Use These 12 Words to Create Better Sponsor Relationships

What are the 12 words that will create better relationships when you talk with your corporate sponsors and partners?

“We’re not selling sponsorships today; let’s talk about your company’s marketing goals.”

Here is the reaction I get when I begin conversations with corporate executives using these 12 words:
—Sigh of relief. (“The association isn’t going to ask us to be a Gold or Silver sponsor for their upcoming event”.)
—A willingness to share. (“Associations seldom ask us about our marketing goals; we’d be delighted to have this conversation.”)

I ask company execs about their business objectives; marketing goals; new products or services; interest in reaching all or a segment of the associations members; biggest marketing challenges. I ask follow-up questions. I take a lot of notes.

As I promised, I don’t make a sales pitch.

After the call, I regroup with the association’s staff and develop a customized sponsorship proposal that (1) meets the needs of the association’s members and (2) meets the needs of the company.

Then we schedule a follow-up call with the company’s execs to review and discuss the association’s proposal.