Saturday

Client Focused Presentations


Photo credit Engin Erdogan

Client Focused Presentations
by Beverly Terrill (c)

As a Payroll and Human Resource professional for over 20 years, I have done many presentations. I have presented to my internal associates (co-workers), my client’s company executives, the employees of my clients and everyone in-between. For me it’s exhilarating and gets my adrenalin flowing!

About 10 years ago, which was well into my career, I took a 2-day training called “Presenting and Persuading”. Wow! I learned some very valuable lessons. Today I want to talk about the number 1 lesson that I learned and how it will help you to present in a whole new way.

When you read materials on presentations, most revolve around how to use the software, what size font, voice inflection etc. And these are all techniques to consider when preparing your presentation. But when I talk about presenting, I am referring to the actual meeting when you are in front of your client (or for you, your potential sponsor).

What was the eye opening, game-changing lesson?

Present what your client wants to hear, not what you want him to know!

This sounds so simple. When I used to create presentations, I would put my bullet points on the screen and have my notes in hand. These bullet points were all the things that I wanted my client to know. How great my product is, how it works, how excited I am that they are coming on board. Sound familiar? I would dwell on what I want the client to know not what my client wants to know. Do you know what happened then? The client sat thru an hour presentation and then had an hour of questions for me. What a waste of a good hour!

Now, you may already have a presentation that is fabulous. The good news is, you don’t have to change your presentation, but HOW you present.

So how do you do this? Here are my tips:
  1. Don’t dwell on how happy you are to be there and have this opportunity. There is a time and place for that - but make it a sentence not a topic. If you were about to spend 50K on a car, do you want the salesman going on about how happy he is that you chose his lot, instead of the one next door?
  2. Put yourself in your client’s shoes. What are his concerns? You can talk about trends etc. but what does that really mean? Trends are a look at the past and sometimes predict the future, but what are the client’s expectations? Don’t just say here are the trends. but ask him how that stacks up to what he has seen and heard. 
  3. Be clear and to the point. By this I mean don’t drag out a topic that should be easily explained. Don’t go on about how much tires cost these days and don’t make excuses for why they cost so much. Your client doesn’t care. Tell him how much you need to go promote his company – which just happens to include tires.
  4. Bring a couple folks with you. You don’t want someone who just reads the slides but he or she must understand the message. This helps in multiple ways – first – what if you get there and can’t talk for whatever reason. But also you have a teammate who can assess what’s going on around you. He will have more time to think about the question while you are answering. So he might say, ‘let me just add to that comment’. 
  5. Present what you know about the company. This is a great way to let your client know you have done your research but also give him a chance to talk about something HE loves to talk about.
Just a couple of general rules for presenting that you have heard a million times but, bears repeating.

Be prepared - We all tend to ramble and lose our place if we haven’t done it a hundred times already. It cuts down on nervousness too.

Record yourself - In the course I mentioned at the beginning of this article, they videotaped us and our instructor counted the number of times we used a word or phrase. For instance, how many umms. My no-no phrase was ‘And so’. These things become annoying and can detract from the message. You can avoid this by having someone critique you while you are practicing and remove any offending words from your vocabulary.

And remember, always present what your audience wants to hear, not what you want them to know!

Best of luck on your sponsorship goals!!

Tuesday

Double Your Racing Sponsorship



Double Your Racing Sponsorship

By Don Terrill (c) RacingSecrets.com

If you do any one of the following three things you're guaranteed to have more team funding.

I'm going to list them in the order of hardest to easiest.

(1) Double the number of prospects you meet

When my dad would talk about meeting women he always said it was nothing but a numbers game -- meet more women, find better women. Probably the best advice he ever gave me. I used it and met my wife Beverly -- the nicest person I've ever known. I've heard more than once how I got lucky.

It wasn't luck.

So, take the luck out of your sponsorship search and meet more prospects. No matter how good you are, you haven't met them all.

(2) Double the number of prospects you close

Easier than doubling the number of prospects you meet is just doubling the number of prospects you close. Work first on creating a better offer with a focus on the sponsor's return on investment, then polish your sales/presentation skills to create a killer combination.

(3) Double what your current sponsors give each year

If you know anything about sales you know that the easiest (most affordable to acquire) sales come from past customers. Work on improving revenue for your current sponsor's business and you'll give yourself a basis to ask for a larger sponsorship deal.

Any of the three will help you with team funding, but you're a racer, I know you, you'll want to do all three.

Wednesday

Social Media and Sponsors



Social Media and Sponsors
By Don Terrill (c) - www.RacingSecrets.com

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are three services you must add to your sponsorship efforts.

Facebook
  • Register.
  • Create your profile.
  • Invite friends.
  • Invite business contacts.
  • Go easy on the security settings.
  • Set up a custom URL.
  • Upload photos.
  • Create a sponsorship page.
  • Post weekly updates
  • Post your Facebook URL everywhere.
Twitter
  • Register.
  • Adjust Settings.
  • Add More Info URL.
  • Add One Line Bio.
  • Create your own background design.
  • If you have a smart phone, post updates from the track.
  • Post your Twitter URL everywhere.
YouTube
  • Register.
  • Create your profile.
  • Upload racing videos.
  • Upload video plugs for your sponsors.
  • Post your YouTube URL everywhere.
Use the same profile photo for each service for a more professional look.

Friday

How-To Beat the Recession

By Milt Gedo - www.sponsorship-101.com

Open any newspaper or turn on any television news program, and you’ll hear the word “recession” or even “depression” thrown around, along with all the necessary hand-wringing that goes with it. I’m not a financial guru (as my accountant will attest), so I don’t really know if the U.S. economy is in recession, depression or just a slow-down, but I do know one thing: Corporate America will always have the need to sell and market their wares effectively and efficiently, and motorsports marketing remains one of the best methods to achieve results.

If you’ve read my columns for the last 12-18 months or so, you know that I’ve been preaching the decline of “traditional marketing” (i.e. newspapers, magazines and television) in favor of “consumer driven” marketing, such as mobile marketing and event marketing. I recently saw the results of a survey that demonstrates this trend. The survey was conducted by Gfk Roper September 11 through October 10 of this year, and asked adults (18 and older), “What do you do during TV commercials?” The findings are interesting:

-52% of respondents claim they “Talk to others without paying attention to the commercials”
-51% responded they “Get up and do something else before the show comes back on”
-44% replied they “Switch to another channel”
-43% of respondents “Fast-forward through the commercials while using a DVR”
-26% of respondents said they “Turn the sound down on the TV or mute it”

Here’s the most important finding of all:

-Only 13% of respondents stated they “Sit and watch the commercials”

If you were the VP of Marketing for a company, and were responsible for spending your advertising budget in the most effective and cost-efficient way, how would the findings above make you feel about television advertising? Technology and consumer mind-set is changing the way companies look at advertising.

At a race event, the commercials are the race cars! When a fan watches a race, either in person or on television, they’re not going to “talk to another person to avoid seeing the sponsors”, “get up and do something else”, “switch to another channel”, “fast-forward through the race”, and no REAL race fan will ever turn the volume down or mute it! For fans who attend a race event, even walking through the Manufacturer’s Midway is not considered commercials “to be avoided”. The Midway at most motorsports events is more like a carnival, where fans can buy merchandise, get autographs and have a good time… all the while being bombarded with marketing messages. As I’ve mentioned, motorsports is the “original mobile marketing” venue, and remains the best value in marketing today.

So how can this information help you, the sponsor-seeking racer? Clearly, as corporate America tightens its belt, every dollar spent will be closely scrutinized… including advertising budgets. I believe the trend of spending less in traditional advertising and shifting those funds towards mobile or event marketing will continue and even pick up speed. Every serious race team should be prepared to capitalize on this trend.

When you sit down to create the list of actions your race team can offer a potential sponsor (Step one of my proven Six-Step program), you should include a heavy bias towards mobile and event marketing. Sportsman race teams are at a real advantage here, because you can offer a lot of these actions at a fraction of the costs of a Professional team. True, a Sportsman team can’t offer the same exposure at a race event as a Professional team (Television coverage, preferred parking in the pits, hospitality opportunities, etc.), but once you’re away from the track, the playing field is leveled.

In these tough economic times, the lesson is: Companies will always have the need to sell and market their products, and savvy racers/race teams know how to capitalize on this fact. Take advantage of the shifting market trends, and GET SPONSORED!

More tips from Milt...

Tuesday

New Sponsors? It's a Numbers Game


photo by Mulsanne

New Sponsors? It's a Numbers Game
By Don Terrill (c) - www.RacingSecrets.com

It's a numbers game my father told me - to find a great woman you just need to meet more women.

Well, what about sponsors?

The Formula:


Number of new sponsors = (Number of prospects you contact) x (Percentage of contacted prospects you close)

So, to get more sponsors you need to contact more prospects and/or increase your closing rate.

The closing rate is going to be dictated by your skills and economic conditions. Now, you can't do anything about the overall economy or a business's financial position, but you can improve your skills by...
  • Educating Yourself - Read every sponsorship book you can get your hands on. You only need to get one good idea for a book to be worth it.
  • Role Playing - Get your family members to play potential sponsors so you can work on your pitch. This should also help your confidence when you do the real thing.
  • Becoming a Veteran - No shortcut here, the more experience you have in searching for sponsors the better you'll be.
As you can see, one of the ways to improve your closing skills is to make more closing attempts. How do you make more closing attempts? You contact more prospects.

In the end it really does come down to how many prospects you contact - (1) by directly increasing your odds and (2) by helping improve your closing skills through practice.

So, did I take my dad's advice on women? You bet, the best thing I ever did.