11 Ways to Immediately Improve Field Visits

One of our most popular training programs at FRI are our Field Manager Bootcamps. These are full of practical strategies and tools for making a real difference to a franchisee's business, and for keeping field managers positive and growing in their important but highly challenging role.

Here are 11 of my top tips for improving the effectiveness of your field visits.

  1. Work up a joint agenda with franchisees prior to the visit. Once the agenda is agreed don’t deviate from these topics. If they weren’t important, you or the franchisee would not have raised them.
  2. Have a clear purpose for every visit. Ask yourself “If the visit were to go as well as it reasonably could, what would be achieved?” Review this in your mind just before you start each visit.
  3. Have your wits about you and give people your complete attention during the first few minutes of your visit. You don’t know what has been going on in the business prior to your arrival, so check before raising any compliance issues.
  4. Be friendly but not friends with franchisees. If you decide to socialise, for instance having a meal together, do this with a business purpose in mind. You are there to add value to the franchisee’s business, not for any other reason.
  5. Arrive at decisions together, especially when analysing financial data. While you may have you own understanding, you’ll get better results by allowing franchisees to first contribute their thoughts. This demonstrates respect and gets buy-in to action.
  6. Make it clear to franchisees that financial data is being collected and analysed for the purpose of improving their profit, otherwise they can become defensive about how you intend to use their business information.
  7. Explain compliance checks in terms of brand protection. Remind franchisees how much has been invested in building the reputation of the brand and how quickly this can be undermined to everyone’s detriment, including theirs.
  8. Keep discussions constructive by asking solution focused “What” questions, for instance, “What would be a good outcome? What can I do to help?” This is an effective way to prevent unnecessary negativity.
  9. Finish visits on a positive note. Remember the tone of your next visit will recommence from where this visit ended. If the visit has been challenging, acknowledge this and restate your commitment to the franchisee’s success.
  10. Look after yourself and keep your energy high. The positive energy you give out, (which is a product of how you are feeling), will have more bearing on the effectiveness of your visits than any other single factor.
  11. Finally, always ask the magic question, “What could I do to make my next visit more useful for you?” This demonstrates your care for the franchisee and creates a learning opportunity on how to continually improve your performance

If you relate to these tips you will love these highly practical Bootcamps. Click here to find out more.

Until next time,

Greg Nathan

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