Salespeople versus Solution Providers

Salespeople versus Solution Providers

Last month (actually May 26 and you can find the article in our TMC Archives)  I wrote about the difference between advertising and sponsorship. I had a great deal of feedback. Two key areas of query were “Do different types of people sell sponsorship versus advertising” and “Is there a difference between sponsorship and partnerships?” I will address the first one this week and the second one next week.

There is a difference between people who sell advertising and those who sell sponsorship. Great advertising sales reps build campaigns over the short and long term that sell products and require “flighted time.” Most of these reps have up to a hundred accounts. Some will be small accounts that buy two TV, three radio, or five print campaigns a year during their sale times. The messages are focused on product and price, and are time limited. And they are selling a specific product like OOH, radio, or TV, etc.

Sponsorship salespeople, though, are typically looking at a more holistic program that may include advertising, PR, GR, brand awareness, and employee engagement, and perhaps some philanthropic alignment of community investment perspective. It is about knowing the client and all their business goals and objectives in detail versus knowledge of a single ad campaign. And it is typically for much larger dollars with fewer clients.

I remember when I was selling sponsorships for the Calgary Flames Radio broadcasts. I had about ten clients in the broadcast each season with revenues totaling between $750,000 and $1 million. A good friend of mine also sold at the station, but sold regular radio advertising. He sold about the same each year as I did, but his was amassed through 110-130 clients. Do the math. My average sponsor was about $85,000 per year. His was $8,000. He had good relationships, but they were not as deep as mine. When he lost a client, it was easier to replace. His sales cycle to take on a new advertiser was about four weeks. Mine was about 12 months. His job was to sell a product (airtime for the upcoming sale or event). Mine was to provide overall business solutions (driving retail traffic, government relations positioning, employee engagement, or brand building all combined). He was an advertising salesperson. I was, and still am, a business solutions provider.

I like the line, “Salespeople look at their watches. Solution providers look at the calendar!”

For insights, feedback, and tips on managing your sponsorship program during COVID-19, during the recovery period, and post-COVID-19, check out our videos page on the Partnership Group – Sponsorship Specialists® website. There are several short clips, some longer ones, and full-blown webinars on COVID-19 and your sponsorship programs. Access is 100% free.

Please continue to practice social distancing, stay home when you can, stay in touch with others, and stay healthy.

© 2020 All rights reserved.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This