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.