How to Deal with Rejection when Selling Sponsorships
Just like anyone selling anything, you are going to experience rejection when trying to land sponsors for your podcast, blog, or event. Rejection is just a part of the process, no matter what you are selling.
Often you will get more rejections than you will get successful sales, and that’s okay. Just because you are rejected by one company, doesn’t mean the next company will be the same. How you deal with rejection when selling sponsorships will often determine how successful you will be. In fact, the most successful sales people are the ones that can handle rejection and push through it no matter what.
If you’re new to selling sponsorships, or sales in general, receiving rejections can be discouraging. You may even think that you should just give up. However, I’m here to tell you that no matter what, you can be successful at landing sponsorships. It all comes down to how you handle rejection. The following will help you deal with the rejection and improve your methods so you can turn that no into a yes in no time.
1. It’s Not Personal
Remember, first and foremost, sponsorship rejection is not personal. Whether your sale is successful or not has absolutely nothing to do with you as a person. Whether you sell a sponsorship or not does not determine how successful you are in life and what people you care about think of you.
In the end, it often comes down to business. Does the sponsorship make sense for the business you are pitching to at that particular moment? Is what you are offering that company worth it to them? Is the timing right for them to invest in sponsorships? There are so many reasons why a company may say no, so you can’t take that no as a reflection of who you are as a person.
2. Anticipate the Rejection
Now I’m not saying that you always need to walk in or open a conversation assuming the worst. After all, there is no reason to be negative about what you are doing. If you are, I guarantee that you will experience rejection over and over again. Rejection is quite common when selling anything, so be prepared to receive a little of it and don’t let it discourage you.
At the same time, be passionate about your sponsorship and your product or service. Demonstrate clearly to the companies what you are offering and do your best to make investing in a sponsorship a no brainer for them. Rise above that threat of rejection but still be mentally prepared for it, because it will happen.
3. Ask for Feedback, and Use It
When/If you do receive rejection, don’t let that be the end of the conversation. Ask them if they’d be willing to share why they said no to your sponsorship. Maybe your offer isn’t compelling enough for them to consider it? Maybe they didn’t have the budget? Or maybe the timing was just bad? There are lots of factors at play when trying to get paying sponsors.
Whatever the reason, try your best to discover it. Take that feedback with you and learn from it. Use it to improve your sales pitch and some of the benefits of the sponsorship you offer. With just a few tweaks you could turn someone saying “no” into a “yes”.
4. Remember It May Not Be You
Sometimes it doesn’t matter how good your product or service is or how great the sponsorship opportunity that you’re offering is: The answer will still be no. There are many reasons for this and they can be completely out of your control.
The company may not be prepared to invest extra dollars into opportunities like this at the present time. They may simply not want to invest in this type of marketing proposal at all. Maybe they have already invested their marketing budget in other areas by the time you approach them. Whatever the reason, they might not tell you. Realize that a yes or a no has nothing to do with you, but with where that company is when you reach out to them.
5. Keep Communication Lines Open
So many people think a “no” represents a closed door that can never be opened again. But who said there was a lock put on that door? No one. Keep the communication lines open and work to build a strong relationship with the company that said no.
As you improve your products and your sponsorships, let them know about the changes. Check in periodically with them and try to gauge if they would be more open to a sponsorship opportunity. Remember, don’t be a pest, but slowly build and nurture that relationship and you could transform a no into a yes.
6. Never Give Up
A truly successful salesmen never gives up, never quits and continues to push forward regardless of the roadblocks thrown in their path. The same goes for you when you sell sponsorships. You will get more rejections than you can count if you do it for any length of time, so you must always strive for success despite the adversity.
I guarantee you that if you continue to reach out to companies, you will begin to see success despite some rejections and, in the end, you will accomplish your sponsorship goals no matter how many rejections you receive.
Rejection can be tough, especially for anyone new to selling. Selling sponsorships is no different and can a tough sell. However, by following the steps above you can properly deal with rejection so you can turn yourself into a successful sponsorship-selling-machine.
Remember, rejection doesn’t define who you are or even the quality of the product or service you are trying to sell a sponsorship for. Don’t give up and make sure to work diligently to improve your pitch and your end product. Those no’s will transform into yes’s sooner than you think.