35 Ways to Ensure You Don’t Sell Sponsorship

35 Ways to Ensure You Don’t Sell SponsorshipThis blog is full of how-to about selling sponsorship. I thought I would do a quick round up of some of the very common ways sponsorship seekers undermine their own efforts.

  1. Make assumptions about the sponsor’s objectives
  2. Make assumptions about the sponsor’s target markets
  3. Don’t customise the proposal (AKA use “search-and-replace”)
  4. Take a shotgun approach
  5. Offer sponsorship levels
  6. Your tone is arrogant
  7. Your tone is needy
  8. Pitch via social media, five minutes after making a connection
  9. Pitch via social media using a connection autoresponder
  10. Pitch via a social media post
  11. Start the sales process with the proposal
  12. Submit the proposal to the Sponsorship Manager
  13. Submit the proposal to the CEO
  14. Submit the proposal via an online form
  15. Submit the proposal to an agency
  16. Any kind of hard sell
  17. Threaten to sell to a competitor
  18. Send a “letter of request”
  19. Send a proposal that is more than 25% about your property
  20. Segment your audience demographically
  21. Have no audience research at all
  22. Corner the sponsor at a function
  23. Include a lot of irrelevant props (media clippings, sizzle reel, etc)
  24. Concentrate on your needs, not the sponsor’s needs
  25. Structure your proposal as follows: Loads of pages about your property, benefits list, price
  26. Don’t give the sponsors enough lead-time to get a leverage program in place
  27. Make a pest of yourself
  28. Approach sponsorship as a “numbers game”
  29. Claim your property has “broad general appeal”
  30. Put a junior person in charge of sponsorship
  31. Invoke guilt
  32. Put the sponsorship out to tender
  33. Tell the sponsor they will be “a good corporate citizen” or “give back to the community”
  34. Spam the industry with your uncustomised proposal and a 5 MB attachment
  35. Emit any sign of desperation

Need more assistance?

For all you need to know about sponsorship sales and servicing, you may want to get a copy of The Sponsorship Seeker’s Toolkit 4th Edition. You may also be interested in my latest white paper, “Disruptive Sponsorship: Like Disruptive Marketing, Only Better“.

If you need additional assistance, I offer sponsorship consulting and strategy sessions, sponsorship training, and sponsorship coaching. I also offer a comprehensive sponsorship capacity-building service for large, diverse, and decentralised organisations.

Please feel free to drop me a line to discuss.

Please note, I do not offer a sponsorship broker service, and can’t sell sponsorship on your behalf. You may find someone appropriate on my sponsorship broker registry.


This blog was originally written in 2010, but was fully updated in June 2016.

© Kim Skildum-Reid. All rights reserved. To enquire about republishing or distribution, please see the blog and white paper reprints page.

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