I spoke to a young, new sponsorship sales individual at an agency yesterday and the conversation started off on a sour footing. The young man seemed down, beaten up but hungry to figure out how to do his job better. It led me to start thinking more crticially about the sales roles I used to play at agencies, teams and events. Selling sponsorship is hard no matter what size the deal is and I've sold $500.00 deals for a local 5K and multi million dollar race car packages. I kept thinking how I wished there was someone who would have given me some proven tips for finding and closing deals. All day yesterday and again out on my 90 minute bike ride today I kept thinking about that call and it led me to this wonderful blog post.
Before I give away some of the secret sauce know this- If you are not a hustler, proactive, assertive and are afraid of failure than selling is not for you. It takes grinding and determination every day to make the deals close. So why do it? Because it can pay off well, very, very well. The list below is by no means the end all be all in how to find sponsorship but if you apply the points below you'll be better positioned than most of the people I've seen out there.
Z Top Five Sponsorship Sales Tips
5. Build a massive but quality pipeline- The chances of closing deals is so low so you have to be working multiple leads all the time. Identify industry sectors which would fit your team or event and gather all the intel on what they've done and who makes the deals. Contact me to learn more on how to get this information
4. Network- People buy from people they like and you have to go out to meet people. Chamber lunches, mixers, society and charity events are great ways to expand your rolodex. ABP- always be prospecting
3. Ask questions- learn what the company has done in the past, what they've spent. Ask what's worked and what hasn't and why. Most importantly ask what challenges they face in marketing their products so you can deliver a proposal which addresses these issues. Ask what their budget is. Listen more, talk less.
2. Solve don't sell. Build a proposal which suits them and don't deliver a proposal with completed packages and prices. Get creative and give two, maybe three packages to choose from and please, for the love of god, keep it brief. I worked for many brands taking in the sponsorship proposals and we just wanted the meat. Hold everything else.
1. Follow up- the KEY!!!! Work to get in person meetings and follow up every 4-5 days to get the deal signed. Most people fail at the follow up so make sure to make this your strong point
While I can't guarantee success, I can assure you that you'll have a better chance by using the tips I listed. If I could call back that young sales guy and give him one last piece of advice it would be: Find em, grind em and bind em!