For any affiliate managers who are planning on selling their affiliate programs virtually, active listening can play a key role. As an affiliate manager, you must earn the trust of your affiliate or partner in order to build a relationship that works.
In this week’s episode of Affiliate Drive Time, Lee-Ann talks about active listening in more detail and offers advice on how you can perform this when participating in a sales conversation. Watch the video and then continue reading the blog below for some additional tips and tricks.
What is active listening?
Active listening serves the purpose of earning the trust of your affiliate or partner or client and helps you understand their situations so that you can find common ground faster and meet your commercial goals. Active listening comprises both a desire to comprehend as well as to offer support and empathy to the person you are speaking to.
Why is it so important for Affiliate managers?
This shows the affiliate that the other person (you – the affiliate manager) is truly paying attention to their needs and requirements during the process of selling or commercially negotiating a deal for traffic or placements within your affiliate program.
This is especially important because partners are often ignored or talked over because the focus of the affiliate manager is on making the sale, not the person or business they are negotiating with.
What are the core steps you need to follow to perform active listening during a sales conversation?
I cover 3 of these steps in the video above – but the most important actions affiliate managers should take when negotiating with affiliates or partners are:
- Stay present and focus on what is being said and why. Don’t jump conversations prematurely forward to conclude a sale. This can be a big mistake.
- BE AWARE of the partner’s emotive responses to suggestions you make for placement and pricing. Use their responses to drive the conversation forward.
- Ask questions to validate why partners are resistant to your offer or program. Is there something you could change?
- Don’t interrupt the other person you are having a conversation with. Often you want to move things forward too fast, and interruptions cause the other person to feel unheard.
- Don’t pre-empt the affiliate or partner during the conversation. You don’t know what that partner is up against at this moment or why they are asking for more revenue, increased promotions or other items that you hadn’t originally offered. Go back to step 3 – to clarify before answering.
- Recap any key facts of the agreement, proposal or commercial offering so that everyone is clear on what’s on offer in the deal.
- Put pen to paper – or better yet – send a quick bulleted round up email to confirm the points you discussed and agreed to document the commercial conversation.
- Repeat yourself. Make it very clear what you are offering and expecting
If you follow these steps, you’ll start to have better virtual meetings and communications. Be conscious of your ability to engage vs push a sale and always consider alternatives before walking away from a deal. Leave the door open for future possibilities if you can’t meet objectives and price points at this time.
Get more advice from Lee-Ann
Affiliate Drive Time will be back next week on Wednesday so make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for the latest affiliate marketing tips and tricks.
Don’t forget that the doors will be open for our next AMPP open cohort on 8th April 2021. In the spring semester, we’ll be providing some expert training to affiliate managers hoping to grow their program and build relationships with partners. In the meantime, you can attend our FREE webinar taking place on 25th March – click here to bookmark the event!