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.