Build Relationships If You Want to Win

You can have one night stands, or you can have relationships. You likely can’t have both. At least not for long – just look at celebrities, politicians and athletes paying the big bucks in alimony and child support for trying to make that third setup work.

In racing, and probably in life, ‘one night stands’ might produce wins. But they might cost you more in the long-term:

On the track, if you can only control your win-producing -peed every once in a while, you’re likely crashing more than you’re winning. And that’s more expensive than just getting consistently faster until you’re a dominant car each and every race.

If you got the lead by taking out a competitor, you earned a short term win and, likely, an instant deduction to your fan base.

The same goes for the off the track end of your racing business.

You might be easily able to charm the proverbial pants off of a potential sponsor. But if you’re not setup to actually deliver and activate long-term, that relationship won’t last.

And, just like on the track, you might not just lose one fan. That marketing partner that you left out in the cold is likely to tell his business buddies, or the whole world (hello, internet!) about exactly how you do business.

Deep, long-term relationships based with marketing partners on mutual respect, however, do exactly the opposite: they grow over time, and sometimes even multiple with referrals to more potential marketing partners and other valuable opportunities.

I get asked a lot of questions about sponsorship-seeking tactics:

  • What is the title of the person making sponsorship decisions?
  • How do I get past the gate keeper? 
  • How do I get my proposal seen? 
  • Should I use an online contact form? 
  • What do I do to close the deal? 

But the question that doesn’t get asked often enough is this one:

How do I build relationships that will make a difference in my racing career? 

Yes, tactics are easy to grasp. The fairy tales of one amazing race clinching The Big Sponsor and All the Fans are fun to think about.

But if you want to be successful in any area of life, forget about the one-night-stands.

Focus on building relationships if you want to win.


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About the author

Kristin Swartzlander Kristin Swartzlander is passionate about applying business sense to racing 'nonsense' in hopes of growing the sport of dirt track racing. She is a business strategist who works with entrepreneurs and small businesses to help them learn how to use public relations, marketing and social media to achieve their goals. Learn more about social media, marketing and racing sponsorship on the DirtyMouth blog.