Here is how to sell sponsorship, the inefficient way:
Sound familiar? Maybe you’ve even applied these steps in the past. How did it work out for you?
Chris Baylis wants you to know that there is a better way, one which has a much better chance of success. He calls it, the Five Stages of Sponsorship.
Getting sponsorship is a matter of selling your organization’s assets to someone who wants to pay for them. Your assets could be things like a gala or a sports event, but are not limited to that. Any opportunity for your potential sponsor to link positively with its desired audience is an asset. Your physical space, your communications, and your stakeholders all hold asset potential.
Once you have decided what your assets are, you need to come up with a fair value. The value of any asset is a property of its potential for meaningful engagement, the target audience, and uniqueness of the opportunity.
If this step is difficult, then you need to go back to Stage 1 and create more inventory! Generally, the prospect is obvious once the inventory is well-enough defined. As for finding people to meet with, use your board and your LinkedIn to find potential people to meet. Call each one up and ask to meet one-on-one.
Bring NOTHING to your first meeting. You are there to gather information and get to the second meeting. Ask questions and listen. Do not tell them anything at all about what you do unless they ask. Here are some good questions you could use:
Every proposal should be different because it will depend on your potential sponsor’s needs, which you will have discovered in your meetings with them. Your proposal should include a good balance of information about your organization and your sponsorship opportunities, but not so much information as to leave you no room for negotiation.
Activation is just another word for doing what you promised. After you’ve done everything you said you would do, document it in a fulfillment report, including pictures of everything you delivered. Hold a meeting with your sponsor to go through the report, then, while they’re feeling great about all the fantastic exposure they received, you can ask them for their money for next year.
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