by Brian Gott
Brian told you the most important thing to do when you get those five powerful minutes with a potential sponsor is ask the following question: “What are your biggest challenges for the next six months and how can I help you achieve them.”
By asking that question, you are starting to create a win-win partnership. Your new contact is starting to view you as an asset – not just someone who wants something but someone who can also give something.
Your potential new sponsor will probably say their top priority is bringing new visitors into their store. Maybe it is getting their website in front of more eyeballs. Whatever their challenge, you can use that information to start thinking of ways that you can help.
We’ve been trained to put company logos on t-shirts and company banners on fences at events, but many companies don’t necessarily think those activities alone will bring them new visitors. Some companies avoid events altogether because they don’t have the manpower to run their business on a busy Saturday AND send people for the day to an event.
That’s why you have to ask what their biggest challenge is and then be prepared to offer up some real solutions.
It isn’t as difficult as it sounds and you are in a unique position to help them with their challenges.
Here are some things that have worked for me:
1. Offer to put a link to their webpage on the main page of your website. Not on a sponsor page – sponsors know very few people will dive that far into your website.
2. Ask them what types of coupons they offer to drive new business. Offer to print a coupon in your organization’s newsletter.
3. Give them the opportunity to put a stack of coupons in your lobby – or in lobbies of your board members’ offices – for a specified period of time.
4. Give them the opportunity to sample/display products at your event and pass out coupons. Tell them if they don’t have the staff for that, you will be happy to make sure their coupons are passed out near the event registration area.
5. Invite your contact to a board meeting to thank them for becoming a sponsor and let them do a 1-minute ‘commercial’ about their products/services in front of your board. Sponsors LOVE being able to present to new prospective clients.
6. Think creatively. Is there a space on the outside of your building that you could offer to hang their banner for a specified period of time?
7. Does your prospective sponsor have yard signs they use to promote their business and would you and your board members be willing to each take a yard sign and put it in your yards for 30 days?
I promise if you get creative, you can create win-win situations and you will not be viewed as just another person with his hat in his hand looking for a donation.
I hope some of these ideas will help you as you get creative with helping create a win-win for both you and your potential sponsor.
To learn more from Brian, visit his blog, Finding Funds.