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Marketing Innovation

The Entrepreneur's Source mails pamphlets, postcards--even socks--to prospective franchisees.

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How does a franchisor help its franchisees hold on to clients? Would socks do the trick? Franchise consulting firm The Entrepreneur's Source thinks so.

This franchise consulting firm, which also happens to be a franchise, has come up with a creative way to combat the what-ifs plaguing the minds of its clientele-people in the midst of the often-lengthy process of selecting a franchise. By sending out attention-grabbing articles, pamphlets and postcards, The Entrepreneur's Source franchisee/consultants tackle clients' major concerns.

The company also sends out its E-Kit early in the selection process. The kit includes information about The Entrepreneur's Source, misconceptions about franchising-even a pair of socks to "warm cold feet."

"Those marketing materials were designed to reinforce the principles and ideas we'd educated people about in previous meetings," says Terry Powell, CEO and founder of The Entrepreneur's Source.

In brochures like "Myths & Legends" and "The F Word," clients read about common fears related to selecting a franchise and, according to Powell, see that "pretty much everyone has to go through the same [steps to franchise selection]."

And clients seem to be getting the message. "The biggest reaction we hear from our clients is that they're amused by how insightful the program is," Powell says. "About the time they receive one of the postcards or brochures is exactly when that particular emotion, fear or perception is coming up for them in the process."

Since the campaign was unveiled last year, Powell feels confident it's making an impact. "The key to making it successful was tailoring it toward the emotions people go through when they're evaluating business ownership," he says. "It helps them understand it's OK-they're experiencing what others have experienced. It's all just part of the process."