I too work as a sponsorship seeker on behalf of For-Purpose organisations and events and I’m constantly asking for feedback from companies as to their preferences, like:
- What information do you want from the people asking you for sponsorship?
- How could we make it easier for companies like yours to engage with our sector?
- If there was one message that you could send the For-Purpose sector as a whole, what might it be?
If you are seeking a partnership, then treat the companies you approach like a partner from the outset. Not a cash cow or private investment model. Don’t make assumptions about how big you think their budget is. Take the time to get to know what they want and what it might look like if you were to work together. Give them the big picture of who you are and what you do, so they can easily find where the alignment might lie.
Here are 10 of the top questions that I ask every potential prospect. I promise if you incorporate these questions, they will change your results the next time you email or pick up the phone to make initial connection with a potential sponsor:
- Who is your target market?
- What does your ideal customer really value?
- What are you hoping to achieve this year for your brand?
- When do you allocate your marketing budget?
- When is the best time to make an approach/send a proposal?
- What do you consider to be the most valuable elements in a sponsorship proposal?
- What are your looking to achieve from sponsorship investment and relationships?
- Apart from making sales, what do you highly value in a sponsorship relationship?
- If you could picture your best-ever sponsorship relationship/activation, what would it look like?
- What do you consider to be a ‘must have’ in any sponsorship relationship you take on?
- Have you ever partnered with a For-Purpose organisation, charity of event before?
Remember, when you are approaching a brand for the very first time, you are on a voyage of discovery. This is not the time to pitch to them about your opportunity or the fact that you need a sponsor. This is you doing due diligence for your organisation and building a relationship. Trust me, even if they do not come onboard as a sponsor this time round, this is a relationship that you will be able to come back to again and again over the years, because you took the time to understand their needs and got to know them.