7 Things to do to Prepare for the Holidays…and still bring in sponsorship dollars!
7 Things to do to Prepare for the Holidays…
and still bring in sponsorship dollars!
The holidays are a weird time! A mixture of excitement for some time off with family, daily invites to networking holiday parties and the pressure of year end all rolled into one. As you get closer and closer to the holidays people start to put things off to “the new year,” a magical time in the distant future where all of your tasks lie waiting.
Here are nine things that you can do in December to keep the momentum going for your sponsorship program:
Reach Out To All Outstanding Proposals Now
And by now, I mean RIGHT NOW! You want to stay on the radar of your prospects and you want to do it before they get caught up in the same madness as you and definitely before they start cruising before the holidays. Send an email to all of your outstanding proposals, ask them for feedback and for an update on their decision-making process as well as when in January you should follow up again.
Don’t let December slip by without following up…but don’t wait too long. In fact, take a break from reading this blog post and do it right now!
Book Next Year’s Meetings Today
Have you ever noticed that everyone around the office is now referring to “the new year” as the holding place for all ideas and tasks that they don’t want to handle right now? People think the new year is months away, when it’s really just a few weeks away. Use this to your advantage and reach out to your prospects and ask them to book a meeting in the new year. They are more likely to agree to a January meeting now than if you wait until January to ask them.
Make a Plan To Collect Audience Data
Set a new year’s resolution to collect better audience data now! Make a plan, build a strategy, create a survey and get internal buy in now. Reach out to your sponsors and let them know your plan to collect more audience data and ask them for their input and some questions they would like you to include.
Need some help with a survey? Check out this blog post!
Refresh Your Valuation
December is a perfect time to refresh your valuation. Go over you inventory of assets and add more! Review your competitors and see what they are offering that you aren’t. Review your audience feedback for things they want more of (or less of) and build some activations. Review your valuation source data to make sure nothing has changed make some updates. If twice every year you create five new activation ideas and grow your inventory by 5% you will have a huge (and valuable) inventory in no time!
Need some help building out your valuation? Check out our epic blog post The Essential Guide to Sponsorship Valuation.
Give Your Sponsors a Mid-Year Fulfillment Report
Spend some time reviewing your partnerships. How are they going? Are you delivering on everything you’ve promised? If not, what can you offer your sponsors to make up for it?
This is a perfect time to create a mid-year fulfillment report and share it with your sponsors. You can use this opportunity to jump on a call with them, wish them happy holidays and ask them for some feedback to help you kick off the new year right.
Have you read my story of how a fulfillment report saved a six-figure partnership? Check it out now!
Make Your Schedule Sponsorship Friendly
When I was selling sponsorship, one of the things that drove me crazy was how quickly my schedule would fill with meetings. No, not meetings with sponsors…meeting with finance to talk budget, the CEO to talk strategy, all staff meetings, department meetings and then those meetings that have nothing at all to do you with you but you get pulled in for a second opinion.
A schedule full of internal meetings feels busy (and it is) but it isn’t productive. Take some time now to decide which days of the week you are open to internal meetings. I limited myself to just two days of internal meetings with three days each week spent out of the office with prospects and sponsors, or working from home making calls to prospects.
You will get pushback but if you aren’t talking to sponsors and engaging in prospecting for the majority of the week, every week, you are in trouble! It doesn’t matter how many internal meetings you attend if you miss budget.
Set Up Sales Pipeline and Strategy
Spend some time in December to reduce your sales pipeline to the smallest and most basic number of moves possible. Measure only those activities that get you closer to a sale, like number of calls, emails, meetings, presentations, proposals submitted and number of follow ups made. I like to keep my pipeline to no more than five key activities and engage in each of those activities every day. Decide now how many calls you make each day, starting January 2nd and don’t leave the office until you complete the minimum number of calls (or meetings, presentations etc.).
Need some help with your pipeline and moves management strategy? We have a template for that!
Chris Baylis is an expert in sponsorship valuation and sponsorship strategy. Chris works with brands and sponsorship properties to define their sponsorship goals, determine market value of their sponsorship assets and create strategies that work. Chris is the President and CEO of The Sponsorship Collective and an international speaker and consultant on all things sponsorship marketing.