Is there a right time to get a client to say “no”?

Is there a right time to get a client to say “no”?

I still remember the first bit of sales advice I got as a fresh telemarketer.

“Travis, the faster you get a “no” the better, so you can hang up and call the next one.”

It struck me as a little odd, seeing as I’d been recruited to sell holiday packages and my whole job was to get a yes. But after grinding for months on the phone I started to realize why. We were targeting volume. Pitch after pitch designed to hit one particular buyer.

The faster I could get a “no” the better, as I’d spend less time with less ideal prospects, and up my chances of getting our perfect buyer on the next call. It was a numbers game.

But as my career progressed, I started selling products with a much higher value.

And instead of a shotgun approach to sales, things got a little more laser-targeted.

These days the products I sell are big-ticket items, and it can take a little understanding before a prospect can actually make that yes-or-no decision.

I no longer want to rush the prospect to tell me “no” straight away.

Not on an initial call at least.

But that doesn’t mean you should follow the other bit of advice sales people throw around.

“Never take no for an answer.”

Stupid idea if I ever heard one, because your product isn’t right for all people.

Plus, you’ll waste hours trying to push your services on “potential leads” who are simply never going to buy from you in the first place. Maybe they don’t have the cash, maybe they’ve not got the manpower, or maybe they just don’t like you.

And, if you do get them to convert, just to shut you up… what are you left with?

A group of unhappy customers, who never actually wanted what you were selling in the first place. So, what should you do?

You don’t want to rush a prospect into saying no.

You also don’t want to never take no for an answer.

What you need, is a way to quickly, and effectively demonstrate what you do, communicate the power this can have in a client’s business, and make a prospect understand that the value packed into your particular products far outweighs the price tag.

And if they can build a genuine connection with you as well, that’s all the better.

With a connection, you demonstrate you can relate to the pain they’re currently struggling with in their business, reassure them how easy it is to use your services, and paint an accurate picture of what their life will be like, once they’re a customer of yours.

Trouble is, we all say “no” too fast.

Because we’ve been conditioned to dislike sales people.

The token “sleazy car salesman” is an image that immediately comes to mind with selling. We’re bombarded with spam emails, incessant calls from telemarketers all throughout the day. People pushing their products on us, without regard for well, us.

To get around this invisible wall of “NO”, you need to give value first.

You need to give freely, without asking for anything.

These days, information is power, and if you’ve done your homework, know your target customers inside and out, you can use this knowledge to give a little of your expertise back.

Almost everything I’ve bought, from a coach, consultant or course, came from a soft sell.

From a value-first approach. People willing to give you a little taste of the bigger pie that’s waiting for you, maybe it’s a small investment, maybe it was a freebie, but it got me on the hook. Because when I’m pitched too fast, I tune out.

I stop listening and start disqualifying myself.

A situation you do not want your target customers to be in.

Your job is to get them to listen to you.

But how?

Well, it’s not rocket science, but there’s one particular tool you can use to…

  • Quickly and rapidly demonstrate the value you provide to clients
  • Start building relationships with prospects so they feel connected to you
  • Give value freely, before even mentioning part of your sales pitch

It’s a webinar.

For lack of a better word, webinars allow you to communicate at a scale that is time effective for you, demonstrate value and rapidly build rapport, ultimately creating the perfect stage to get a client to say “no” during your sales process.

And it’s easy.

If they just aren’t all that into you, a prospect can just click the little “X” up in the top right corner. No hard sell, no hurt feelings.

But for everyone else still on the line, you’re guiding them into a pipeline, and if done right, will send a steady stream of clients, beating down a path to your door.

Keep up the great work,

10 Best Practices to Run a Better Webinar

10 best practices to run a better webinar

Done right, a webinar is a powerful tool that can rapidly move even the coldest of prospects through your sales funnel, and lock in a sale.

But when it comes to running a successful webinar, it gets tricky. There are so many moving parts, you need to ensure you’re not the one sabotaging the process.

Just a few weeks back I sat through one of the most horrendous excuses for a webinar I’ve ever watched, only staying to the very end out of some morbid curiosity to really determine if this was it.

Yes, yes it was, and it left me very disappointed.

And while I’m not going to point any fingers, I’d much rather focus on what you should be doing, so none of you fall victim to making the same mistakes.

No one should ever have to sit through a webinar like that.

I’ll skip the basics like, make sure you start on time, and you know how to actually use the software and all that.

This is common sense, but if you’ve never done a webinar before, it’s a good idea to run a dummy event with a couple of close friends or a colleague first, just to make sure it’s all going to go to plan when you’re live in the big one.

Right, onto the tips.

 

Be interesting, dammit.

The big one.

You’ve got to put together an interesting presentation.

Otherwise, why would anyone give up their valuable time to listen to you prattle on.

Think about your ideal customer, and what they’re struggling with. The pain points they have to overcome, every time they sit down at their desk. What do they hate doing, where are they falling short, what could they be doing better?

This is your hook.

And for a hook to be any good, it needs to create intrigue, a little mystery.

Tell me, if you had to choose between one of these two webinars, based on the TITLE alone, which one would you be most interested to listen in on…?

  1. Sales Prospecting Training.
  2. Learn how to create an evergreen lead generation system, and with less than 60 minutes a week, send prospect after prospect after prospect to your door.

Which one sounds more exciting?

(Of course, the second one – stay with me here).

Make sure you’ve got an interesting hook, that gets people excited to register.

 

Start using a warm-up sequence

You are warming your prospects up, right?

If not, get on this as a priority now.

These days, a single ad may be enough to get a prospect to take a small action, like registering for your webinar, but it’s not enough for much more.

There are a thousand different things pulling our time, attention and focus. Remember, if you want to be remembered, you need to get in front of a prospect eight times.

Yep, eight.

Ideally, you’ve got a sequence of emails to do this automatically.

(note: this is different to your reminder emails, we’ll get to that next).

What you want to do is introduce yourself to your registrants.

Hit on things like key parts of your story (to help forge a connection), highlight specific learnings they’ll get on the webinar (to build interest in the event), and perhaps even get them excited by dangling enough incentives in front of them they are actually looking forward to your upcoming webinar.

The trick here is balance, you need to space out your emails so as not to be annoying, you don’t want to be pushy, you want to be present.

I’d stick to 3 or 4 emails, starting 2 weeks out.

Send them around 3 days apart, and start building interest.

 

Don’t forget to send reminders

Once you set this up your webinar software does this for you, it just needs to be set up.

Go set it up now, or check you’ve got the timings right on your reminders.

I see this as a different sequence to your warm-up emails, but it’s important too.

This sequence is pretty evergreen, and I’d do it like this…

One week out, they need a heads up the webinar is coming, along with a juicy piece of content. Think like an e-guide or a quick intro training video, so you’re top of mind.

72 hours out, let them know the webinar is coming soon, and talk again about the bonuses you’re going to be giving away on the call, to get them excited and looking forward to it.

24 hours out, you’re reconfirming the webinar is coming, so they can start planning their day and setting enough time aside to manage the call when you’re live.

1 hour out, this is the final reminder and I like to include an agenda in here too so they know what’s coming on the call, and are eager to join and get stuck into the content.

Right on time, the final email that goes out is to let them know you’re ready to go, and you’re popping into their inbox at crunch time with all the links they need to get on the call.

Phew.

It’s almost overkill isn’t it?

You’ll have sent 8 or 9 emails before your webinar even goes live.

But trust me.

People get busy.

You’re not bugging them if every email you send has a nugget.

Something of real value.

Do this, and you’ll get a higher percentage of registrants becoming attendees.

(just remember, the average is around 40% attendance).

Don’t fret if you’re not getting 100% of registrants on your webinars.

 

Dangle a big carrot to boost attendance

Want to give your attendance ratio a boost?

Make it worth their while to attend.

Otherwise prospects get excited initially, but they let life get in the way.

They’ve de-prioritized your webinar. There’s just not enough value in it to disrupt everything else going on in their world at that moment, so they don’t jump on the call.

Same goes for the people that drop off halfway through.

You need to make it worth their while.

You do want registrants to turn up and stay till the end so they can hear your pitch, right?

Of course, you do. That’s the whole reason you’re doing a webinar.

Now, an interesting, value packed webinar is a great start, especially if you’re tapping into the pain points and offering a solution your audience can’t get anywhere else.

But you know what keeps listeners around even longer?

Free stuff.

People go mental over it.

So, do this. Think about your webinar topic, and put together a freebie that ties into it. It could be a set of templates you use in parallel to your big-ticket offer, a checklist to simplify part of their business, or even an ebook giveaway if you’re keen to do it.

But with two caveats.

Tell them upfront when the freebie is coming, so they know.

And remind them a few times throughout the webinar (people do need to be told the same things multiple times for them to actually remember).

 

Reward genuine engagement and interaction

On that same line of thought, you need to encourage participation.

If people know there’s something in it for them to speak up, well, you guessed it, you’re much more likely that they’ll contribute.

Don’t just give a freebie away.

Do something bigger, with a prize that’s truly valuable for the people on the call.

Some presenters tie this to their offer, (the first five people who buy today get the bonus), but I’d recommend doing this as a reward. Tell your listeners what’s on the line, whether it’s a free coaching call with you, a hard-copy of your book that you’ll post out, or whatever it is.

Then send it out.

Not only does it give you a nice excuse to send a first follow up email as soon as the webinar ends (announcing the winner or winners), it cements you in your audience’s mind as someone who actually delivers what they promise.

Someone who follows through.

Planting a seed of trust.

In the digital marketing world, there’s not enough people who are genuinely trustworthy.

Give something away, for free, without obligation.

 

Turn your webcam on and say hello

You want to know the best way to connect with an audience?

Turn your webcam on.

The vast majority of hosts never do this.

Over half of the webinars I’ve watched, you don’t ever see a human face.

Except maybe the professional photos they have scattered in the slides.

That’s crazy.

Your goal behind doing a webinar is to connect with people.

You need to be connecting with them, so turn your frikken camera on.

I don’t care if you’ve got a face for radio.

I don’t care if you’re having a bad hair day.

Turn your camera on.

All you need is a plain backdrop, some natural lighting (or a few lamps positioned around to avoid weird shadows also works), and a halfway decent webcam.

Then just be yourself.

You’ll see me on my webinars, I wave when I flick the camera on.

I’m a little goofy on camera and I’ll joke around with my callers in the first few minutes as I get setup and ready to start.

People like this, it humanizes you, and makes you more relatable.

 

Slow down and don’t be boring

I hate listening to some of the first webinars I did.

A complete nervous wreck, I sped through my script like a machine gun.

I was worried I would go over time, and my solution was to yammer on like a rocket.

Trouble was, people were actually interested.

But I was talking too fast for them to keep up, and understand what I was saying.

And if there’s one piece of advice I can recommend as you start doing webinars…

Just slow down.

Take a breath.

Pause during the script.

It gives the audience time to process what you’re saying, and that’s a good thing.

And remember, try not to bore them to death.

Stand up, and have energy in your voice.

Because the last thing you want is to…

Read the script in a flat and robotic monotone voice…

You need to emphasize certain words as you talk.

In my scripts, I’ve got markers for pauses and inflections.

Reminding me to slow down as I talk, and driving the message home on key words in my script.

 

Get the audience involved and engaging

In a technique that’s almost done to death, is the webinar welcome intro.

Tell me if you’ve seen this before.

You’re on a call, and the host is greeting people by name, asking them where they’re from, what the weather is like today, what time zone they’re dialing in from, this kind of thing.

There’s a reason.

It works.

Speaking to attendees by name, engaging with them and interacting is the best possible way to warm them up to you on a call. You need to do it too, just add your own twist.

For me, I do a few things on my calls.

  • Starting the webinar 10 minutes early so I can talk to the handful of people that are already on the call (trust me, there’s always a few who get there early).
  • Ask them questions right off the bat, what they’re looking to learn on the call today, the pain points they’re stuck on which they’re hoping you can help with.

Then once the whole thing is underway, I try to ask something every few minutes…

  • “Just give me a quick rating, 1 to 10, how clear is this to all of you?”
  • “…if this’ll work in your business type MORE SALES (or whatever keyword) in the chat right now…”

And of course, answering any questions quickly as they come up.

It does interrupt the flow of your script if you let it, but you want engagement to be high, so work on weaving in questions naturally. I read them out when there’s a pause, and if I can answer it immediately I will, otherwise I’ll let them know when we’ll get to it…

Now there’s two reasons for boosting engagement.

It makes the webinars that much more fun (trust me, when you’ve done the same pitch a hundred times you’ll be looking forward to the curve-balls), but also…

Listeners who are engaged will stay on the webinar longer (sticking around until you make your pitch), and they’re much more likely to buy when you make the ask.

 

Always add value before pitching

One of the fastest ways to send prospects running for the hills is a bait and switch.

What’s a bait and switch?

Promise one thing, but deliver something else entirely. I’ve noticed this happening in a more and more webinars recently, where their content is stretched far too thin.

Instead of learning something new, you’re wasting your precious time listening to…

The entire backstory and life history of the coach

Testimonial after testimonial after testimonial

Success stories and case studies that are vaguely relevant

And then suddenly they’re pitching you a product.

Hang on, you wonder.

Where the heck was the learning I signed up for?

Was it covered so fast I missed it, or was it just touched on so briefly you can’t believe the “fluff” you’ve spent an hour waiting for was the value the session promised.

Don’t be like that.

You’ll burn bridges with people who go out on a limb to promote you, and you’ll never get a second chance with the audience members whose time you wasted. Always focus on adding value, and only once you’ve done so have you earnt the right to make a pitch.

 

Give them a replay to watch later

You did record your webinar, right?

Instead of just keeping a record that you’ll never watch again (believe me, watching your own pitches and hearing your voice on record is its own special form of torture), use it.

Now, some presenters promote the fact they don’t do replays.

It boosts their attendance levels and also makes it more difficult for people to download their content, copy their pitches and re-work their funnels backwards

But I see replays as an asset.

Take the recorded version, strip out any time sensitive parts, and put it up as an on-demand version. Just do me a favor, don’t pretend your recorded webinar is a live one.

It drives me nuts when people do this, because it’s a lie.

Listeners get frustrated because they’re not being heard on the calls, and you lose fans.

Don’t do that.

Use your recorded webinar for what it is, and promote it.

You’ll get people who registered but missed the live event interested.

They won’t be quite as engaged, but the alternative is to lose these prospects entirely, or hope they stick around until you run another live webinar.

Plus, letting people watch your webinar on-demand better caters to time zone differences.

I know for me here in Asia, catering to U.S. time zones becomes a killer, and there’s far better things to be doing with my time than hosting webinars at 1am. Like sleep, I like sleep.

Just remember to gate the content, and at least grab an email subscription to watch the full thing. Perhaps an intro that starts up and then requires them to join.

 

With these tips in mind, here’s to an avalanche of sales coming to you through your webinars.

 

Keep up the great work,

Are you using webinars to sell your services?

Are you using webinars to sell your services

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of webinars as a sales tool. Get a group of prospects together on a call, demonstrate your value and leave them with a pitch for your services. More and more agencies, coaches, consultants and even traditional businesses are using webinars to sell their services.

And for good reason, webinars actually work, really damn well.

Done right, a webinar has the potential to drive sale after sale after sale to your business. Heck, you can even automate the process, so that you’re not even live on the call. You can just sit back, send your traffic to your registration page, and let the software do the heavy lifting. The leads come to you. But why do they work so well?

 

Webinars allow you to build a connection

Hosting a webinar allows you to build a connection with your listeners, and as more and more people dial in, you can start to do this at scale.

Hopefully you’ve woven some personal elements into your story you’re telling on the call, so by the end of it, the people online feel like they know you, they know where you come from, they know what you value and they feel a real connection to you as a person.

That’s key, people buy based on their feelings, and you need to generate this human connection to everyone on the call.

 

Webinars work when you add value first

There’s a golden rule here that I’ve found after doing countless webinars of my own, and listening to hundreds (if not thousands) more. Your whole focus as a presenter should be on the listeners who have dialed in, adding value first, before you even think of pitching anything.

And when I say value, I mean real, actionable lessons they can take to apply in their business today. Spend 80% of your time, adding value during your webinar. You should focus on explaining an industry secret, demonstrating a working solution, or providing some kind of insight that they wouldn’t get ANYWHERE else. Otherwise, why would anyone register in the first place?

Don’t just use a webinar as a sales pitch. You need to add value first, or your listeners simply won’t convert.

 

Webinars cannot be all about you

Building on the value angle, you need to remember it’s not all about you. Your listeners are giving up the one asset they will never get more of, their time, to dial in. Make it worthwhile otherwise you risk losing their respect.

I sat through a webinar recently that was 98% about the speaker. Once we got through her life story, every business success she’d ever achieved, all of the celebrities she knew, and testimonial after testimonial after testimonial, I realized I’d just wasted 40 minutes on a humble brag. The pitch was terrible, she didn’t offer anything of value, and I had zero incentive to act. I actually unsubscribed afterwards.

Don’t do this with your webinar, you need to think of your listeners needs first.

 

Webinars need to push listeners to take action

Of course, I’m not a big fan of hard, pushy sales tactics, but if you don’t give listeners any incentive to act, they won’t. It’s digital marketing 101.

The trick is to strike a balance between becoming a sleazy online car salesman, but to put together valuable add-ons to your offer that have a real and present value. Perhaps it’s free access to another course you’re selling, or individual consultations available to the first 5 or 10 buyers. I’ve even seen live (3+ hour events) give away brand new iPhones.

Yes, it’s cheesy and you need to stay on brand, but there’s a reason to do this. It works.

Just make sure you’re not too, over the top with it.

 

Webinars allow for multiple product offers

Now, your webinar should be designed to sell a single product, but there’s a magic number when it comes to making online sales, and that’s the rule of three. Think back to any landing page you’ve ever been on, and there are usually three versions of the offer.

  • The “essentials” bundle that gives you just enough, but not every feature you need.
  • The “recommended” bundle that’s what the marketer actually wants you to buy.
  • The “platinum” bundle that’s horrendously overpriced, just in case.

This strategy works because it anchors a prospects mindset on the bundle you’re looking to sell. They don’t want the budget version, so this is ruled out, and the $xx,xxx offer you’re offering to VIP customers is way out of budget.

Ultimately, the recommended product you want to sell looks like the best deal, and that’s the one that they buy.

 

Webinars give you a reason to get in touch

If you’ve got any sort of email list for your business, hosting a webinar is a fantastic reason to reach out, get reconnected, and invite them to the session you’ll be running. But not only that, I actually recommend two email sequences around the webinar you host, in addition to the reminders that your software is sending out for registrants to attend the session.

The first, is the warm up sequence. I’ll expand on this in a later post, but I like to use this to add some drama, and backstory before the big event. This way when you touch on it again in your story, you can go a little quicker because people already know all about you.

The second is the follow up. In the days after your event, its prime time to get anyone “off the fence” and taking action. Short, value-adding emails only reinforce the benefits of hiring you, and can push a potential prospect to finally make a commitment to buy.

 

Webinars go by lots of different names

Of course, a webinar is a webinar, but as there’s so many people doing webinars the wrong way, the term “webinar” isn’t actually the best thing to call it. Smart marketers are now using new terms, like an online masterclass, a live workshop, a digital demonstration, or any number of others to drive the number of registrants up.

I like the term “online demo” but when I’m working with board-level executives, they respond better to terms like “digital round table.”

My advice? Test what works best for your offer and your audience, and stick with that.

 

Webinars give you a METRIC TON of data

And your job is to use it effectively.

Make sure you’re testing things like the timing of your presentations, or how a slight variance in your title or pitch may influence the final conversion rate a particular event generates. I recommend segmenting a few different groups based on the date you have.

  • Registrants who signed up but didn’t attend, should be sent a replay.
  • Anyone who stood out (asking certain questions), gets a personal email from me.
  • Active participants, might get a thank you and an exclusive offer to sign up.
  • All other participants, go into the final follow-up sequence.

Remember, the more targeted you can make your emails, the better your chances it’ll actually result in a sale, so it’s important you’re making smart use of the data you have.

 

Without a doubt, webinars are here to stay, and have quickly become a foundational element of digital sales funnels. Smart marketers are already making use of webinars to build a connection with their fans, demonstrate their expertise in a natural way, and of course, sell more stuff.

If you’re still not convinced, I don’t know what else to tell you. If you’re selling any kind of service or product online, a webinar should be a key element in your sales pipeline, otherwise you’re leaving money on the table.

Much love,