Jul 30, 2009 at 04:10 PM
written by Ron Seaver

Who Are These People?

I am being bombarded with questions asking me different suggestions or ideas as to who these people might be that want to sponsor your businesses, so in today’s post I’d like to discuss, WHO these people are...and WHY do they want to hand you their money??

It's been my experience that most folks wanting to sell sponsorships to their properties-their meetings, associations, newsletters and e-zines all tend to look at the sponsorship equation strictly from THEIR point of view. They focus solely on what THEY hope to gain out of the association.

But sadly, and all too quickly - they invariably come to understand that having a "self-centered" mindset like that accomplishes them nothing.

Instead you must train yourself to look at the sponsorship equation from the SPONSOR'S point of view. (You're going to discover real quickly that sponsors really don't care a whole lot about what YOU want. Understandably they really only care about what THEY want) and what they want is to sell more of their products or services. If you can do that for them...trust me, they'll gladly sit down with you!

So ... before you ever walk through their front door -- put yourself in their position and answer for them WHY they should want to give you their money?

How can YOU help THEM?

If you really understand what you have to offer, and you have a pretty good handle on what a prospective sponsor's objectives are...you have only to put the two of those pieces together and "talk turkey". Once they recognize that you've got the "target audience" that they're looking to reach- and that you can help them to move product ... they'll gladly consider your property.

And since we're talking about sponsors and their mindset, here's another sponsor tip....

Don't confuse business with charity.

When a company agrees to sponsor your event, your group, your publication or your speaking tour ... they're making a business decision - not doing this out of some sense of "charity" or good-will. (not that you won't occasionally run into someone that has a huge heart, but for the most part - this is 100% business.)

I see this mistake made all the time. Properties just getting into the sponsorship arena start to think that their new sponsor has made a "donation" to their event. Trust me - they haven't. What they HAVE made however is an investment in your event. And treat it like that.

And like all good investments - they expect a return.

You can let them know that you understand this by staying in frequent communication with your sponsors. Don't be afraid to take their "temperature" - ask them how their involvement with your organization is working out for them. And while you're at it, ask them how else you can help them drive business through your property? In short, REALLY be an asset for them and their business - that's what good partners do.

So don't be shy. If you don't ask ... you won't know. And if you don't know - you can't make their involvement with you better. And if you don't do that --- you won't get them back for a renewal.

Ron Seaver, president of Seaver Marketing Group and The National Sports Forum, and author of "Brought to you By... - The Ultimate Sponsorship Sales System" has over twenty-five years of experience in the field of marketing and sponsorship.

photo cred via flickr: Marco Bellucci