Performance & Race Driving Tip
Speed Secret: Be politely persistent.
Early in my racing career, when every race depended on just how much sponsorship support I could put together, I would approach a company that I felt fit perfectly with my program. I had done my research and learned all about the company’s marketing budget, its target customers, and who the decision-maker was. I felt prepared, put together the materials to back up my sales pitch, and set a meeting with the decision-maker. After a positive-feeling hour-long meeting, I felt there was a good chance I’d landed a solid sponsor .
The next day I followed up with a phone call and was told “no.” After some discussion in which I learned the reasons for the negative answer, I asked if I could stay in touch and was told “yes.”
Over the next two years, I followed up with Mr. Decision-Maker, only to be told “no” each time. But finally, finally… I got a “yes.” I was ecstatic. Not just because I had a sponsor, but because I was right about there being a fit, and all my effort had paid off.
What I remember most, though, was the comment from Mr. Decision-Maker. After signing a contract with him, he put his hand on my shoulder and said, “The main reason for sponsoring you is because you’re politely persistent. That’s a good quality – one that fits well with our company.”
I’ll never forget that phrase: politely persistent. I’m sure if I’d been a pest to Mr. Decision-Maker, he’d never had said “yes.” And, of course, if I’d given up and not been persistent, I wouldn’t have gotten the answer I wanted, either.
My advice to anyone looking for sponsorship is to be politely persistent.
P.S. – If you’re looking for advice, guidance and coaching to help you attract sponsorship for your racing program, I highly recommend Brian Bonner’s PSST! (Personalized Sponsorship Sales Training) program. Learn more at Bonner Race Marketing.
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