Expert: Rosalind Gardner

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About the Expert

As a pioneer in online affiliate marketing, we could think of no better individual to lend their wisdom on “Sell Without Selling” more than Rosalind Gardner. Rosalind Gardner is the owner of and has been doing business online since 1998. Prior to starting her venture she was an air traffic controller with no business or web programming experience. With focus, determination and persistence to learn the business, she was able to quit her day job and become a successful full-time online affiliate marketer in 2000. Rosalind’s knowledge and successes have been the subject of many articles in publications such as Six Figure Income and Revenue Magazine as well as her own best-selling book, The Super Affiliate Handbook.

I was kind of shocked when the nice people at Chitika asked me to blog on the topic of Learn to Sell, because although I’ve sold millions of dollars of products for my affiliated merchant partners each year for the past several years, I still don’t consider what I do as ‘selling’. Quite frankly, I hate being sold to and can only imagine that you feel the same about the steady barrage of product pitches that you see on sites and in your email. The point is to remember that our customers are likewise put off by the hype they too see every day, so it’s our job as online marketers to advise, recommend and endorse products rather than try to ‘sell’ them. The first step is to start from a friendly perspective by getting to know who your site visitors are and what they need and want through polls, surveys or direct request. Then prove that you understand and have empathy for their concerns by echoing their frustrations. Share a personal story of your own experience with a similar problem and tell them how you were able to solve that problem with the product you are about to endorse.

Above all, be honest. No product is perfect, so a 100% positive product endorsement will be met with skepticism and resistance by your readers. Therefore, be sure to point out any minor shortfalls and limitations. Alternatively, consider comparing and contrasting two different products to give your visitors a variety of options from which to choose. Finally, close your endorsement with an enthusiastic reminder of your thumbs up rating and a recommendation to buy the product. In a nutshell, take that salesman’s hat off and start talking to your visitors the same way you would if you were discussing a product you really like with a friend. That’s how to sell without selling. 🙂