I have been called many things throughout my career, and surprisingly (or not), I have been called a ‘psycho nut’ on more than one occasion.
Of course, by that I mean a psychological nut because a good sponsorship salesperson really is in tune with certain aspects of sales psychology which help immensely to engage and appeal to their prospects.
The good news is, you don’t need a degree to utilise some key aspects of sales psychology which can really help you nail that next pitch.
People are emotional, social, egocentric and value driven. Using these key points, there are four core pillars which, when pitching sponsorship, you should always keep in mind so as to cut through the psychological buying barrier of your potential sponsor.
People make decisions emotionally; they make decisions on a feeling or need. Any pitch, therefore, which includes passion, imagery and a picture of success, is always better than a spaghetti approach random proposal. By letting your prospect envisage the outcome, and visualising the benefits and positive results, you have already psychologically moved them to a point of accepting that this may be a good opportunity.
People are self-aware and also aware of what others are doing. Social acceptance is very important to any opportunity, however, awareness, by you as the seller, is just as vital. Making your prospect aware of factual information will empower them to make and present a safer case either to themselves or to others in their organisation. That’s because there is a need for social acceptance and people feel safer with facts. You can help this process by being well prepared with projected outcomes and proven past results which will help make the case for you.
Testimonials and case studies are also excellent social proof that you can deliver what you say you can deliver. Remember, however, that case studies are a tool best employed later in the decision making process as people evaluate what they might do. As such, you may be better served sending case studies to your prospect post-meeting.
Someone once told me the key to selling is listening. That is because listening helps to make you more aware of any needs, wants or problems your prospect may be facing which you can help them with. It will also help you to position a more effective offering that is more likely to meet their needs and objectives. Overwhelmingly though, it is my belief that people do business with people and your ability to listen to them talk will play to their egocentric nature and endear you to them to a point where they will feel more comfortable doing business with you.
The best way to keep people talking is to ask questions. So prepare well and just keep asking questions and then sit back and let them talk.
The final key is to assume your prospect wants to buy. However, it’s important to do this in a non-arrogant way. You should always ask permission to make the sale or to send through an offer. By having the mindset that you have the meeting because they want to buy, with the knowledge that you have done your research that you can help them meet their objectives, and have an offering to help drive those forward, you can position your pitch in a way that it isn’t a big step from there to being signed as a sponsor.
Pulling It All Together
They above key pillars to psychological selling are behaviour driven. In order to be successful you need to work them into your process in a way that feels right at the right time. These principles need to be woven into your research, approach and pitch process in order to get cut-through.
Always Tell a Story
At the end of the day, your ability to tell a story is the key. The basic principal of copy-writing is to start with a headline which makes your reader or listener want to read or hear the next line. Then, the next line makes them want to read or hear the next and soon and so on.
Master story telling, whilst being aware of my key pillars of sales psychology, and you can proudly call yourself a psycho nut too!
Mark Thompson // Managing Director
Mark specialises in sponsorship and diversified income strategies and has used this expertise across the Community, Semi-Professional and Professional Sports sectors. He combines hands-on experience in managing the expectations and obligations of sponsors with marketing and stakeholder engagement to deliver outstanding results.
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