1. Be upfront about payouts, pay rates, offer types, commission structures.
2. Google them and do research. Don’t rely on a business card, word of mouth or a forum for all of your insight. Impress the publisher with how much you knew about them before you called, and they will take the hook.
3. Interact on forums with them… argue or agree on industry issues they care about… just show that you care (and if you don’t care you should look for another line of work).
4. Don’t try to throw money, iPods, stereo equipment, cruises or other gimmicks at publishers to activate and retain them. It won’t work. If it does work, it doesn’t say much about that publisher.
5. Ask them advice on a potential new offer or industry issue by phone, im or email. People love to give feedback and state their point of view. Let them know you’re interested in theirs.
6. Don’t pressure them for leads when they have a down month. Pressuring never works.
7. Send Starbucks gift cards or cheese and wine baskets out of the blue. It’s the little things.
8. Ask them tough questions about how they are promoting your program or network offers. Don’t take gloss answers, but let them know you are actively looking at every publisher with some scrutiny to keep the quality of your offer or network high.
9. Don’t pretend like you know what you don’t know or that you are smarter than you really are… be humble and accept advice and complaints from publishers. Make a detailed “ADVICE” and “COMPLAINTS” list with info on who gave the input and how you can act on it. Then, act on it and email/call/im the publisher to let them know you are on top of things. You don’t have to make all the changes or tweaks the request, but let them know that you’re at least listening and entertaining the idea.
10. Treat the smallest publisher the same way you treat the highest performing loyalty site. It’s hard, but it works.
Have more advice? Leave them in the comments or send me an email.