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Author Topic: How not to approach a company  (Read 6948 times)

Bountiful Waters

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How not to approach a company
« on: May 11, 2008, 08:12:31 PM »

Without fronting this fisherman out by name, here is an email I just received. This is a good example of how not to approach a sponsor.

"hey man i heard someone talking about these lures and i was wondering if you were willing to sponsor me and my fishing partner and im not talking about a huge sponsor to buy us stuff im just talking about you send us a pack or two of  the elgrande minnows and send us  hats,stickers,shirts or anything with your companies logo and we'll be glad to wear it and put it on everything we fish with and tell everybody we meet at tourneys"

1. Although I am flattered that he would like to represent my company, I assume he has never used my product. Why would you want to represent me if you don't even know if my product works?

2. I  keep seeing  "send us" things. Why would I do that? How do I know you can even catch a fish, actually fish tournaments, or the number of tournaments you fish? I could go on and on.

3. Literacy is a big deal to me. At least make an effort. I am no college English professor, but I am a professional business person and I would never knowingly present anything like this to the public.

4. If I have to ask more than a couple of questions about you, then you did not do a very good job presenting your case to me on why you should be sponsored.

5. I may be a little "old school", but addressing me as "hey man", is not a good start. 12 yrs US Army MP, 4 yrs Correctional Lt, work 7 days a week to keep 3 businesses and my family in good shape, and I get "hey man, send us something".

I am posting this to help those of you along who wish to work for something. How would you like me to send you an unsolicited email and ask for part of your weekly paycheck and in turn, I will wear your hat? Can you see where I am coming from? If I am to invest in you, I expect a solid investment with reasonable projected/expected returns.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2008, 08:27:06 PM by Bountiful Waters »
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TightLinez

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Re: How not to approach a company
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2008, 09:22:08 PM »

Wow. Almost everything about that e-mail is pretty bad. The grammar, the choice of words, and the fact that he's never used your baits! I'm big on grammar too. If I were going to send someone a professional e-mail, I would make sure it's immaculate in every way. Sounds to me like he just wanted to "sample" your baits and get some free gear out of it. People have to understand, you want to let the sponsor know how you can help them, not the other way around. I, myself, wouldn't be a good investment for a sponsor, solely on the fact I haven't fished many big tournaments. I'll be the first one to admit it. I believe I have all of the other qualities like people skills, honesty, enthusiasm, and dedication; but in the end that all doesn't matter if you can't get the company positive exposure. If you're like me, and you are fond of a particular company or two, you can still help by buying their products, sporting their decal, and telling other people about them. I've been doing this and although I'm not sponsored by anyone, it's still gratifying knowing you might have just helped that company out.
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Jordan Haegele a.k.a. "Swimbait King"
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Bountiful Waters

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Re: How not to approach a company
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2008, 06:33:54 AM »

BIG tournament fisherman are not the answer for my endeavors. The Grassroots fisherman are who I am intersted in. I want someone who actually uses, likes, and is confident in my lures.
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Ron Fogelson

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Re: How not to approach a company
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2008, 07:32:29 AM »

Bountiful Waters thank you for sharing that e-mail with us.

We have spent a lot of time talking about how sponsorship is a job, how a person needs to work for each company but one lone e-mail is able to show first hand what tackle companies have to go through.

I also thank you for the grass roots statement; big name pros are not the ones that buy baits, boats, rods/reels and so on day after day it is the everyday angler who does that.   ~c~

Knowing the Corks, Papa, Karl, Chris, Brent, BK or any of a number of friends here recommends something hold a hell of a lot more weight then seeing KVD and Bill Dance in a commercial.

OHbassaholic

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Re: How not to approach a company
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2008, 07:43:36 AM »

It just goes to show that there are still a large amount of anglers that do not know what sponsorship is about.  If only they would approach it as if they were trying to get a job, they would be way ahead of the game.
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Bountiful Waters

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Re: How not to approach a company
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2008, 09:53:06 AM »


Knowing the Corks, Papa, Karl, Chris, Brent, BK or any of a number of friends here recommends something hold a hell of a lot more weight then seeing KVD and Bill Dance in a commercial.


Fogy, you really nailed it there. Just speaking for myself, I have never bought anything because I saw a company name or logo on a shirt/hat/boat, etc.. The older I get, the more I realize how much I don't know. I learn more from asking questions of the old and young alike. When  someone I know tells me he or she has had success with something, I give it a second look. I started using Owner hooks back in 2004 based on what a guy told me about hooking big fish. Was he sponsored by Owner? No, he was not, but I would assume he got more people using Owner hooks than Owner's Prostaff. That is the kind of person I want to build relationships with. This man was a true believer in those hooks and he got me to believe the same. I think we can see through the smoke on Prostaff and find the false proffits. Now, I do feel there are some diehard pro staffers that have taken ownership in company product concerning design, colors, fishing tactics, etc.. I have much more respect for those folks. I don't want to sound like all Prostaff are hypocrites. I know they "all" are not.

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b1jeremy

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Re: How not to approach a company
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2008, 10:18:49 AM »

 ~b~ ~b~ ~b~ WOW!!! I am amazed at the lack of care that people approach these companies with. I am the director of pro staff for 3 companies, and let me tell you, I feel your pain. I have received every type of pro staff application from the die hard BIG tournament anglers with perfect resumes to the 2 weekends a year pond anglers. I am amazed everyday by these people that I meet through resumes and over the phone. Some really just don't get it, nor will they ever. That being said, there are numerous ones out there who will go above and beyond for you. You just have to weed through all of them to find that "Diamond in the rough" I know it takes a long time to sort through the number of apps and resumes you get, but you will be rewarded for your efforts. lol. 
On another note, I tried a little experiment one time with "bubba", the guy who randomly asks for product. I called them and acted like I was interested in them and tried to get a little background on them, only to find out that they had never used the product, just saw it at Bass Pro and thought that they might use it. I then proceeded to ask them who else sponsored them. Suprisingly, no one lol. I then proceeded to tell them I was not interested, and told them that maybe they should re-examine how they approach a company and then maybe try again. I received a call from them out of the blue this year, thanking me for turning them down and they said that since we talked, they changed their whole approach. So, sometimes it's lack of knowledge, and sometimes it's those who like to ride on coat tails. Always looking for a hand out.

afroman5015

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Re: How not to approach a company
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2008, 12:24:29 PM »

the funny thing is i sent an email close to that last year and i felt like an idiot cuz im only 15 and all i could think about was i want someone who has good lures and would want to give them to me for free but i have learned now never to approach a company with that kind of attitude but needless to say i still havent found a sponsor
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Ron Fogelson

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Re: How not to approach a company
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2008, 12:30:03 PM »

the funny thing is i sent an email close to that last year and i felt like an idiot cuz im only 15 and all i could think about was i want someone who has good lures and would want to give them to me for free but i have learned now never to approach a company with that kind of attitude but needless to say i still havent found a sponsor

Don;t give up, it takes time to establish relationship between your self and those companies you are look at.  Even then, they don't always happen, but keep trying and learning and you will get there!   ~c~

TightLinez

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Re: How not to approach a company
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2008, 12:47:40 PM »

the funny thing is i sent an email close to that last year and i felt like an idiot cuz im only 15 and all i could think about was i want someone who has good lures and would want to give them to me for free but i have learned now never to approach a company with that kind of attitude but needless to say i still havent found a sponsor

Don't give up though. You're still pretty young, but that doesn't mean you can't do anything. Start fishing tournaments, join a bass club, submit product reviews, tell other people by word of mouth, email companies with any comments or suggestions you might have, and start to build a relationship with the company. It boils down to "What you can do for the company" not the other way around. If you're looking for a sponsor, bottom line is that you have to fish tournaments, and you have to do well in them. A company won't sponsor you if you can't expose their product to a lot of people and in a positive manner. They don't want you advertising their product if you consistently do bad in tournaments- what do you think people will think of their products then? Start building a resume and once you think you have something to offer, contact the company.

If you're going for a field staff position, tournament fishing is still a big plus. DO NOT ask for free hand-outs, because that will pretty much seal the deal, and not in your favor. Be honest, submit reviews, spread the word, present yourself in a professional manner, and get out there and FISH. They are looking for someone who can give potential customers an honest opinion. The only way you can come up with an opinion is if you fish these products hard. Good luck!
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Jordan Haegele a.k.a. "Swimbait King"
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afroman5015

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Re: How not to approach a company
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2008, 01:09:45 PM »

i belong to the Fishers Of Men National tourney trail for the NC East division
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GotstaFish

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Re: How not to approach a company
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2008, 05:30:30 PM »

Bountiful Waters thank you for sharing that e-mail with us.

We have spent a lot of time talking about how sponsorship is a job, how a person needs to work for each company but one lone e-mail is able to show first hand what tackle companies have to go through.

I also thank you for the grass roots statement; big name pros are not the ones that buy baits, boats, rods/reels and so on day after day it is the everyday angler who does that.   ~c~

Knowing the Corks, Papa, Karl, Chris, Brent, BK or any of a number of friends here recommends something hold a hell of a lot more weight then seeing KVD and Bill Dance in a commercial.

I knew I liked you for some reason  lo Well put Fogy  ~c~
Big names don't buy product but they can sure help sell it. If you can build a good customer base through grass root fishermen the big names will take notice as well  ;)
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Re: How not to approach a company
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2008, 06:51:38 PM »

Bountiful Waters thank you for sharing that e-mail with us. I'm not the best speller on here but when I send something to a person like this e-mail I would use spell check to make sure it was right. Just about everyone on here knows me and I kid around a lot and haven't been Bass fishing for as long as ya'll have but have a lot of baits that I have won and the frogs that I just ordered will be only the second Bass baits i have ever bought . kaRu vibershock and spins were the firs I didn't order them until I had use the ones I had won and like them. when I saw the new frogs and since this year is going to be my year for catching my first Bass on a frog I just had to get some of them great looking frogs. You have seen me making post about how to fish them and that's the best way to learn is get all the information about something before using it then you can try to sell yourself to a sponsor who you would like to help sell their product. You have to believe in something before you can promote it. that's the way I look at it anyways.
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TightLinez

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Re: How not to approach a company
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2008, 06:54:38 PM »

Bountiful Waters thank you for sharing that e-mail with us. I'm not the best speller on here but when I send something to a person like this e-mail I would use spell check to make sure it was right. Just about everyone on here knows me and I kid around a lot and haven't been Bass fishing for as long as ya'll have but have a lot of baits that I have won and the frogs that I just ordered will be only the second Bass baits i have ever bought . kaRu vibershock and spins were the firs I didn't order them until I had use the ones I had won and like them. when I saw the new frogs and since this year is going to be my year for catching my first Bass on a frog I just had to get some of them great looking frogs. You have seen me making post about how to fish them and that's the best way to learn is get all the information about something before using it then you can try to sell yourself to a sponsor who you would like to help sell their product. You have to believe in something before you can promote it. that's the way I look at it anyways.


 ~c~ Great post Lip.
I think the thing that stood out to me the most, was the fact that this person had never tried Jay's baits! ::)
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Jordan Haegele a.k.a. "Swimbait King"
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Bountiful Waters

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Re: How not to approach a company
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2008, 06:21:37 PM »

Let me begin by saying that as a tackle manufacturer, though small, I get daily emails asking to sponsor someone or they want to be a field staffer. 99% of these people are strangers to me. I want to help those that have the ambition, but just are going about it the wrong way.

1. Just because you fish alot does not make you a good field staff candidate. Although it helps, it is far from the only positive atttribute. That also goes for tourney fisherman. I don't fish tournaments anymore because I got burnt out on them. Being a tournament fisherman also is a strong quality, but does not necessarily qualify you to be on staff.

2. Dig deep down and ask yourself why you want to be associated with a company. If you can honestly say it is not to get free items, I would be shocked. Most people, many would deny this, but most are after free gear. This eventually shows it's face either right away or later. If this is your quest, you might as well hang it up. Nothing is for free in this business.

3. I find that many people are looking for the title to wear like a crown. They seem to think it impresses thier friends and competition. Once again, ask yourself if this is something you are looking for.

Here is the right answer.........

You have been fishing lures from a company for some time with good success. You really believe that this company has something to offer the "average fisherman". You have been telling your friends, family, and everyone you know about these lures, because you truley believe in them. You are vocally loud about the product and want to be accociated with a proven product. You have bought the product numerous times and feel that you could partner with the company and drive the companies success even higher because they really do have a good product. You are not looking for any monetary or product gratuities in exchange for telling fisherman about the product. The company will identify you as a quality person if you do these things. We are cautious of people looking for handouts, but can be generous to those who we feel will represent us well.

Here is the hard facts; Not everyone is cut out to be a prostaffer or field staffer. The best shot you have is to be a good customer, well spoken, and have the ability to communicate with the company and public without the need for a linguist.

I hope this helps. We are aware of who our good customers are and who is publicly relaying their success on this forum, or other avenues. Be patient and enjoy the sport. If you are cut out for a position, you will be found.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2008, 08:46:57 AM by Bountiful Waters »
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bassaddict

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Re: How not to approach a company
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2008, 09:26:39 PM »

What a great reply!!! My brother in law and I have started a small tackle company, and are about to started producing our first lures for the market. We have had great assistance and advice from another tackle manufacturer who warned us that as soon as we started on the market, we would be approached almost immediately by people wanting to be sponsored by us.

As a result, we are going to be very selective as to who gets free lures from us, and for the same reasons that have been highlighted by other lure manufacturers who have responded to this post. At first, we will be giving carefully chosen anglers free product for them to trial. If they are satisfied enough and honestly confident enough in our product, we will be happy to look after them with some form of sponsorship. We want our anglers to be regular guys who fish, not necessarily in tournaments, but who can portray our lures in a way that is confident, positive and portrays our product in a way that is believable tothose who will listen. Sponsorship, as has been stated here already, is not something that is giving to any angler who says they go fishing a lot. There is a lot more to it than that.

Thank you for this topic being posted and to those who have replied. It's been excellent!

Cheers from Downunder,

Steve
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Bountiful Waters

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Re: How not to approach a company
« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2008, 04:38:03 PM »

A couple others in my inbox recently. How not to approach a company!!

"Dear El Grande Lures,
        I am looking for sponsors to help me out fishing tournaments, and I was hoping that ya'll might be able to sponsor me"

and another

"hi my name is (deleted)i live in louisville kentucky i bass fish  im scmi/pro angler and ilke to see about talking to you on bening a pro staffer for you can you let me no thanks you can callme at (deleted) are you can email me

Come On. I respect someone who actually tries, but I get numerous one sentence emails like this weekly. If anyone on here is sending emails like these to companies, please stop.
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Ron Fogelson

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Re: How not to approach a company
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2008, 06:33:00 PM »

A couple others in my inbox recently. How not to approach a company!!

"Dear El Grande Lures,
        I am looking for sponsors to help me out fishing tournaments, and I was hoping that ya'll might be able to sponsor me"

and another

"hi my name is (deleted)i live in louisville kentucky i bass fish  im scmi/pro angler and ilke to see about talking to you on bening a pro staffer for you can you let me no thanks you can callme at (deleted) are you can email me

Come On. I respect someone who actually tries, but I get numerous one sentence emails like this weekly. If anyone on here is sending emails like these to companies, please stop.

OMG   :shocking: :shocking: :shocking:

Lee Smith

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Re: How not to approach a company
« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2008, 08:29:12 PM »

It's amazing to me, how times have changed people over the years.  I often wonder to myself if they have been taught to act, for the lack of a better word, like these samples or are we as a society are letting our younger people down by just not caring enough to teach or wanting to take the time as in the years past?

Something has went wrong with the work force in our nation, I see it daily.  Twenty years ago, you never heard, "that's not my job", now I hear it all the time.  And I think this attitude has engulfed the minds of some of our younger people, as you see in the samples from Jay. 

I have seen the best and worse in my profession and there are miles apart, with that said, I probably didn't hire some very good candidates due to their lack of professionalism.  But, I stand by my decision because the people that work for me, represent the company and myself to the public.  And I would allot rather the world think of me as a professional person that cares about my work and all that I do, instead of I'm one of the best but my attitude sucks!

With all of this said, I am still amazed at the lack luster, "dude" attitude that people use while trying to sell themselves.  I for one will never understand it, nor do I want too.

I try to represent each and every company I am associated with in a professional manner, just as I would expect someone to represent me.  Yes it takes a little more time and energy, at times allot more, but in the long run, the professional company will prevail.

The scariest part of all of this to me is these people will have this exact attitude when applying for a job other than working at McDonalds.  And have no idea why they never even get a response.

That's my .02

Lee
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TightLinez

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Re: How not to approach a company
« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2008, 07:36:23 PM »

It's amazing to me, how times have changed people over the years.  I often wonder to myself if they have been taught to act, for the lack of a better word, like these samples or are we as a society are letting our younger people down by just not caring enough to teach or wanting to take the time as in the years past?

Something has went wrong with the work force in our nation, I see it daily.  Twenty years ago, you never heard, "that's not my job", now I hear it all the time.  And I think this attitude has engulfed the minds of some of our younger people, as you see in the samples from Jay. 

I have seen the best and worse in my profession and there are miles apart, with that said, I probably didn't hire some very good candidates due to their lack of professionalism.  But, I stand by my decision because the people that work for me, represent the company and myself to the public.  And I would allot rather the world think of me as a professional person that cares about my work and all that I do, instead of I'm one of the best but my attitude sucks!

With all of this said, I am still amazed at the lack luster, "dude" attitude that people use while trying to sell themselves.  I for one will never understand it, nor do I want too.

I try to represent each and every company I am associated with in a professional manner, just as I would expect someone to represent me.  Yes it takes a little more time and energy, at times allot more, but in the long run, the professional company will prevail.

The scariest part of all of this to me is these people will have this exact attitude when applying for a job other than working at McDonalds.  And have no idea why they never even get a response.

That's my .02

Lee

Lee, I'm (only) almost 20 but I COMPLETELY agree with you. I look at kids around my age and I can't believe the attitudes they have. I'm actually embarrassed by our generation! :embarassed: Luckily, there are a handful of good kids out there. I just can't understand why everyone is getting so lazy nowadays. I work a full time job (60+ hours a week), go to school, landscape on my days off, and do work around the house. I can honestly say I love working. A lot of my buddies complain that they're not making enough money, but when I offered at least 10 of them to work with me at a good paying job; what do they say? "Man, that sounds like too much work." :-\ :-\ :-\ When they find a job that pays them good money to sit on their :ass I hope they let me know. Until then, I'll keep working my butt off. I guess I was lucky enough to be raised the right way- work hard, be respectful, show professionalism, and treat a lady right. It's becoming a rarity. The thing that has to stick out to me the most is the POOR grammar in these emails that Jay receives! Have these people heard of commas, periods, semicolons, parenthesis, or CAPITALIZATION!!?!? Come on people if you're trying to be professional use spell check AND grammar check. ::) Sorry to sound so harsh, but a lot of people can't respect us because of all the idiots they run into daily. OK I'll get off my soap box now ~sweat........
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Jordan Haegele a.k.a. "Swimbait King"
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Re: How not to approach a company
« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2008, 09:20:33 AM »

Lee, I'm (only) almost 20 but I COMPLETELY agree with you. I look at kids around my age and I can't believe the attitudes they have. I'm actually embarrassed by our generation! :embarassed: Luckily, there are a handful of good kids out there. I just can't understand why everyone is getting so lazy nowadays. I work a full time job (60+ hours a week), go to school, landscape on my days off, and do work around the house. I can honestly say I love working. A lot of my buddies complain that they're not making enough money, but when I offered at least 10 of them to work with me at a good paying job; what do they say? "Man, that sounds like too much work." :-\ :-\ :-\ When they find a job that pays them good money to sit on their :ass I hope they let me know. Until then, I'll keep working my butt off. I guess I was lucky enough to be raised the right way- work hard, be respectful, show professionalism, and treat a lady right. It's becoming a rarity. The thing that has to stick out to me the most is the POOR grammar in these emails that Jay receives! Have these people heard of commas, periods, semicolons, parenthesis, or CAPITALIZATION!!?!? Come on people if you're trying to be professional use spell check AND grammar check. ::) Sorry to sound so harsh, but a lot of people can't respect us because of all the idiots they run into daily. OK I'll get off my soap box now ~sweat........

Agree whole-heartedly with everything you have posted.  May all our younger members read and learn from someone on the right path in life!! ~c~
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Re: How not to approach a company
« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2008, 08:24:46 AM »

Lee, I'm (only) almost 20 but I COMPLETELY agree with you. I look at kids around my age and I can't believe the attitudes they have. I'm actually embarrassed by our generation! :embarassed: Luckily, there are a handful of good kids out there. I just can't understand why everyone is getting so lazy nowadays. I work a full time job (60+ hours a week), go to school, landscape on my days off, and do work around the house. I can honestly say I love working. A lot of my buddies complain that they're not making enough money, but when I offered at least 10 of them to work with me at a good paying job; what do they say? "Man, that sounds like too much work." :-\ :-\ :-\ When they find a job that pays them good money to sit on their :ass I hope they let me know. Until then, I'll keep working my butt off. I guess I was lucky enough to be raised the right way- work hard, be respectful, show professionalism, and treat a lady right. It's becoming a rarity. The thing that has to stick out to me the most is the POOR grammar in these emails that Jay receives! Have these people heard of commas, periods, semicolons, parenthesis, or CAPITALIZATION!!?!? Come on people if you're trying to be professional use spell check AND grammar check. ::) Sorry to sound so harsh, but a lot of people can't respect us because of all the idiots they run into daily. OK I'll get off my soap box now ~sweat........

I know exactally what your talking about, I'm 15 and out of all the people I know only a hand full can do or even try to do the things you said. Its all the other people that make our generations look bad. ~rant

Dave
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Re: How not to approach a company
« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2008, 12:30:47 PM »

Not to say that these people are all idiots but some could have dropped out in high-school or something of the sorts but that is still no excuse for the disrespect that was displayed in these e-mails. Telling someone to send you something is not the best way to get a sponsor.  ~b~ Very well said guys.  ~c~
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Re: How not to approach a company
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2009, 01:46:26 PM »

 You nailed it right on the head. I'm 18 and have several sponsors and unfortunately alot of people in my age group are usually labeled as "patch collectors". Alot of teens and actually alot of adults go about pursuing a sponsorship with a company in the wrong manner. They usually focus too much on what they want to company to do for them and less than what they can do for the company in the way of sales etc. It's also really important to only try to get sponsors that you've actually used their products. It would be hard to promote products I've never used and don't believe in.
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