In the midst of an economic recession, there’s no doubt that business is booming in at least one place: the internet. The benefits of opening shop online instead of going the traditional brick and mortar route are boasted of everywhere by the new wave of entrepreneurs: no rent, work from anywhere, reach customers around the globe, advertise with more targeted precision than ever before, etc. Now, get ready to add to that list the amazing benefit of selling your product through an effective webinar. A good webinar has the potential to reach a captive audience of unlimited size all around the world. Imagine: you’re pitching your services in a direct, effective way to the potential clients who are most interested and no one even has to get up out of their office chair.
First, as with any good pitch, you have got to have a detailed outline of what you need to communicate. Your customers are looking for the answers to these questions: Why is your service important? Why are you better than your competitors? Ultimately, why should I choose you? You know the answers better than anyone else. However, the answers to these questions alone are not enough. After all, effective blog writing, creative social media, and an informative website can provide these answers. A webinar provides you with the ability to sell yourself. You have the opportunity to field questions live from your audience, show your product, demonstrate it yourself, and start a conversation among the members of your audience. With the technology available today, there is nothing to keep a webinar out of the same league as a live and in person meeting. In fact, the tools most companies offer in their webinar packages such as polls, recording, and screen shot abilities, make good webinars even more effective than in-person meetings.
So, who should host your webinar? Services like GoToWebinar and WebEx provide first-class solutions for your webinar needs. They are capable of handling anything from small, informal meetings to groups around 5,000 in number. These services ease the logistics of your meeting by handling everything from registering the participants and gathering their contact information to sending out reminders at the times you designate so you can be sure no one will forget about your big pitch.
The pricing is quite affordable, considering the effectiveness of the platform. GoToWebinar, for example, charges a monthly fee with unlimited usage. Their basic package allows up to 100 attendees for $99/mo. If you host only two meetings a month with new clients, you can reach potential customers directly for only fifty cents a person!
With your effective pitch in hand and the knowledge of how to host your webinar, a strong marketing plan for your big day is the last step needed before you start selling. The first lesson in any online marketing still stands: utilize social media. Then use it some more. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, your blog, an email list. All of these things are going to be the most effective for drumming up interest in your webinar. Write guest posts on other popular blogs and promote your webinar throughout. Leave the reader feeling that you know something they don’t and you’re prepared to share more in an exclusive webinar.
Also, space is limited, and don’t be shy about it. You want people to register, and anything that might motivate them will ultimately work in your favor. Offer a small give away to the 100th registered participant, post a daily countdown of how many spaces still remain in the webinar, etc. If you’re using a service like GoToWebinar, take advantage of the reminder services they offer. If the service you are using doesn’t have any such feature, send out, at a minimum, two emails to the registered participants: one the day before and one the hour before. Marketing your webinar is of penultimate importance to your overall success.
Now that you’ve got your captive audience, it’s time to sell! Of course, this is the most important part of your entire webinar experience. Remember, people are here to listen to you and to ask you questions because they want to be. You’re not a street preacher; you’re not a door-to-door salesman. You have before you an audience that is already interested in what you are selling, an audience that has elected to give up some of their own time to listen. This is your chance to make sure they don’t regret it. Also, you want them to hear everything. Don’t let any webinar member get away with thinking they already know what you have to say. Give your audience a reason to listen to all of your presentation, straight through to the very end. Save that big surprise for last. You want them to leave your webinar talking and posting about how great it was and how great you and your product is. How do you do this?
If you’re selling a product, this is your opportunity to demonstrate that product to people who would otherwise never see it in person. Show your product off in a way that is unique to a live video stream. Give a thorough demonstration and then ask participants what they want to see. Make people feel involved. If you’re demonstrating the abilities of a piece of software, have the webinar members participate. And remember, you are in control: it’s your product, and you’re the one making it look great!
If you are selling a service, bring in a panel of satisfied clients. Engage in a discussion about difficulties and how they were overcome. Essentially, you’re being interviewed by a large group of potential clients. During the webinar, ask yourself the questions that you know they want to ask. Put yourself “on the spot,” and connect with your audience by appearing somewhat vulnerable. You know, however, that you’re completely in control!
You want to make sales during the webinar and/or immediately after the webinar, of course. However, most people are probably going to want anywhere from a few hours to a few days to think about your pitch before they make a decision. Fine. But don’t let it drag on. We all can remember times we were that customer. Don’t let it happen to your product. Follow up is huge in any sales pitch, your webinar being no exception. Effective follow-up includes, but is certainly not limited to: emails, special offers, limited risk-free trial offers, and money-back guarantee promises. A good sense of urgency won’t hurt either! You want your customers to feel safe – and they should be! You are offering a quality product or service, you know it’s good, and you shouldn’t be timid in trying to convince people of this. If a customers knows he can get his money back, he’s going to be much more likely to try your product. Inspiring confidence in your customers will work wonders!
Webinars can be incredibly effective and affordable ways to reach new customers. With the right planning, practice, marketing, selling, and follow-up, you can experience the huge returns on your time and effort. So get out there and sell!