“The point is to understand.” ― Albert Einstein
Can your business, brand, project or service potentially help advance the marketing and sales objectives of a corporation? If the answer is yes, corporate sponsorship could be a viable source of income. My firms’ most successful sponsorship seekers understand these seven things:
1. They already have corporate sponsorship prospects
The truth is that almost all small businesses and organizations have corporate sponsorship prospects, but only some truly know how to identify and approach those corporate prospects in ways that are not intrusive and mutually beneficial. Successful sponsorship seekers invite their vendors, stakeholders, and VIP customers to a prospect research session to uncover the relationships that exist between your business and the corporations to which they are connected. Once they identify their prospects, they create specific strategies to engage those prospects.
2. Personal interaction with corporate sponsorship prospects is important
Your goal is to get a face-to-face meeting (optimal) or a phone conversation with your prospective sponsor. Prospecting sessions start with the end in mind: getting the names of corporate contacts to solicit, and the commitment from a connector to make an introduction.
3. Social and digital media is taken seriously
According to HootSuite’s CEO Ryan Holmes, “In 2017, companies can look forward to expanded returns on their investment in social media, as social technologies improve and functionality extends beyond just marketing and community building.” Through Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, you can offer great opportunities to linking your sponsor directly to their ideal customer. I’ve worked with many organizations that have built their sponsorship program strictly on the benefits they can offer through social media.
4. Corporate sponsors aren’t just interested in logo recognition
Think about it ….do corporations like Pepsi really need your help to promote their logo? Look to offer more creative benefits that align with your corporate prospect’s brand and ultimately help them drive business.
5. You need diverse opportunities for corporate sponsors to partner with your brand
New sponsors may be reluctant to take on your top tier opportunities until they have a sense of if the partnership will generate a return on their financial investment. The sponsee doesn’t discount their value, but often develops a range of smaller sponsorship packages that serve as the prelude to larger opportunities.
6. They adjust their attitudes
When you are proposing a win-win partnership of mutual benefit, you must approach prospects with the attitude of “we have an opportunity for your corporation to build business and spread goodwill,” rather than “we really need your money.”
7. They honor their corporate sponsorship deliverables
Many over deliver and offer more value, benefits, and/or recognition at no additional cost. These small gestures help endear the sponsor to the organization and increase the chances of a sponsorship renewal.
What did you think of these tips? Did they help you out? Let us know in the comments section below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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With 18 years of fundraising and marketing experience, Anisha Robinson Keeys has raised over $80 million dollars in the areas of education, entrepreneurship, community development, youth and women’s empowerment, disaster relief, arts, and healthcare. See full bio at www.iamanisha.com