Want trust? Show them, don’t tell them

Building loyalty and credibility is an important part of profitable indirect partner program. Here are some ways of generating trust when launching your next channel incentives campaign.

Gather testimonials

Any positive anecdotes, comments or case studies you can gather from past campaign participants will be like gold in convincing others to join in — especially if they come from people in the same or similar roles. According to Nielsen, 92% of people tend to trust peer recommendations, and 70% will trust recommendations from people they don’t even know.

Present scenarios showing what participants could earn

Instead of blanket statements about percentages and tiered rewards, offer concrete examples of how much Sales Specialist A can make if he sells X amount of product in X amount of time. That sets the stage for exactly what’s at stake and helps participants start imagining their own success.

Do what you say you’re going to do

If you tell participants you’ll be responsive to their communications throughout your campaign, make sure you return their calls, emails and/or texts promptly. Follow the established rules of your campaign to the letter. And perhaps most importantly, pay out incentives promptly so your partners don’t have to wonder how and when they’ll be rewarded for their efforts.

Demonstrate support

Don’t just assume participants will know how to sell your product; provide them with the training they need to be successful and make yourself available when they have questions or concerns. Talk to them about how to demonstrate your product and how to overcome common sales objections; You might also provide them a comprehensive list of customer FAQs they can use during the sales process.

Listen to feedback

As your promotion progresses, listen carefully and take thorough notes as partners talk to you about their challenges, concerns and areas of success. When possible, incorporate changes accordingly when you do a second campaign with the same partner — and make sure they know their input led to the changes.

Acknowledge that sales can be difficult

Nothing is more frustrating to an experienced sales professional than unsolicited advice from someone who’s never worked “on the front lines.” It’s unrealistic to expect every sales transaction they attempt to proceed seamlessly; instead, convey to participants that you understand their challenges, you appreciate their efforts and you’re trying to make everything as easy as possible on your end.