The 1 Simple Way to Sell via Your Webinar

Want to sell with your webinar? Actually go for the close at the end or generate an appointment for your reps to follow-up immediately? Stop wasting the audience’s time with blather about your speaker.

Want to sell with your webinar? Actually go for the close at the end or generate an appointment for your reps to follow-up immediately? Stop wasting the audience’s time with blather about your speaker.

Ok, it will take more I admit. The rest can be done by getting to the point fast and helping your buyer become attracted to the idea of talking more about the itch your speaker just scratched. Here’s a three-step process to getting that done.

You Have the Email but not a Lead
The word webinar itself has a negative connotation. At best it is something your prospects attend while they check email and put out any number of fires. You might argue, “Sure, Molander, but I have the prospects’ email.”

True. But you don’t have them on the way to becoming a lead. You blew it. How? By wasting every single moment from “go.”

It’s time for tough love about your Webinar and the lousy leads it’s sending to sales. Of course, I’ll also offer three simple steps to help produce Webinars that spark customers’ curiosity in what your solution can do for them.

No. 1: Avoid all Introductions Like the Plague
“I find the need to hear the presenters personal story for 10-20 minutes a huge turn off,” says sales coach, Iain Swanson of UK-based Kolzers. “In most cases I have literally switched off and missed the content of the call.”

Enough said. And let’s face it. You’ve probably done the same. Or perhaps you make it habit to join the webinar late in an effort to avoid the irrelevant blather.

This time-wasting tradition needs to stop. Right now. How? NO introductions.

Your potential buyer isn’t attending the webinar to hear about the backgrounds or experiences of the presenter. Nor what the sponsor does, for whom or how well.

They’re there for one reason: To take from you. They want as much as they can get, for free, as possible. Why? They’re human.

Let them take. Let them gorge.

Just structure the way you release the information. Copywrite it. Yes, copywrite it. Scripted? Yes but only for the pros. If you come off as canned you can kiss the leads goodbye.

Start by canning your introduction. Shock your audience by immediately getting to the point. They’ve already qualified the speaker. They’re there, after all.

Brighten their day. Surprise them. Make them think, “WOW, he/she just skipped the boring introduction stuff!”

This is how to sell using Webinars. Trust me, it works.

No. 2: Promise Viewers Something They Don’t Already Know—Then Deliver It Fast, Clearly
Start your webinar by telling prospects, “You’re about to hear information that you probably don’t already know.” Then, follow the Golden Rule of communication. What if prospects already know most of what you’re about to tell them?

You’ve designed the webinar to fail. Just like a whitepaper that looks sharp but is worthless, your Webinar must contain useful information and new know-how, tips or knowledge. If it does not contain enough new information you will not hold the audience.

Build in useful, actionable and fresh information and present it according to the Golden Rule:

  • Tell them what you’re about to tell them (the main insight, short-cut, better way or remedy)
  • Tell them the “better way” (at a high level, yet specific)
  • Tell them what you just told them (come back and remind of the main point)

This approach serves the most essential goal: Getting customers clear on your message. Without clarity your webinar will fail.

Remember the last time you were clear—really clear—on something? Remember how you felt?

Remember the sense of confidence that came with your “ah-ha moment?” You might also recall a feeling of wanting to know more—wanting to have more clarity, more confidence. That’s what we’re after.

That’s your webinar’s job: get buyers crystal clear, confident in themselves and trusting you.

No. 3: Help Them to Want to Know More
When is the last time you attended a Webinar and learned something new? Think about a time when the presenter gave you everything they promised they would at the beginning of the presentation—and more. Did you want more from them? Were you ready to act on that impulse?

Give your best insights, tips or warnings away. Give away all of your best knowledge. All of it.

“But, Jeff, giving prospects my best advice for FREE will help them to do it without me!”

Doubtful. Be careful to not confuse customers qualifying you with what you perceive as their purchase intent.

The act of looking for answers does not always translate to customers’ wanting to do what you charge money for themselves. Even when it does “signal” a customer’s desire to do it themselves, what customers want can change.

You want to be there when it changes.

Most importantly you need to create a craving, deep inside your prospects. A desire to know more details about your big claim, better way, short-cut or system.

The only way to get prospects hungry for more of you is to attract them to the idea of talking to you. Attraction takes a reliable, effective system.

The idea is to structure (copywrite) the content you release in a way that makes asking more questions irresistible to your attendees. Yes, questions can be answered in Q&A. That’s fine. This builds trust and creates more intense curiosity in you—a hunger for more of what you can offer.

But only if you are careful about how you answer those questions.

To get started, present the answers or solutions clearly but in ways that provokes prospects’ curiosity. Answer questions always creates more questions about the details (relating to what you sell).

To create this hunger:

  • Make your words specific, filled with integrity, true and useful
  • Be action-oriented (make your answer clear and easily acted on)
  • But be incomplete (make a credible answer yet leave out most of the details)

Tee-Up Your Call to Action
The idea is to create hunger for a short-cut at the end of your webinar. In other words, the goal of this three-step process is to get prospects hungry for a faster, easier way to get all the details you just spent 40 minutes talking about.

This faster, easier way can be:

  • a lead generation offer
  • your product/service.

The idea is to present content that helps customers begin to desire your lead generation offer. Or at least be primed for the idea of taking action on it.

Making the pitch for viewers to buy at the end of your webinar? Help viewers see buying your product/service as a logical next step in the journey you just started with them.

Using this three-step process transforms what you sell from “something I need to think about buying some day” into “the obvious next step I should take right now.”

Your fee or price tag becomes a logical investment that “feels right, right now.”

Good luck!

The Fun of Marketing Lexicons

The first time I heard Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie referred to as “Brangelina,” I admit I laughed out loud. Not only did it reflect the “mergement” of their individual brands and personalities, but it was the perfect way to describe the famous “let’s-do-everything-together” couple

The first time I heard Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie referred to as “Brangelina,” I admit I laughed out loud. Not only did it reflect the “mergement” of their individual brands and personalities, but it was the perfect way to describe the famous “let’s-do-everything-together” couple.

From Bennifer to A-Rod, many clever neologisms have crept into our everyday vernacular—but these new portmanteaux (a combination of two, or more, words and their definitions into one word) are not just for celebrities any more.

The history of portmanteau words is a long one. Words like “smog” (coined by blending smoke and fog), “motel(motor and hotel) and “newscast(news and broadcast) have become familiar and instantly recognizable parts of the English language.

More recently, portmanteaux have crept into our marketing speak, as they can provide the ideal way to describe a complex idea in just one or two cleverly crafted words that will be instantly understood by readers/listeners.

Call it creative grammar or the result of a 140-character limit, these new memorable mashups are rapidly becoming part of our cultural landscape. While you may not find these useful in your day-to-day copywriting, I promise you’ll find a way to incorporate them into your everyday conversations:

  • Glamping: Headed on an African safari? Who would choose to sleep on a bedroll on the hard ground when you can spend the night in a beautiful white tent, on a raised platform (to avoid snakes!), tucked into a cozy bed covered in a down comforter? The word has become so popular an entire travel company took ownership by rebranding itself.
  • Frenemy: You shared your big idea with your boss. They sold it up the food chain as their idea and got a raise, a promotion and the corner office. You hold friends close, but hold these folks closer.
  • Hangry: How you feel at 7 p.m. after you learn what your boss did with your idea. Pass the ketchup.
  • Fauxthority: Just because they wrote a book on a topic doesn’t mean they know anything about it. (Can you say “ghost writer”?)
  • Fandemonium: Fans of a celeb/performer/event take over the sidewalk, road, and surrounding area.
  • Socially bipolar: You’re successful, popular and well paid. You get to a business conference, don’t recognize anyone and stand alone, sipping your Merlot. Okay, perhaps not an official portmanteau, but you get the picture.
  • Scentsational: It smells as good as it looks and tastes.
  • Sexting: Um … I think this is self-explanatory.

And, of course, what list of portmanteaux would be complete without the word “Wikipedia”—the blending of the Hawaiian word “wiki” (which means fast) and “encyclopedia.” Interestingly, if you search the word “wiki,” you’ll find that it now refers to a web application that “allows people to add, modify or delete content in collaboration with others.” That definition, of course, comes from Wikipedia.

7 Ways to Polish Your Video Concept and Message

Whether you’ve been using video to market your product or services for a long time or are just getting started, there is always the question of content: “What do I do a video about”? Let’s face it, there are more bad video’s on YouTube than good ones. This week’s article will focus on seven steps to polish your idea process.

Whether you have been using video to market your product or services for a long time or are just getting started, there is always the question of content: “What do I do a video about?” Let’s face it, there are more bad videos on YouTube than good ones. This may be due to so many people not giving enough thought or planning time to the video for it to be successful. With a little planning and serious thought, you can still have a successful marketing campaign for your video production.

Let’s focus on the first question that you need to ask yourself to kick off your pre-production procedure: What is your Message?

How will you present your message? Are you excited about your topic? If you aren’t, how in the world will the viewers be excited? Consider the obvious: Does it fit in with your demographics? Is it going to resonate with your viewer?

Once you figure out what your message is, consider how you will present that message. Should you have a spokesperson? Should you deliver the message yourself? Should it be serious or humorous? Is it in line with what is trending? Does it have a strong enough message that your viewers will be compelled to do what you want them to do?

Don’t be afraid to try something different. Humor is always great as long as it’s funny. Do you have a team of people who will give you honest opinions when they critique what you’re doing? Is this educational? Is it informative? Does it touch their emotions? Does your video solve a problem or answer the viewer’s questions?

Remember, once you upload something to YouTube, it’s going to be there forever. Regardless of whether you set it to private; if anyone looks hard enough, they can find it. More importantly, is your video’s concept sustainable? This is where the well thought-out game plan is more important. A video that has an interesting message or solves someone’s problem will have the longevity and continuity of being watched, even years after it’s first posted.

Do you have a special announcement to make? Publicity videos are a great way to get your message out there with a soft-selling approach. A message from the CEO is also affective and can get your message out there quickly. Just remember that videos that last over 60 seconds tend to get boring.

Now that you have a few great pointers to consider, start with a list of 10 video ideas. Share with the critics who will most reliably give you a real opinion. Once you’ve narrowed down the idea, create the message. Research the message on line to see what others are saying about it. Script it or storyboard it out, and then plan carefully.

  1. Ask some of your employees or staff to develop ideas based on common themes they see or hear from your market
  2. Read journals, blogs and trade magazines that are related to your business
  3. Search the Internet for video’s that are similar and copy from the masters
  4. Write 10 ideas, then draw from a hat
  5. Watch the news to check for trends
  6. Ask your clients directly
  7. Develop a video production journal

Executing the idea is the hardest part. If you do your research and have a well thought-out plan, then you will surely succeed. Don’t be afraid to try new ideas. Some will work, while others will not. It’s better to try than to fail wishing because you didn’t try, as long as your video is focused.

Calling Any Ideas for a Postal Service Future!

I read a review of a recently published biography of President Calvin Coolidge by Amity Schlaes, and it was the first reference I have found to a President who objected to public ownership of the Postal Service. That was nine decades ago! Nothing so earth-shattering is in the works these days, but the Postal Service itself is very much trying to tune up for a future look

Looking for ideas about the Postal Service’s future is very much in vogue these days. I thought I’d curate a few recent media discussions.

I read a review of a recently published biography of President Calvin Coolidge by Amity Schlaes, and it was the first reference I have found to a President who objected to public ownership of the Postal Service. That was nine decades ago!

Nothing so earth-shattering is in the works these days, but the Postal Service itself is very much trying to tune up for a future look. It recently held its third take on PostalVision 2020, and I was enjoying a read by Harte-Hanks resident Postologist Charley Howard on the conference and its idea generation about future revenue streams for the Postal Service, much of the pdf focuses on the digital platform and secure message delivery: http://www.harte-hanks.com/postology/Harte-Hanks_PostologyReport_2013_May.pdf.

Picking up on one of Charley’s questions: Do people in their 20s give the Postal Service a second thought? I was frozen a minute by this recent ReadWrite post: “My Teenage Son Does Not Know How to Mail a Letter, and I Blame Technology.” This is fascinating to a 50-something!

Recently, USPS Office of the Inspector General’s David C. Williams, who participated in PostalVision 2020, issued a public call for proposals—so to speak—on what Americans might expect from the Postal Service going forward. He thoughtfully cataloged some ideas on the office’s blog, citing white papers undertaken by the office: “Giving America a Voice: Digital Services,” “Giving America a Voice: Revenue Generation Opportunities,” “Giving America a Voice: How Best to Cut Costs?” and its initial “Giving America a Voice” post.

Clearly, America has invested in its Postal Service—and continues to do so—so why not build a bridge to a secure national digital delivery platform? To access and procure e-government services? Or the bevy of other ideas brought on the presence of this network, assuming efficiency in execution. When you have a single service that enters every delivery address in the nation almost every day, it’s certainly not a system we should be walking away from.

The 5 Assassins of Innovation

Every company talks about innovation and recognizes the need to be innovative. But then why do so many promising ideas die an untimely death? Let me introduce you to the assassins of innovation who have your next big idea in their crosshairs:

Every company talks about innovation and recognizes the need to be innovative. But then why do so many promising ideas die an untimely death? Let me introduce you to the assassins of innovation who have your next big idea in their crosshairs:

1. Low self-esteem Larry: “We’ll never get away with it. We’re not (insert name of impossibly cool brand).” Don’t be fooled by his self-effacing facade. Larry is one of the most prolific eradicators out there. He strikes early and takes down ideas in their infancy. How to defend yourself against Larry?

Try this: A recent study from Millward Brown found that there was no significant correlation between brand or category involvement and likelihood of viewing and sharing viral video. Think about the most popular viral videos in recent years and the categories they represented: bottled water, a mobile provider and deodorant — not typically the types of things most people get worked up about. Well-executed ideas are what make a brand cool, not the other way around.

2. Benny the Brain: “We don’t have the data.” Benny’s right. Odds are, you won’t have the data to justify a truly innovative effort because data is inherently backward looking. Data can tell you the “what” but not the “why.” Nor is it about asking customers what they want. (Think back to the Henry Ford quote, “If I asked my customers what they want, they simply would have said a faster horse.”) The type of data you really need comes from talking, following and watching your customers to understand their needs, then creating a solution based on that understanding.

3. Practical Paulie: “[Insert name of brilliant idea] is just a fad.” Unlike Benny, Paulie usually has all the numbers at his disposal. For every idea, he’ll have a few stats to prove why it won’t work. The biggest issue with the industry reports and studies he cites is that they’re rarely specific to your audience, category or situation. Try turning the tables on Paulie. If 25 percent of mobile phone owners only use an app once, that’s 75 percent who are using it more than once. Innovation is rarely mass adoption; it’s about seeding a new idea, reaching early adopters and gaining traction.

4. Helga the Historian: “It’s already been done/We’ve already tried that.” Helga lurks in unexpected places, including companies that are considered innovators by most standards. She’s the one who reminds the team, “We tried mobile back in 2002, and it was a disaster.” Let Helga know that it’s 2011 and times have changed.

Facebook didn’t invent social networking. Remember MySpace? And before that Friendster? And if you go way back, GeoCities? Sometimes it’s just the right idea at the wrong time. Other times it’s the right idea but it’s executed poorly. There are countless reasons why innovations fail. The key is to learn from your mistakes and the successes of others to maximize your odds of producing a winner. Think about your most admired companies. Chances are few, if any, were the first to market. Let Helga know it’s not about being first, but about being better.

5. Big Al the Accountant: “We can’t afford it.” The economic downturn has lavished Al with a lot of extra ammunition. Companies believe they’re doing the right thing by staying with the tried and true, avoiding the risks of bringing a new idea to market. However, it’s companies that are continuing to invest in innovation during tough times that are emerging from the recession with higher growth rates. In this case, think small. Distill down a grand vision to its essential components and propose ways to execute it quickly and inexpensively.

Arming yourself against the assassins
The assassins aren’t invincible (otherwise, I’d have made them superheroes). Know how they’ll attack and be prepared. To summarize, here are quotes from a couple of the smartest people I know: Sun Tzu: “Know your enemies and know yourself and you will win countless battles.” My mom: “Don’t forget to do your homework.”