Turn Your “No’s” Into “YES!” – Avoid These Sponsorship Selling Mistakes

Are you spending a lot of your time selling sponsorship opportunities?  Are you hearing “No” more than you want?  See if you are making any of these typical mistakes below, and ask yourself what you can do to turn it around:

  1. Assuming You Understand Them:  Many organizations have created sponsor opportunities under the assumption that the goals of each company are the same – but often times, they are not.  Yes, you need a prospectus, but leave room for customization!
  2. Who are you talking to?  There tend to be at times many people involved in the sponsorship decision-making process.  If at all possible, get as many people on your side!  Build your internal champions.
  3. Don’t Settle:  Stick to your guns.  If you are able to offer exclusivity in a certain industry type, fantastic!  But do not give it away for a low dollar value.  Your audience means more than you think.
  4. Expand your network:  Don’t continuously go back to the same pool of sponsors for each and every event that you host, unless you have a multiple year/multiple event agreement in place.  Mix it up, it will keep it interesting for sponsors and interesting for participants too!
  5. Sticking with the Old Names – Gold, Silver, Bronze – get rid of them!  I cannot stress this enough!  Get creative with your levels, what they are called and what you offer.
  6. Setting unrealistic timelines:  First, you should find out what the company’s fiscal year is, and then back it up to when they realistically are starting to think about budgets.  THAT is when you should be hitting their radar with a prospectus.  Starting the conversation, and making sure that they are setting some money aside for you.  You cannot expect top-dollar for sponsorship if you are not asking at the right time.
  7. Moving on too quickly:  You have sold the sponsorship, the event is over, they have had their podium time and access.  Is your job done?  NO!  Post-event mentions on social media, thank you cards that are personal, sharing articles or research they are involved in, THAT is how you keep them in your sights, and in the sights of your audience.  It also shows that you value their partnership more than just the cheque they cut.
  8. Including a code-of conduct:  Set your expectations right up front for the partnership, and in turn, get theirs.  How can you possibly demonstrate maximum ROI if you have no idea what it is they are measuring?
  9. Taking any and all sponsorship’s:  You really should limit the number of opportunities available to sponsor your event or conference.  Otherwise, you are diluting the attendee pool with more suppliers than buyers, and they are not going to be happy with the ratio.
  10. Not listening:  When they are telling you “no”, sometimes you just cannot turn that into a yes.  Perhaps it is the person responsible who may not see the value.  In this case, thank them for the time, back out gracefully, but keep an eye on the company.  People move around all the time, and the next person in that role may be open to what you have to offer.

What else should you avoid?

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