The NY Tax session at Affiliate Summit East was an incredible experience for a few reasons. The impact of this session is tremendous. Of course having the opportunity to present to merchants and affiliates a solution that would enable them to resume a business relationship was the primary objective, we accomplished other things.
The NY Tax session enabled me to share more than the solution. Our session was structured it so that we could each share the impact of the law. It was critical for the merchants at the session to see that New York affiliates were being destroyed. We were not just hobbyists losing a merchant; we were business owners being destroyed. For the most part, we are not in affiliate marketing to pay for vacations; we do it to support our families. Affiliates needed to see the merchants’ perspective and realize that it was not as simple as we may have thought.
When we moved on to presenting the solution I could tell that many were shocked. Those that hadn’t yet seen the sample documentation were amazed at the simplicity of it all. The solution was very well received at the session and afterwards. Many merchants are moving forward with the solution; they indicated that they will be presenting the solution to their legal departments.
New York Affiliates came to Affiliate summit with a plan of helping to educate merchants and other affiliates on the NY tax issue. We carried samples of the documents and made sure every merchant we spoke to was aware of the availability of sample documents to enable them to continue or resume partnering with NY affiliates. As with the merchants and affiliates at the session, those we spoke to were excited and eager to move forward. I am receiving many emails from merchants who appreciated our efforts at the Summit. More importantly they are taking steps to reinstate New York Affiliates!
The impact of the NY Tax session at the Affiliate Summit stretches out beyond the positive reaction to the solution and reinstatement of NY Affiliates.
For me a personal highlight was having merchants approach me and give me a hug. As they hugged many said the same thing “I am sorry I just didn’t know.” That small gesture shows that they not only appreciated our work but that they understood the journey NY affiliates have been on. During private conversations many remarked how they had no idea of the real impact on affiliates of the mass removals from programs. The fact that so many of them now had an idea means that much was gained from all of our hard work.
NY Affiliates and the affiliate industry should see that much was accomplished as a result of using our voices and taking action. NY Affiliates did not just sit around and wait for a solution; we did not just accept the situation. We took control of our businesses, raised our voices took action and left our mark.
We have shown not only the power of individuals but the power of working together towards a common goal. We showed that each aspect of this business is important and we need to respect one another. Whether you are a member of an organization, an emerging organization or an informal group like the “Albany group” you can make a difference – and there is room enough for all. We will never all agree on anything but we can still work towards the same goal. The key to it all is open and honest communication and always moving forward.