July is crunch month in the sponsorship business. Most marketers are hustling to complete their planning. Upfront media buys have already occurred, and now there are residual dollars for some sponsorship buys for those stand-alone deals that are not already bundled with media packages. Here’s how to go after what’s left:
Go where you are known and loved. Make appointments with existing sponsors or immediate past sponsors. Success breeds success, so even if your event or cause-related program just wrapped up and you’re exhausted—get back to sponsors in July if you hope to land renewals for next year. Now is the time to present your final report with ROI metrics and invite the renewal.
Get close to sponsors. Selling is a contact sport. July is a good month to do alfresco lunches. Push your Board for invitations to social events and golf tournaments. For some of you this may feel like foreign territory. Seriously, you can skip the 18 holes and show up at the clubhouse and still make the connections you need. Or, host your own “friend raising” BBQ and invite prospects and happy sponsors and have them mingle.
Stay focused. Choose a business sector and work it. Financial services, automotive, telecom, whatever–by focusing your effort you’ll be learning from every call you make and building expertise in that sector that will pay off. When you can understand the issues and follow the news in just one sector, you radiate both competence and compassion for the buyer.
July is the last hurrah before most sponsors submit their final plans and budgets and head for the beach. Set aside all your other tasks. Forget the long-range planning. Dig in and start dialing. There are dollars to be had before the dog days of August.