Don't let price be a limitation.

This issue is one of the major drawbacks to sending unsolicited full proposals, a process that is quickly falling out of favor.

As Jim Erlick, founder of The Erlick Group, an agency that brokers deals for entertainment properties and venues, put it: "If you send out a proposal with a specific price, half the time your price will be too high and half the time it will be too low."

A more effective alternative to pre-packaged proposals is to involve the sponsor in the creation of the sponsorship program. If a meeting cannot be scheduled without putting something in writing, the initial materials should be short and concise, with just enough information to demonstrate your knowledge of the sponsor's objectives. Erlick used this approach when he sold sponsorship of the touring production of the Broadway musical Moving Out! to Visa U.S.A., Inc. The producers allowed Visa to help plan the tour's routing to make sure that it was housed in venue that were affiliated with the credit card. Visa also negotiated the rights to produce TV ads featuring the show's actors and to create a Playbill-style giveaway booklet with offers from Visa merchants.