all about the candidate. How many ways can we help them? What information can we give them so they feel comfortable with what they are learning and reading? What can we do to blow their socks off with professional services that make the broker indispensible? We have a huge list of services we offer to the CANDIDATE to do exactly that. We create such a strong competitive edge between our broker and a non-FBA broker that the client would be losing a great deal if they chose the non-FBA broker. We make it a no brainer so the candidate can spend their time thinking about which franchise to buy not which broker to use.
Joel: What should prospective franchise brokers know before they start looking into brokerage as a career? Anything else you’d like to add?
Sabrina: A career in franchise brokering can be incredible. The income potential is there, the timing is right, and the opportunity is bountiful. It is not an easy career choice though. There is a learning curve and it takes commitment, planning and good old fashion hard work. It takes someone with a certain finesse to help a candidate overcome their fears and take that next step. Franchise brokers are dealing with people, personalities and a lot of money being exchanged so they need to know what they are doing. They need to be properly trained. This is a profession not a scheme so anyone getting into the business needs to understand what it really takes. It’s a delightful business if you love and are good at business already.
Does Sabrina sound like a winner?