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Handling objections regarding cycling sponsorship

Inevitably, at one point or another, you are going to receive objections regarding sponsorship of your club, the “perceived state of cycling” or your cycling sponsorship proposal. These objections may be driven by legitimate concerns, misconceptions or misunderstanding from something read or seen. Or, questions and objections might conceal a deeper underlying concern regarding sponsorship of your cycling club. Getting to down to the real reason a prospective sponsor says “no”can help you accurately identify their issue, enable you to respond appropriately and continue to advance through the cycling sponsorship process. Following a few simple steps can help you effectively respond to objections, pushback, questions or concerns.

Five tips for handling objections:

01) Before responding always clarify that you understand the question or objection. The best way to do this is to restate what you heard. Many times it seems that it is easiest to simply respond. However, in a lot of cases we may have a different interpretation of the question or objection, than the person stating it intended. Responding without having a true idea of the your sponsor’s or prospective sponsor’s position only complicates the issue further.

02) It’s best to ask additional questions to understand why they are posing questions and objections. Asking questions of your own will help you understand the reason and motivation behind the prospective sponsor’s questions. (What the person is objecting to and why: sponsorship proposal, sponsorship letter, perception of cycling sponsorship, etc.)  This often enables you to uncover the underlying reasons behind their questions or objections. It also gives you the time to listen to their responses, formulate answers, explore alternative solutions or propose other options.

03) Take a moment to confirm that you have interpreted their question, concerns and point of view correctly. You want to do this in order to be absolutely sure that you have interpreted their perspective in the way they intended. Simply summarize the major points you have covered in trying to understand their question or objection.

04) Next, take the time to acknowledge their point of view. This is very important, even if they have misinterpreted something about our sport or your proposal. The purpose is to confirm that you understand their issue and how they might have arrived at a specific conclusion. After all, it is their point of view, and even if you disagree you must be tactful and not make them feel uncomfortable. Remember, you are trying to get them to provide your club with cycling sponsorship and funding.

05) Last, respond in a thoughtful manner. In other words, take the information you have gained by asking additional questions, exploring alternatives , and respond to their question or objection by focusing on the overall benefits cycling sponsorship will provide. Use the context of their original question or objection as a guide for your response.

In spite of some of the recent negative exposure our sport is receiving, whether warranted or not, there are a lot of really good things happening which you can leverage during your sponsorship discussions. Cycling continues to grow as a major participant and spectator sport providing additional visibility and awareness for companies sponsoring cycling. Companies and cities are continuing to invest in cycling sponsorship as a means to promote their community, brand, products or services. Lastly, the minimal cost of cycling sponsorship when compared to traditional sports provides and excellent value and return on investment for sponsors, as well as an effective vehicle to augment existing marketing, advertising and PR campaigns.

Thanks for visiting. Remember, until next time, “Keep the rubber side down!”

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