Have you decided you’re ready to start sponsoring events so you can more easily reach your ideal clients and make more money in your business?
As with any business strategy, sponsoring done well can catapult your business and your income; done poorly, it can put you out of business. Just the other day I heard someone say he had invested $15,000 in a recent sponsorship and did not see a return on his investment. Most business owners can’t absorb losses like that for long!
So today, I’d like to share with you 5 mistakes I see a lot of business owners making with their sponsorships. Any one of these mistakes can make the difference between a profitable sponsorship or a total loss!
Mistake #1: “If I build it, they will come” Approach
You’ve identified your sponsorship, paid for it, planned your booth, and arrived at the event. Now you can relax at your booth and wait for people to come buy your products and services. WRONG! The choosing, paying, and planning your booth are just the beginning. Now you’ve got to be the expert at what you do, ask people intelligent questions, and allow them to decide whether you can help them solve their problem! I am constantly amazed by how many people I see making this mistake. And I guarantee you their sponsorship results reflect their approach!
Mistake #2: Acting Like Everyone Else
I’ve seen sponsors at events attend the participant sessions and share all their business problems in front of the very people who might be visiting their booth. I even witnessed one complaining about how things were going at their sponsor booth in front of the entire event audience! Remember why you are at the event, and behave accordingly. Acting like every other attendee is a huge mistake. You’ve invested in the sponsorship and claimed your spot as an expert. Don’t blow it by forgetting why you are there!
Mistake #3: Going “Solo”
Too many sponsors lose valuable opportunities at events because they don’t have someone assisting them at their booth. People tend to come to the sponsor area in short concentrated spurts, and there will be times when there are simply too many people at your booth for you to speak to each one of them. This is not a place to try to cut costs in your sponsorships. Have a well-trained assistant or client with you and make sure they know why you are at the event and what their role is!
Mistake #4: “Not Showing Up”
This can happen in a number of ways. The most obvious is when a sponsor is literally not at their booth when people are in the sponsor area. But there are more subtle ways as well. I’ve seen sponsors on their cell phones and laptops during designated exhibit times. Or who look more like they’re on break than working. Or hiding behind their booth or table instead of being out in front connecting with people. The gold in sponsoring is in the connections you make and the conversations you have with event participants. Be fully present when you are at your booth!
Mistake #5: “Taking a Vacation” after Your Sponsorship
People who attend events are in a peak state of consciousness and are most likely to invest in themselves at or immediately after an event. I’ve seen too many people (including myself when I first started sponsoring!) make miss out on opportunities by either literally or figuratively “vacationing” immediately after an event they sponsor. Most of the sales you make will either be on-site at the event or in the week or two following the event. But you can’t make them if you’re not working or working on something other than your follow-ups!
Sponsoring and speaking at events can be an incredible vehicle for expanding your business impact and income. Avoiding the mistakes above will make that vehicle run much smoother!
Ready to multiply your impact and income by sponsoring and speaking, but don’t want to “reinvent the wheel” and lose money along the way? Apply for a conversation with Debbie and see if she can help!
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