In fact, as is the case with commercials, direct-mail letters, or other sales materials, what you say in the first few seconds can make all the difference. Capture your audience’s attention immediately, or get tuned out.
So, imagine yourself as a business owner, and consider what would catch your interest. Would it be the standard, “Hi, I’m [name]. I race at [track name] every week, and I’m looking for a sponsor. For only [price], I’ll put your logo in front of tons of potential customers!”?
While that may work sometimes, it’s really just a cold, hard sales pitch. And even though you are selling something (yourself), as the top salespeople know, the best deals are usually made through conversations.
Try something like, “Hi, I’m [name]! This is a nice place you’ve got here. I only recently discovered it, but I’ve been in here a few times now, and it’s really great.”
Then, ask how the business is doing, how the construction (there’s always construction, right?) is affecting traffic, etc. Start a conversation, and maybe the owner will even ask what you do, giving you the perfect springboard.
Remember, making it less about you, and more about the sponsor will benefit you both. After all, you’ll have to know all about the business, to promote it. And this way, you’ll show, right up front, that you’re as concerned about it as you are about the sponsorship.