Affiliate Drive Time Week 43: Listen to understand, not just reply

If you think about it carefully, you’ll realise that there’s a big difference in the two types of listening methods mentioned above.

But why is it so important to understand the different?

When you speak to affiliates or publishers about commercial negotiations, it can be easy to lapse into a conversation of a sales type. This makes you come across as pushy, because you’re listening just to reply.

While running affiliate programs, a top tool that I’ve learned is to practice listening to understand. It’s incredibly helpful for the quality of your response.

This week in #AffiliateDriveTime, I’ll be talking about my top tips for negotiating. 

Don’t interrupt someone to impose your solutions.

Listen fully to the barrier or point that is causing the sticking around before securing a price or deal. Then, once the affiliate has finished detailing their side of the issue, offer to take some time to think about possible solutions. This will give the affiliate a sense that you’re taking their concern seriously and want to provide more than just a quick fix. 

Clarify. Ask questions like why, what and how. 

Why am I not being promoted? How can we change this? What can be done to help?

Sometimes, asking a simple question will get to the root of the problem much quicker. Affiliates appreciate direct communication. They’re busy people and managing multiple programs and brands. So, cutting to the quick can really help you to stand out. 

Pay attention to non-verbal cues in the conversation. 

This includes body language, tone and posture (if you’re on Skype or at an event). Use these clues to direct the conversation, as well as where and how far you can push limits for your negotiation.

These clues can really help you to either win or lose a commercial negotiation.

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