I. Getting Started
» Have a squad meeting and develop a list of contacts/potential sponsors using our Potential Sponsors List provided in our CheerStix Sponsorship Program..
» Get the names of all businesses owned or managed by parents of students at your school. These names should be on the top of your potential sponsor list.
» Get the names of the dentists/orthodontists used by members of your team/organization and note any dentist that is used by more than one member of the team.
» Select at least two dentists and add them to your prospective sponsor list.
» Ask each team member which Family Medical Center they use and repeat the same process used with the dentists. You should have at least one Family Medical Center on your potential sponsor list.
» Continue the process until you have a list of at least six businesses to approach as follows:
- All businesses owned/managed by a parent of a student at the school
- Two or more local dentists
- One or more Family Medical Center
- One or more from our “Good Potential Sponsors” list.
II. Determine the Decision Maker
» Determine the right person within the business to speak to about your proposal - the decision maker. This can sometimes be tricky because it may or may not be the owner of the business. Many times, dentists and other busy professionals, have an office manager who coordinates the day-to-day business activities for them.
» If no one on your team knows the decision maker, call up and ask, "Who handles your advertising or marketing decisions?"
» Never refer to this sponsorship as a fundraising activity or a donation. The word "donation" may trigger a negative response even before you can explain what you are offering. Businesses receive numerous requests for donations and it is important that you distinguish this as a marketing opportunity that offers considerable value to the sponsor.
III. Prepare Your Sponsorship Proposal
» Go to the “Sponsorship Template” section.
» Put the correct sponsor name/company name in the areas provided. Be sure to check spelling and confirm anything of which you are unsure.
» Check to make sure that you have changed the sponsor's name for each new presentation.
» Put the name of your team in the areas provided.
» Read through the proposal to see if any other changes need to be made.
» Print out several copies of the proposal. Double-check the printed versions to insure there are no errors or misspellings.
» Place the proposal in a folder or file. Many schools have folders with their school's name and logo on them. These work great as presentation folders and help establish your professionalism.
» Be sure to incorporate your name and phone number in the proposal and cover letter so the sponsor can get back to you with questions.
IV. Prepare to Make Your Presentation
» Review the “Sample Sponsorship Presentation” section.
» Review the proposal and be ready to answer any questions
- When is payment due?
- What other businesses will be involved?
- What is the date of the game?
- How many people are expected to attend?
- Is this an important game?
» Practice your proposal a few times on a friend before you meet with a sponsor.
» Review the proposal for errors and omissions prior to each meeting.
» Always make several copies of your proposal for each meeting so if more than one person attends you will have enough.
» Keep one copy for yourself for reference during your presentation. Your goal, however, is to just hit the high points of the proposal. Don't read the proposal word for word during your presentation.
V. Making an Appointment
» It is very important that you make an appointment and present your proposal face to face.
» Let the perspective sponsor know that you will need about 30 minutes to make your presentation and answer questions. In actuality, it may only take 15 minutes but it is better to finish early than to run out of time.
» Arrive for your appointment 10 minutes early. This shows the prospective sponsor that you respect their time and are excited to present your proposal. It also allows you to visit with others in the office (i.e. secretaries, receptionists and salespeople) that may be good supporters of your proposal.
» A sample script to help you set up an appointment is provided in the “Sample Sponsorship Presentation” section.
VI. Presenting the Proposal
» Have two people make the presentation. Sponsors like to meet the people who are being supported by their sponsorship. Having two people in the meeting also allows one to fill-in areas that the other may have missed and to keep the conversation going. Prior to the meeting determine who will direct the meeting and give the presentation and who will support with details.
» When presenting your proposal remember that professionalism is very important. You should dress in business attire and use professional language.
» When first meeting a sponsor remember to introduce yourself and your co-presenter. You should also let the sponsor know your relationship within the organization you're representing (i.e. coach, parent, booster club member, team member, etc…).
» Begin by thanking the sponsor for taking the time to meet with you.
» Take a few minutes to give the sponsor some background on your program. Mention any awards you have received, how the team does academically, etc…
» Explain the sponsorship to the sponsor using the format provided in the “Sample Sponsorship Presentation” section.
» Focus on how the sponsorship will benefit the sponsor's business.
» Be enthusiastic and convey the excitement of your event.
» Don't hard sell your proposal. Remember, you are offering the sponsor something of value that is a good business decision.
» Let the sponsor ask questions and listen to what he or she has to say. If there are objections, see if you can work them out. Review the “Responses to Common Objections” section before you meet with the sponsor.
» NEVER PROMISE ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT SURE YOU CAN DELIVER.
VII. Ask for the Sponsor's Support
» Ask for the sponsor's support of the proposal. For example, "Mr./Mrs. Sponsor, can we count of your sponsorship of our team this year» We would really appreciate your support."
» Wait for the sponsor to respond before continuing.
» Answer the sponsor's questions but don't guess if you are unsure. Simply let the sponsor know that you don't have the answer and will get back to him or her once you can find out.
» If the sponsor says he/she needs time to think about it, ask if it would be convenient for you to call back in two days.
» Ask when the best time to call is and make sure you call when the sponsor indicates.
» Be sure to thank the sponsor for their time and interest in your program.
» Even if a sponsor initially says “no” they may be interested next year or may be able to offer support in other ways.