Keeping up momentum in sponsorship sales is like watching the London Marathon on your sofa 5th May, 2017

If like me, you spent Sunday morning and much of the afternoon sat on the sofa with leftover pizza and a chocolate bar saying to yourself (for the fourth year in a row), “this is going to be the year I do the London Marathon” then you know exactly how influential ‘being in the moment’ is for making decisions.  If I don’t register for the London Marathon within 4 weeks of watching, it’s unlikely that I ever will consider registering for the rest of the year – until that annual ritual of watching it sat on the sofa again next year.
Unbelievably, this is no different to sponsorship sales, especially sponsorship of annual events.  As a sponsor, sponsoring annual events is a bit like the London Marathon – you get excited about confirming your sponsorship/registration, but then months go by and it seems all but forgotten until the actual day.  However, upon passing the finish line after a number of hours of slog throughout Greater London, you remember why you signed up in the first place and quite likely think it was the best decision you ever made.
Understanding and keeping up momentum is absolutely critical within sponsorship sales.  Like the London Marathon, there is a limited time-frame from which a sponsor remembers all the great times, the finite details that may exist beyond the assets list.  Memories of the sponsorship are always viewed with a ‘glass half full’ and sponsors are more likely to de-brief with you, grab drinks with you and generally more likely to want to discuss plans for the following year.  However, go past 4 weeks and memories fade fast – leaving only hard numbers.  I should clarify that hard numbers are not necessarily a bad thing as sponsorship is only as good as the measurement and ROI behind it, but when combined with the very distinct memory of how great it was, it’s incomparable.

One of my biggest sponsorship sales tricks is ensuring that we keep up momentum as well as truly understanding the time-frame for commitment from a buyer’s point of view.My top three ‘keeping up momentum’ sponsorship sales tips include:

  1. Renew all sponsors within 4 weeks of the event.  If you are unable to do this in this time-frame, you run the risk of starting all over again in terms of the sales process you need to go through.
  2. Include renewal clauses within the contract at the outset.  First right of refusal is a benefit and as such should be used as an asset.  Not only does this help within the sales process it also provides a clear and communicated deadline to your sponsor well in advance.
  3. Don’t just sign a sponsor and never speak to them again until just before the event (or worse yet, when you need something).  If your sponsor signs well in advance providing a very long lead time, create reasons to catch up and talk about the event in the run up.  If you have a large number of sponsors, creating bespoke sponsor communications to update them on the event progress is a great benefit and keeps everyone in the loop.

In the meantime, I shall keep you posted on my London Marathon musings.  Maybe 2018 is the year I finally get off the sofa…

Two things you must do to Master the Art of Sponsorship Sales 29th May, 2018

You may or may not realise this, but you’ve worked in sales all your life – in fact, every single one of us have.

It may be selling an idea (why your parents ought to have helped pay for your first car), a story (a white lie about why you were late for work when the trains were actually running on time) or even yourself, when it comes to that big job interview.

The real difference comes down to when sales is done in a professional working environment with real benefits to be had – financial or otherwise. Indeed, it’s important to note first and foremost that sales itself isn’t actually an art, despite this being the common understanding. Rather, it’s a skill that anyone can learn, improve upon and ultimately master, should they follow the right steps.

Mastering the art of complete awareness to the world around you is the recipe to a successful life in sales. With this in mind, these are Slingshot Sponsorship’s top two steps to becoming a highly effective sponsorship salesperson.

1) Dedicate yourself to details, details and more details

Paying attention to every detail, shift and trend in the marketplace you’re dedicated to is vital to understanding exactly what you’re selling and how best to achieve it. It’s what businesses strive for in order to remain one step ahead of both the game and their competitors, so having this at the forefront of your methods is crucial.

Why this is important: In order to take full advantage of the market you’re operating in, you must have a thorough understanding of how to appropriately assess and predict its dynamic change and flow.

2) Immerse yourself in your market’s world

We live in an ever-evolving world – barely a minute goes by without something happening of note, whether it’s something in the news that affects your work, or in your industry or in your specific marketplace. This means that in order to be a successful sponsorship salesperson, you simply have to immerse yourself into that industry and allow it to become your world, however daunting that may initially seem.

A good start to achieving this would be by taking action on these three easy tasks:

  • Follow every social media account relevant to the industry you’re focusing on or working within, and make it a habit to check in on the latest posts
  • Enable Google Alerts, which will notify you of any updates related to the topics you’ve assigned it to
  • Subscribe to every newsletter and magazine that is relevant to the industry, as these may help inform you on the latest wider, upcoming trends

Why this is important: It’s easy to see why dedicating yourself to your market is wholly important, but these steps will ensure you’re channelling your efforts effectively and being as efficient as possible with your time.

Why is this important in sponsorship sales?

As a sponsorship agency, it is paramount for Slingshot Sponsorship to stay on top of the latest news regarding market analysis, value of assets and current sponsorship deals. We do this by sourcing every bit of material related to our clients’ accounts and industries through every accessible and, crucially, credible source.

This provides us with enough material so that we never find ourselves on the back foot in a pitch. Rather than fluffing lines, we’ll know exactly what brands need and how to achieve their goals, in addition to it helping us sustain long-term relationships even when our clients’ events come to an annual end.

Simply put, if you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail. As the old saying goes, never bring a knife to a gunfight: knowledge acts as the bread and butter to a salesperson’s arsenal, so do your research and have constant awareness of the industry you’re selling into.

Ultimately, this is what distinguishes sales people that can close, from those who cannot.

Interested in learning more about how to get the most success in sponsorship? Follow our social media accounts for regular updates:

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