Archive for February, 2013

Sponsorship & Event Selling

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

by Susan Novicki

I am working with many of our clients on events they have to sell for 2013. We are talking to everyone from automotive manufacturers to insurance companies and banks to wireless telecoms and consumer package goods companies. As you may know, sponsorship selling is projected to increase by 5.5% this year.Brands are looking to make programs unique in terms of how and where they are activating.

  • Companies see sponsorship as the route to building awareness, attention, support and loyalty
  • Sponsorship is no longer the stepchild to advertising, but shares the podium in integrated marketing
  • Such programs are also more likely now to be a leg of multi-platform, cross-channel programs

With this in mind, it is important to think about how to go after this business and generate the best revenue you can for both you and your client. Many times I see sales reps target leads for an event that they have on the calendar and many times they are working too close to the event to generate substantial revenue.

  • First, make sure you are looking at your Map of events for the year and planning far enough out so that you are working 3-6 months prior to the event. With this in mind, you are going after larger dollars.
  • Make sure you do your homework on the company ahead of time. Do a little research so you know what the company has sponsored in the past, what new products or services have been introduced recently and what direction the company is focused on as far as target customer.
  • Create questions to ask to make sure you are unearthing the need so that you have a clear objective of what the client is trying to accomplish – and sometimes they may be looking at a number of objectives that one of your events can fulfill.
  • Customize the proposal – don’t just send the “package” to them.
  • Finally, realize the value of the sponsorship that you are trying to sell – it is not just about the number of attendees but the quality of the attendees.
Talk with confidence about the event or sponsorship and don’t make assumptions when doing the need analysis or presenting the proposal.
And most important focus on creating a program that has strong activation for your client.

Remember, sponsorships without activation are like toys without batteries.

Looking Through a Different Lens

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013
by Ginny Speaks

Life is a continuous ebb and flow of energy.   All things are in continuous movement forward whether we personally are or not. The sun sets and rises daily, the seasons come and go and the earth is in constant motion. So when I heard the phrase “Oh, I have tried” the other day in a conversation with a colleague, it made me stop and ask the question — what does that mean?
When things are in continuous motion, something tried once before can resurface as something new quite easily. Let’s evaluate the statement “I have tried” and see through a different lens to open new windows to opportunity.

“I have tried calling on that account and got nowhere”

How many times have you called?Statistics show that on average one has to leave 5 good messages before getting a call back.   Always keep track of how many times you have called to ensure you have given it your due diligence. Then, only then, can you decide whether to continue working this prospect or get it off your list. Or, you can try a different door. Side note: It took me close to one year to land a large client by leaving messages on a regular basis. Persistence pays off.

Did you call the same person over and over?If you are calling one person over and over and not getting results, first, verify their role and title to make sure that they are the correct decision maker and responsible for your territory. I find this to be the biggest road block when working with sellers on the phone. Most of the time when I ask what is their title, the response is: I do not know, I think it is ____ or I was told _____. This task is an easy one to move from the trying side to the solving side. Call back to corporate and get an operator to verify title. Or ask to talk to an admin or be transferred to a department. Then, based on which area you have verified, landscape further into the business and locate a person in the other two divisions. We always suggest you call at least three areas within the business: Sales, Marketing and Corporate Communications. Working an account deep will increase the chances of a call back. Plus, each person has a different budget.

What type of message did you leave?

Did you leave a compelling message or the typical message about having some great ideas to discuss with the client? You will set yourself apart in the industry if you leave a message that paints a broad stroke of what you do. Also, ask to get on their call calendar to open up dialogue and conduct an exploratory conversation. This approach takes the sales pitch out of the call back and lowers the defense mechanism with the decision maker. The decision maker will be more apt to call back to open up dialogue as opposed to being pitched a package.

So next time you say the words, “I have tried”, remember these tips and try again by looking at the situation from a different perspective.