Last week I started a series for Sponsorship Mondays introducing you to the five people you meet in a sponsorship pitch. I began with Echo Chamber Ellen and mentioned that this week I’d introduce you to Alan the Alpha. In the spirit of the holidays, I’ve chosen instead to describe Friendly Fran.
Friendly Fran is downright amiable—consistently so. She ducks conflict. Competition among colleagues fatigues her. When dissonance occurs, she rises to resolve it. And she’ll look to you for help with that by asking you for examples and anecdotes to satisfy any mental bullies in the room.
Level of power: Medium
Level of Influence: Medium to high
Power style: Collaborative
Reason for being at the table: Fran’s a true team player. In truth, she’s on a lot of teams. Having held several jobs at the company by surviving multiple re-organizations, Fran is emotionally intelligent. Her ability to form bonds with others makes her the glue. People like her not just because she’s so friendly, but because she’s willing and able to take on new challenges without complaint. Her longevity means she knows who has real power, and who’s pretending to. She also knows how to jigger the system. Are there pockets of extra cash somewhere? Can a budget be enhanced? Who’s launching a new product in the building? Fran has answers to things that matter to your quest to land a sponsorship.
The “switch”: Fran wants to make a difference. Accordingly, she responds to people and stories about people. She wants to help, nurture, and be part of a community. In your presentation, use photos of faces—preferably close-ups. Don’t use abstractions. For each data point or assertion, use a specific human example to bring it to life. And above all, return her kindness with genuine warmth. Shake her hand longer. Give her plenty of eye contact. If you strike a connection, and she believes in the merit of your offer, she will become an ally.