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How to meet and close your business sponsor

May 13, 2011

Meeting your potential sponsor is the last step to ensuring a sponsorship deal. Have you researched your sponsor? Do you know why sponsorship will be good for the business? Have you thought about what you can offer your sponsor?

If not, you might want to review our previous articles on why sponsorship is good for business, where to find a sponsor and how to approach them.

Let’s imagine you’ve reached the meeting stage. What do you do now? What do you talk about?

If this meeting were a relationship, this would be the first date. To get a second date (ie, the sponsorship deal!) you need to seem attractive, likeable and well-presented. You need to offer something that this business wants. What can you offer?

Can you take along any photos, documents, proof of your cause and what you could offer a business? A short Powerpoint presentation might work well for you here, or a link to your website. A letter from your university on headed paper will come across very well. You could also take along some of the leaflets about yourself you made to encourage donations. Click here for a free sample leaflet.

You could also think about this meeting like closing a business deal. You are offering a product (yourself!) to a business and need that product to seem so attractive to the sponsor that they cannot refuse. You need to be good value for money and come across as reliable and trustworthy. This business person is probably well-skilled at negotiation and they will admire your negotiation skills too.

Tailor your presentation to the style of the company. If the company is formal and traditional, bring them a presentation which follows a formal boardroom style.

If this company values innovation, make your presentation innovative! The Royal Ballet once secured a sponsorship deal by presenting a fifteen minute ballet performance about the sponsorship process!

Whatever happens in this meeting, you will want to record the outcome. Call the company in advance and ask if they will provide somebody to record the minutes, or if you should bring someone for that purpose.

You can then focus on presenting yourself while somebody else notes down the responses and actions following.

Don’t be alarmed if the decision after your meeting. He or she may need to consult their accountant, tax advisor or lawyer first. Do however be sure to follow up with a phone call if you haven’t heard anything after a week.

Good luck! With a bit of time and effort, getting a business to sponsor you through your studies may prove one of the best decisions you ever made.

Free Degrees has a whole chapter on business sponsorship for students. You can also find our other free articles on sponsorship here.

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