The One Thing Every Sponsor Wants (And Nobody is Doing)
Everybody wants a magic solution to sell sponsorship, the one thing that works every time. Guess what?
It DOES exist.
Is it a well written proposal?
A solid elevator pitch?
The perfect combination of logos, sampling rights and exhibit space?
I talk to sponsors a lot (yes, the people with the money) and I hear over and over again that rights holders (the people who want the money) are missing the mark almost every time.
There is one thing that your sponsors want more than anything else and nobody is doing it.
That one thing?
Talk to me about my goals.
THE ART OF SPONSORSHIP SALES: DISCOVERY SESSIONS
Here are some of the comments I heard from my most recent conversations with sponsors, and these comments echo exactly what I hear all the time.
“No more sponsorship packages…I don’t even read them anymore”
“Every day I throw out pile of sponsorship packages- unread”
“Properties come to me asking for money without any sense of our goals or their audience. I just can’t invest in something so risky”
“I wish people would just pick up the phone and call me. I could save them hours and tell them in 2 minutes whether or not we have a fit”
And my favourite:
“Why is nobody telling rights holders that we don’t want sponsorship packages! We’re people- just give us a call and give us your pitch
If there is a fit, we will ask for more information”
Your sponsors do not want your unsolicited sponsorship packages. They are not interested in making a donation to your cause. What they want is access to your audience or use of your brand to connect with their own audience. There is no gimmick that you can use to get them to give you their money…which is good news.
You can call every sponsor in your pipeline in two days and qualify them on the spot.
HOW DO I RUN A DISCOVERY SESSION?
I know what you’re thinking: “sponsors don’t have time, don’t want to talk, won’t take my call.” If this is true, then they have even less time for a full-on proposal that they never requested. I am here to tell you, your sponsors are busy people but they have a goal by which they are measured.
Your job is to find out what that goal is and how you can help them.
My advice is to find a warm contact through your network and ask for an introduction. Don’t have a network? Get one.
Once you get your prospect on the line, introduce yourself and tell them you want their advice as to whether or not they think there is a fit and whether or not it’s worth having a more detailed conversation to see if there is a possibility for a partnership.
You aren’t going to sell them anything, not on this call. All you want to do is determine whether or not you have the audience they are looking for and how they like to work with properties like yours.
If your prospect is interested, believe me, they will tell you. If they aren’t interested, they will tell you. What do you do if they ask for a proposal? Tell them you don’t have one Tell them that everything you do is custom and that you don’t want to waste their time sending them something when there wasn’t a fit to begin with.
I know that you are likely feeling apprehension right now. My advice? Don’t treat this like an academic exercise- try it.
Try it right now.
Pick ten prospects, reach out to them and have a discovery call and tell me how it went.
Darrell James is the founder of KURB The commercial Agency for the Active World and has been on both sides of the sponsorship fence, working with rights holders and brands to maximise their commercial opportunities.
To find out how KURB can help you increase your events sponsorship revenues call Darrell direct on 01837 516165 or firstname.lastname@example.org