The chase has begun. The project is rolling. There is no looking back. We have started to contact potential sponsors.
Since a couple of weeks back we have now started this huge and final mission to make this trip happen. Well, I have. It is now my day job (combined with working extra at the grocery store and doing some freelance assignments) to do research, make phone calls, send emails and all the rest, while Brian continues his regular full time job to support us. I guess you can say it’s all on me. No pressure, hey!
I’m cool with that, but it hasn’t been easy. I’ve had to totally transform from my journalist self into a very charming and convincing seller. Asking Nicklas for some advice in the beginning we agreed that it would probably be a good idea to start by contacting some smaller companies, to get some practice. To figure out what to say, what works, how people react.
I didn’t follow that advice at all. I just picked myself up and threw myself into the pool at the deep end straight away and started contacting some of the giants on our list. I simply couldn’t stand the idea of getting a no when my confidence as a seller was already so low. Trust me, when you’re not an experienced seller it’s so much easier calling a big company who you feel a connection to and who could really be getting something out of what we offer them and is therefore likely to be interested, instead of calling a smaller company who has nothing to do with what we do and doesn’t have much of a budget for sponsoring. Even if it’s good practice.
So lately I’ve had busy days trying to get hold of the right person, waiting in line, trying again later, finding another phone number and finally getting in touch with some really nice people. I don’t know what I expected but I guess presenting a cooperation proposal tends to get somewhat another reaction than “I’m a journalist and I’d like to ask you a few questions”? Everyone’s been really nice. And then I’ve sent out emails with more information about our project and the possibilities of sponsoring us. Lots of emails. After describing our project in brief and longer versions for maybe the 157th time now, I think I could do it all in my sleep.
And oh, the agony when you don’t hear anything back. A few have been able to let us know straight away that they can’t sponsor us, but with most we’re still waiting for a reply. I will obviously give them a call shortly and see how things are going, follow up like a professional seller, but the waiting is terrifying. Brian and I are climbing the walls. Is it a good or a bad sign? Does it mean they’re not interested? Or does it mean they’re right now busy discussing our proposal and which level of sponsorship to go for?
Like I said, we do feel a bit pressured now. It’s those two little big words haunting us: what if… We didn’t think it was gonna take a week and then we’d be sorted, we know it can take months. And probably will. We will just feel so much better once we have our first sponsor onboard. Whoever you are, let me just tell you, we’re nice, we don’t bite and we have a really great deal to offer you.