Webinars have replaced introductory sales meetings. More and more business people are “getting to know” companies by first attending one or more of their webinars before they respond to a telephone call from an eager-beaver sales representative or shake that rep’s hand for the first time. Given these facts it is becoming increasingly more important to know how to design and run a solid webinar that hits the touch points a prospective customer is interested in learning about.
Here are four tips to get you started:1. Relevance
Make sure what you are presenting is of absolute value to participants. While providing information about your company, services and processes is important, it’s unlikely that will hold their interest. Most people are more interested in learning how your particular brand or specialty can be put to good use at their organizations. The ability to show how they can immediately find benefit and value using your products and services will drive a greater relevancy score that will increase the likelihood of an in-person meeting.
The digital world presents an interesting contrast between new and experience, particularly to those specializing in technology. On the one hand, prospective organizations are interested in learning new ways to improve their strategies, campaigns and sales programs; while on the other hand, they prefer to work with experienced individuals and/or firms with successful track records in their specialty. So be prepared to present a solid front with solid examples because the stronger they are, the more likely it is you will be considered for a prospect’s next project.3. Roadmap
Know what you are going to cover by using a big-thought storyboard to plan your webinar and then fill in the areas with visuals and a detailed script. Some of the best presenters actually read from written scripts, but you would never know it because they present the material as casual thoughts. Whatever works best for you is fine.
The important aspect is to know what you are going to cover from A to Z and do it in a deliberate way. Off-handed remarks and side bar comments usually detract from the overall discussion.4. Interaction
Experienced speakers will tell you one of the most important dynamics any speaker needs to establish is a rapport with the audience. The more two-way the communications feel the better.
One quick way to engage a webinar audience is to take quick surveys throughout the webinar and immediately report the findings. Examples such as 25 percent of you think we should do this, while 69 percent think we should not do that, etc., create an environment of interaction. This can draw your audience into the webinar and make it a much more enjoyable experience.
The Bottom Line
Most companies would acknowledge that offering webinars would help their overall sales and marketing effectiveness, but few conduct them on a routine basis, if at all. If your sales are not where you would like them to be, perhaps you should consider new go-to-market strategies, beginning with an effective monthly webinar. One thing is for sure; that will provide your company something new to talk about and give you a platform through which to become more relevant in the eyes of your key prospects and customers. Tom Wants to Hear Your Branding Issues:If you are a printing company or product/services company serving the print-media market and would like to be considered for a feature in this blog, please contact Tom Marin for an interview.
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