You feel great! The prospective sponsor had time to meet with you, was responsive, said they want to be involved, but they couldn’t sign an agreement today for any of a range of reasons. Three weeks later it appears they have dropped off the face of the earth.
We do have options at this point. Those options are Closing Tools.
Closing Tools are actual, non-judgmental deadlines that allows us to remind them to send back the commitment form without suggesting they are delaying, or procrastinating, or just plain being a flake.
Here are some Closing Tool email wordings I’ve used:
“I know you have to get approval from upstairs, but we don’t want you to miss an opportunity to let our mailing list know you support our project. We will be sending out a newsletter/reminder/email soon to promote the event and we’ll be including all sponsors signed up as of this Friday. If you can get your signed agreement to us by Friday, and a digital version of your logo, we can still get you into the publication. I will attach a copy of the agreement for your convenience.”
“Just checking in because our early, save-the-date publicity is being prepped for distribution and we didn’t want you to miss recognition in this series of early publicity notices to all our mailing list and the general public. If you can get your signed agreement to us by Friday, and a digital version of your logo, we can still get you into these publications. I will attach a copy of the agreement for your convenience.”
The key phrase here is “attach a copy…for your convenience.”
If they have to stop and look for their copy, you will get little, if any, response.
In truth, most of our key contacts in community sponsorship development don’t deal with sponsorships as a major part of their job description. We are an extra, added obligation on top of bringing in new clients and customers, managing PR and marketing, managing staff, keeping the facility customer-ready, the computers running smoothly and the boss smiling.
The easier we can make it on them, the more support we will get.
The other thing to remember is that repeated reminders that they haven’t responded implies delay on their part. It’s more graceful and face-saving for them if we can tie our reminder to an external deadline ‘hook’ that they might appreciate. It puts us on their team, looking out for their interests – while we also look out for our own.
Closing Tool opportunities you might want to consider
- We will be holding our volunteer recruitment meetings and will be recognizing sponsors there….
- We just negotiated additional advertising via [channel] and production starts next week…
- We have a Board Meeting next week and want to be able to tell our Board Members….
- We will be making a presentation to the City Council in 10 days and will be announcing all our Lead Sponsors there. We want to include you…
- We will be mailing individual invitations to Elected Officials and select Civic Leaders and we want to include you…..
What’s in your Closing Tool Box?