There’s just no denying the fact that the words “salesman” or “sales representative” immediately turns most people off. These words conjure up images of slick and sleazy used car salesmen we used to watch on TV commercials who resort to flashing insincere smiles and deploying sneaky subterfuges just to close the sale.
The general impression is that sales people will sell their mother just to meet their target and the only thing straight about them is their hair.
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So the question now is, why the public perception and how do we overcome this?
Why do sales people have such a negative reputation? Why is the sight of an insurance agent or an Amway representative enough to send most people running for the hills or slamming their doors?
The answer quite simply boils down to “poor sales skills.” People love to buy. It makes them feel good and they want to do it… but they hate being sold to. Herein lies the problem.
The experienced salesperson knows exactly how to approach his potential customer and convince them that their life will be incomplete without the product he is selling. He doesn’t need to hard sell anyone because he’s a master at communication.
However, the inexperienced salesman is totally focused on making the sale at the expense of everything else. They do not communicate properly because they’re intent on closing the deal. As a result, they exude an air of desperation, hard-sell the prospective customer, and it repels them.
The inexperienced sales person appears to be in it for only for the money and soon begins to look sleazy. The sad truth is that the majority of sales people are in this category, when all they need is a little education and EQ on how to approach a potential customer and what to focus on.
How the Super Affiliate Marketer Avoids the “Sleazy” Brand
“So what does this have to do with affiliate marketing?” you might be asking. Well… everything. An affiliate marketer is akin to the salesman we’ve been discussing. Instead of meeting prospects face to face, the contact with prospects is online.
Because the contact is on a web page, the affiliate marketer needs to engage his audience with his personality and be persuasive with his words without sounding phony or sleazy.
Let’s look at 7 ways for you to become a super affiliate marketer without appearing sleazy or worse, desperate. While the tips below may seem like common sense, rest assured that when faced with the pressure of meeting sales targets or generating a specific income, all common sense goes out the window and emotions take over. In times like these, it’s especially crucial that you adhere to the following tips.
1. Create a Customer Avatar
A customer avatar is a fictional person that represents your ideal customer. You know exactly what their wants and needs are. You know exactly how your product is perfect for them.
As a super affiliate marketer you should have a very good understanding of who your product is perfect for. While many of the prospects you target may not fit in perfectly with your customer avatar, as long as they display some of the same needs and wants of your avatar, you’ll be able to hone in on these needs and develop a more convincing pitch.
A solid customer avatar will help you to anticipate objections. This understanding will allow you time to prepare and overcome these objections so that you’re ready when you actually “face” them with your sales pitch; either with a sales page or email.
A super affiliate marketer learns to anticipate and overcome objections
The ability to overcome objections is a valuable skill to possess as an affiliate marketer or when selling your own product. The ability to overcome objections is crucial to the success of reaching your target sales.
For example, if you’re selling a weight loss product or gym equipment, one common objection will be that it’s too expensive. So what will you do? Telling people they can’t put a price on their health won’t work… of course they can. People have choices and can shop around for a better deal elsewhere.
If your potential customer is a young man who wants to get a fit body to attract the ladies, you could point out that the gym equipment will pay for itself many times over when he looks ripped and attracts the ladies’ attention wherever he goes.
If your potential customer is a lady who wants to get in shape, you could say that with this piece of gym equipment, she has everything she needs to get in shape so that she’ll look good in anything she wears.
Now you’ve given your customers an emotional reason to make the purchase and they’ll gladly purchase from you.
You can have several different customer avatars for the same product. The avatar is just a tool to help you understand your prospect and be prepared to sell to in a way that resonates with them. You must be on the same frequency as your prospect.
2. Listen and Learn
This is the key to succeeding as a super affiliate marketer. In fact, this is the key to succeeding with sales, period. It’s all about listening to the customer and understanding their needs. Follow your audience; hang out in the forums or groups they do and listen to what they’re talking about.
When you first make contact with a prospective customer in a group or forum discussion, don’t even mention your product. In fact, the best marketers don’t mention their product in the initial contact. They’re more concerned with what the prospect needs.
You need to listen to your customers!
By listening intently and showing empathy, you’re building a relationship with a customer. If we use the same gym equipment example above, you’ll discover the emotional reasons why people are considering joining the local gym and forking over a good chunk of money for the membership. But you have a better solution under your hat.
When talking to your prospect, you notice that maybe they lack confidence because they’re overweight and they hope to shed the pounds. Or maybe they had a life-threatening health issue and now they want to turn their lives around. It could be a mother who wants to be healthy and fit so she can see her kids grow up.
Or, it could be a wife who wants her husband to take notice of her again. It could be anything… but you’ll only find out if you listen and show that you have their best interests at heart. Doing this alone is enough to show that you’re not just another sleazy marketer.
Over and above all, be genuine. People can discern if you truly care or if you’re just going through the motions.
3. Promote Only What You Believe In
You can’t convince others if you’re not convinced yourself. You absolutely must believe in what you’re selling. Not only will your pitch be more convincing, but you’ll also feel a sense of satisfaction. You’ll be more driven and have more desire to tell the world just how great the product is.
Avoid promoting or selling something that you don’t believe in just because you want the money. This happens online and offline too. Every day, many online marketers email their list promoting products that they’ve never tried nor have any interest in. They just want the commissions. The people reading these emails can tell; trust me on this.
Over time, they lose credibility and their list of subscribers stop believing them… and once this happens, it’s game over in many cases. If someone does not believe you, they won’t buy from you.
Believe in your product and your prospect or subscriber will believe in you; your chances of getting the sale will skyrocket.
4. Know What You’re Selling
You must know your product. This is so important. Make it a point to know as much as you possibly can about your product. Anticipate any questions potential customers might have. This is what the super affiliate marketers do.
You need to know all the features of your product like the back of your hand. When talking to your prospect or creating your sales copy, you’ll mention these features, highlighting their benefits and show how these will put an end to your prospect’s problems.
Again, let’s use the gym equipment as an example of features vs. benefits.
Features: The gym equipment has a variety of features that enable them to structure a workout program that meets their specific needs, be it a cardio workout, walking, weight lifting, rowing, stair climbing, etc.
Benefits: They get all the advantages of a gym membership without leaving their home. They’ll not need to wait for the machines in the gym and this saves them time. The equipment is available to them 24/7 so they’re more likely to meet their fitness objectives. How could they not?
5. Consistency and Follow Up
This is a “must do” if you want to improve your sales and become a super affiliate marketer. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling digital goods, physical goods or services. Not everyone you encounter is going to buy on the first pitch.
Always get contact information; name and email address at the very least, regardless of how you sell. Whether you work online or in the real world, you can always send follow up emails at intervals to let your contacts know of deals or just to remind them about your product.
The same applies if you also have a physical address. You mail your prospect brochures or promotional material informing them of discounts or special deals. It’s all about not letting them forget you.
Even if you’ve successfully made a sale, stay in touch with your customer. Check in on them from time to time to see if they’re using what they purchased and to offer assistance if necessary.
If someone forked out a few thousand dollars for an expensive item such as the gym equipment we used as an example, it would be wise to stay in touch with them. Your continued interest may very well generate repeat sales or recommendations through word of mouth.
Of course, do exercise common sense here. The same wouldn’t necessarily apply if they bought a potato peeler for five dollars. You’re a sales person, not a stalker; you should understand the difference. You’re a super affiliate, after all.
6. Be Prepared For the Competition
Will you have competition? Of course you will. It’s inevitable in any profitable industry. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling; there will always be others selling similar products.
The goal here is to know why your product is better. You need to know the unique selling point of your product. Does it last longer? Is it more affordable? Does it taste better or look better?
What makes a Lamborghini better than a Porsche or a Ferrari? We most likely don’t know the answer but you can bet that the sales people at the Lamborghini dealership have 10 reasons why their badass vehicle is head and shoulders above the others.
You don’t need to knock down or bad-mouth your competition and you shouldn’t. But you must be prepared to highlight why your product is more suitable for the client’s needs.
It’s all about framing the offer and painting it in the best possible light so that it seems like the best choice. And certainly the prospective buyer needs to believe it’s the best choice.
7. Exude Confidence and Avoid the Hype
You must communicate with your prospect from a place of confidence. As a super affiliate marketer, you need to be convinced that what you’re selling is an excellent product and you need to exhibit that conviction.
Furthermore, you need to overcome objections by addressing them before the customer can even voice them. That indicates you know your product inside and out and you understand their needs.
By showing confidence in your product, the buyer will begin to believe that it’s in their best interest to make the purchase.
If, however, you employ high-pressure tactics such as telling the buyer that if they don’t make the decision now the opportunity will be gone forever, then you fall into the “sleazy affiliate marketer” category. While the claim may be true if you’re selling a one-of-a-kind custom home, it doesn’t hold up for most other products.
Nothing reeks of sleaziness more than the obvious falsehoods perpetrated by these strong-arm tactics. Nor is there any need to resort to hyperbole to get the sale or keep pressing your prospects till they cave in.
It’s very common online to hype up products with bold, unrealistic claims just to get the sale. In almost all cases, the product never lives up to the hype and is a disappointment.
Believe in your product and communicate with confidence, sincerity, and above all, honesty. If you can do that, that’s more than half the battle won.
Becoming a super affiliate marketer requires an understanding of human nature. Every super affiliate marketer knows that establishing and maintaining a rapport with their customers increases their opportunities to make more sales in the future.
Get this part right and you’ll excel at sales and meet your objectives without appearing sleazy to others. So heed these tips and adopt them.
You’ve probably heard this quote a million times, and it’s true. Always remember that people who go “shopping” do so because they want to buy… so help them get what they want and become their hero, not their worst nightmare.
Before I close, here’s a real-world example of what you can achieve as a super affiliate. Take a look at Pat Flynn’s website, Smart Passive Income. Just click on the graph in the upper right corner to check out his earnings; month by month, year after year.
Pat is arguably one of the most successful affiliate marketers on the Internet and has earned the title of “Super Affiliate Marketer” in my book. Pay attention to Pat and you’ll learn a lot. Download his short report if you’re serious about becoming an affiliate marketer.
This is how you become a super affiliate marketer.