Sales and Marketing: Are you making it easy for fans to sell your product or service?

Affiliate, partner, and reseller channels can do wonders for your business.  Unfortunately, making your product or service easy to sell can be a huge challenge.  Typically, unless the CEO understands how it works, you won’t get the resources needed to execute.

The companies below represent a list of examples.  If you know of others, shoot me an email and I’ll update this list.
  1. Google – Ever wonder how they can offer all those cool services for free?  In addition to their search advertising, Google makes lots of money by letting other companies put Google’s advertisers on their web pages.  From bloggers to social networks, companies are monetizing their traffic by letting Google do the heavy lifting.  The product is called Google Adsense and it’s one of the best example out there.
  2. Amazon – Okay, so this one is easy.  Amazon has basically reinvented online sales.  First, they allow companies to sell books through their site.  Yes, they allow used books to be sold right next to Amazon’s own new selection.  This has made Amazon the go-to site for book sellers and their customers.  Win win for Amazon and their competition.  Can you make money selling your competition’s products through you?  If not, then you had better hope one of your competitors isn’t bitten by the Amazon bug.
  3. Freshbooks – Quickbooks watch out.  The market is large and they now have an affiliate program.
  4. Shopify – E-commerce affiliate program.
  5. 37 Signals – A handful of good products and they now have an affiliate program.
  6. Upsellit – Ever wish you could offer customers an incentive to buy the items in their shopping cart before they click away?  Now you can.  Upsellit released their affiliate program to ramp up revenue without having to ramp up their sales team.
  7. MailBuild – This is a product sold to consultants to resell to clients.  It’s equipped with everything from advice on how to sell email marketing to best practices in template design.  It’s a very solid program.
There are hundreds more.  Do some research and testing to find out what will work for your product or service

Sales: Cold Calling Resources from Inc.

Look, it’s as simple as 1+1 = 2.  

Sales and marketing professionals need to pick up the phone and call people to make things happen.  Unfortunately, this simple concept is hard to execute and very hard to execute well.  
If you need new ideas (or a refresher course on old ones) about how to make calls that turn into leads, check out this article.

Sales: Negotiation, Inside the deal

If you’re involved in sales or marketing, do yourself a favor and check out this article from The Economist.

Essentially, it points out that research done by Adam Galinsky of Kellogg School of Management has found a strikingly simple insight. Empathy can make you sacrifice your own interests. In contrast, simply taking the perspective of the other side and leaving empathy at the door can help you find a solution that maximizes the interests of both sides.

Inside a deal
From The Economist print edition

It pays to get inside your opponents’ heads rather than their hearts

JUDGED by the number of times that negotiations are said to have ended in a “win-win situation”, striking a successful deal might seem easy. There are, after all, shelves full of books offering advice about how to succeed as a negotiator.

The main tip is to gain bargaining power by understanding the person on the other side of the table. But what exactly does a negotiator need to know about his antagonist? In a series of experiments a team of researchers have come up with some intriguing answers in a report just published in Psychological Science.

Adam Galinsky of Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Illinois, and his colleagues looked at two related approaches often used to understand the opponent in negotiations: perspective-taking and empathy. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, they are different. Perspective-taking is the cognitive power to consider the world from someone else’s viewpoint, whereas empathy is the power to connect with them emotionally.

They conducted a series of experiments using more than 150 MBA students who had just enrolled on a ten-week course on negotiations—so they were novices. The students were divided into pairs. One played the part of the seller of a petrol station and the other the buyer. They were told to strike a deal, but this could not be done on price alone, because the maximum the buyer was allowed to pay was lower than the seller’s reserve price. So only a creative deal would work (made possible because the seller needed to finance a sailing trip but would later want a job, and the buyer needed to hire managers to run the petrol station). Just over two-thirds of the pairs managed to reach a deal. Analysis showed that when the buyer in particular had a perspective-taking ability it could predict a successful outcome.