Responses to Common Objections

There are four general types of objections that you may encounter when selling your sponsorship. Although, the specific objections may be different from case to case they will probably fall into one of the categories listed below. By understanding the reasoning behind a sponsor's objections you will be better prepared to clarify the benefits your sponsorship provides. Remember, objections are not “no” they are simply a request for more information.

I. Sponsor does not see the value of sponsorship to his/her business

Examples of common objections:
• We don't sponsor events.
• We already get all the business we need from the school/organization.
• We already advertise to that market.

Response to these types of objections:

Do you advertise your business? What types of advertising do you do?

Allow the sponsor to answer and listen carefully. Customize your response accordingly. A sample response follows:

Sponsorship is not advertising. Advertising just sits there while sponsorship helps create a bond between the sponsor and the home crowd.

Sponsorship allows you to target customers in a unique way that is different from advertising. It is much more powerful because it not only creates awareness of your product or service but it also creates customer loyalty. This sponsorship will provide your business with the opportunity to target the (name of school/organization) community including: students, parents, fans, teacher and administrators who will appreciate your support and will remember your business when they are looking for your (product/service). Would these benefits be valuable to your business?

II. Sponsor does not want to make a decision right now

Examples of common objections:
• I can't give you a decision until we finalize the budget in two months.
• Call me again when the event is closer.
• When is the latest I can give you a decision.
• Let me get back to you in a little while.

Response to these types of objections:

I wish we had more time to wait, but unfortunately we don't have much time. There are many activities that need to be coordinated in order to give your business as much exposure as possible. Could you make your decision by the end of the week? If you can make your decision now we can always wait for the payment until (give a date prior to when you will need to order the CheerStix™).

III. Sponsor can't afford the sponsorship

Examples of common objections:
• We don't have a budget for sponsorships.
• Business has been slow and it's not a good time for us to commit to something like this.
• I'd like to help you out but I just can't afford it right now.

Response to these types of objections:

I understand. It is never easy running a business. Cash flow is crucial to a small business and I wouldn't want you to do anything that wouldn't bring in more than you put out. I came here today because I really believe we have a way to help you drive in new business. Your business has a fine reputation in our community and I wanted to give you the opportunity to reach our fans and let them get to know you not just as a local business, but as a supporter and a part of our team. This IS a good opportunity for you, but if you feel you can't afford it at this time I can understand. I wish there was a way for me to help you take advantage of this great opportunity. (Pause and let that last phrase hang out there for a moment….The trick here is to make the buyer feel as if not having money for this program is a bad business decision. Small business owners always have ways of coming up with cash. It is the essence of running a business. Most of the time potential sponsors will tell you they don't have the money because they are too nice to tell you what they are really thinking. You need to sympathize with the struggles of running a business and try to get at the real reason they aren't buying. Your sincerity and belief in the program to bring in new business for the sponsor is the key to overcoming this objection. If they really think that sponsoring your squad will bring in new business, trust me, they will buy.)

IV. Sponsor views sponsorship as a donation

Examples of common objections:
• We get ten calls a day from organizations wanting us to donate.
• We've donated all we can for this month.
• All donations must be submitted to our corporate offices in Wahoo, Nebraska.

Response to these types of objections:

Sponsorship is not a donation. I am offering you the opportunity to market your products/services to the (name of school or organization) community and to build your business. Do you advertise your business? (Wait for sponsor's response). This sponsorship will provide your business with a unique way to market its products/services and help drive in new business. In addition to the exposure your company will receive you will also be associating your business with our team. This will differentiate your business from your competitors to our fans. Is there a way this sponsorship can be directed against your advertising budget?