by Roger Pynn
Having recently attended a local event where there were so many “sponsors” that they had to set a table for 20 in the center of the room, then give each advertiser a chance to get up and speak, this post from Seth Godin really caught my eye.
Rude as it was, at this breakfast meeting the expected happened. Instead of listening politely and actually paying attention to the people who had paid for their meal, attendees began to chat among themselves and the buzz quickly rose to a loud hum.
Why? Well, OK … a lot of boorish people are out there these days. But, equally to blame were lousy sales pitches being made by a group of business people who actually thought they would establish a selling opportunity by boring a bunch of people with their story.
We rarely encourage our clients to spend good money on this type of sponsorship opportunity. But, if there are collateral advantages – such as honoring an award recipient or repaying a favor – we make sure that if they stand up to the microphone the message is short and sweet and non-commercial.
The chances that you’ll make a sale are virtually zero, so don’t make a sales pitch. If you’re a sponsor granted two to three minutes, take one.
I’d far rather my client say “Hey, folks … isn’t this a great gathering? You’d probably like an extra minute to chat with the person next to you, so consider that our company just paid for that minute … and if we can ever be of help to you, don’t hesitate to call … here’s my phone number … “
I guarantee the people in the room will chuckle, they’ll tell people about it and they’ll remember you.
What more could you ask?