Why You Don't Have Sponsors

Why You Don't Have Sponsors

By Beverly Terrill (c)

You don't want them. "Of course I do!" you say. But here are 10 things that beg to differ with those who insist they really do want sponsors.

1. Fear of Rejection
We all have a fear of rejection. Even the best salesman has some fear of rejection. It can be obvious or it can be subconscious but we all have that particular fear. To get sponsors you have to get beyond that. How? Its a numbers game. So the more no's you get the more yeses you'll get. Don't look at it as rejection. Look at it as a practice session. Work on your proposal and/or your pitch and do it again. Another method is don't take no as the answer. Leave the door open for yourself. Let the prospect know that even though he doesn't want to begin the relationship today, you will keep them in mind the next time you have an opening for a new sponsor.

2. Too much talk, too little action
Nothing happens without action. That's it......STOP planning, START doing something. TODAY, write a proposal. TODAY, look in the phone book and choose 10 businesses to visit. Do it right now. Create momentum by action. Have you ever noticed that once you get into the race whether it's circle track, drag racing whatever, when one good thing happens, you get on a roll or in the zone and things get smoother until there it is....the win! Everytime you have a negative thought about sponsorship, use it as a trigger to do something. Don't talk about it anymore unless you are talking to someone who can further your cause. If your significant other is supportive then work together today to get something accomplished. If your significant other says you are wasting your time, don't discuss it anymore, just do it on your own.

3. Don't know how to ask or what to ask for
This is really all reasons rolled into one. Many of us are not sales people. I have been described as the nicest person ever but I could not sell a life preserver to a drowning man. I don't have it in me to ask for anything. But you have to stop and realize this is a partnership. You aren't asking for money( or whatever), you are offering an opportunity for a business to advertise in an exciting and innovative way! The other question is always, what do I ask for? This is a good question and it varies based on 2 things; what do you need that the business can provide and what does the business need that you can provide. There's your answer!

4. Don't want a boss
I'm not sure that you even realize this is the reason. For most of us that race, we are the mechanic, the body man, the gas man and the money man. Your crew is working for you. YOU are in essence "The Boss". When you have a sponsor, you feel like you lose some control of the team. Now, you have to take the car to the car show to make the sponsor happy, you have to win to make the sponsor happy. You keep the car shiny and the uniforms pressed so the sponsor will notice. But now look back at those statements. Is there anything that you would have done differently without a sponsor? I say no! All these things are done by anyone who is proud of his equipment and his team. A sponsor is an added bonus not a chain around your ankle. With a sponsor, you don't have to worry about the funds to race next week, I don't know anyone who wouldn't race better with the ability to concentrate on driving more.

5. Don't have anything to offer
Some racers feel like they have to be perfect before going to a sponsor. When will that happen? We know of an entire race team that rarely posts a win at the track. They have a car that is covered every season by sponsors. Granted the owner puts 20 hours a week in the off season to create the relationships but there are so many opportunities besides winning a race to get sponsor recognized on and off the track. (Fighting in the pits is NOT one of them)

6. Don't care about the sponsors business
You cannot expect a sponsor to give 2 cents to a team that doesn't know what his business is or what it needs. And who doesn't agree with that logic? If you want a sponsor, you better school yourself in business. Find out what they need and fill a void.

7. Your sales pitch sucks
This goes hand in hand with not caring about sponsors. If you walk into a meeting and know everything about racing that has gone on for the last 20 years, You know how awesome the new engine is and how kickass a season you are going to have but you don't have the first clue about this companies advertising needs, their marketing strategy, you will never get a sponsorship from them. You walk away wondering where exactly did you lose them?

8. Too Busy
If this is your reason, you either don't want it or you simply don't need it. There is something called the 80/20 rule. This says that 20% of your efforts will produce 80% of the results. You may have your focus in the wrong area. Or you may actually be so busy that you have to hand the job of getting sponsorship to one of you team members or your spouse. If you want to keep busy with racing, you have to make time to get sponsors.

9. Don't know where to look
This is #1 lame excuse. They are all around you. They are the sponsors that you have already seen at the track. They are the businesses that you frequent every day. As a matter of fact there is a book of them and the book is free! It's your local yellow pages. You have body shops, engine shops, parts stores and suppliers. There are landscaping companies and grocery stores. How about hair salons and tanning salons? The McDonalds or the local cafe or coffee house. The state of WV tourism sponsors a drag car on the pro circuit. It could be any business that needs customers...that is a lot of potential sponsors!

10. You ignored last years sponsors
There is no excuse for this and again maybe you didn't even realize you were doing it. But if your sponsors didn't renew, you need to take a good hard look at last year. Did you deliver on the promises made in your proposal? Was your sponsor informed of all you activities good and bad? What could you have done to save this relationship? Did you approach them in time to be in the next year's company budget? Every salesman knows your best prospect list is your current list of customers. You should go into the next year with all your current sponsors PLUS the new ones. Don't assume status quo with the current sponsors, ask for more. Show them what a great partnership they have landed with your team and why this year will be even better than the last. Whatever you do, don't let your sponsors slip away!