These questions only give a person two options when they answer. Yes or No.
- ‘Have you heard of our organisation before?’ Yes or no.
- ‘Are you interested in sponsoring our event this year?’ Yes or no.
- ‘Did you want me to send you a proposal?’ Yes or no.
As you can see, closed questions are not really very useful when you’re trying to build a relationship with a brand, as they don’t allow room to expand and explore an opportunity.
NB: They are, however, great questions for getting straight to the point, and can be handy in sponsorship negotiations! Try these resources if you’re looking for help trying to secure a partnership.
Then there are open questions. Asking a potential sponsor a series of open questions will help you understand their what their outcomes are, gauge their interest and potential concerns, and show them that you know what you’re doing.
Open questions begin with the words ‘What’, ‘Why’, ‘When’, ‘Where’, ‘Who’, and ‘How’.
- ‘What elements of the marketing mix do you find works best to connect with your target market?”
- ‘When do you set your marketing budget each year?”
- ‘How do you measure ROI for your brand?’
- ‘What are the most attractive elements of a sponsorship package for your company?’
Looking for more questions to ask sponsors? I created a 3 part webinar series that takes a deep dive into the sponsorship sales process, from cold to sold. I also created HEAPS of templates, guides and checklists to make sure you can make this work for you!
HIGH GAIN QUESTIONS
Then we come to my favourite questions of all. High Gain questions! Have you ever heard of them?
High Gain questions are the best way to get potential partners tapping into their ideal sponsorship scenarios and the ultimate outcomes they DREAM about at night!
The High Gain question starts with the word ‘IF’.
- ‘If you could describe the most successful partnership for your brand, what would that look like?’
- ‘If there were no limits about what a partnership with our organisation could entail, what elements would it have?’
- ‘If you were given free creative license to create the kind of event, activation, partnership for your brand that you’ve been searching for. What would that look like?’
- ‘If you could wave a magic wand and manifest your ideal charity partnership. What are the things that would make it so perfect for your brand?’
Can you see the difference with High Gain questions? These are real relationship builders and fantastic to ask even if you’ve been speaking with a potential sponsor for quite a while.
It’s never too late to throw some High Gain questions into the mix because they really get a marketing or brand manager tapping into the coolest types of activations, the deepest connections they are seeking, and the way they really want their brand to be seen by the world.
EVERY type of question has its place in the sponsorship journey, but asking high gain questions will really help you see the world through the eyes of your potential sponsor if you ask them! They will also help glean information that they would not normally share about any challenges they are experiencing. That is gold!
Now go forth and continue to build those relationships! It’s never too late to ask great questions. 🙂