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Rose Colored Glasses and Pitching for Partners

by Emily Taylor
20 07 2010

My husband loves to brag about our dog, Chloe.  She really is pretty stinking adorable, and brilliant I might add – OK, I like to brag about our dog too.  To us, who have fed, trained, lived with and fallen in love with her, rarely could she do any wrong – except the time she tore up the carpet on our stairs… but that’s another story. 

Lots of property owners have the same perspective when it comes to their organization.  And it’s not surprising!  If you have invested your time, money, blood, sweat and tears into building this phenomenal organization, it’s easy to become a bragging parent about how incredible it is.  You are passionate about your efforts because you’re efforts mean something.  There’s something about it that gets your heart beating faster, your work is marked with purpose, and you are invigorated by the results you see. 

I just spoke with a gentleman a couple of weeks ago that gave me an overview of his organization and the sponsorship opportunity he had available, and within half an hour I probably heard him say 15 times how sponsoring his organization was a “no – brainer,” how it was the best, most clear choice for a partnership and he can’t understand why sponsors weren’t crawling all over him.  The rose colored glasses he had on were so thick, it was practically offensive.  I hate to be a Debbie dower, but the reality is that there are hundreds of fantastic opportunities out there – trust me, we have spoken to some properties that shock me that they’re having trouble at all finding sponsors.  The market is tough, it’s competitive, and budgets are slim and trim, so it’s truly best to take off the rose colored glasses, get proactive, aggressive, and be seen and heard with the best interest of your partner in mind. 

Another common and similar mistake that many properties make when they’re pitching a partner, is that they focus on the saintly efforts of their organization, filling that partner in on the ins and outs of their successes and the way they touch lives, etc, etc.  Then, after painting this spectacular self portrait, they ask the sponsor if they want to invest in a sponsorship.  The clear problem is that while it’s always nice to hear the story behind a property, a sponsor is more interested in you casting a vision for what your partnership could do for them, what kind of reach you have, audience loyalty, why your efforts and their affiliation with you “makes sense” and why it would do them good.  It sounds a little self serving, but it’s wise to keep in mind that this is a partnership, a marketing deal; it’s not a donation, and they have every right to expect to know the answers to these questions.  Do you really want to get their heart pumping and their adrenaline racing about the idea of being your partner?  Do your best to include them in the picture of what could happen if they were involved, why you think they’re a good fit, and speak to the value you have to offer as a partner going into a deal.  When you listen to a really good salesperson, they paint a fantastic picture which includes the buyer in the story – they aren’t just giving a monologue about the features and benefits of the product – they apply it to the individual they’re selling to. 

So the next time you pitch a potential sponsor, make sure to take off your rose colored glasses, speak to the value of the partnership, and do such a superb job of casting a vision that they might just pick up a pair of glasses that enables them to see your opportunity from your perspective. 


Categories:   sponsorship sales
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12/30/2010 9:31:09 AM #

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Rose Colored Glasses and Pitching for Partners | Southern Optical GSouthernsses


11/2/2013 3:54:54 AM #

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