If you see a class, a speaker to hire, or a event that you want to host but are having a tough time making the numbers make sense it from a budgetary standpoint it may be time to look for a sponsor. But, how many times have you asked the same sponsor for money again and again and delivered a minimal payoff at best. Sponsors want people to say yes to the product or service that they are representing and the more times they can put themselves in front of prospects, then the more chances they will benefit from participation. The trade-off exists when the sponsor can earn enough business from developing a relationship in a short period of time in lieu of handing money over to the organization.
Here are some brief thoughts on what sponsors look for and how to help them make the decision easier.
1. Floor time. Give sponsors up to 5 minutes to introduce themselves, their product or service and open up the floor for questions. It is also important that sponsors know how to use the 5 minutes wisely. The introduction of a sponsor MUST be sincere and the group will notice.
2. Future contact. Give the sponsor the database of individuals including name, phone, number, and email address. Make it clear to the audience that by attending the event for FREE then the sponsor may contact each individual over time.
3. Feedback. They want to know how many people attended, who they do business with, and how those people can be better served. This can be in the form of a written pre-program survey during the opening or electronic email survey.
Is it fair to give the sponsor the time, the ability to contact, and feedback from their presentation? I say rightly so. This will give them the ability to gauge their decisions and the more information they can receive the likelihood of them sponsoring again will better.
What to put in your sponsor packet:
1. Letter. Type out a short letter to the sponsor that defines the purpose of the event, the strength of the organization, how many members, average class size, past successes, etc. This can be a standardize letter that is sent out to numerous people for participation.
2. Testimonials from attendees. Ask your members to write letters that identify the results achieved by performing the actions listed during past events.
3. Testimonials from past sponsors. Ask past sponsors to write letters about how much they have benefitted from sponsoring the event or organization. The more of these the better.
The success of the sponsorship depends on how well of an overall impression was made on the group and how well the sponsor was able to follow up with the attendees. There is no one quick solution this answer. It involves an orchestrated set of activities from choosing the right venue, hiring the right speaker, and delivering value every single time.