My Interview With Peter Capodice, Founder of Capodice & Associates (Part 2 of 2) How To Land Your Next Big Job


Peter Capadice

Hopefully you had a chance to read my blog last week, which featured the first half of my interview with Peter. It talked more about the executive search industry. Today, the focus is on getting expert advice from Peter about what you should and shouldn’t do in your next big job interview. And, he should know. He’s helped many of the top franchising executives build their careers.

David – Let’s switch gears now and take advantage of your vast knowledge on the subject and talk specifically about what you recommend for executives who may be looking for a new opportunity specific to the franchise vertical.

Peter – Sure, happy to.

David – What’s the best time of year to look for a job in the franchise industry?

Peter – I would say the most active times are during the third and fourth quarters as companies are preparing their budgets for the next fiscal year. We tend to see an increase in activity in late October or the beginning of November. The latter parts of January through April are also very active. This said, I would still encourage you to look for a job outside of these time frames.

David – What kinds of things do you look for or that jump out on a resume as someone you want to talk to?

Peter – To answer that question, we have to consider the type of firm Capodice & Associates is. There are different types of executive search firms: Contingency firms represent candidates, and retained firms represent the client (company). We are a retained firm, so we represent the client company. But, as resumes come in, we want to get to know people and their background. The things we like to see are good tenure in a position. But, having said that, we don’t necessarily like to see someone who has been with the same company 25 or 30 years. We like to see candidates stay at a company for 5 to 10 years. Somewhere in this range is good. Ideally, we want to see some kind of career progression. That can come from the breadth and depth of experience they are acquiring. It could be from going from a smaller to a larger company or vice versa where you’re gaining more responsibility. We want to see results, big time. Our clients want to know that the candidate is going to be able to perform for them. There’s nothing better than showing what you’ve been able to accomplish on your resume. It doesn’t matter what the position was; the results are what is important.

David – Your clients look to you to deliver candidates with the right kind of experience who can deliver results. What do you advise candidates to focus on in an interview that conveys the message they have the experience and can deliver the results?

Peter – I recommend a couple of things. First, they should thoroughly research the company they are going to interview with. They should know the company’s key players and the company’s past performance. They should know a little about the folks within the organization and what the company’s objectives (growth or non-growth) are. The Internet is a great tool for this. Thorough knowledge of the company is critically important. A recent real-life example I can give you is this: We have three candidates vying for a very senior role (president) at a client company.  Of the three who interviewed, they are only moving two forward in the process. One of the candidates, who was possibly the brightest of the three and definitely had equal experience and could have been successful at the job, was under prepared for the interview. The candidate had done minimal research on the company. This was a red flag to the company. The candidate was very qualified for the position but was eliminated from the running due to lack of preparation. You cannot over prepare for an interview! Second, understand what you’re good at, what your strengths are, what you can contribute to the company you’re interviewing with. Don’t embellish, but sell yourself honestly and passionately. Determine what the best cultural fit is for you. Now, if you are in a position where you’re going to be making a move that involves a relocation, as great a reputation the company has – maybe they’re a high-flying fast casual or in the hot segment like health and fitness is now – you always want to consider the fit first. Even if you really want to be with one of these “now” companies, consider the fit. Maybe it’s not the best fit for you even though it is a “now” company. Make sure your strengths are put to work for a good company. Don’t get yourself in a bad situation that creates a gap in your resume and causes difficulties in your personal life.

David – Job-hunting and the interview process can be very emotional. Great advice to keep the process a bit more strategic by putting the focus on the fit first and foremost. Now, I’d like to look at the other side of this. You’ve been at this a long time, so I know you’ve heard a lot of stories. What do you advise candidates to absolutely never do during an interview?

Peter – I would tell you that as comfortable as the interviewer makes you feel, don’t let your guard down. They want you to feel comfortable and to let your guard down so they can see what you’re really all about. We’ve had some really interesting things happen even at the senior level we work with. Choose your words so that you aren’t saying anything inappropriate. Words that are appropriate in your world may not be appropriate in the interviewing world. Believe it or not, we’ve seen that. Be prepared and understand the interviewer wants to get to know who you really are.

David – I also think it’s also good to point out to be very cautious in how you use social media.

Peter – You are absolutely, 100 percent correct. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want prospective employers to be able to see.

David – Such great advice, Peter. At the executive level, the interviewer is really trying to see who a person really is and how they behave under pressure. They’re trying to determine how the candidate will behave when dealing with other people inside the company or with independent contractors. They want to know what the candidate’s business approach is. I was recently used as a reference for candidate in a very senior level position and they were asking me those kinds of questions. This is what they wanted to know – their behavior. Their questions weren’t as direct, but behavior was what they were driving at. They want someone who is going to fit in and has the same values and can execute the values of the founder, is that accurate?

Peter – Without a doubt, and I’d take it a step further. If you’re working with a retained search firm, remember they are working for the client (company) and not the candidate. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to help the candidate, it doesn’t mean we don’t have interest in making it a successful relationship, but the client is paying the fee. So, keep in mind, when you are talking to the executive search firm, you are in essence talking to the company. Be careful what you say.

David – I have one last question for you. How have things changed in your industry over the last few years? Specifically, what’s been the evolution of this process over the last four or five years?

Peter – In 2009 with the economic downturn, we saw many search firms go away. The search firms that truly added value to their process are the ones that are still around. So, what do I mean when I say “adding value?” I mean you’re not just submitting bodies to a company. You’re someone who has tenure in the industry, and you’re engaged in the industry. You know the successful individuals in the industry and what they are doing, and you understand the behaviors that apply to success. You can coach and counsel an organization as to what type of candidate will be best, building your credibility. Lately, we’re seeing this still holds true. The successful search firms are continuing to add value. Anyone can put a body into a company, but the most successful firms with the long-term credibility are those adding value by building comprehensive industry knowledge, knowing the best candidates, and delivering real results.

A big thanks to Peter for his insightful advice. You’ll want to keep this information in mind when you’re going for your next job interview. Good luck!


My Interview With Peter Capodice, Founder of Capodice & Associates: The Inside Scoop From the Industry’s Leading Executive Search Firm (Part 1 of 2)


Peter Capadice

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with the go-to guy when the top franchising brands need top executives. In the first half of my interview Peter talks about the executive search industry and how it works. In the second half of my interview with Peter, which I’ll run next week, he shares practical (and applicable) information that will assist you with landing that next big job.

David – Tell me about the focus of your firm.

Peter – The focus of Capodice & Associates is to work with client companies to assist them with acquiring the best talent available who will be the most productive.

David – Share with us your background and how it is you ended up becoming the leader in the executive search industry.

Peter – Sure, my background and experience began in the restaurant franchising sector, beginning with the S&A restaurant corporation. From there I moved on to run a segment of the Northeast operations for Pearl Vision, heading up their sizable manufacturing and distribution facility in that area before moving on to direct the sales and marketing for US, Canada, and Puerto Rico for them. When I left Pearl Vision I joined up with a small optical franchising company, overseeing their franchise development and operations. I made the move to get into the executive search business because I found I had a real passion for it. In my experience running operations and development, I had worked a lot with placement firms and knew first-hand the importance of hiring quality staff. I put a lot of time and emphasis on identifying good people, developing their skills, and ensuring my stores had the most effective staff working for them. I wanted to do the same for other companies to help them be successful.

David – Why not join an existing firm? Why did you decide to form your own search firm?

Peter – First and foremost we wanted to do things differently than what we saw going on in the market. We wanted to be able to identify traits in people and traits in organizations that would lead to excellence in performance. In essence we were bringing a bit of science into the mix. We deployed an assessment tool that had a reach far beyond what the typical Meyers-Briggs personality type assessments do. We’re able to successfully go two or three steps beyond what Meyers-Briggs offers to strip away the “interview behavior” to identify the probability of a long-term fit for the candidate and the client once the initial honeymoon period is over. We can determine how successful the candidate will be in the organization and if they truly have the competencies that the company in looking for. This thinking became the cornerstone for our business and has been what has set Capodice & Associates far apart from others. We now have thousands of behavioral profiles of some of the top industry leaders. We understand what the key traits are, what the behaviors look like, and how important the proper fit is. We can identify a good fit from a poor fit. Our assessment tool enables us to use concrete information to make an objective, tangible hiring decision as opposed to the more subjective, emotional decision based on liking a candidate or just by looking at a candidate’s past successes. Environments are different from company to company.  We match candidates with the work environments they are most likely to be successful in going forward.

David – You’ve been in the business for quite awhile. What do you attribute your longevity to?

Peter – Well, first of all we deliver results. In my business it’s all about being able to deliver candidates that are going to be successful at a company. We do the critical backend work to ensure the candidate’s behavioral profile and experience are a good fit with the company’s environment. We go to all the conferences and work to get to know all the major players.

David – So, is it safe to guess that you share my passion in the power of analytics?

Peter – There is no question about it!

David – Very good…

Next week I’ll post the second part of this interview that gives great tips on what companies are looking for in potential candidates.

Five Really Good Business Books You Really Ought To Read



I’ve found that one of the great ways to learn is to learn from other people’s success and mistakes.  That’s why I love to read a good business book. Some of the best get very specific about business problems and the approaches used to solve them. Others provide great, personal stories about business adventure and how the author navigated through some issue that they faced.

There are thousands of great business books, and I feel like I have read most of them.  Cutting the list down to my five greatest hits is challenging, but I set a few criteria to help me with my evaluation:

  • Innovative:  The author has something new to say about a business topic. Or, the approach to the topic is of great value.
  • Practical:  After reading the book I felt like I gained valuable insight that can be applied to what I am working on.
  • Entrepreneurial: The author writes about how taking risk affected them in someway.
  • Great Stories:  The book is engaging and full of personal stories, humor, excitement, and advice.

Here are my top five business books I highly recommend you read. They aren’t in any particular order.

1.  The Art Of The Start by Guy Kawasaki

Most of the people who read my Blog are self-employed or work for an entrepreneur.  If you want to get a sense of what an entrepreneur goes through both personally and professionally, this is the book for you.  Guy Kawasaki, a former Apple executive, takes his readers on an insightful and impactful journey on how to start a business.  The take-away is specific, practical advice that you can use to help raise capital, implement a marketing campaign, generate sales, and manage your new business.

2.  The Signal and The Noise by Nate Silver

Nate Silver, the former New York Times blogger and presidential election forecaster, has written an outstanding book about the power of big data and predictive modeling.  Silver, who now works for ESPN, started his forecasting career designing predictive models for baseball.  After the firm he started was sold, he joined the New York Times.  His blog focused on politics, and his statistical models helped predict the outcome of various congressional, senatorial, and presidential elections. If you are interested in learning how to use past behavior to predict future behavior in politics, business, and sports (three of my personal favorite subjects!), you will love this book.

3.  Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy

Sometimes called the “father of modern advertising,” David Ogilvy’s book is a must read for anyone interested in the advertising business.  Written 30 years ago, Ogilvy’s “rules” are still quite relevant today. His approach to successful advertising, based on research, testing, and data, is the basis for today’s marketing campaigns.

Ogilvy is a master storyteller, and you’ll love his hilarious experiences working with some of the largest clients in the world.

4.  MoneyBall by Michael Lewis

For years I’ve blogged and spoken about the “Moneyball” approach to business. The approach, using historical (baseball) stats to predict future performance, is told brilliantly by Michael Lewis.  His book, released as a motion picture a few years ago starting Brad Pitt (I strongly recommend seeing that too), tells the story of how an under capitalized Oakland A’s used predictive modeling to put a winning baseball team on the field.  Can this formula also be used to predict winning marketing and lead generation programs? Read the book and let me know your thoughts at

5.  Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Ciadini, Phd.

Did you ever wonder why infomercials are so successful?  Or how about home shopping channels, direct response catalogs, seminars, and websites?  If you are interested in learning more about how persuasion techniques can help close more sales, you’ll want to read Dr. Robert Ciadini’s The Psychology of Persuasion.  I’ve read and re-read this book numerous times (it’s a good idea to try to read it once a year) to freshen and improve content, calls-to-action, and offers for my clients.  This book is a classic on how to get people to the “yes” and the specific techniques necessary to do so.

Happy reading! Let me know if you read any of these and what you thought. Also, if you have any books you recommend, let me know.

P.S. Next week I’m featuring my interview with Peter Capodice, owner of Capodice & Associates, one of the nation’s leading franchise,  restaurant, and hospitality executive search firms. He shares some great information with us you won’t want to miss.

Eighteen Tips Sure To Make Your Next E-mail Campaign A Success

Are you doing everything you need to do to make your next e-mail campaign a success? Are your e-mails being opened, read and responded to?  I have developed a checklist of 18 tips to create a winning program that will help generate leads, build your pipeline, increase quality web traffic, and accelerate deal flow.

Implement these 18 tips and you should get great results on your next e-mail campaign.

1.  Start by asking the right question. Who is your audience and how do you build a list that can reach them?

2.  E-mail addresses change frequently so make sure that you are managing bounces and opt-outs.

3.  Response is more than just a completed form.  Clicks and opens have value.  Be sure to segment (and score if you use marketing automation software) this activity. Segmenting by behavior will improve your next campaign’s results.

4.  Are you nurturing and scoring your responders?  Marketing automation software like eMaximation has tools that can help you manage and nurture responders and leads.

5.  You should be focusing your efforts on building and segmenting a database.  Visualize your efforts like a funnel with the warm leads (based on behavioral scoring) on the top and the hottest leads (most interested and fully engaged) at the bottom. What’s in between are prospects with various levels of interest.

6.  When gathering information only ask for what you absolutely need.

7.  Interesting messages that offer value in exchange for contact information are key to the success of any campaign.  Be creative. Study your competition. Sign up for their content.

8.  Keep the length right.  Text works better than html. Keep the message personal and folksy.  Don’t over sell.

9.  Test various subject lines.  Set up an A/B split test to learn what subject lines work best.

10.  Make sure the “From” is personalized.  Make sure the prospect knows whom the e-mail is coming from.

11.  Avoid using words that look like spam like “Free.”

12.  Use subject lines that will get attention and make sure that the copy in the e-mail ties back to the subject line. Be honest.

13.  Encourage the reader to forward the e-mail to someone who might be interested in your message.

14. Personalize the e-mail.  That will significantly increase your open rate.

15.  Include links to video testimonials.  Provide something for your reader to scroll down to.

16.  Use lots of white space and bullets in text messages.

17.  Make it easy for your reader to scan the message.

18. Track opens, clicks and leads.  As mentioned earlier, use A/B split testing to test subject lines, content, format, and offers.

Good luck on your next e-mail campaign! Let me know how these tips worked for you.

I’m beginning the new year with a brand new website. You can log on to to check it out. I have some good things planned for this year. Stay tuned! Wishing you all a healthy and successful 2014! And, thanks to each of you for reading my blog.


What’s New In Lead Gen Technology? My One-On-One With Salim Notta of eMaximation. (Part 2 of 2)


If you read last week’s post, you know it featured the first half of my interview with Salim Notta, President and General Manager of eMaximation, a top developer of innovative, web-based software tools that work. If you missed part one of this interview, you’ll want to check it out.

David: What innovations are coming in the lead generation management industry and what are the opportunities in the next year?

Salim: Google’s much-anticipated, new search algorithm “Hummingbird” will impact lead generation and franchisors. Search engines will become major players in lead generation. I see a technology shift coming. Franchisors are going to want to invest in research to see what the buyer wants and strategies to attract them to increase their value proposition.

David: I think in the very near future if not now, it comes down to whom you want to attract and how you boost your value proposition. You have to do a lot more testing, tying everything back to content. Prospects will release information if they get something back that’s of value. Content helps accelerate conversion architecture to provide better quality leads.

Salim: You got it. We recently rolled out Max Engage, a customizable website solution lead engagement platform. When a lead comes in, it connects the franchise roadmap (based on client needs), and walks the lead through the process of steps they need to take. It’s a controlled environment that gives the franchisor the ability to gauge interest. Engagement tools are the new trend, the next step after marketing automation. As you mentioned, content is becoming more valuable. Companies can’t echo the same thing as their competitors. Prospects need unique information to get them excited. Testing is critical in lifting conversion rate. eMaximation has a lead grader component  that looks at leads and factors in multiple verticals such as:  What is the prospects’ dillusion rate? What has the prospect done or looked at? The system then grades the prospect from A to D based on actions and other pertinent criteria. It’s like an automated lead scoring system.

David: What about leads not coming through a portal? Can your system be applied?

Salim: Not yet, but that ability is coming soon. Custom landing pages could be integrated at some point. Off the shelf CRM packages don’t solve the problem. You have to invest in human capital and a customized system. This will make it easier and more effective in the long run.

David: How did you get involved with eMaximation? What’s your background?

Salim: I’m a Georgia State grad with a degree in Computer Information Systems and Management. I worked with start-ups and developed applications for the digital personal assistant PalmVII. I also worked at Franchise Opportunities Network as a database administrator and web developer. I later became their Chief Technology Officer. It was there that I really acquired a lot of practical experience with lead generation and data management. It really interested me, so I shifted my attention to this. Shortly after, the opportunity to join eMaximation came along; it was perfect timing for me.

A big thanks to Salim for talking with us. To learn more about eMaximation, log on to their website at

What’s New In Lead Gen Technology? My One-On-One With Salim Notta of eMaximation. (Part 1 of 2)


Last week I had the pleasure of talking with Salim Notta, President and General Manager of eMaximation, a company that has my attention because they are a top developer of innovative, web-based software tools that work. I was so intrigued by our conversation, I immediately knew I had to share his insights with you to get you thinking about your own lead generation, what you need to do for 2014, and the new technology available to you. (Look for more Q&A formats in my blog in 2014 as I share helpful information with you from some of the industry’s leading players.)

David: Tell me a little bit about your company.

Salim: Sure. At eMaximation we work to make franchise leads more valuable through our innovative sales and marketing web-based automation software tools we’ve developed. Using our technologies, our clients are better equipped to more effectively and efficiently manage leads and their development teams.

David: I know you have an impressive list of clients.

Salim: Yes, we’re proud of our service to over 400 franchise brands.

David: What are some of the key features of your system?

Salim: Well, there are two I think I should mention. First is our ability to lead capture from any lead gen sources, third-party portals, or websites. Currently, we’re integrated with 1,500 different sources. Second is our capacity to offer advanced lead customization of segmentation. This segmentation information is sent to the sales person, eliminating timely and inconvenient manual work and ensuring consistent lead assignments and e-mail communication. Our lead routings are based on demographics, financials, round robins, or just about anything the client wants.

David: Anything new you’re working on?

Salim: We recently rolled out critical automated lead prioritization that helps sales quickly and easily identify the hottest prospects – automatically prioritizing the marketing campaign and follow-up tasks. No one in franchising has this lead component in place.

David: Very impressive. Can you explain how it works?

Salim: It’s based on a simple algorithm. If you have already scheduled a task, like “call prospect tomorrow” – this would be the first tier. The second tier would be the new leads coming in. The third tier is activity by the prospect, like they opened the campaign, or clicked on the link, or filled out the advanced form, things like that. The fourth tier is much more generalized. The beauty is we can change prioritization based on client needs and business requirements. Some want all new leads first or those who clicked on the campaign, etc. We want to make it as easy as possible for the sales person. This system helps the sales person know whom to contact next based on behavior or response to keep those who are active at top of mind. Thru our system we can send out real-time sales and activity lead notifications via e-mail so the sales person can see instantly when an action has been taken, and the system automatically bumps the candidate up in the prioritization.

David: What do you think is the biggest challenge for lead generation and data management?

Salim: Now more than ever, the customer is in control. Businesses have to adapt and have the processes in place to react. The investment in lead management is vital to revenue growth, and sales and marketing efforts must be aligned with a proper feedback process. Lead performance has to be tracked throughout the entire lead lifecycle and should be automated. Business intelligence reports are important because they allow you to mine lead data to provide insight as to why leads are or are not closing and what lead gen sources are pulling strongest. Everyone involved has to understand the lead lifecycle process. If something’s not working, make changes to the marketing campaign, the landing page, etc. You can’t just produce leads and not have any feedback and reasons for the results. We stress to our clients that they have to train their sales staff and hold them accountable. Marketing automation helps align sales and marketing. Our system helps further score, nurture, and prioritize a lead within the sales cycle so sales can be alerted to hot leads that are ready for the close. People research before they buy; that’s applicable to all industries, especially those looking to buy a business. eMaximation is like a 24/7 sales person. A lot of research happens after hours, engagement is automatically in place and prioritized thanks to automation. You can start to nurture the prospect right away. Also, most people don’t think of it, but revive campaigns work well for your leads you thought were dead.

We’ll be publishing part two of our interview with eMaximation President Salim Notta next week.  In the meantime, to learn more about eMaximation, log on to their website at

Four Killer Franchise Marketing Websites To Inspire You

A few months ago I blogged about the five things you need to do to create a killer website. (For your convenience, I’ll recap those later in this post.)  Today’s post focuses on how some companies have successfully implemented these principles and designed, in my opinion, a very powerful site.  I’ll present a screen shot of each home page and provide you with my thoughts regarding why these sites made my top four.

As I have blogged about this topic in the past, your website is a “living” extension of your brand. When done properly, your website can breathe life into your brand. Handled improperly, your website has the power to kill your brand. When was the last time you took a good, objective look at your website? If you haven’t done so lately, now is the time. But, where do you begin?

Let’s begin by repeating the five key questions you should ask yourself when evaluating your site.  These will be the same five questions I will ask about the top sites I’m showcasing in this blog and will show you in just a minute.

Here is a review of the five key questions you should ask yourself during an evaluation of any site. Most likely, these same five questions are asked by a prospect before they ask you for more information:

1.  What Are the Long-Term Prospects of the Brand?

Prospects who are considering an investment in a franchise have multiple financial options:  competitive franchisors, real estate, private equity, equities, etc.  Does your brand answer the long-term viability of the franchise system? Do you use testimonials addressing this question? How about a question and answer session with the President or Founder who can address the brand’s long-term plan?

2.  Is Your Business Model Profitable?

How do you present the profitability of your brand?  Do you make this point on the home page? Is it reinforced by the content throughout the site?

3. Does Your Brand Have A Clear Point Of Difference?

How does your brand position itself on the site?  Is your unique selling proposition (USP) presented in a clear and impactful way? Is the USP reinforced throughout the site with pictures, content, video, and testimonials?

4.  What’s Your Story?

Every brand has a unique story.  How do you tell yours?  Does it “connect” on emotional level so your visitors feel like they are getting to know you on a personal level?  Do you show customers (fans) using the product or service? Do you post customer comments?  How about linking to your Facebook and Twitter pages so visitors can see your brand from your customer’s point of view?  Do you have content on the site from the founder focusing on “why” they launched the company?

5.  Are You Building Trust?

Branding is more than a logo.  It’s about communicating a promise between you and your customers and providing that again and again.  The bottom line is that’s what franchising is all about.  A successful delivery system of a unique selling proposition that is repeatable and scalable.  When a prospective franchisee visits your website, will they say, “They get it! This is the company I want to invest in!”?

And now, onto the “killer” websites:

Service Master Screen shot 2013-11-21 at 7.59.37 AM

 ServiceMaster’s clean website provides the reader with content, videos, and testimonials that achieve three objectives:  1)  Tells a clear story  2)  Builds trust , and 3) Educates. I like this site because it provides transparency by providing a link directly to their corporate values.  In addition, it offers valuable content that helps  educate the prospect about franchising.  Clearly, deals accelerate when the sales process begins with an educated prospect.  Finally, if the franchisor is using marketing automation tools, prospects can be scored and prioritized based on what videos they watch, what material they download, etc.

Moe's Screen shot 2013-11-21 at 7.59.57 AM

Moe’s Southwest Grill communicates its clear point of difference through its colorful and clean design approach.  I also like the way they provide easy educational tools for the prospect and, as a QSR, they have clearly identified the importance of real estate by focusing on that key issue right up front.  You get the sense when you study their home page that Moe’s is seeking a more sophisticated prospect – a restaurant operator – who may be new to franchising.

Great Clips Screen shot 2013-11-21 at 8.00.48 AM

I’m a big fan of content, and Great Clips does not disappoint.  This clean and inviting site provides multiple content opportunities as well as forms to encourage prospects to provide their contact information. The news section educates the prospects about the values of the franchisor. The branding and history section tells the corporate story.  And, the tip and info section provides content that is targeted possibly to their target market.

Hurricane Grill Screen shot 2013-11-21 at 8.00.16 AM

If you follow my blog, you most likely know that I worked with Hurricane Grill & Wings to develop this site. But, I think it is important to note that their success is a clear result of setting and implementing a focused five-step franchise marketing approach. First, they use their franchisees to tell their story.  Second, Hurricane – right up front – says that they have a profitable business model. Third, when it comes to  educational content, Hurricane offers the Simple Restaurant Investment Guide, webinars, tours, and additional franchise information.   Fourth, their clear point of difference is communicated through the web design. Finally, they build trust by providing an interview with the President in video as well as in print.

I hope these sites inspire you to create your own killer website. Send me a link to your website and/or other powerful sites you’ve found that you’d like to share. I’d love to see them.

P.S. You won’t to miss my next few blog posts that will feature my interview with Salim Notta, President of eMaximation, which is highly useful and thought provoking.

These Two Things Get Lead Gen Results Every Time!

When developing a lead generation strategy, it is important to design an approach that is consistent with the expectations of your prospect audience.  So, what do they expect?  I would argue, based on my nine years of experience designing these systems, that your audience demands two things:  Transparency and Testimonials.  This is what I call the T&T strategy of lead generation.  Here’s what it means.

1.  Transparency:  How many times have you heard “The client is in control!”? Well, it’s true. The Internet provides a tremendous amount of transparency between you and your potential client.  Why?  Because search engines like Google and Bing allow the prospect to research everything from your FDD and your management team to how your franchisees feel about your company.  My advice?  Get on board!  Don’t provide roadblocks. Instead, provide information about who you are, why you are different, and how you hope to help your prospect make money!  Your potential prospects want to be educated and are counting on you to provide quality content, newsletters, e-books, webinars, tours, and brochures that will tell them everything they need to know about your company.  Transparency helps build trust – a very important step in building a business relationship with a potential business investor.

2.  Testimonials:  Why take your word for it?  Let your franchisees tell your story. Fill your franchise website with testimonials!  Your franchisees will answer important questions and provide a third-party endorsement that when combined with valuable content (see #1 above) will generate quality prospects. Better yet, videos from your management team, employees, and board of directors help provide a more complete story that will (re -read #1) provide transparency between your company and your prospect.  And, one more thing – videos are great for your SEO.  Google reports that videos help boost optimization by as much as 54%!

So, if you are thinking about how best to design a lead generation system, use my method of T&T.  And, as always, let me know what you think by sending me a note at

How The World Champion Red Sox Can Help You Improve Your Franchise Recruitment


The excitement has dwindled, and most are no longer thinking about the baseball playoffs. Unless, of course, you’re me – a devout Red Sox fan. I enjoy any excuse to talk about my favorite team, but this one is a good one.  The Red Sox is a team totally transformed by using data and statistics to go from worst to first. In 2013, Boston Red Sox General Manager, Ben Cherrigan (user of the “MoneyBall” approach to baseball) found a way to get better results and rebuild a winning baseball team.

Can you implement the same techniques as the Red Sox to find better franchise candidates?  Yes! Do you have a limited budget for franchise recruitment?  Are you looking for ways to get better results with fewer resources? Then take a cue from some of baseballs most successful General Mangers by implanting three key “MoneyBall” tactics that can help you get better short- term and long-term results.

1.  Use Past History To Figure Out What Works. Baseballs most successful teams use data and statistics to help them understand that successful players get on base.  Study your most successful franchisees and identify, statically, what kinds of demographic, lifestyle, and other characteristics make them superstars.  In addition, what channels did they use to find you? Also look at your bottom franchisees to learn what doesn’t work. It’s as important to identify what works as well as what doesn’t work.

2.  Now That You Know What Works, Shift Your Dollars There.  Always focus your dollars on what is the most effective. If you are generating the right franchise candidates using SEO linked to a content-driven landing page, shift your resources in that area.  If posting on LinkedIn works, test paid advertising to help layer your message.

3.  Stop Funding What Doesn’t Work. If sound evidence shows that a certain investment is failing, repurpose the dollars to something that does work.  The Red Sox lost 69 games in 2012.  Cherrigan had to first analyze what was not working before he could design a World Series championship plan moving forward.

Embracing “MoneyBall” for franchise recruitment will provide you better information that could be your first step to designing a successful, results-oriented campaign that’s as big a winner as the Red Sox. Go, Sox!

Nine E-mail Subject Lines That Really Work

One of the great opportunities of implementing a ton of e-mail campaigns is that you learn what works and what doesn’t work.  If you follow my blog, you know that I run a lot of testing. And, over time I have put together a list of subject lines that get results.  What I mean by this is that the e-mails get opened. This is the first step to the process of engaging a prospect.  So, here they are. My nine killer e-mail subject lines that have been Stein tested and approved.

1.  Quick Question

This subject line will get you opens – but make sure that you start your e-mail with a question.

2.  Can You Point Me In The Right Direction?

A great way to filter your e-mail database and, more importantly, get you in front of the decision maker.

3.  Do You Have A Minute?

This one is a great opener. But as you promised, keep your e-mail brief.

4.  Highly Profitable

If you have successfully filtered your e-mail database with the right decision makers, you’ll generate results with this powerful subject line.

5.  Check This Out

This one is another “USA Today” style subject line that works.

6.  Don’t Take My Word For It

This one is the perfect e-mail subject line to promote testimonials.

7.  Maybe I Can Help

Just four words, but they create a little bit of curiosity, and that is a good thing.

8. How Much Money Can I Make?

Over the years I’ve learned that four things motivate people to take action:  Fear, Love, Self-actualization, and Money.

9.  Get In Fast

This one creates a sense of urgency.