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The Five Habits of Highly Effective Sponsorship Sales People

by | September 12, 2016

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Have you read the book by Stephen Covey called The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People? If not, I highly recommend you check it out.

When I read through the book, I was quite inspired. I kept thinking about the habits that Covey describes in his book and trying to figure out how I can apply them to sponsorship sales. 

After a lot of time and effort, I put together for you what I think are five of the most important sponsorship salesperson habits. These five habits can help you work more effectively and productively, which may lead to closing more deals.

Let’s dive right in!

Trying to Streamline Sponsorship Sales? You Need to Follow These Five Habits

Habit #1 – Take Time to Reset in the Middle of the Day

We’ve all done it. Why stop at lunch when you can power through and eat while you work (or not eat at all)? After all, the more time we spend working, the better, right?

Well, yes and no. If your job is to complete a particular activity, for which you are paid by the hour, then yes. However, lunch might not be the time to breeze through your tasks like it’s any other hour of your workday.

A 2018 article from the World Economic Forum in conjunction with Forbes cites a study that shared some interesting facts on the lunch break conundrum. 

According to the study, 20 percent of workers in North America assume their bosses will think less of them for not working during lunch. 

This coincides with another stat, that 22 percent of bosses in North America do indeed think less of their employees for eating lunch during their breaks rather than working.

Yet another survey cited in the article mentions that most employees who take lunch breaks “feel refreshed and ready to get back to work.” 

So what does this tell us? Your boss might not like it, but for the sake of your mental health and thus your physical health, it’s good to take a lunch break. 

It doesn’t just have to be a lunch break either. When your next non-meal break comes up, use it. Go for a walk, get some food, call your spouse, read a book.

In other words, treat your day like it has two distinct parts. No matter what happens in the morning, your afternoon is a distinct day.

Many bodies of research have found that taking breaks can boost your creativity, better your mental wellbeing, and increase your productivity. That’s all very important in meeting those sponsorship sales goals.

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Habit #2 – Do the Things You Hate First 

Most people hate going to the dentist, but it’s one of those things you can’t avoid.  

Yet when the time comes to schedule a teeth cleaning for the year, you hem and haw, right? You wanted to schedule your appointment in January, but then that turns into February, then March, and April.

Before you know it, it’s summertime, the year is half over, and you still haven’t booked your dentist appointment yet. 

We all have to do things we don’t like. It’s a fact of life. Even though not every undesirable activity is as painful (physically, emotionally, financially, your choice) as going to the dentist, they’re undesirable, nevertheless.

That’s why the second habit is to do the things you hate before anything else. 

Get to work in the morning, and before you even check your emails, make your to-do list. Put the things you hate or dread at the top of that list and do them first.

Why? Because if you know you have a list of tasks waiting for you at 3:30 p.m., you will procrastinate and avoid the task all day. You will also dread doing the work all day long.

The best part of running a marathon? When it’s over! 

The best part of the tasks you hate? Being finished with them.

As soon as you finish the tasks you hate, reward yourself with an expensive cup of coffee or something else you’d like.

Imagine how much more focused you’ll feel when you don’t have that pit of anxiety sitting in your stomach. Plus, you won’t have the stress of procrastination on your shoulders.

Further, having done the task you hate could fuel you up to tackle the day with aplomb. It’s a good thing all around.

Habit #3 – Set Small Goals and Do Them Every Single Day

If I were to ask you if three cold calls every day would make your budget, you would say “no chance!” 

What if those three calls were part of a sales funnel with seven steps and you moved three people up a level every single day?

Now we’re talking. You could set up your sales funnel like this:

  • Leads
  • Prospects
  • Intro email sent
  • Phone call
  • Discovery session
  • Proposal submitted
  • Follow-ups

Now, every day, research three new leads, qualify three new prospects, send an intro email to three people, call three, have three discovery sessions, submit three customized proposals, and follow up with three prospects who have received a proposal.

I know, it doesn’t seem like a lot, but you know the old saying. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your sponsorship program be. You are only moving three people at a time, but if you do this every single day, you will make a budget. 

Then you will exceed budget!

It doesn’t matter where in your sponsorship program you’re getting stuck. If you set a small goal for yourself to do, and you commit to doing it every day, you will see results.

Let’s use intro emails as an example. If you send out three per day, then on Day One, you have only three emails sent. By Day Five though, you have 15 emails, and by Day 10, it’s 30 emails.

Now, emails alone won’t get you a sponsorship deal, which is why I recommended following that sales funnel workflow to the letter. The point of that example is to prove that results will happen if you’re willing to stick with it!  

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Habit #4 – Get Out of the Office!

How much time do you spend at your desk? It’s probably a lot. 

This Washington Post article from 2019 states that the average American adult sits for upwards of 6.5 hours every day. That’s not exclusively at their desks, but it’s plenty of time spent there.  

Let me tell you a little secret. You can’t sell sponsorship from behind a desk. Fact.

Yet everyone and everything at your organization will conspire to keep you in the office. Fact.

There are always internal meetings, budget reviews, staff meetings, you get it. When you’re out of meetings with your team, then you come back to your desk only to realize you missed 10 important emails.

All along, you’re still trying to get your own work done before you fall behind. You can feel like you’re chained to your desk or at least to your office.

Here’s what you should do. Block three days every week in your calendar as out-of-office. Rearrange all recurring meetings to the two days you plan to be in the office. 

Decline every meeting request that comes your way unless it’s with a prospect or someone who can introduce you to a prospect. Pack those two days with networking events and drop by the offices of your warm contacts.

Once your two “in-office” days are full, that’s it! No more meetings.

People will give you flack, but the fact is, at the end of the year, they’re going to judge you on one number, your sales. 

You will make some sales by email and phone, but you won’t build the best partnerships from behind your desk.

Plus, this goes back to what I said earlier. Sitting around and working, working, working isn’t good for your productivity or creativity. 

Once you spend time out and about networking and meeting with prospects, you’ll come back to the office (on your assigned days, of course) raring to go! 

Habit #5 – Always Be Positive, No Matter What 

I know, I know…be positive always? People will think you’re unstable! Nobody can be happy all the time. 

Note, I didn’t say happy. I said positive. There is a difference, and once you realize that and can harness it, positivity will take you far. 

That’s why you hear of so many people manifesting positive thinking these days. It may sound like a bunch of hooey, but there’s some psychological basis to it. 

I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the concept of self-fulfilling prophecies, so let me explain now. The self-fulfilling prophecy proposes that what you believe and think will happen will make it happen.

No, it’s not through magic or anything like that. Remember, this is rooted in psychology.

Rather, when you think a certain way about something, you reinforce those beliefs. Your expectations influence the actions you take (or don’t take), which then produces the result.

For example, let’s say you have a job interview coming up. This is a great opportunity and thus, you’re really nervous. You don’t think you’re going to do that well in the interview, so your expectations are low.

Maybe you don’t spend as much time doing practice interviews as you could, or perhaps your nerves keep you from being well-rested on the day of the interview, as you couldn’t shut off your mind and sleep. As a result, you blow it and don’t get the job.

When you train yourself to think positively, positive outcomes usually follow. Plus, being positive usually means having a pleasant disposition, and that’s always ideal.

When people turn you down, thank them. When people are too busy to talk to you, get off the phone and happily follow up later. 

If people stand you up or cancel meetings last minute, act like you couldn’t care less. In fact, tell them not to worry and make them feel good. Use humor and keep things light and follow-up for a reschedule.

This is not a positive thinking exercise per se; this is a mental health survival technique. 

You are going to hear “no” a lot. In fact, if you don’t hear “no” 10 times every day, you’re doing something wrong. (See Habit #4!)

If you let it get to you, you will burn out. If you burn out, your prospects can tell and will naturally move towards “no thanks” more often.

No matter what they tell you, react positively and believe them! If they have no time, that isn’t “no thanks,” it’s an invitation to reschedule. 

If they have no budget, that isn’t “no thanks,” it’s “ask me when we should meet to get into the next budget,” or better yet, “tell me how I can split my payments to bridge fiscal years.” 

If you are always positive, no matter what, it is much easier to overcome objections until you get a firm yes or no. Plus, you may manifest more positive things just through your attitude change. 

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There you go, those are my five habits of highly effective sponsorship salespeople. What I want you to do is take one of those habits of the five, whichever one you think you need the most in your life right now.

Then try it every day for the next week. You should notice a marked improvement in how you’re conducting sponsorship business, which could in turn influence when your next sponsorship sale comes down the pike!