Based on a recommendation from a colleague, I have been taking an online business course taught by Kevin Redmon of Shaw Academy. I can honestly say that I wasn’t expecting much from an online, self paced class but it surprised me. It has made me re-work my way through some basics business “rules” that I just take for granted. Although the course is one geared to new business owners it has a lot of basics that applied to the fundamentals of Sponsorship Sales which I think is a really important topic.
When you have landed that appointment with a new Sponsor or even an old one, here are some key fundamentals that you should have built into your presentation.
First things first…your presentation should have structure. This structure should consist of a beginning, middle and end…easy enough right? So what do you put in these three parts?! Well that’s the fun part!
The Beginning: According to Redmond, “you should begin with the end in mind.” What is it that you want out of this meeting? What action are you asking the Sponsor to take? Knowing the answers to these two questions will help make sure you know where you are going from beginning to end on your presentation.
When writing the beginning of your presentation make sure to include an overview of your event and make sure that it is clear and concise…Sponsors do not have a lot of time and they don’t want to have to work for their answers. Give the “Why” of your event, explain where your event currently and what the foreseeable future plans are for the event. A simple story or some background on the event can be helpful but get to the point and make sure to show how your event is moving toward growth.
The Middle: The middle should consist of what you are offering your Sponsor, how your Sponsor could be an asset to your event and why you think it would be a mutually beneficial relationship. Remember that Sponsors want to be a part of events who work with them like partners…what can you do for them? Why are you worth the money? They want to know that you are looking out for them just as much as you are looking out for your event.
The End: The end is where you will cover the specifics of your presentation that need to be addressed. How you would you execute the proposed sponsorship? What does the timeline look like? And of course the most important part is the pricing. This is also where you would allow for questions, comments and feedback.
Two additional tips to keep in mind:
- Go into your meeting knowing what is important to your potential Sponsor…you should have identified their needs prior to the pitch meeting. For example, it’s a waste of your time and their time if you walk in with a a plan to pitch them the title sponsorship of a country music festival and you don’t know until you get there that their corporate initiative is to work with Sports events. Or perhaps you wanted to pitch them the branding name of a stage but their goal is to have a booth that will generate sales leads. You need to know what they want BEFORE you pitch. I like to set up a intro call or face to face meeting where I can outline the event but more importantly ask them what they want out of a sponsorship and what is the most important assets to them. Then I put together a plan that meets their goals.
- Above all else, make sure the Sponsor is the right fit for the event…forcing it may work for a year but it won’t be a constant…find partners that MAKE SENSE to your audience and for your event. It’s a much easier sale if its something that fits!