Sramana Mitra: What were the profiles of these people? Were they sales people?
David Sharpe: Yes. Initially, we were looking to find people who would help us go out and promote our products and services. We went after salespeople, promoters, and marketers.
Sramana Mitra: What did you tell them? What was the call to action for these 40-50 people?
David Sharpe: It was a call to action combined with a vision. I think a lot of times when an entrepreneur is launching a business, one of the biggest mistakes that they make is just saying facts. We all know that facts and telling stories don’t work. Our call to action was simply buy our products, use them, go through them so you can buy-in to what you’re actually promoting. What we did was, in combination with giving them a call to action, we also painted a vision of where we wanted to go with the company.
Sramana Mitra: What was that?
David Sharpe: We wanted to create an atmosphere in a company where you don’t have to be an expert at selling stuff because we can make world-class marketing materials that can assist you in selling our products. What you just have to do is learn how to plug-in to the system. As far as sales go with a lot of companies, they train all of their people to become world-class salespeople instead of creating world-class sales tools to assist their salespeople in making a sale and leveraging on a system.
Sramana Mitra: You are basically trying to create an affiliate marketing network and give them good affiliate marketing tools. By using which, they can promote your products and generate affiliate commissions for themselves, is that correct?
David Sharpe: Exactly.
Sramana Mitra: Now tell us what are some of the best practices that you have learned in creating, what you just described as, world-class marketing and promotional material that help your affiliates make large amount of commissions.
David Sharpe: The smart thing that we did was allowing them to leverage on technology. We created automated online sales calls where they could run their customers without having to go around and manually talk to one person at a time. What has created the biggest numbers inside of our company is good marketing material and good sales presentations. What do I mean by good sales presentations? When somebody goes through a sales funnel online, they usually give you an email address so you can follow up on them. Then you can take them to a sales page that has a video on it and clearly, that video has to converse. We’re good at creating those sales videos. If you’re not good, you can always outsource that to a coffee writer, to write a compelling sales letter. We’ve done that as well.
We’re doing more of that now as we’re creating more sales material. We put it on the website, which allows people to share it on Twitter. It allowed people to email us their database and run them through our sales funnel, which allows them to have more than one prospect looking at the sales presentation at a time. That was probably the number one secret to our success over the course of the last two years.
Sramana Mitra: How many affiliate partners do you have?
David Sharpe: Right now, we have 30,000 active.
Sramana Mitra: Talk to me about how you built this network of 30,000 affiliate partners.
David Sharpe: If you’re building a network of affiliates, they have to be making money. So our number one priority is to assist people in making as much money as possible. I’m solely talking about the affiliate part of our business. We choose to pay people a higher commission than what most companies are willing to do. We choose to pay them darn near 100% commission. The reason why we do that is because we’re more interested in making small amounts of money from a lot of people.
In order to be an affiliate, somebody has to pay an affiliate fee each month. The higher commission motivated them to go out and sell more stuff. I think one of the biggest sickness, for a lack of a better word, that I’ve seen other companies have is greed. Greed will get you in trouble and won’t motivate people to work with you. We are very selfless and very giving in the amount of money that we are willing to pay people, which excited them to sell our products.