Top Tips for Sponsorship Sales Calls
19th October, 2018
In our previous blog, we outlined the importance of prospecting and having a tailored approach to every brand that could be a potential sponsor: now it’s time to approach these brands.
The initial call is a fundamental aspect of the sales process, as the old saying goes: first impressions mean everything. Below are Slingshots top tips for making sponsorship sales calls and creating a stand out impression for your opportunity.
- Use your hooks from prospecting: A solid prospect list will be a goldmine of reasons why a brand would make the perfect sponsor, the challenge now is to translate this to the person on the other end of the phone. Relating the approach back to the key reasons why a brand would sponsor enables you to demonstrate the areas of business your property will add value to and keeps the call clear and direct. Sponsorship isn’t a fundraising request, it’s a bonafide, tried and tested marketing tool that adds value to their business and the call should deliver that to the prospect a concise way.
- Effective questioning: As a sales professional, there’s nothing worse than thinking you’ve got a really hot lead only to find out later on that that your lead is a non-starter. To avoid this episode, it is crucial to ask the right qualifying questions (if you generate initial interest on the call) as early on in the process as possible: “Are you the sole decision-maker on sponsorship opportunities for the brand?”, “When do budgets generally get allocated for the brand?”, “Are you in talks regarding any other sponsorship opportunities currently” All are inoffensive questions that will qualify your lead and save wasting time on dead ends.
- The follow up: If the brand is interested, it is vital to set up a follow up call. Sponsorship has a long lead time sometimes up to 3 years before the event, and without a real sense of urgency brands can be lacklustre to respond. Therefore, it’s the sales person’s job to create that urgency. By arranging the follow up call it puts a lose deadline for internal meetings and discussions on the brand side and hopefully keeps your proposal near the top of the pile.
- “It’s a no from me”: It happens, we all get rejected. But, the important thing to remember is to try to keep the conversation alive. By asking a few “why not’s” here and there, a good salesperson will divulge information about the brands marketing objectives. Armed with new information, a counter-argument can be formed with assets that will help achieve these goals and ease their doubts. Additionally, it aids prospecting for future opportunities: brands can be pre-qualified based on previous conversations.
By sticking to research and depicting the opportunity correctly, an approach can be made that not only demonstrates the potential of the opportunity, but also protects relationships with brands. By having a genuine set of reasons for a call, a line of communication is opened that will keep ears open for future opportunities. Without proper justification for a call, sales people risk irritating the receiver, damaging personal reputation and severing any opportunity for future conversation.