“Don’t put all your pricing options in one document.”
I’ve heard it from sponsorship presenters at every workshop or conference.
I’ve learned several advantages of putting each level on a separate document, but a recent coaching project gave me the opportunity to hear – from a sponsor – another important reason.
The project was to update a sponsorship program, doubling the revenue it produced, and coach the client in selling at the higher levels.
When I walked the client through the Sponsorship Prospectus and Offers that met the financial goals, the response was buoyant. He was thrilled. When he got to the bottom line of what he was going to ask his sponsors to contribute, the atmosphere in the room deflated faster than a pin takes down a balloon.
We decided to do some market research and see if, as he worried, the fees were too high.
We picked a long-time sponsor who had personally invested time in the program in the past, knew his company thoroughly, and was well connected with local business people.
The VP, flipped quickly through the sheets, and had the same initial reaction: “Wow. This is double what you’ve been asking.”
I got an “I Told You So” glance from the client, but I gently pointed out that all the tickets that used to be purchased separately were included in this new program, and there were some additional marketing opportunities.
The VP asked to have a minute to read thoroughly. Silence reigned – interrupted by a few questions.
“This is good,” he said, pushing the top level sheet across the table. “I can do this. It’s more than we’ve done before…but we’re getting more…and everyone knows prices go up. I can sell this upstream. And the best thing is that each level is on one sheet.”
I asked why he liked just one sheet.
He explained that the top level worked for his department budget, but it was at a price that required sign-off.
With each level on one page, he could send his recommended level for sign-off, showing the ‘upstairs folks’ what they were getting without risking them pointing to a lower level ‘for budget reasons.’ If they told him it was too rich for them, he could step back, but it made his recommendation stronger to have his preferred level stand alone.
Twenty years ago, most of the individuals I talked to were the people who would sign the sponsorship check, in ink! Today, with mergers, consolidations, and business buy-outs, I rarely talk to someone who doesn’t have to ‘sell’ the sponsorship to bosses, management teams, vice presidents, or CEO’s.
A single option to recommend upstream gives our contacts a stronger pitch to the bosses.