What does your market want? The essential element in making the sale that lots of people overlook!

By Affilorama Group
What does your market want? The essential element in making the sale that lots of people overlook!


Salespeople get a bad rap. The whole snake-oil salesman connotation has never fully been dropped, even though in our consumer-driven society, salespeople play a very crucial role. And while there may still be some unsavory characters out there trying to peddle what they can, when you find a good salesperson – not only do they make the buying process easier, but you want to buy off them again – and again, and again!

So what makes a good salesperson? A good salesperson seeks to understand why people buy. They provide a service and build relationships. A good salesperson becomes a trusted resource – your first point of call when you need something else.

A tale of two pitches

Contrast these two different situations;

I want to buy a stereo. I walk into one store and am confronted by a man who asks me if he can help. “I'm looking to buy a stereo” I say. “Well then! You should definitely buy this system here! It's got massive sub-woofers and a 500 Watt amp so it can really pump up loud. It's got a 10 CD changer, which of course you'll need. And have you considered home theater? We've got plasma screens on special right now, and I could do you a deal on both.”

This guy isn't going to be making his commission today.

I walk into the second store, and am approached by a woman who asks me if she can help. “I'm looking to buy a stereo,” I say again. “Ok then, well first of all, tell me what kind of music you listen to most? Jazz and blues? Ok. Now do you have CD's, records or digital music? Is space an issue? What's your price range?” After answering her questions she points me in the direction of a small system in the corner of the store. “I think this one would suit you; the speakers are really high quality so they're great for getting all the nuances of your jazz. It has a jack here so you can plug your iPod straight in, and it's pretty compact. It's at the top end of your price range though - we do have other options, but you won't get quite as high fidelity in the high-frequencies that I always find important with jazz music. What do you think?”

I'm sold.

Do you see the difference? One tried to push a product on me, while the other tried to understand my needs by asking me questions. Not only would I buy the stereo of the second salesperson, but a few months later when I want to buy a TV, where do you think I'm going to go to first?

Now obviously this isn't a perfect analogy when it comes to affiliate marketing. Affiliate sites tend to be more one-way promotion than a conversation (although not always- blogs comments work well). But this doesn't mean that you can't seek to understand your customer. What are their concerns; their motivations; their restrictions? While everyone who comes to your site will be different, they will all share a set of common traits if they have all been searching for something that has led them to your site.

Features are irrelevant

My sales professor always said “People don't buy features, they buy benefits!” What does that mean? It means you're not buying an iPod because of its dimensions, hard-drive space or screen size. You're buying the convenience of having your music in something portable – you're buying the ability to have a range of music to suit your mood wherever you are and you're buying the enjoyment that comes from watching your favorite movies anywhere without getting sore eyes. And in the case of the iPod, you're buying the acceptance that comes from having a popular fashion accessory. Benefits, not features.

So what benefits are in the product you are selling? And how can you write your sales copy to focus on how these benefits relate to the specific kind of person that will buy your product.

Stop trying to make everyone like you!

If you try to appeal to everyone, you'll appeal to no-one. Unless you have some unbelievable product that absolutely everyone must have (an affiliate program for oxygen would be nice), there is only a small group of people who will have any interest in your site, so they should be the only ones that matter. If you're selling weight loss products to women, don't put up pictures of buff guys. If you're selling hair-loss treatment to middle-aged men, don't make your site pink! Target specifically – don't worry if you alienate other people (though try not to offend!). If your target market likes your site, you will do better than if it just generally appeals to everyone. If you genuinely have a product that appeals to widely differing, incompatible groups, you might want to consider making two sites, each specifically targeted at one segment.

How to find out exactly what your market wants

Forums are hands down the best online way to find out what the concerns of your market are. Forums are where the prematurely bald speak out about their darkest fears. Forums are where you’ll find out what people trying to lose weight really care about. The great thing about forums is that you can sign up, post replies and ask questions. You can directly interact with your audience and step inside their shoes. Another great way is to encourage feedback through your site. Encourage people to comment on your blog posts - strike up debate and discussion. The information you unearth will provide you valuable insights into your customers behaviour. The power of such insider information to a salesperson is immense, and these days it’s easier than ever to find out exactly who your sales copy should be talking to.

Now this piece is just my opinion, and you may disagree – if so, please post a comment. Some of you might be having a lot of success doing things differently. But in my experience, the very best salespeople, companies and entrepreneurs are the ones who follow the approach of understanding their customer – is affiliate marketing any different?

ipod 15 years ago
I discovered your homepage by coincidence.
Very interesting posts and well written. Thx for sharing it, keep up the good work..
Bird Cages 15 years ago
What does the market want is such a hard question to find the answer. As a marketer, I can say that we don't know exactly what the market want. One way that we can do is just conducting the research with them. However, the research's results sometimes are not totally correct.
Rebecca 15 years ago
Great info.....thanks for sharing!
Nando 15 years ago
Hi Mark,

Excellent post. Market research is one of the most overlooked aspects of affiliate marketing. At least IMO. When I first got started with affiliate marketing, making money was ridiculously hard until I learned through trial and error the importance of understanding the markets needs.

What's really cool is that there are specific sites online that will tell you exactly who your target market is and where they like to hang out.

Powerful stuff man.

Joaquin 15 years ago
Insightful information as always Marc. I've heard on your training calls mentioning checking out forums is a great idea when doing market research. You are on the top of my list for a purchase from one of your training sites in the New Year. I know I will reap tremendous benefits by following your online marketing training. Wishing you and your family the best.
GLORIA 14 years ago
Excellent information..........keep sending them.........although I'm a Newbie, I am finding these pieces of information great.
Stan 14 years ago

Thanks for reminding me about the importance of a forum. I'm still new to this but, I know I'll eventually get used to it. Asking questions and learning where the niches are certainly makes sense to me.

william 14 years ago
Nice article Chris. Totally agree with you. This also leads to another issue and goes hand in hand. Do not be too much in a hurry to make that first sale and neglect the issues raised in this article. Rather build the foundations of your business on sound principles like these and on integrity. You will benefit in the long run.
Danilo Henriquez 14 years ago
Hi Thank you Affilorama for reminding Me about the forum.
JMichael 14 years ago
I am a salesman by trade and I can tell you that your second response is exactly what you should do. The sales process should be

1) Greet the person-- Hi, how are you, how can I help you today?
2) Are you looking for a sterio today? Then LISTEN, and ask them questions about what they would like and need, and LISTEN.
3) Based on what they have told you then try to RECOMMEND
JMichael 14 years ago
3) Based on what the customer has told you then RECOMMEND what you think would best suit their desires and needs. The whole point is help them get what they want.
4) Close the Sale-- This simply means ask them if they would like to purchase the product or service. Generally the customer will do this themselves if they are truely interested by asking--Do you have it in stock? When can it be delivered? If I retained your services how would it work?

Above all, remember One Thing----HONESTY SELLS----
Margene Smith 14 years ago
Thank you Mark this information is so very important. I have often become so involved in a project that I forget why I have began the project in the first place, helping people solve their problems.

Because of your BLOG article I have created a sign I have placed on the wall above my desk reading "Learn Your Customer's Needs - Solve Those Needs and Wants."

This sign is helping remind me how to direct the articles in my websites.

Again Thank you,
Joe Wa 14 years ago
Hello everybuddy,

I am still struggling in writing the benefits of the products I try to promote.
When English isnt your mother tongue I feel it a little bit difficult.

Is there any place on this site where i could find a kind of template to add benefits in my review pages.

Thank you in advance for you help!
Bernie Gilmour 13 years ago
@mynameis.. try asking this simple question to discover the benefits of your product - "so what?"

For example: this xyz is the lightest of its type - so what? - you won't get so tired carrying it all day - so what? - you will feel more energetic at the end of the day - so what? - you'll be fit to party all night!

So the benefit is: Buy xyz and you will have the energy to enjoy a fantastic night life!

Wow!.. If you can find that XYZ I will buy one! :))
DwarfHamster 13 years ago
Thanks once again for over-delivering. I always find your information on target and exactly what I needed to hear today.
kelli goodsir 12 years ago
Very good information-will come in very handy as I start my new adventure in the marketing arena-thank you and please continue with the useful info-I love reading it and cannot wait to put it to use.
Jade Campbell 12 years ago
Spot on advice and superbly written as always.
More importantly Mark and the team practice what they preach - no matter what level you are at in their training - free or paid, they have a geniune interest in helping us all to achieve our goals.

In case you are wondering - No - I don't work for them - but truly admire the work ethic, integrity and the over delivery of top quality training at all times. After spending 3 months devouring the basic free beginner training, I have recently joined the Affiloblueprint 3.0 training, and the natural flow on of training from the free beginner level - to a substantially deeper level of training is brilliant, and do able. I have become addicted to this training - daily - seriously becoming a hermit. Have to force myself to get out of the house and take a walk - but guess what - while I am walking, the well written instructions and the videos which are succinct and easy to follow, are wonderful brain fodder and I find ideas keep popping up as a result , so now I have to take a pen and exercise book. That's just a back up to the recorder on my android phone - incase it drops out!!
While all this has been going on , I have also been following "other" training people- and have found some of it valuable however the knowledge and training level is not a patch on Affiloramas.

Seriously this IS the best training around - take advantage of it and use it, I have set up 2 websites (with the "other" training), and are now ready to set up 5 more with Affiloramas training - I already know which sites will perform the best for me - dead straight!!

Jade in Brizzy
michael keating 11 years ago
Great post. Simple and to the point. In my opinion, when I approach sales I make a point to massage your customer down your "funnel" with a series of questions to properly qualify them. Then I am able to properly sell to them :)
10 years ago
Great tips !

What do you think of CPA offers?Will these tips work for them?I have a site, offering cpa programs.People register to the offers on the site, but when I send them messages, it fails.Why is that?Where is the problem in the communication?They register to my site, so probably they trust me, but why they don't register to my offers then?I don't want their money.I want them only to register for free.
Melissa Johnson 10 years ago
Boril, I recommend you head over to our forum to talk to some other members and see what they have to say on the matter. They might be able to pinpoint the issue for you: https://www.affilorama.com/forum/

Hope this helps!