Don’t Say This In Your Sponsorship Package
There are so many mistakes you can make with your sponsorship package, such as bringing it with you to the discovery session or attaching it in a cold email to every sponsorship prospect on your list.
Some sponsorship package mistakes start before you even finish writing the proposal. By using certain verbiage, you could be turning potential sponsors away, often without even realizing it. This is a mistake I see among a lot of my clients too.
What is the mistake? How do you avoid it? That’s what I’ll tell you today, so let’s get started.
Are You Saying This in Your Sponsorship Package?
I won’t leave you in suspense any longer. Here is the egregious line that so many sponsorship seekers include in their sponsorship packages.
“Don’t see something you like here? Give me a call and we can customize something just for you.”
Wait, that’s the line? Yes, indeed.
I know, at first glance, it seems like there’s nothing wrong with including verbiage like this in your sponsorship package. After all, you should invite the prospective sponsor to work with you to come up with a customized sponsorship package that fulfills both your needs.
You know that, I know that, your sponsor knows that. If both you and they know it, then why add that line at all?
Let me set a scene here that will put it into perspective for you. In the example, you go to a burger restaurant. When it’s your turn to order, you’re surprised to see there are no options to add toppings or upgrade the size of your fries. You can only order a plain hamburger and small fries.
On the wall is a sign that reads: “Don’t see something you like here? Let us know and we can customize something just for you.”
Well of course you want to customize your burger, so you talk to the staff and that’s what you do.
This requires extra work and time though. If the burger restaurant knew that its customers would want to customize their burgers and offered that option from the beginning, you’d be happier.
When you present a gold, silver, bronze package to the sponsor, it’s the equivalent of serving them a plain hamburger and small fries. Some sponsors will want it, but the vast majority will not.
You know these other sponsors want a customized sponsorship package. Rather than make them request it by name, why not just offer it from the onset?
I know why. Sponsorship seekers sometimes want to justify using a gold, silver, bronze package. Adding the line about customization is like a failsafe. They’re covering their butts in case the sponsor doesn’t like the gold, silver, bronze package (which is likely) and in the end, they’re wasting everyone’s time.
The Value of a Customized Sponsorship Package
There’s a quote I like from Ralph Waldo Emerson that’s especially apt. It goes: “Who you are speaks so loudly that I can’t hear what you’re saying.”
You know how you’re not supposed to make assumptions about people, right? It’s a good way to embarrass yourself (that’s the kid-friendly version of the adage about assumptions).
If you put together your sponsorship package with levels, all you’re doing is making assumptions. Your statement about customization is not enough to fix your entire sponsorship package.
Actions speak louder than words, and your actions tell the sponsor that your sponsorship package is unchangeable. It is what it is, take it or leave it.
Many sponsors will leave it.
Now enter the customized sponsorship package. It doesn’t have a statement that starts with “if you don’t like what you see…” because you worked with the sponsor to put it together and you’re reasonably sure they will like it. You don’t have to offer to customize the package because it already is customized.
I find that the main reason a lot of sponsorship seekers choose the gold, silver, bronze package is that they think it will earn them more money. They hope the sponsor will go for the really good assets in the gold package and be forced to buy all the assets in that tier to access the ones they want.
In my experience, you can earn more money through a customized sponsorship package. Why? For a few reasons.
To start, customizing your sponsorship package causes you to take a good, hard look at your assets. You discard a lot of low-value assets and now you have a strong roster of high-quality assets you know the sponsor is interested in. That can equal big money.
Second, you’re opening the door to another sponsorship opportunity with this company or individual. They don’t feel like you twisted their arm when it came to purchasing off your menu, and that goes a long way towards cultivating respect.
Of course, you need a lot more than respect to earn a repeat deal with a sponsor. You must also meet their objectives. Still, laying down the groundwork for a positive relationship with a sponsor is beneficial.
How to Build Your Sponsorship Packages Going Forward
Your most recent sponsorship package will be the last one that ever includes a line about customizing your menu. Going forward, you want all your sponsorship packages to be ready for a sponsor from the get-go.
How do you do that? Here are some tips.
Have Strong Audience Research
You’re kind of the third wheel in your sponsorship arrangement, as the sponsor isn’t as interested in you as they are your audience. This is something I talk a lot about on the blog because you must understand the value of your audience if you want to succeed in sponsorship sales.
You need current audience data from within the last six months, and that audience data must be niched down. It’s these niched audience segments your sponsor will be the most interested in.
Let’s say your sponsor is a general retailer like a Target or a Walmart. For the sponsor’s electronics, you have a young techie audience. For their baby supplies, you have new mothers whose households earn $70k per year. For their cookware section, you have aspiring chefs in New York City between the ages of 20 and 30.
The sponsor sees dollars signs. They know that by working with you, they can market their products and services to your receptive audience segments to earn more sales.
Your audience data is the strongest part of your sponsorship package. This data is also your greatest asset, so you must know what you have to sell it for what it’s worth.
Add Case Studies Related to Your Successful Partnerships
Maybe you’re a first-time sponsorship seeker, but I’m sure you’ve struck other successful deals in the past. Think hard about any partnerships that really stand out and then use those arrangements as the basis of your case study.
A case study needs concrete numbers and figures that showcase how growth has occurred. Your sponsor can review the case study and begin planning their objectives around what you’ve done for other clients or partners.
Share Some Activation Ideas
Activation opportunities are a chance to connect your audience and your sponsor by fulfilling the needs of both. Maybe you’re not as sure about the sponsor’s needs at this point in the process, but you sure know a lot about what your audience needs based on your research.
Use that data to come up with a few activation ideas that your sponsor would be interested in. These are just very loose ideas that may never come to fruition, but they should whet your sponsor’s appetite and get them thinking of the potential if you two work together.
“Don’t see something you like here? Give me a call and we can customize something just for you.” These are the worst words you can include in your sponsorship package.
You’re telling the sponsor through your actions that you’re unyielding in your sponsorship approach, which does not bode well for a potential partnership.
By including audience data, case studies, and a few off-the-cuff activation ideas, you’re telling the sponsor that you’re ready to customize your menu without having to say so. Your actions prove it.
If you’re having a hard time with your sponsorship package or other areas of your sponsorship program, I can help. Download my free training today called How to Grow Your Sponsorship Program.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Baylis is the President and CEO of The Sponsorship Collective and a self-confessed sponsorship geek.
After several years as a sponsor (that’s right, the one investing the money!) Chris decided to cross over to the sponsorship sales side where he has personally closed tens of millions of dollars in sponsorship deals. Chris has been on the front lines of multi-million dollar sponsorship agreements and has built and coached teams to do the same.
Chris now spends his time working with clients to value their assets and build strategies that drive sales. An accomplished speaker and international consultant, Chris has helped his clients raise millions in sponsorship dollars.