There was an article in FeedFront Magazine a while back titled “Properly Pitching Your Network at Affiliate Summit” by Robert Adler.
He shared his thoughts on various interactions he had at booths that turned him off from working with the companies he was interested in.
This article is focused on the affiliate marketing space, but it transcends to other sectors, as well.
Here is what he had to say…
The one aspect of an Affiliate Summit that always gets brought up is the gifts and/or items, commonly known as “schwag,” that companies give out in the exhibit hall.
This is usually what will be discussed for at least a week after the show, and will be remembered until the next show. However, one aspect that is overlooked is how the affiliates were treated when they approached the booth.
Here are some simple tips that will be helpful for both new and seasoned affiliate managers.
- Do not look at someone’s badge right off the bat. Try asking for their name, instead of immediately looking for a first name and color on the bottom of their badge. It usually helps when you consider that they are an individual, instead of just “person number 384.” Sometimes, I walk up with my badge turned around backward just to prompt them to ask me who I am. Just a quick side note to the person with the bar-code gun trying to snipe me as I grab one of your business cards… nice try.
- If you are in the middle of a conversation with an affiliate, and see someone behind them, please do not walk away, mid-sentence, to talk to that person. It is extremely rude, and the affiliate will spend the rest of the day telling how “they walked away mid-sentence – forget about them,” when asked what they thought of your company.
- Never judge a book by its cover. This may sound like common knowledge, but I chuckle whenever I see affiliate managers give more priority towards someone wearing a suit and tie over a person wearing a t-shirt and shorts. This tip does not just apply to clothing. I am going to go out on a limb here, and say that if you have been to a conference before, you have, more than likely, spoken to a drunken attendee, who is so far gone; they have forgotten their own name. A good rule of thumb is to talk to them sober before you consider whether they are an asset to your company.
- Every network swears that they “have the highest payouts and most exclusives.” At the risk of going off on a tangent, I do not care if you are brokering the offer. If the conversion rates are comparable, and so are the payouts, the only thing that matters to me is the quality of service by my AM (Affiliate Manager) and the company. When you are willing to help me, my loyalty resides with you, and that is the bottom line. If you want to hook affiliates for long-term, instead of just having them run one offer and then drop you, make sure you stress the point that you will actually help them make their business more successful. Remember, loyalty is important in business practices and works both ways.
If the examples above sound familiar, I’d highly recommend you change the way you deal with affiliates. You’ll find it’s better for your paycheck and your network.