Affiliate Summit East 2011: How to Pitch Your Company #ASE11
Session Description: Candid advice for exhibitors representing their company at the Affiliate Summit conference. On the panel were:
- Tricia Meyer, Owner, Sunshine Rewards (Moderator)
- Robert Adler, President, The Link Builders
- Ad Hustler, Chief Hustler, Ad Hustler, LLC
- Kim Rowley, Owner, Key Internet Marketing, Inc.
I have to admit that this session came off unlike what I thought I was in for. What I expected was tips to hone your pitch when talking to people. What I got was a newcomers’ guide to attending conferences. While there’s definitely a lot of value in that, especially for, well, newcomers, there wasn’t a ton of value in it for me. However, I did pick up some “best practices” that I’ll definitely be sharing with folks that are new to trade shows and nervous about representing their companies well!
Bullet Point Review!
- Don’t look straight at a person’s name tag for their name, just ask for it. Don’t devalue a person based on what their badge says their role is – people wear many hats in this industry.
- Business is supposed to be personal to a point.
- Don’t look over people’s shoulders to see who else there is to talk to (it’s rude!).
- Don’t judge people based on what they’re wearing. Never think the way they dress equates to how much money they can make.
- CPA networks rely on a gender bias going towards men. Ladies can drive leads too.
- Don’t assume people are in a role they’re not.
- Highest price, best offers…most of your CPA networks claiming these things are full of it. Only one network can have THE highest price or THE best offers, so you’re all just lying. Develop a relationship with the affiliate – the rest is nonsense.
- Have a unique pitch. What is it about your company that’s different from your competitors?
- Name one thing that will make you walk past a booth?
- Booth babes. They don’t know anything about your company and it looks pathetic. You’re not going to attract real performers that way. As Ad Hustler said, your hot chick isn’t going to entice them because they can probably afford a hotter one!
- When people working at the booth look disinterested in being there. Potential partners need to see your excitement!
- Aggressive sales mentality. It doesn’t work in affiliate marketing. These panelists said they’d avoid a booth if they saw the staff trapping other attendees.
- Knowledge is the best sales tool. Everyone at Affiliate Summit is a sales person when you think about it. Make us interested.
- Don’t spam. If you add a person to a list after a short conversation with them, it’s a big turn off. A follow up email, however, is good; if you don’t follow up within a week, people will forget about you.
- Be memorable, in a good way.
- Have you had bad booth experiences?
- Don’t snipe people as they walk by your booth with the lead scanner gun.
- Tell someone what you do quickly – be respectful of people’s time and busy schedules during a conference.
- Anecdote: Tricia was trapped in a conversation in a booth for almost 10 minutes and couldn’t get away. The personal eventually admitted that they wanted to practice their pitch on her!
- Good booth experiences?
- If someone is an expert at whatever it is they do, it gives a person confidence that they’re the best person to work with. Be the expert.
- Listen to what the other person is saying about their company. You can brainstorm together.
- Just don’t lie.
- What do you NOT want to hear at Affiliate Summit?
- I can get you higher payouts!
- We have the best offers!
Points brought up during the Q&A
- If you’re confident in what you do, you can afford to be a little annoying.
- Some of the best opportunities to pitch your company can be the least obvious.
- How do you quickly explain affiliate marketing?
- You’re the guy in the duck outfit outside the pizza place trying to get people to come in and order.
- What you put in is what you get out.
- Is there a tension of working with both affiliates and other vendors?
- Affiliates expect it, as long as you’re not wasting the other vendors time they’ll be open to partnerships.
- What are the best opportunities for networking?
- Meals and cocktail hours. Just start a conversation with someone.
- Let people know that they can refer people to you if they think there’s a good fit.
- Cab lines, heck any line where people are probably from the conference.
- Don’t pitch people you don’t know – wait until they ask what you do. Wait until someone asks for your card.
- Hang around and talk to speakers after sessions.
- Give free stuff to bloggers.
- How do you pitch when you have multiple hats on?
- Start with everything.
- Come up with something memorable (e.g. I’m a hustler).
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