Aug 18, 2009 at 05:54 PM
written by Jim Loria

Simple Tips to Successful Sponsorship Sales

Jim Loria offers up several simple, but often overlooked tips to making a successful sale:

  • In order to achieve a high level of success, salespeople have to manage a multitude of different relationships. Some will be static, some will grow and some will break down. It is up to the salesperson to set relationship priorities and to decide which relationship to advance and which relationship to put on hold.

  • Some salespeople get addicted to a relationship to the point that they ignore the potential for closing the sale; other salespeople get so addicted to the thrill of closing that they stop caring about the customer.

  • It’s important to recognize that you have to alter your attitude according to the individual’s personal characteristics. Scan the prospect’s office for clues that reveal his/her personal interests (i.e. children, college, sports enthusiast, hunting/fisherman, avid collector, etc.) Say if your prospect has U/Florida Gators' memorabilia all over the office. From your notes taken, it’s nice to begin the next conversation with an opening comment like “Did you see the newest Sports Illustrated? Their College Pre-Season Poll lists your Gators #1 in the Nation!" This type of conversation relaxes your prospect to the point that they don’t view your purpose for phoning as a typical sales call!

  • Speed up or slow down your rate of speech according to the prospect’s speaking habits but that “listening” is far more important than if you rambled on and just dominated the conversation. Remember that prospects will open up quickly to salespeople who understand and relate to them personally.

  • I’ve read studies that say about 93% of your feelings and attitude are communicated simply through your body language and only 7% with words! The most common mistake you can make is to appear nervous be it by fidgeting, scratching your face, swaying side-to-side or even sitting in a slouched down manner. Your posture alone can communicate “insecurity”. Customers love to buy from confident salespeople, not insecure order takers!

  • Just like dating, try not to turn your prospect into a “buddy” on the first meeting. Maintain a professional attitude and let the relationship develop naturally. As I’ve said many times, YOU SELL YOU FIRST! The product and the benefits comes afterwards! Sometimes a skilled prospect can detect a player from a pretender through the first glance and definitely by the first handshake!

    Jim Loria has over 30 years of sports management experience and for the past 10 years as served as President of the USHL's Sioux Falls Stampede. Jim can be reached at Be sure to check out all of Jim's past posts, too.

    Photo credit via Flickr: Aidan Jones