Field Representatives Coach Franchisees to Victory

Field Representatives Coach Franchisees to Victory
A good coach will make his players see what they can be rather than what they are.
-Ara Parasheghian

Whether on the playing field, in franchising, or in life, effective coaching can be the difference between an outcome which is mediocre and one which is exceptional. In the world of franchising, the field representative acts as the franchisees’ coach and mentor, and plays a key role in the success of the franchisee as well as the franchise company.

As stated by Catherine Monson, CEO of FASTSIGNS, “The field representative is the primary point of contact, support and service for franchisees. Outstanding support is delivered by outstanding field representatives. Critical to the success of the franchisee and the franchise system is the ability for the franchise company to hire, train, develop and motivate outstanding field representatives to assist and support the franchisees. This begins by hiring the right people; providing outstanding initial and ongoing training; offering thorough and open two-way communication; providing resources and tools needed for representatives to excel; and executing thoughtful management.”

The fact that the relationship between effective Field Representative support and franchisee satisfaction is a strong one is supported by independent research. In the Franchise Research Institute’s recently completed 2012 World-Class Compilation Report, franchisees were asked, “How would you grade the helpfulness of the Franchisor’s Field Representatives?” 90% of the respondents answered positively, with 48% giving an “A” grade.

A field representative’s purpose is to guide and support franchisees through the various stages of their business development, from opening to final sale. This entails wearing numerous “hats,” including consultant, mentor, authority figure, facilitator, trainer and, when necessary, compliance officer or brand enforcer. Whether the specific role played requires commanding leadership, parental encouragement, or communicating as a peer, the field “rep’s” effectiveness depends heavily on their communication skills and a strong level of trust.

Clearly, the franchise coaching equation reads: Effective Communication + Helpfulness + Trust = A Winning Team!

1. The combined score to this question encompasses all “A,” “B” and “C” responses but does not include “D” or “F” ratings. Remember there is no such thing as “above average Franchisee satisfaction”, but there is World-Class.

*Methodology for the series of articles: Franchise Excellence The questions highlighted in this series of articles are taken from the 2012 World-Class Franchise Compilation Report, conducted by the Franchise Research Institute.

To be certified as World-Class, franchise companies must meet the following research requirements:

1. Access to every franchisee is required (including newly open and those who have yet to open).
2. A minimum of 70% of their franchisees must complete the survey (this reduces survey bias). 3. All franchisee responses are confidential (reduces false positive responses).
4. They must have a minimum of 20 franchisees that have been in business for two years or longer.

More details can be found at