October 2, 2020

Corporate support proposals are often thought of as a key part of the selling process. In fact, they are part of the implementation process. Your sales efforts will include the conversations you have with a prospect to understand what they want to achieve with a sponsorship, and how they are currently marketing to meet those goals.

The proposal is what comes next. It’s a written statement of the conceptual agreement you’ve already gained in your needs analysis with your prospect. When a proposal is done well, it’s easy to get to ‘yes.’

Before All Else: The Needs Analysis

If you have not reached a conceptual agreement and understanding with the client before presenting a proposal, your written document is unlikely to meet your client’s needs and may waste both of your time. A well-conducted needs analysis and meeting of the minds with your client before you write your proposal is the critical foundation for any proposal.

What Your Proposal Should Accomplish

The purpose of a proposal is to:

  • Demonstrate that you have listened to your client, understand what they need and how they are marketing, and feel confident about what you can provide.
  • Reaffirm the conceptual agreement and understanding already gained from prior meetings/conversations.
  • Explain the options you have and how you can help the client reach their stated goals.
  • Clearly state the sponsorship investment you’re inviting the client to make.
  • Formally sign off and launch the partnership.

Additionally, your proposal can serve as a persuasive document that can be shared with others who have not been part of the decision-making process.

The Four Points: You, You, Me, Us

Point #1: You (about your client)

This is a brief statement about what service or product the client organization offers, and what their strengths are. This includes a situation analysis: Confirm the current issues, challenges, or opportunities facing this client. Use the Prospect Analysis Worksheet to understand your client’s situation before you create a proposal.

You’ll show the client that you understand their business, have been listening to them, and have done your homework, which will set you apart from 95% of other media reps.

Point #2: You (about your client)

This portion describes the client’s current marketing including a list of the media they are currently using (draw from the Client Needs Worksheet). Then list their marketing goals and state the results expected from a partnership with your organization. Outline a clear solution to the issues you fleshed out in your situation and needs analysis.

You’ll demonstrate that you can give the client options that will bolster their other marketing efforts to provide more touchpoints to customers and give them greater success.

Point #3: Me (about your station)

Assemble the data and station audience information that shows how a sponsorship will deliver and help meet the client’s stated marketing goals. Include what it is about your station that sets you apart, what about your listeners aligns with your client, and how well your service area corresponds with your client’s service area (include a coverage map).

You’ll connect the dots for your client about the differentiated value of public media and you’ll show what that value means specifically for your client.

Point #4: Us (about your partnership)

Lay out the sponsorship options that meet the client’s goals, including at least two digital components.

  • Include two or three pieces of FCC-compliant sample copy to give your client an idea of how an effective message would sound, meet their goals, and adhere to public media guidelines.
  • Include some dates or other info to create a sense of urgency.
  • Include an option summary page with a client sign-off opportunity.

You’ll lay out specific means to an end by showing which of your station’s assets are best suited to fulfill the client’s marketing needs and business goals. You’ll also simplify the steps for your prospect to move ahead with the sponsorship.