Everyone is looking for new revenue opportunities, whether you are monetizing for the first time or looking for an extra boost, selling sponsorships always seems to be thrust into the discussion. However, before you start making cold calls and sending LinkedIn requests until you go blue in the face, there are several things you need to consider before launching into sponsorship sales.
Know your assets
Do you know exactly what you are selling? What about how much each one of your assets is worth on the open market? More and more organizations are rushing directly into the selling process without doing a complete audit of what they can and should be selling. When this step is rushed you will miss out on revenue opportunities and your sales materials will be incomplete to the people you are trying to sell to. Don't worry if you don't know how to price out an asset, there are agencies and consultants who can help with that. Knowing your assets and your values before you go to market is key to being able to put together a successful sponsorship program.
As we mentioned earlier, sales materials are crucial to your sponsorship sales process to let your prospecst know you have your stuff together. When creating sales materials consider who your potential prospects are and tailor the look and feel of your sales materials to match not only your brand but also those prospects. Too many organizations create sales materials that are only directed towards their fans in look and feel. Make your tickets, signage and experience custom to the brands you are pitching. DO NOT just send over the same one-sheeter to everyone. At the very least, put the prospect's logo on it. Simple customizations can go a long way. Proper sales materials do not close a deal, but they go a long way towards adding credibility to your organization.
Have a sales plan
Selling sponsorship takes a lot of time and effort. Not only do you need the time to make cold calls and research your prospects, but you also need to create a system for how to go after prospects in general. What categories are you going to sell? Will you offer exclusivity to any of those categories? Who is actually going to be selling on your behalf? Who will activate the sponsorships once you have sold them? There are so many more questions that could be tossed out that need to be answered before you even begin to make those first cold calls. So, make sure you take the time to build your sales plan and not just jump right in to those calls.
Sponsorship sales are a great way to add additional revenue to your organization. However, making sure you have the proper steps taken care of before your sales and prospecting begins will help determine how successful your overall program will be.