My daughter is 15 years old. That means that she was precisely the right age when the whole “Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy…” thing happened. If you’re unfamiliar, allow me to enrich your life.
The song is “Call Me Maybe” performed by Canadian teeny popper Carly Rae Jepsen and produced by none other than Justin Bieber. Needless to say this little tune is fun, but hardly a timeless classic. It does, however, speak to our subject today.
How do you connect this to affiliate sales? I’ll show you. I know a lot of people who have tried affiliate sales and been disappointed by a lack of response and results. Affiliate sales are not a bad idea, but they have to be built on the proper foundation.
Just as you are unlikely to find your lifelong soulmate with an approach like, “I just met you and this is crazy, but here’s my number, so call me maybe,” (not to mention the fact that crazy and maybe don’t rhyme) you are unlikely to experience success with, “I just met you and this is crazy, but here are some links to stuff, so buy some maybe.”
Today I will show you the secrets of successful affiliate sales. Here we go.
3 Stages of An Affiliate Relationship
Establish Your Expertise
The first thing you need to do when considering affiliate sales is to establish your expertise in the subject area. I know a lot about digital marketing, but I don’t know squat about horse breeding. Therefore, you’re not going to find affiliate links to horse breeders on my website ( much to my daughter’s chagrin).
Here are three ways to establish your expertise in any subject area:
- Publish Verifiable Results – I do this monthly in my “Just the Facts” posts. You can read the first one here. By publishing results based on real data and not just your opinion, you demonstrate that you know how to do the things you teach or advocate. People may be skeptical if your claims, but it’s hard to argue with numbers straight from an authority like Google.
- Publish a Body of Work – Another way to establish your expertise is to publish a sizable body of work. Snake oil salesmen rarely settle in town, because they have a limited bag of tricks. By publishing extensively on a subject, you prove that you have a deep interest in it and that you plan to stick around for plenty of discussion.
- Publish Testimonies from Others – Perhaps the best way to establish your expertise is to publish the testimonies of people you’ve helped. This is what we call Social Proof and it is incredibly powerful. It offers third-party confirmation that you know what you’re talking about and people will respect it. In fact Social Proof will become increasingly more important over the next 30 years.
Build A Relationship Of Trust
Once you’ve established your expertise, it’s time to build a relationship that’s stronger than, “Here’s my number. Call me maybe.” As little as a decade ago, people bought things based mainly on flash and convenience. But nowadays things have changed and people want to buy something they can depend on from someone they trust.
Here are the three phases of building a trusting relationship:
- Give – The first phase of earning someone’s trust is to give. And for this we turn to our Five Rules of Giving. Give First, Give Freely, Give Best, Give All, and Give Credit. When you give, you show that you are willing to invest in the relationship. Investment is a promise of security and security is the beginning of trust.
- Support – The second phase of earning someone’s trust is support. Willingness to support your customers is evidence of commitment. They want to know that you’ll be there if they need help or want to buy more of your product in the future. Providing support also lets them know that you will come through and make them look good when they refer their friends to you.
- Celebrate – The third phase of earning someone’s trust is to celebrate. Celebrating your customers successes communicates that you had their best interest at heart all along. It’s one thing to say how cool you are or how cool your product is – that’s promotion. It’s another thing to say how cool your customers are and let the world infer how cool you and your product are. That’s celebration.
Present An Offer That’s A Win For Everyone
Only after you have established your expertise and built a relationship of trust, can you truly craft a winning offer. A winning offer is one that gives all parties a win and there are three parties to think about – Your Customer, Your Affiliate, and Yourself.
Here are the three elements of a winning offer:
- A Win For Your Customer – There are a couple of ways that your customer wins. First, he gets a quality product at a fair price. Second, he gets the opportunity to give back to you. Don’t underestimate this. There is a blessing that comes from giving to someone. It’s like the ultimate “Thank You.” By allowing your customer to give to you, you complete the relationship and both of you are blessed for the experience.
- A Win For Your Affiliate – Your affiliate wins by completing a sale, moving inventory, and gaining a contact. You’ve given up front by providing a sale and you’ve given long-term by providing an opportunity for your affiliate to build the same kind of relationship with your customer. This makes you a valuable part of your affiliate’s sales funnel and he’s more likely to partner with you in the future.
- A Win For Yourself – You win in this situation by making a commission from your affiliate, but even more than that, you win by providing a positive experience for your customer. This makes him more likely to come to you the next time he needs something. It earns you another chance to deepen your relationship of trust and that can only help you going forward.
Well, that’s it. You are now in the know and, with a few more secrets of the universe in your pocket, you’re ready to give affiliate sales a try. Just make sure that you only use your power for good, young padawan.
What experiences have you had with affiliate sales? Share a comment and let’s talk about it.