The importance of our consultants’ manner and approach to clients

I was asked recently what I most look for in a potential new franchise partner and how I assess whether or not they have those qualities and attributes. The person asking me had quite correctly anticipated that taking on a new franchise partner is as much an important decision for me as it is for them – people who won’t do well are not a good investment of my time and resources or their money.

My answer was that as long as the basic criteria of a certain level and breadth of experience and knowledge are covered, the most important things are manner and approach. Having been at this a while, and worked with lots of different clients, I always found a very down-to-earth approach was most appreciated, and so this is what we built our brand on. We try to be down-to-earth, honest, not full of unnecessary technical detail, and give pragmatic and realistic advice. We are friendly, approachable and practical.

It’s important that consultants who are out there working under, benefiting from and representing and enhancing our brand fulfil that, for many reasons. So when meeting a potential new franchise partner I need to assess whether they have the right approach, whether they will engage with clients and potential clients and contacts in a way that will gain (and keep) them business, and I do this through conversation. Before a new consultant signs an agreement with us I will have probably spoken to them on the telephone for about an hour, then met with them for a further couple of hours at least once.

Obviously a lot of that time is answering their questions and talking to them about how it works, but it’s also about gaining an impression of them, and assessing both informally and formally (through case studies) how they would approach and deal with clients, to make sure they would fit our down-to-earth, plain-English, friendly and approachable way of doing things.

There’s no point me allowing someone I know won’t succeed at this or fit well with our brand to invest in a franchise with us – that would be unfair on them, money-grabbing of me and also short-sighted. Franchise partners who do well are clearly more likely to speak highly of us to potential new franchise partners, which helps our growth long-term. HR professionals who don’t fit with our brand and won’t adopt the approach we have found works for us could have years and years of experience and be an employment law genius and it still wouldn’t work, for them or us!

If you are a friendly, approachable, down-to-earth HR professional, searching for a new opportunity and you believe you have the right qualities and attributes we are looking for, do get in touch.