Turning Sponsorship Objections Into Opportunities

Turning Sponsorship Objections Into Opportunities

One of our Dream Raisers did a great social media share about the objections, internal chatter, and “noise” he had in his head that prevented him from doing the ASK for support or sponsorship funds.

Importantly, he did not listen to the noise but instead he stepped out of his comfort zone, did the ask, and the sponsor happily supported his project, again.

Typically, it’s fear of objections that paralyzes potential. That noise and internal chatter can prevent dreams from getting raised unless you do as he did: embrace the discomfort.

Remember it is always a NO unless you ask, and what if the answer is a YES?

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Sponsorship Responses That Are Not Really a NO

Here are some of the sponsor comments people often hear when approaching sponsors, especially those that are new relationships:

  • “The timing is really off right now.”

  • “Can you call me back? I am super busy and don’t have time to run through this right now.”

  • “I don’t think we have the budget right now.”

  • “Can you send me something to look at?”

  • “Give me some time to think about it.”

  • “Let me run this past the team.”

  • “I’m not the right person. I only deal with xxxxx.”

These responses are not a NO!  

This is so important we are repeating it again… These answers are not excuses or a NO. They are an opportunity to ask more questions and learn more!

It’s Always a NO Until You Ask How to Make Sponsorship Easier for a Brand

Think about the different questions you could ask to learn more. For each objection, below are a few examples of how to learn more or make a future decision easier for sponsors.

Remember the power of open-ended questions in your follow-up: Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How.

“The timing is really off right now.” / “Can you call me back? I am super busy and don’t have time to run through this right now.”

  • Apologize for catching the sponsor at bad time and ask, “When would be the best time to circle back to you?”

“I don’t think we have the budget right now.”

  • Reply with follow-up questions like…

    • “What is your timing like for budgeting sponsorship?”

    • “What is the timing for your sponsorship cycles?”

    • “How much lead time do you require?”

    • “When should I reconnect with you, and what can I share with you in the meantime?”

“Can you send me something to look at?”

  • Ask questions like “What would be most helpful for me to send you?” or “What would you like included and what format works best for you?”

“Give me some time to think about it.”

  • Aim to narrow down a future answer with questions such as “When would be a good time for me to follow up with you?” or “How shall I follow up with you?” (email, phone, etc.) or “May we set a call now in a few weeks? Is there anyone else you would like on the call or anything I can prepare in the meantime?”

“I’m not the right person. I only deal with xxxxx.”

  • Follow up with questions like “Who is the person I should be speaking with?” or “Would you be able to connect me with the correct person?”

A NO is only a NO when a sponsor says NO or clearly indicates it is not a fit.

Sometimes all that is needed in the times of uncertainty and ambiguity are some probing questions that dig deeper into learning about the sponsor and their needs. In the process, you are not only moving closer to a YES but also establishing a stronger relationship through your interest.

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