The Glass is Half Full

The Glass is Half Full

Do you say or hear, “Oh, we can’t do that” or “We are not allowed to sell the best assets”? Working with both small and large properties, I often hear complaints that the “inventory of assets” has been culled and “all the good stuff is gone.” We are working daily with charities, non-profits, municipalities, arts organizations, post-secondary education institutions, professional and amateur sport organizations, and others. We help them build a comprehensive list of saleable sponsorship asserts. Typically, that list includes over 500 unique assets when all is said and done, and the list is “culled and approved.” So there is lots to sell.

But I find that people want more. Instead of looking at what they have available to sell and finding prospects who benefit from buying those assets, they complain that they don’t have the products they need. That is hogwash. You have a comprehensive list of saleable assets that will deliver results for sponsors. Stop complaining about the glass being half empty or dreaming about the green grass on the other side, and play the hand you are dealt.

Too often, people look for excuses to justify their lack of success. They claim they cannot meet budget because they don’t have the assets. If your inventory of assets has been professionally valued and qualified metrics have been used to set realistic revenue goals based on the available assets, you have no excuse but your own failure to sell the product correctly. Better yet, you are probably out trying to flog sponsorship packages versus custom building sponsorship programs that provide solutions to the sponsors’ corporate concerns. I recently saw the demise of an organization as a result of this and they blamed outside factors versus looking in the mirror.

If you are a solution provider, versus a package pitcher or order taker, you will be successful. Your existing assets will work. If you truly understand your prospect, you may well have to build some new assets, but that is plausible if the revenue is likely. Over 25 years ago, when I was still learning the ropes selling professional hockey broadcast sponsorships, I learned the lesson very well. We had an NHL team that couldn’t win. In fact, it was hard even to give away tickets with $5 bills attached to them! We had a radio broadcast station that that no one listened to—game or no game. And we were selling “spots in the game” at three times what the #1 station in the market was selling its slots for in the morning drive. I learned that, when you build relationships, when you build programs with the assets that you have specifically for each partner, and you build programs that deliver measurable results, the sponsors buy your product. It took a few years, but I built my list from the ground up and was eventually selling over $1 million a year in revenue. Look at the glass as half full, Build programs with what you have available that will help sponsors make money and you will be successful.

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