5 things to remember when negotiating affiliate deals

We are sure you are all in the middle of some meaningful negotiations after a busy LAC2019 and ICE conference – and looking to build some strong and profitable relationships.  We’ve listed some of the typical mistakes that get made when negotiating new affiliate commercial deals:

Get focussed and Listen for opportunities

There are usually lots of people at events and they all talk a good game. To be effective you have to stay focussed on the conversation you are having and block out the noise. This means listening more than speaking. It takes a lot of courage to walk up to a stranger or new face and start pitching your business. So give affiliates a bit of time and space to sell their service to you, and engage and ask probing questions then make an assessment on the validity of their proposition to your business.

Being Too Aggressive

If you use phrases that could be portrayed as aggressive such as “how much traffic have you got” or  “This is a deal breaker”, or “This is non-negotiable”  – it can hinder the flow of the commercial conversation before it ever begins. It also stops you from having an open mind when an affiliate is talking to you about their business. Sometimes it’s not about the amount of traffic they have today – it is about what the relationship will yield over long term and how the affiliate might be able to promote your brand in a way you can’t. Having a short term view on the value of an affiliates site is a common misconception that occurs and it can seriously impact the start of your relationship in a negative way.

Rushing the Negotiation to a Conclusion

In order to seal the deal, it can be all too tempting to end negotiations quickly and move on without giving the affiliate time to consider your decision and reasoning.  Sometimes fear kicks in and you worry that the longer things go on, the less likely you are to get an agreement.  The point is , nothing could be further from the truth. A well struck deal that makes sense for both parties is always the ultimate goal. The longer people are engaging in conversation, the more likely it will be a favourable result comes forward for both parties.

Not Allowing Room for Concessions

Nobody likes to think they have lost a negotiation.  That’s why it’s essential that you make sure you leave room for some concessions.  The conversation should never be structured in such a way where someone walks away a winner, and the other a loser, you should both be comfortable with the risk , the value and the fee paid.

Not Having a Firm Agreement in Place

The worst thing that could happen in any negotiation is that you leave things unclear. What happens if things aren’t delivered, what happens on payment terms, these finer details need to be discussed and clarified so there is no doubt on what the deal covers. Everyone needs to know where they stand, and what’s expected of them.  If someone doesn’t deliver on what they say they will or fulfil their end of the bargain – a firm agreement is a way to make them accountable. Get an Insertion order or order form signed – which clearly states the terms, especially when there is prepaid or fixed fee deals in place.
If you are an affiliate manager in the midst of big negotiations hopefully you will have a better idea as to how to make it run a bit more smoothly.  For more marketing strategy and tactics that can help your affiliate program growth, register for our Digital Marketing Forum taking place on the 21st March. 

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