My partner and I decided to take up tennis this summer. We’d both played in high school, then again later in our adult lives, but hadn't picked up rackets in 20 years. The summer of 2017 has broken that dryspell, and it feels great to be out on the courts again.
As you can imagine, I’m a little rusty (and sore!), so I took a lesson on Saturday morning. I learned that one of the reasons I’ve been feeling sore is poor form. I had too tight a grip and no follow through.
When I focused and leveraged the power of good form — from the ready position and initial strike of the ball to a strong follow through and recovery — I not only felt no pain but also I crushed it. I could feel my powerful forehand returning and began hitting shots exactly where I intended.
What does this have to do with sponsorship?
How’s your follow through? Are you proactively taking the steps necessary, from beginning to end, to complete sales and move your prospects to the next step, with recovery time in between? Or fizzling out before this important step?
A client I worked with is remarkable at initiating relationships. She gets right in to key decision makers and has great, productive conversations that lead to proposals. But then nothing. Closing the sales drags on and on.
Another organizational leader likes being the closer. He’s accustomed to staff members building the relationship, allowing him to come in for the close.
You’ll connect more personally and solidify stronger relationships by going through the entire process, from initiation to follow through. Closing is a step in a process, not a maneuver.
Like the various strokes in tennis, the sponsorship sales process comprises many smaller steps. Maybe you're feeling a little rusty. Take the time to master the activities and performances necessary at each step. You’ll feel more powerful and will see results to prove it.