Franchise Lead Questionnaire Guide

Great Franchise sales VP’s know the Franchise Lead Questionnaire only paints part of the picture. We cover the basics and next steps. Apply the conversation “filter” to find a prospect’s cultural fit. You can be creative with questionnaire structure to produce higher quality leads.

A good franchise lead questionnaire is going to produce quality leads, which is one responsibility of an effective sales VP. Such individuals aren’t simply seeking to produce good leads, but leads which will be good franchisees down the line. Finding the right people is the difference between a good franchise operation and a great one.  

Critical Lead Questionnaire Questions

Think of a qualitative questionnaire as an effective “filter.” Here are some essential questions to include:

  • What interests you about our franchise?

  • Do you have any debt? If so, how much and what kind? What is your plan for paying it off?

  • What motivates you?

  • Tell us about your background.

  • Are you willing to move or relocate?

  • Are partners involved in this? Does your spouse know? What are their details?

  • What gets you out of bed in the morning?

  • Where do you see yourself in 20 years and how does this franchise fit into that?

  • How involved will you be?

  • What do you like about our franchise? Dislike?

  • How do you feel about our company culture?

  • How are you involved in the community?  

  • What’s your net worth?

  • What sort of liquid cash can you acquire?

  • When do you think you’ll be profitable?

The Million-Dollar Question is Not on the Questionnaire

Great Franchise sales VP’s know that the questionnaire only paints part of the picture. Consider To Sell Is Human; everybody sells themselves to some degree. Many who might not be a good fit for your brand will “sell” themselves. So they look excellent on paper, but they’re not the right fit for your brand when you meet them. Ideally, the questionnaire helps you to foster and generate genuine face-to-face or “discovery” meetings because there’s a critical human element. The conversation “filter” which you apply during the discovery interview will help determine the quality of this prospect’s social fit. You can be creative with questionnaire structure to produce higher quality discovery meetings.

How do you qualify franchise leads before the discovery meeting? Maybe Chick-fil-A has the answer: They proactively scout leads which fit criteria in a given community and reach out directly. Their model is unique in the industry but commendable; they use deductive investigation to pre-qualify leads, which is likely why it’s so hard to be a franchisee of this brand. Chick-fil-a scouts a community and figures out which member within that community will have the best long-term cultural fit. Then they help this potential franchisee bring a new Chick-fil-a to this new member’s community.

If leads pass their rigorous community qualifications and all the standard franchisee qualifications to become part of the Chick-fil-A team, a store is built. Chick-fil-A is different in that they look for the human element first, and then follow with the questionnaire.  As VP of sales, you can learn from this creative strategy.

No matter the size of a franchise group, it is critical that franchisees are only allowed to join if they are a “low-risk investment”.  As much as they are investing in you, you’re investing in them. Questions that reveal what type of person this lead might be in the future are essential. Cultural fit is crucial, but it won’t matter if the lead does not qualify financially.

Analytics To Assist In Questionnaire Structure

Structuring questionnaires with existing data from previous interviews can help you reduce time, aggravation, and expense during the process. Some franchise software allows you to not only design questionnaires that help optimize the refining process, but establish actionable analytics.

Good franchise project management (PM) tools allow you to keep all this information in one place as the lead transitions to partner or “goes sideways”. This helps you identify trends you missed earlier and adjust and improve your questionnaires based on the information.  Good PM tools will help make your questionnaires and process be much more effective.

Lead Analytics

You can also plan more effectively with Franchise PM Software. Such software allows you to determine with reasonable accuracy how much time it takes for you to transition a lead from one segment of the sales process to the next.

Frequently, this process is so nebulous, franchisors are guessing with their gut. That can work–or blow up in your face—it’s far better to put numbers behind the process and reduce negative fallout.

Another prime feature of effective PM software involves email campaigns that strategically engage prospective franchisees based on analytics. If you want to maintain the investment value of the lead throughout your induction process, frequent communication is key.

Franchise Lead Questionnaire Delivery Method


Companies can use a portal like Franchise Gator, which matches their website design, to gather these questionnaires. However, portals can be expensive, typically charging $30-$50 per lead. As a result, many companies prefer to connect with leads through their website, trade shows, or by the lead calling the sales team directly. To avoid exorbitant portal feeds, make it easy for leads to reach out through your own website.

Trade Shows:

Trade shows are cross-functional for lead generation. Not only are you at the trade show to connect with potential customers, but you can also be generating high-quality franchise leads. Trade shows are a more organic way to connect with franchise leads and to build trust. By being on panels, speaking and showing expertise you can show how your brand makes money for the entrepreneur; the prospective lead will be more willing to learn about the brand if you are striving to educate rather than to sell.  


Finally, the best way to draw in good leads is through referrals! It is so effective that it might make sense to offer a referral fee. For an insightful look into how leads may find your brand, watch: How to Search for a Franchise Concept

The Takeaway

When it comes to your franchise lead questionnaire, you can’t cover everything. But you can continuously hone it so that with each new candidate, you’ve got a more effective questionnaire and a better process. A paper questionnaire is half the puzzle. The human element is just as important. Acquired analytics are key in assisting you to secure the right leads. The right franchise PM software does a great deal to simplify and improve the process.

Social Franchise Questionnaire