17 secrets for success in 2017

We want 2017 to be a really successful year for you. So we thought it would be a great idea to share what we learned last year about delivering results. They are a combination of beliefs and actions. As Tony Robbins says, “If you talk about it, it’s a dream, if you envision it, it’s possible, but if you schedule it, it’s real.”

So here are our secrets for success. There are 17 of them in fact. We hope you find them inspiring and useful.

1. Focus is vital

What you focus on determines the results you achieve, so as Stephen Covey says, “The main thing, is to make the main thing, the main thing.”

2. Talk to the company’s employees

Speak with a company’s employees before your first meeting with their decision-makers. These conversations will give you great insight that you can use to build a winning pitch.

3. Share your big problem

Share your charity’s big problem that the company can help you with. Senior decision makers love solving problems, so they will climb over the table to help you solve yours.

4. Listen

Listening is the greatest gift you can give to another human being. So before you share your pitch, ask the company what their big priorities and problems are and listen carefully to the answer.

5. The power of why

Use the power of why to engage a company in your cause. Understand the why of your potential corporate partner and the why of your organisation. Focus on where they overlap.

6. Involve your colleagues

Getting your whole organisation on board with corporate partnerships is probably the most important factor to deliver success. So gain their buy-in and trust by involving them from the beginning.

7. Be memorable

Perhaps you can go into the meeting wearing hoodies branded with the company’s logo, or give them an inspirational gift from one of your beneficiaries. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so be extraordinary.

8. Claim your value

Your charity has huge value that you can offer to a potential corporate partner. So be confident about the value you can bring and what you want in return.

9. Be enthusiastic

Enthusiasm is contagious, so be enthusiastic about the opportunity of partnering with the company. Make it your goal to remind them what is so brilliant about their company.

10. Below the radar

Don’t focus on the companies that every other charity is approaching. Look for companies beyond the FTSE 500 who are still huge, but are less famous and less obvious.

11. Quick to respond

Companies sometimes see charities as being slow and overly bureaucratic. Responding quickly will show you are organised and keen to seize the opportunity.

12. Avoid death by Powerpoint!

Company decision makers see Powerpoint presentations every day, so think of different ways you can share your pitch. Perhaps you could use storyboards instead?

13. Raise your bar

When Alzheimer’s Society’s corporate partnerships team decided to settle for nothing less than excellent they started to achieve brilliant results.

14. Split new business and account management

The most successful corporate partnership teams divide their team into new business and account management. So even when your current partnership activity is at its peak you still have someone focusing on the new business pipeline.

15. Events produce results

When people attend events they get the sense that something very special is happening. So organise at least one brilliant engagement event every year for your corporate partners and prospects.

16. Go digital

Research shows people check their smartphones up to 85 times a day, so make sure your corporate partnership includes inspiring and engaging digital activity. For a great example look at ‘Dog-A-Like / Pedigree’ on YouTube.

17. Be relentless

How many times do you follow up a corporate prospect? As many times as it takes. Relentlessness increases success.


The rise of social purpose

Embracing social purpose is becoming a major priority for business. This provides a huge opportunity for charities to engage companies.

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