At Raintree, we love working with franchise consultants who are passionate about what they do and ethical in changing lives. We also say that when it comes to brands and brokers, we like working with people we would want to grab a beer with, and Sue Derene absolutely falls into that bucket. We recently had the chance to learn more about Sue, how she started in the industry, how she hits her goals of 15-18 placements a year, and her favorite part about being a franchise consultant.
How did you end up in the franchise industry?
I really ended up as a franchise consultant by accident. I was in corporate America for several years at IBM and then decided to take time off to raise my children and to be extremely involved in their lives. Once my kids left for college and I became an empty nester, I started looking into what I wanted to do next. At that time, I had a long list of things I didn’t want to do professionally. I didn’t want to report to a boss or sit in traffic, but I did want to be sure I was able to travel to see both of my children who were attending out of state universities. My son was a D1 athlete and I wanted to attend his matches. With these stipulations in mind, I started looking at owning a franchise and during that time I used a franchise consultant. When I learned that I could own a business helping other people transition careers, I was extremely interested. I have now been doing this for six years and I truly enjoy it!
What is your favorite part of being a franchise consultant?
I’ve always really cared about people and like talking and listening to others. In my previous role at IBM, I was involved in listening to problems and determining how to solve them which really parallels what I do as a franchise consultant. I’m definitely a relationship person who enjoys connecting with others. One of my favorite parts of this role is working as a team with my client, the Development Director, and funding to make the deal come together.
I also like the fact that I work with my husband, Craig Derene, in this business. We are a husband/wife team, and we work very well together. We each have different strengths that help make the business successful.
What is your favorite part about working with Raintree Franchise Brands?
I always like presenting emerging franchise brands that are unique and fill a niche. I typically like working with brands that have less than 100 locations because I like concepts that are extremely eager to grow. Not only that, but I also love working with the Raintree brands because I know my leads will be well taken care of. I feel confident in the Raintree Development Directors and I know I will be updated every step of the way. Raintree is always super professional, organized, and I find the marketing materials sent to me are extremely helpful in identifying if my candidate is a good fit for a brand. I have folders by brand in my email and use the marketing material to refresh my memory on a concept before presenting.
What tips do you have for other Franchise Consultants?
Earn the trust of your candidates would be by far my biggest piece of advice. You need to demonstrate respect for them if you want them to respect you as well. I think this goes for Franchisors too, it is so important to have a strong working relationship with each of the individual brands you represent.
Also, I think it is important to remember perseverance in this role. Not every day is going to be easy so just remembering why you do what you do and keep pushing forward!
Thank you for everything you do, Sue, and happy belated birthday! (Sue’s birthday was January 10th!) We look forward to partnering with you and working closely together this year!