One Size Fits All

One Size Fits All

For socks, it might be a one size fits all, but it doesn’t work in the sponsorship world. To get to the point, your stock packages no longer work. They are dead. They have ceased to exist. How else can I drive this point home? Many of you are reading this and saying, “I know, I know, I know. I stopped stock packages a year ago, or five or even ten or 15 years ago. Leave me alone!” Great for you, but believe it or not, there are still organizations out there with their stock golf tournament, naming rights, and other sponsorship packages. They think if they plaster the town with these stock packages, something will stick to the wall and someone will bring in some money.

Warning: This TMC has an X rating. It is pretty sarcastic, (more than usual), to the point, and not nice, but that is how it needs to be!

Sorry, that “put out as many stock packages as possible and hope something closes” is not the money you are looking for. Sponsorship is about relationships, not transactions. I recently spoke at an event. It was not a room full of beginners. It was people who have “been in the industry” for five or more years. But they were mostly still doing stock packages. When I asked why, here are a few of their responses.

  1. I can get more offers out there than doing face-to-face meetings and customized proposals.
  2. It takes less work and I am too busy to customize.
  3. It keeps my ED off my case when I say there are 40 pitches out there.
  4. That’s what the sponsors are used to, so I give them what they expect and want.
  5. My board and volunteer committees can use them.

And here are my replies.

  1. More is not always better. It is far better to have three sponsors at $20,000 each than 25 at $2,500! The stock packages will cause more fulfilment management, higher attrition rate, and more work in the long run. Servicing three sponsors takes way less work than servicing 25! It is the relationships that matter over the long term. Or perhaps you don’t plan to be with that organization long term, so you don’t really care about that!
  2. Get off your lazy butt and do what you are paid to do. Build proposals that are customized to help sponsors make more money, so your organization can reap the financial rewards. Be a solution provider. Invest the time and effort to do your job correctly and read the response to question #1!
  3. Perhaps you need to educate your ED/CEO/Board. If they don’t understand sponsorship and the timelines for short- and long-term success, you need to educate them. If they are telling you the wrong things or have the wrong expectations, then correct them. Failure to do so is your fault for perpetuating the problem rather than being part of the solution. And if you don’t want to do it, send me an email and I would be glad to come and do it.
  4. Truly, did you ask the sponsor if that was what they truly wanted? Heck, you would have had to meet or at least have had a conversation with them. Did you really ask them if they wanted the same old proposal they have had for ten years that really does nothing to drive their business objectives? Or would they prefer that you build a customized sponsorship marketing proposal that will put more profit on their bottom line? Their response might be, “Gosh, I don’t want to make any more money, so just keep doing what we have always done.” Not likely, but I am sure you know what is best for them!
  5. Great! Let a bunch of volunteers who are already busy with their full-time jobs or in retirement who know nothing about sponsorship marketing peddle your product so you, the supposed consummate sponsorship professional, can sit back and wait for the cash to roll in. Heck, you did your job. You made those pretty stock packages for them. Let them go sell—yikes!

If you want to sell one-size-fits-all products, go work for a company that sells socks!

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  1. Bravo!
    ….and if you think about it, one size doesn’t even fit for socks any more!

    • Rick… LOL… you are so right… one size probably no longer even applies to socks!! Thanks for the feedback and for reading. I appreciate it!

  2. Brutal honesty…Love it! Thank you Brent!

    • Gwen… thank YOU! Thanks for reading and the feedback. Glad you (and you seem to be in the clear majority) loved the brutal honesty! Have a great rest of the week!

  3. Well done,sir!
    I have been involved with several non-profits and charities and to be honest, MOST of them still use this approach… urghh! SO many orgs are still so scared of change! The struggle is real! Thanks Brent and big fan of the TMC!

    • Josh,
      Thanks so much for the thoughts and also the very kind words. I know… it is so frustrating when they just don’t get it!! Hope to see you at some point when I am back in Ontario. Have a great rest of the summer!


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