I often hear from people who are interested in what it’s like to be in business as a franchise consultant. Even other franchise consultants are interested in what others are doing so that they can hopefully learn a few tips to apply to their own businesses. Last year we conducted a case study of Brian Frazier from Apex Business Advisors in his first year in business as a Franchise Consultant.
Since the time of the first article Brian has gone on to win the Gold for FBA’s 2015 Rookie of the Year. We decided to check back in with him as we approach his second year anniversary to see how things have been going.
How are things? Where are you at this stage in your business?
Business has been good! My first year was really about understanding the business and discovering what I wanted to focus on. I’ve been working with a lot of families and have successfully placed 24 franchises last year. It was a great experience, but it was a lot of work. I got to a point where I just wanted to take a break and since I had already closed so many deals I decided to take December and January off. I just wanted some time to relax with some R&R and be able to do some fun things with my family.
I’m back now and getting back into the swing of things. At this point I am still relying 100% on franchise consulting to support myself. However, it’s my goal this year to to diversify my business and build in additional revenue sources. This business is an adventure and I’m eager to travel a few different paths to find a niche or two.
How did you go about selecting the franchise concepts you like working with?
Over the year I’ve learned a lot and have been able to really fine tune the brands I lean towards. Some concepts are better to work with than others. The FBA has around 300 but I like to stay with my own top 20 and stick to a few categories that I believe in. Some industries get me more excited than others and that helps me to be more enthusiastic when I present them. I follow their progress and if they have good margins and are doing well I try to find more franchises like them.
I’ve also really hit it off with a few franchisors and really enjoy working with them.
It all comes down to what will work best for the individual candidate, though. If I know a particular franchise concept may have some challenges to work with them, I will just explain that to my client. If it’s a good fit, it’s worth it in the long run. The most important thing is to be upfront and candid with everyone involved.
What have you learned that you’d like to share with other brokers?
Focus on your training and really dive into the franchises. I think I’ve been successful because I focus on what I’m good at. I am a great at coaching and closing. I have strong intuition and insight and I’m able to put myself into their shoes and guide them while ensuring they get the information they need.
When I started out I felt like I had to play a role, or be someone else. I guess I felt I was fresh into the business and didn’t have complete confidence. Don’t do that! It’s a people business. When I started to be me that’s when things really turned around. I was able to really connect with my clients and that made a big difference.
Another piece of advice is when you’re speaking to your clients it’s very important to get specific. I would say that getting detailed with my questions has made the most tangible impact on my business. It really helps me to be able to qualify them quickly.
In the beginning, I may have worked with someone who wasn’t fully committed to the process and was really just kicking tires. Thanks to my new qualifying techniques I have freed up my time significantly. Now I only work with those who will take the necessary steps and respect the process. After our initial consultation they also understand my intentions and are confident they will get the information they need from me.
How are you able to qualify them so quickly?
I ask them a lot of questions. If they’re vague or not willing to share I’ll dig deeper to find out more information. That often will lead to more questions which helps to give you the full picture. If they share but the answers aren’t adding up, I’ll call them out on it and try to clear it up. The truth is that there are just some people you won’t be able to help. You have be willing to let them go.
For instance, when working with someone you eventually get to a point where you’re confident to start sharing franchises with them that match what they want. It’s a big red flag to me if they start finding negatives about everything or don’t like a particular concept for whatever reason. There is a difference between negative and discovering true issues. Usually, it boils down to fears or personal issues going on with them.
What are you most excited about doing with your business over the next year?
I would say the co-brokering program through the FBA. I used to be a sales manager and I just really enjoy helping people close deals. I went through what is now the FBA’s Business Accelerator Program and can say for certain that it helped me get ramped up much quicker. I didn’t want to spend the year trying to figure everything out for myself. I enjoyed working closely with a seasoned partner and learned so much from the experience
Everyone is different, and there are so many different variables in every deal. Being able to rely on that experience is the difference between closing a deal or not because you may have missed something.