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How to Successfully Train Your Affiliates

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Your affiliates are the back-bone of your Internet based business. They are your true sales force. But, unlike in the off-line world, they don’t get paid by the hour; they get paid for the sales they make.

Sure, this means you only pay for what you sell … but it also means that you need to train these people to motivate themselves to dedicate their time to marketing and selling the products that will bring you, and them, a nice commission.

No matter if you’re an affiliate owner or just a participant in some or other affiliate program – you make money when you and your downline make sales. Having 1,000 affiliates will do you little good and bring in little money, if they won’t sell!

So, the main question is: How can you successfully train your affiliates to achieve the best sales results on-line or off-line?

WORD-OF-MOUTH. You can tell things to people. While word-of-moth can be powerful when applied to other areas, like advertising (for example), this method is very weak when applied to sales training. However, it “can” function as a good catalyst or in concert with other methods.

Training by “word-of-mouth” works primarily on the mind by aquainting people with something – either by confirming or denying a certain way of thinking. Sometimes even a single word or sentence read is enough to unleash an avalanche of new ideas or experiences – but when that happens, the person was already on the verge of change and just needed one final “push” to get there.

REPETITION. Either you repeat what you said or repeat what you’ve demonstrated. There are only two possible consequences: either the trainee will accept what you are offering and build towards critical mass in this new direction or they will reject what you’re offering and turn inward. If you say or show things that this person is not yet ready for (“pushing”), every repetition will generate a new and greater resentment. By doing this, you are building a critical mass of negative feelings towards whatever it is you are pushing the person to accept.

The best way is to teach by example. This is the only way that really works in real life. People do not generally “do as you say,” they “do as you do.” It’s also the only method where you can’t be aggressive and doesn’t compromise the person’s integrity. Speaking “may be” welcome (if the person you speak to really wants to hear what you have to say) or unwelcome and forceful if the person isn’t yet ready to open up to new information. Teaching by example can be effective for many reasons:

1) You show how something can be done and the right path to achieve it.

This means you lay out the exact steps your affiliates should take when marketing your products. Give them step-by-step directions with real-life stories of how those very steps worked for you. Give them all the sales material you can prepare and also tell them exactly how each piece worked for you and how to use it best.

But do not give them empty words and promises – never show them something you yourself haven’t tried before and cannot back-up. People will feel when you are just saying something to make them sell harder, but haven’t really succeeded with it yourself.

This is especially important if you are a only part of some affiliate program and are trying to teach your downline how to market more successfully. If you try to teach them things that you are not 100% certain in they will get burned and lose faith in you in the long-run. Most affiliate programs offer their affiliates “old” steps that everyone already knows about … and most know they don’t work anymore. This can be YOUR point of difference!

So, the most important thing to remember is: Preach What You Practice, not Practice What You Preach!

2) You show that it’s possible (replies to our “wishes” for better sales is often: “Yeah, right. Why isn’t someone else achieving this?”) by giving them an example of success in someone close to them, that they can touch.

Keep records of all your other affiliates’ successes and ask them to describe them for you in detail, so that you can show them to others. It’s best to publish a special newsletter just for you affiliates. In it offer the following:

a) Step-by-Step instructions on how to market the products (with the results you and the other affiliates achieved with them and real-life stories to prove it)

b) Publish a success story of one of your affiliates every month, listing the results he achieves and the steps he makes to achieve them. Let this affiliate tell your subscribers how his actions changed his life for the better, and not just the financial part.

c) Offer your other affiliates a chance to post questions to you and your other successful affiliates and post the answers in the newsletter.

d) Provide them with all your sales material, but also explain why a specific piece did well. Teach them how to write their own!

e) Give your less experienced affiliates a chance to speak their mind and share their stories with other affiliates as well!

Create a feeling of team-work within your downline, attach your affiliates to it in all meanings of the word … and they will stay your’s forever, as well as provide top results.

3) You show how the environment is going to accept what you are showing and expecting them to do (many people are afraid of what others will say and whether they will still accept them if they take an uncomfortable risk by doing something new – this ESPECIALLY goes for Internet-based affiliate programs).

You must understand that people always have certain barries implanted in them. Even if they decide to join an affiliate program that doesn’t mean that they trully accepted it because they fear what their environment thinks. They might not even realize this, but by not fully accepting this way of life they are hindering their sales success by themselves.

This is again where your personal story and the stories of your super-affiliates come in to play. Give your affiliates real stories of how people started out in affiliate programs and fought their environment’s dissaproval, but came out winners in the end, showing all others that what they are doing as just as much respectful as any other work.

4) You show they can get practical help from the person who sets the example, because they have already “gone through” all of the phases, faced the same or similar problems and succesfully resolved them. Thus, the affiliates know they won’t be left to themselves in a critical situation and will have someone beside them that can and will help them (this differs greatly from the help that comes from the management of the company that mostly just talks, nags and pressures – without giving any real or practical solutions).

How can you show this? For starters immediatelly help all your affiliates when they request it. And then write about it in your newsletter … you have to let people know what you are doing, or they just won’t know it.

5) You show that they won’t be held 100% responsible for their actions, because they are only going to “work the system” that was designed by others. Many people really don’t want to be responsible for everything they do. Instead, they prefer to be shown how to do something and then they just follow the example. In this case they want control, but not responsibility.

Why is this important? Because they actually fear their own failiures. They fear what their environment might think if they do fail. They fear what it will do to their self-confidence.

So, when they begin working with you hold them by their hands and make them feel comftorable working your system. Tell them straight it won’t be their fault if it doesn’t work like they hoped, but also give them real hope, based on your previous results and hard numbers.

Implementing the methods above will increase the success of your affiliates, which increases your success as well! Teach enough people to be successful and your success is ensured!

Rok Hrastnik is acknowledged as one of the top worldwide experts on RSS marketing. Get the easy way to mastering RSS marketing today. Click here now to get all the details on how to make RSS marketing work for you and help you increase your online profits: http://rss.marketingstudies.net/?src=sa31

How to Successfully Train Your Affiliates
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About Rok Hrastnik
Rok Hrastnik is acknowledged as one of the top worldwide experts on RSS marketing. Get the easy way to mastering RSS marketing today. Click here now to get all the details on how to make RSS marketing work for you and help you increase your online profits: http://rss.marketingstudies.net/?src=sa31 WebProNews Writer
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