39 Ways to Ensure You Don’t Sell Sponsorship

My blog is full of advice on how to sell sponsorship – the strategies, angles, and pitfalls. But in order to find the right information, you kind of need to know where you’re going wrong. So that’s what this blog is all about – a big list of the things that can stop your sponsorship sales efforts in their tracks.

This is a total rewrite of a blog I wrote long ago. Some of the advice is the same, but most has been updated. The biggest change, though, is that I’m now including live links to blogs, videos, and white papers, so if you find any of these a bit too familiar, you can get some advice on how to sort yourself out. Note, there is some overlap on the links.

If a LOT of these pitfalls are looking familiar, you may be better off taking a course, like my Getting to “Yes” online course, or getting a copy of The Sponsorship Seeker’s Toolkit 4th Edition, both of which lay out the whole process in order and great detail.

So with that, here you go… 39 ways to ensure you don’t sell sponsorship.

  1. Your proposal is a letter of request
  2. You use a prospectus
  3. Your proposal is a deck
  4. You send a “teaser”
  5. You don’t understand what a sponsor is looking for in a proposal
  6. You don’t understand what best practice sponsorship is all about (because sponsors do)
  7. Your sponsorships are arranged in levels, like gold-silver-bronze
  8. Your proposal is based around commodity benefits (visibility, mentions, tickets, hospitality, designation)
  9. You don’t include creative ideas for the sponsor to leverage their investment
  10. You use donation wording – help, support, assist, etc
  11. You include “your sponsorship is tax deductible
  12. You emphasise the connection between your property and the sponsor (not the fans and the sponsor)
  13. You emphasise your need or prestige
  14. You emphasise visibility
  15. You reference “good corporate citizenship” or “giving back to the community”
  16. Your proposal is primarily about how great you are
  17. You send a generic proposal, when a sponsor says, “Just send something generic
  18. You don’t make a complete business case that the sponsor can sell internally
  19. Your proposal is structured poorly
  20. You don’t speak sponsor
  21. You tell the potential sponsor how you’re planning to spend the money
  22. You don’t put a price on your offer
  23. You price is based on your financial need, not the commercial value
  24. You don’t segment your target markets
  25. You segment your target markets demographically
  26. You ignore your remote fans
  27. You assume your target markets are all the sponsors are targeting
  28. You submit your proposal via an online form
  29. You send your proposal to the sponsorship manager
  30. You send your proposal to an agency
  31. You send your proposal to a sponsorship consultant
  32. You send your proposal to every sponsor you can think of – hundreds of them!
  33. You burn a lot of lead-time trying (and failing) to secure a sponsorship broker
  34. You hire a sponsorship broker that’s too good to be true
  35. You don’t research sponsor target markets and objectives before developing the offer
  36. You don’t meet with the sponsor before creating your offer
  37. You task a junior staffer with selling sponsorship
  38. You leave selling sponsorship too late
  39. You think sponsors will cut you some slack because you’re new to sponsorship

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“. I’ve also got a self-paced, online sponsorship training course, covering the whole sales process, with lots of inclusions. Interested? Check out Getting to “Yes”.

If you need additional assistance, I offer sponsorship consulting and strategy sessions, sponsorship training, and sponsorship coaching. I also offer Sponsorship Systems Design for large and/or diverse 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.

© 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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