Find a Sponsor with ProQ – Part 2

August 16, 2016

find a sponsor part 2This is the second part of an article explaining how ProQ can help you find a sponsor.

There are three big keys to any kind of sponsorship hunt.  Or any sales in general. (1) prospecting, (2) networking, and (3) fulfilling a need (professionally and at a competitive price.)

ProQ can help you with all three.  Let’s take it one step at a time by using a fictitious example.

Prospecting

You’re really only as good as your database. What kind of shape is it in?

You build one central database with ProQ that is based on contacts (people) — and it shows their associations with each other.  The database holds street addresses, email addresses, current job title, former employers, phone numbers, social media handles, and even family members working in the business.  All these data points are part of the database you’ll build with ProQ.  The social handles are the most popular ones: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google +.

Building your database is an on-going task.  However, after your current database is imported into ProQ, you can easily reach out to any individual or a group you have put him in.  And since his physical address is plotted on Google Earth within ProQ, you can even reach out to groups of people based on geography.

Suppose you want to send your contact an e-mail, a social media message or even a newsletter.  You can do it all inside ProQ without ever leaving the software.  No importing or exporting of  contacts in or out of another program.  You also won’t have to use other software to design and send that newsletter.  Having all the tools in one place speeds things up dramatically.

The odds of your message ending up in a spam folder are much lower with ProQ’s bulk e-mail service.  It is fully compliant with current Can-Spam rules.  And, at only one penny per e-mail address, sending an e-mailed newsletter through ProQ is half the price of other bulk e-mail programs.  Since hard copy postage is almost half a buck, ProQ newsletters are 50 times cheaper than that.

Chances are you regularly come across companies that you’d like to pitch to in business periodicals or Web sites.  You come up with others by paying attention to the  world around you and talking to other people.  Just take whatever connections you have now and start to build onto them.  If you think you don’t have any connections, look for some.   We live in a very social culture – connections are everywhere!

The Ice Cream Chain

For example, maybe you noticed an ice cream chain is building a new ice cream shop in your area.  You look at the chain’s web site and discover it has stores close to all the tracks where you race.  Your brain light comes on, and you realize that this might be a good prospect.

With some more research, probably using LinkedIn or Google, you find some names and contact information.   You discover the ice cream chain’s director of sales and marketing.  Although you’ve never heard of the guy, you enter all of that data into your personal ProQ database.

Now here is where you get creative…

Find a Sponsor by Networking

With a little more research, you learn that your wife’s best friend is the administrative assistant to the head of a dairy.  That same dairy supplies all the milk that the ice cream chain uses to make its ice cream.  You enter her contact information and her boss’s contact information into ProQ and call her the next day.

She says her boss isn’t a race fan, but she gives you the name of the dairy’s head of sales. You enter the contact info into ProQ, and you give the head of sales a call to see if you can meet him.

His assistant says he’s on a cruise to Bermuda and won’t be back in the office for two weeks.  You enter that info into ProQ.  Using the same software’s “tasks” function, you schedule yourself to do a follow-up call to him the day after he gets back.

This kind of thing goes on for a while until finally your wife’s friend feels sorry for you.  She gets you in to meet the dairy’s head of sales.  He doesn’t want to sponsor a race team, but he would be willing to be involved somehow.  His interest is in increasing the ice cream chain’s loyalty to his dairy and helping him sell more milk. He’s already doing a promotion with the American Dairy Association at some area schools.  The bulk of his advertising money is already tied up in that this year.

Is this a dead end?  —   Not on your life.   We’ll find a sponsor.

You tell him that you bet the school kids would perk right up if they got to see a real race car and meet the driver.  You offer to have him speak at a special school assembly and to emphasize the importance of drinking milk.   After all, a race car driver who drinks milk is automatically cool.

The sales director looks at you sideways, but he asks what something like that would cost.  You say you’ll do an appearance for the gas money just as a community service.  And if it’s successful all you want is for the sales director to introduce you to the head of sales at the ice cream chain.  You want to tell him about this success together.

The dairy’s sales guy agrees. He plays golf with the ice cream guy once a month anyway, and so far all this is costing him is some gas.

You make notes about all these dealings in ProQ.  It even captures your e-mails back and forth so that you can always look up who said what to whom.

The trip to the school is a big success.

The kids loved the car and the driver.  The dairy gave them all a coloring book from the dairy association to take home.  You supplied hero cards that included your team web site’s address.  Using ProQ, you had built a simple form on your web site before the school visit.  At the assembly the driver told the kids if they made a pledge to drink more milk, they could win a prize.   Just fill out that form on the site to enter a drawing for four free tickets to his next race.

Two weeks later, the golf date occurs. Now, instead of going in cold, you’re socializing with one your “targets” and one of his best business associates.

Together you tell him about what you did at the school. The target is polite but not really interested, until you tell him that in just one school appearance you’ve already gotten the contact information for 200 local kids.  He is impressed but wary.

The dairy sales guy says that the dairy association has a budget for some kind of outreach to school-age children.  He doesn’t remember how much money it involves, but you ask him to find out. You’ve planted a seed, so stop pushing at that point. You also don’t beat either of them that day in golf, either.

You record all of this in ProQ, just so you have a record of who suggested what and when.  It’s time to enter the contact information from the marketing person at the dairy association.  You’re going to have to reach out to him too.

Time passes.  You stay home in bed for three weeks wit appendicitis.  This could mean a month is wasted and people’s enthusiasm wanes.  However, from your sick bed you guide your assistant in how to keep the ball rolling. You can do this because ProQ is cloud-based and you have an Internet connection and a laptop.  Your assistant can do this because she has access to ProQ at work, and all your notes are under each contact’s name.

Eventually everyone gets on board for a new promotion next season.  The program hinges around 25 visits to schools.  The wrap on the car will tout the importance of drinking milk and will promote the dairy association, the ice cream chain and the dairy.  All three entities — the dairy association, the dairy and the ice cream chain — will split the costs three ways.  It fits all their budgets.  They bought the school visits and the fact that the race car will actually race is just a perk to them.

Contracts

Contracts are signed, and all of them were organized inside your ProQ calendar.  You realize it’s not going to be a big money-maker.  Your boss says it seems like a lot of work for a program that is just going to buy some tires and not fund a whole season.

Now is not the time to get discouraged, however.  We’re ready for the third key (Fulfillment) in Find a Sponsor – Part 3.

by Linda Mansfield and Restart Communications