5 Tips to improve your commercial negotiation skills

Negotiation and striking the right deal with an affiliate manger is a major part of the success to running an affiliate business. Being able to direct the conversation and improve what you get from the deal can be the make or break of your affiliate site when starting out. Small percentages can have major margin impacts in the real world, read these top tips for getting more from your affiliate commercial negotiations.

1 Use your data

One of the main ways to gather more data about your audience is to use your available tracking tools. How does this help you with your negotiations? The more you know about your user base the more you can sell this to an operator. For example, if you know your users convert through new stories more than reviews, you can offer them the chance to be featured in a weekly news piece to bump up your CPA revenues.There are a range of tools like Hotjar, CrazyEgg and Kissmetrics that can be used. These each offer different points and price ranges, though they’re all fairly easy to implement. It’s a simple process to begin to collect this data and then you can use it in your next meeting to discuss exposure and revenue metrics with your affiliate manager.

2 Engage with your Users

If you want to show that your affiliate portal has value, which you can put into numbers, then engage with the user base that you have. Send out mailers and use polls to get to know them better. Then, when you speak to affiliate manager you can tell them your open and conversion rates alongside your traffic numbers which will help to drive revenue conversations forward to higher rates.

This gives you leverage to be able to tell them what your exposure will really get them, the affiliate manager will also not have to operate blind to assuming their return on investments. Offering information before you negotiate prices also shows the affiliate manager that you’re willing to be proactive. Acquiring this information and performing data capture makes your affiliate brand much more valuable to operators, which can again be used as a tool.

3 Build your Social Media Traffic

Giving users the option to like your brand and share your content on social media can greatly improve the visibility of your brand. This performs two functions, operators will already know of you and they may actually approach you first for exposure in your social channels. To really understand where you can add value you need to understand what the operator wants – brand exposure or true delivery only.  using your social channels to engage customers with multiple brands can help deliver both opportunities and increase your revenue offsite. A few small changes on site to allow social connection, sharing  and engaging activity on your social media channels will make this possible. These allow users to take the action on social media without ever having to leave your site. Plugins like Click to Tweet and Twilighter add into your content in a non-intrusive way to make for improved social interaction.

4 Know your Space

The industry that iGaming affiliates work in is ever changing and expansive. To get the best possible deal and be able to speak with confidence during these negotiations, you must have a handle on the most up to date knowledge in the industry and your vertical as a whole.

Understand the value of your traffic and how it can best be utilised by the operator if you want to sell your portal effectively. Be prepared to discuss goals and your plans for growth, to show that you have them in place and how to get them to help you achieve them within the boundaries of their budget too.

Self-development and improvement are key in being able to represent your brand. Understand areas that you fall down on and identify ways in which you can seek to improve them. If a negotiation goes poorly, then figure out why this was the case and how you can prevent this from happening in the future.

5 Be Prepared and Confident

Preparation and confidence in what you have to say will allow an operator to have confidence in you. Correctly preparing yourself for a meeting, with reports and facts that will help them to convert better on your site will be respected by your affiliate manager. The facts and figures are important as a basis, but remember that affiliate marketing is a people business too.

Being prepared is relatively simple, spend the time getting ready for the negotiation beforehand, be direct and factual and don’t be tempted to just wing it. Not every operator will ask the same questions or go into the same amount of depth, but it’s better to be over prepared than under prepared.

Operators aim to sell to affiliates and vice versa, with both sides wanting the best deal possible for their brand. Leverage in the conversation is essential, but so are the people skills that you display. In these negotiations, operators have to figure out if they want to work with you, as well as your brand. Impress them with the tips above and you will be much better placed to ask for