Magnet attracting leads.

Busting 2 Lead Gen Myths 

Don’t let them keep you from closing more deals. 

Lead generation is always a hot topic in franchising, and this year will be no different. If you’re on track with signings year to date, congratulations! That is a big deal. Typically, early into the year, franchise companies are behind on signings and move into catch-up mode, which rarely works. If you are not on track and think you have a lead generation problem, read about these two lead gen myths. If they hit home or sound familiar, take a deeper look.

Fulfilling the vision of your brand depends on successful new franchisee recruitment. 

Myth #1: We need more leads.

This is the easiest and most-used excuse for poor recruitment results, and data often proves it is not true. While it might deserve to be on the list of potential problems, “We need more leads” often masks poor efforts in nurturing and educating in the appointment-setting phase, as well as low step-conversion ratios by recruiters with candidates going through the brand’s discovery process. 

What to do. Focus on the activity and data between a lead at the top of the funnel and a Step 1 with the candidate and your recruiter (typically a 45- to 60-minute call or Zoom session). Find out what percentage of leads and inquiries are communicating with the team member assigned to respond and develop new leads. You want to see at least 25% of all leads responding in some way. (We’ve found across the industry that significantly fewer than 10% of leads never communicate in any way with a representative of the franchise company.)

Of course, you think you need more leads if you’re getting only a small fraction of inbound inquiries to communicate with you. Invest resources and focus on what is happening after the lead comes in. You might be surprised by what you uncover. 

Myth #2: Signing on with franchise broker groups is the solution.

Many of the brands we work with use franchise broker groups. And in the right situation, this can be a great solution. Often, these groups do well generating candidates to go through your process. However, if your recruitment sales program is broken, franchise broker groups won’t fix it.

It is not their role.

You’ll sign up, get excited, get some candidates, and then find out over the next few months that the solution isn’t working as you expected. “Why?” you ask. Most often, the root cause of the problem lies in your process. 

What to do. Get the data on how many Step 1’s (see definition above) it’s taking to get a signing. If the conversion from a Step 1 to a signing is below 5%, or the ratio is greater than 20:1, something is off in how recruiters are taking a candidate through the process. Franchise brokers are a candidate generation source. They are part of your marketing efforts, but they do not sell your franchise! Their purpose is to present you with a qualified candidate. A quality broker has extracted critical information, educated the candidate on franchising, and discussed your brand at a high level. You should not expect more. 

There are excellent franchise broker groups and individuals out there. But understand that you must take care of the rest. This is because franchise brokers are different. In other industries, the broker is often responsible for finding the buyer and taking them through the sales process. Think of a business broker or a commercial real estate broker. Franchise brokers do not work like that. While they might assist at times in the sales process, their primary function is providing you with candidates for you to take through your sales process. 

Lead generation is not going to get easier. Successful recruitment in 2023 is going to require a bigger and different investment with lead generation—combined with excellent data collection and analysis that drives targeted training and coaching on the right skill sets, behaviors, and competencies. Don’t forget to start with the data. 

Let’s go to work!

Art Coley is the CEO of CGI Franchise. Using the proven Recruitment Operating System (ROS), his team helps franchise companies implement and execute a predictable, repeatable, and sustainable new franchisee recruitment program. Based in Temple, Texas, they work with brands worldwide.

Contact him at 281-658-9409 or This article was originally featured on in Franchise Update.