In franchising, words really matter. They can be used in many ways. And, I hate to break it to you, but specific words can be-and are used to manipulate people. In this blog post-a super-important one for anyone looking to buy a franchise, I’m going to share information on franchise coaches and why they aren’t really coaches at all.
Take these 3 words for example:
“A Franchise Coach”
What do those words mean to you?
What are “Franchise Coaches?”
A Little Experiment
Let’s try something.
I want you to close your eyes and create a mental picture of what you think Franchise Coaches look like.
What do you see-rather, who do you see?
If you’re like most people, you probably pictured someone who looks like he would be a coach.
So, why the heck would I show you a picture of a “salesperson?”
Because it’s important. Better keep reading.
The definition of a coach, from The Free Dictionary:
A person who trains an athlete or team: a football coach.
A private instructor for a student, singer, actor, etc.
You kind of knew that, right? Isn’t that the reason you probably pictured that guy with the green ball cap in the 1st of the two images above?
You certainly didn’t picture a salesperson. I didn’t either.
I did picture a salesperson.
That’s because I actually know what Franchise Coaches looks like. I also know what Franchise Coaches do. Would you like me to tell you they do? I will in a moment. First I want you to read what they say they do; in their own words.
What Franchise Coaches Say They Do
(Franchise Coaches are also called Franchise Consultants and/or Franchise Brokers. They all do the same exact thing.)
What follows are examples of what Franchise Coaches say they do-according to the words on their websites. (I changed a word here and there so I wouldn’t be accused of using their web copy for myself. Like I need it.)
“Choosing the right franchise opportunity can be a daunting task, that’s why working with a Franchise Coach can help level the franchise playing field.”
“Our process is just like working with a realtor. One of our franchise consultants will guide you through your search for a franchise, help you with any questions you have, and will strive to understand your needs goals for a franchise business. And, you pay exactly the same franchise fee whether or not you work with one of our consultants or not.”
“Together, we will determine the ideal franchise for you. We specialize in matching you and your business goals with the right franchise for you.”
“Once our brokers have introduced a franchise candidate to a franchisor, they remain totally involved throughout the process. We have hundreds of consultants discussing thousands of franchise opportunities with their candidates each and every month.”
I Can’t Emphasize This Enough
“Free Franchise Consultations” are not consultations. They’re sales calls.
Simply put, every “Free Consultation” is designed to move you towards a franchise the “consultant” or “coach” represents, so the consultant can get paid his or her $20,000 commission from the franchisor.
I’m not known around these parts as someone who’s shy when it comes to revealing things about the world of franchising that need to be revealed. Or, about sharing my opinion of an aspect of franchising that needs to be changed-like I did here. And, I certainly don’t want to hold back now. Here goes.
The 4 marketing messages above (gathered from 4 different franchise consultant/broker/coaching websites) have a bit of hidden code in them.
The first message includes this: “Working with a Franchise Coach can help level the franchise playing field.”
Translation: The coach is actually the one leveling the playing field. That’s because he’s only presenting franchises that he has contracts with. There are over 3,000 different franchise opportunities available in the U.S. a Franchise Coach is only contracted with 100-300 of them. The playing field is immediately a whole lot smaller when you choose to work with a coach/consultant/broker. It’s just math!
The second message contains a classic franchise coaching line: “Our process is just like working with a realtor.”
Translation: It sure is like working with a realtor. The realtor is very helpful and chock-full of useful tips on choosing the right home…right up until you find a few homes on your own…especially those that are “For Sale By Owner.” Those great tips you were getting? They’re only a memory. And, your realtor? She doesn’t get back to you as fast as she used to. She’s only a memory too.
She’s Not Going To Be Paid If You Buy A House She’s Not Contracted With
Your Franchise Coach won’t be very interested in “helping” you if you end up finding a franchise opportunity on your own-one that he doesn’t represent. He’ll quickly become a distant memory, too. He’ll be on to bigger and better things. Like looking for people who will look at the options he presents-so he can increase his chances of receiving a FedEx envelope from a franchisor with a $20,000 check inside…made out to him.
It’s almost too easy to figure out what the hidden message is in the third marketing example.
“Together, we will determine the ideal franchise for you.” No kidding. Really? Together? Like you’re a team or something. You’re not a team. You’re a freaking payday. (That was the translation)
Number #4 is a doozy.
“Once our brokers have introduced a franchise candidate to a franchisor, they remain totally involved throughout the process.”
I’m starting to feel that you’re getting smarter about Franchise Coaches and their brethren, the consultants and the brokers. Am I correct? Keep going. Keep increasing your franchise coach IQ.
On Franchise Coaches Remaining Totally Involved
Why do you think it is that franchise coaches remain totally involved throughout the process? C’mon. You know the answer. You can translate what “totally involved” means. Your coach is going to stay totally involved…
So They Can Make Sure You Sign The Franchise Contract
FYI: A signed franchise agreement (contract) along with a paid in full franchise fee means they get paid! You bet they’ll stay involved with you. You’ll hear from them a lot. They’ll stick to you like
3 Franchise Coach Facts
1. Franchise Coaches aren’t Coaches.
2. Franchise Coaches Are A Salespeople.
3. A Franchise Coach Is A Franchise Consultant…a Franchise Broker.
Your next question to me should be:
Why would a franchise consultant/broker call herself a franchise coach?
Answer: Because she wants you to see the green ball cap. She wants you to see her as a “coach,” not as a salesperson making at least $15,000 for matching you with a franchise she represents..
Franchise Coaches: Why They Aren’t Really Coaches At All
Are you looking to possibly buy a franchise this year?
If so, great!
If not, that’s OK, too.
If you are looking into franchise ownership, sooner or later you’re going to run into a franchise broker. Or, a franchise “consultant.” Or a Franchise Coach.
Fact: They’re all the same. All 3 do the same exact stuff. And, most of them work with the same franchisors.
(That’s because only a certain number of franchisors work with franchise consultants/brokers/coaches.)
What Is A Franchise Consultant/Broker/Coach?
A franchise consultant/broker/coach attempts to match people to franchise opportunities that are in her portfolio of franchise opportunities-so she can get paid.
She only will suggest…present…pitch franchise opportunities that she has contractual relationships with.
That’s because if she makes a successful match, the franchisor pays her a commission of 40-50% of the upfront franchise fee.
For example, if the franchise fee is $40,000, the consultant/broker/coach gets paid $20,000. Not a bad payday.
That’s why a franchise consultant/broker/coach offers their services for free.
The Truth: The only thing they’re coaching you on is how to buy a franchise they have a brokerage contract with so they can get paid.
Don’t kid yourself. They’re working for themselves and the franchisors they represent. They aren’t working for you. In other words, you are not their client.
Free Help Finding The Right Franchise
Remember when I suggested that you would probably run into a franchise broker sometime during your search for a franchise to buy?
The reason you’ll run into a franchise consultant/broker/coach is because they usually advertise their services…their “Free” services.
Typically, you’ll see ads that offer “Free Franchise Consulting,” or “Free Franchise Coaching,” or “Get Free Help Finding The Right Franchise.”
I’m not suggesting that there’s anything necessarily bad about franchise brokers. I’m friends with several brokers…consultants…coaches. (So far. We’ll have to see what happens after word about this blog post gets out.)
All of us like to get free products and free services. Having someone offer to “consult” with you for free, or to be your “Franchise Coach” for free, is very attractive.
But, if their services are only being offered for free so they can make money off of you, how free are their services?
This Is Important For You To Know
I used to be a franchise consultant. I speak from experience.
I didn’t like calling myself a “broker.” My business card said, “Franchise Consultant.”
Did I consult with people? Sure.
Did I coach people through the process? Yep.
Why? Why did I “consult” with and “coach” people through the franchise purchasing process?
Answer: For the same reason today’s franchise coaches-consultants-brokers do.
To make a sale.
Feeding My Family
That’s what I was doing.
I helped people who had the dream of owning a business get there.
When they did-by buying a franchise concept I was contracted with, I got paid handsomely.
When they didn’t buy a franchise I was contracted with, I didn’t get paid.
Honestly, it didn’t make me very happy to work with someone for 3-4 months and end up having nothing to show for it.
But, I understood. That’s why it was important to be working with a lot of people…people who were attracted to the idea of getting “Free Franchise Coaching.”
Lots of people dropped out of the process. Lots. A few of them purchased franchises. As a matter of act, some of the people I helped get into business are still in business. Some aren’t.
Consider Yourself Educated
You’re now officially educated on the differences between franchise consultants, and franchise brokers, and franchise coaches. (There are no differences)
- You know how they get paid-and how much
- You know they may not like calling themselves “brokers“
- You know why their services are free
And, you know words matter. That’s why a franchise coach isn’t really a coach after all.
Here’s an idea: Work with someone where you are the client-not the franchisor. Learn More
How to Use a Franchise Opportunity Website
The 10 Commandments of Franchise Research
What You Need To Know About Franchise Consultants/Brokers