You got them to the webinar. Well done! But if you want more attendees to become customers, it’s gonna take more than just your sparkling personality.
I mean, you’re gonna need that, too. But you’re also gonna need a little sales strategy.
As I mentioned last week, a 15% sales conversion rate for live webinars is realistic. We’ve seen even better reported averages, as high as 19% depending on the variables. But I’ve never seen a credible analysis that went below double digits.
If you haven’t hosted your first webinar yet, or you have, but aren’t seeing those delicious numbers, let’s fix that. I use a 5-step system that’s straightforward, not salesy or manipulative, and gets the job done. It’s a play I’ve run hundreds of times to build WebinarNinja’s user base and to sell other products like courses.
First, Though: Respect Your Live Webinar Attendees
Before we do anything else, we have to establish one thing about sales webinars: they can’t only be about sales.
Before you ask, you have to give.
That means the majority of your presentation should be informative, not a strict pitch. As I like to remind everyone who’ll listen, Teach, Don’t Sell. Even the most warmed-up potential customer is coming to your webinar to learn something, even if that something is whether or not they should buy your thing.
If you really want live webinar attendees to buy, there needs to be a clear line between where the lesson ends and the offer begins.
Make it clear from the outset: I’m gonna teach/show you x, y, and z. Then, I’m gonna make you a sales offer. Establish this at the beginning, rather than ambushing your attendees with it. To do otherwise is disingenuous, scammy, and murders trust with a rusty pair of hedge clippers.
Be upfront about your intentions.
I usually start my webinar slides with a little “table of contents,” so to speak. It lays out exactly what I’m going to show/teach, broken down by subtopics, as well as the special, valuable, in-webinar-only exclusive sales offer that follows, and finally Q&A. No surprises.
But what, you might ask, if people are primed to buy? Shouldn’t I get to the offer as fast as possible?
No. Because a) most of them aren’t ready to open their wallets just yet, or they wouldn’t have put aside an hour of their life to investigate your product further. And b) making sure that your audience understands why and how your product works is key to lowering your churn rate, the rate at which you lose your hard-earned customers.
You don’t want a premature decision, even if it puts money in your pocket in the short term. You want people to click “buy” knowing exactly what they’re getting and how to use it to get the results they want.
Put that time in up front, and you’ll have satisfied customers, not just customers.
Ok, on to the steps. First…
Step 1: Define Your Webinar Offer
The easiest, best way to start crafting your offer is to answer the following questions. In the answers to these lie all the elements and information your offer needs to convey:
- What’s the problem? Start with your attendees’ pain point, and how your product addresses it.
- What’s the difference? How does your product solve the attendees’ problem more easily than they could on their own, or with a competing solution? Why is your way more efficient, effective, easy?
- What’s the investment? Which is a more constructive way to refer to the cost. “Cost” implies loss. “Price” implies only an exchange. But “investment” implies gain.
- What’s the ROI (Return on Investment)? In dollars and cents (or Euros, or Pounds, or Rupee), how much value is your customer getting in return for their investment?
This is the golden rule of sales: people buy things only when the perceived value is wildly greater than the price. So if your product costs $1,000, you need to be able to honestly make the case that your customer stands to gain $5,000 or $10,000 from it in profits, savings, or other costs avoided.
- What’s the rush? There has to be a reason to buy on the webinar, rather than sleeping on it. Naturally, the reason you can provide is a special discount or bonus that’s only available on the webinar.
Once you have those answers in mind, you can move to the next step.
Step 2. Objection Overruled
“Objections” are whatever’s stopping your webinar attendees from pulling the trigger. Most people only have one objection each, but your offer has to address them all — or as many as possible.
For some, the objection is the lack of information that your webinar provides before you even make the offer. Problem solved. But for others – for most – something else is keeping them on the fence.
Your job is to anticipate what those objections are, and refute them in the offer. Objections will vary from product to product and person to person, but there are a few “Greatest Hits” that apply to most:
- Price, of course. Every attendee who’s hung around for the offer is sold on your product in principle. But remember that aforementioned Golden Rule? They still need to feel like they’re getting a steal.
A note on price though: don’t try to be the undercutter as a small business. “Who can charge less?” is a game you’ll never win, especially when there’s competition. So when in doubt, don’t lower the price — raise the value. Find ways to package your knowledge that are low-overhead for you, but high-value to the customer -- like an e-book or course.
- Complacency. The most ironic obstacle to sales? The fact that your attendees don’t currently have your product.
They’re alive. They’re breathing. The Earth is still spinning on its axis — all without the benefit of what you’re selling. When someone doesn’t buy something, it’s not the end of the world for them, because they’re just exactly where they started.
You have to show them what’s wrong with where they started.
This isn’t about making anyone feel inadequate or creating phony urgency. It’s about showing people what’s possible by showing them what’s missing. Is your product business-related? Not having it leaves you with a disadvantage against competitors. Is it personal, like life or health coaching? Not having it leaves you at less than your highest potential.
It’s crucial to do this from a place of supportiveness. You want the best for your audience. They want the best for themselves. The status quo is just ok -- but they deserve better than just ok.
- Overwhelm. Starting a course, learning software, or getting coached can seem like…a lot. People often aren’t ready for the effort necessary to implement your solution, so they don’t buy. This is where some more of that supportiveness comes in.
Your job is to reassure.
Demonstrate the ease and painlessness of using your product. If applicable, highlight any customer support included with your product. Do whatever it takes to make it clear that they can do this, that it’s not that difficult, and that you’re in their corner.
- External Approval. You may present to people who, themselves, are totally sold. They want to buy — they just aren’t authorized to do so. They have to get approval from a boss, a spouse, etc.
The answer to this one is easy: risk reversal.
A free trial, free version, money-back guarantee, or ironclad return policy usually negates this objection. As long as there’s no financial risk, there’s no reason not to take advantage of whatever exclusive offer is included in the webinar. Worst case, they get their money back.
- Bad timing. They like the product. They agree the value far exceeds the price. They’re in. They just don’t have the time or space to take you up on it today.
Ask the rhetorical question: “When is the right time?”
Attendees are unlikely to be less busy in a week, month, or year than they are today. If there’s an actual valid answer to this question, you can always follow up. But most of the time, “busy” is just an excuse. The best time to improve your life, yourself, or your business is always now — sometimes, it’s the only time.
Step 3: Plan the Transition
Remember how your lesson and pitch are separate? Well, you need a smooth, effective way to get from one to the other.
The key is to make the case that your product is the “fast lane” solution to their pain point. Yes, you can lose weight, or learn to code, or host webinars without my product — but it’s gonna happen faster and easier with my product.
Then, get specific.
Describe the difference between tackling their pain point with you and tackling it without you. Move into your offer, and demonstrate exactly how you’ll speed up and facilitate their ultimate win. This is very low-pressure; it’s a simple choice between a hard way and an easy way.
Step 4: Write the Webinar Offer Script
Yes, a full-on script. Not that I want you to read from it during your webinar (that will sound robotic and salesy). But you must outline the broad strokes, progression, and key phrases of your offer. The wording matters so, so much. Your words have to push certain psychological buttons and appeal to the right emotions. They have to lay out your argument digestibly, convincingly, efficiently.
In other words, you shouldn’t improvise.
Your offer script should be about 100 words. If it takes any longer to say than that, it’s too much to process and your message will get lost.
That’s not to say you can only speak 100 words during your offer; it’s to say you should be able to summarize the offer in 100 words if you expect to convince anyone. Everything you say during your offer should be a variation, expansion, or clarification of those 100 words.
Trust me, you will sound way more competent if you organize your thoughts in this way, and you’ll deliver the offer in a way that’s succinct enough to be effective. Less. Is. More.
Use the language of pain points, empathy, and support. For example:
It’s finally your time to break into the Pet Stylist industry! All you need is knowledge. Our $500 Pet Stylist Boot Camp Course maps out every step, from getting certified, to booking clients, to controlling high-humidity Labradoodle friz. You’ll also get:
- 2 free hours of coaching from Dr. Lloyd Braithwaite (founder of the Wisconsin School of Professional Terrier Fluffing)
- Our proprietary Iguana Formalwear Templates
- Our cockatiel-safe Feather Bedazzling Kit
That’s a total value of over $2,000.
The average stylist charges over $300 per consultation; at 5/week, you can make over $6k per month! This is your time — you just need the tools.
Here’s a trick: by this point, most attendees who’ve stayed on the webinar suspect that your product is right for them. They want to trust you. So rather than using the language of persuasion — which comes off as very salesy — use the language of confirmation. People are always more likely to take action when they feel empowered to act on their own decision, rather than convinced to act on yours.
Step 5: Prove It
Social proof is just as important at the bottom of your funnel as it is at the top. In today’s marketing, no matter how competent, honest, and convincing you are, you can’t expect consumers to take your word for it.
So give them someone else’s.
We live in the Reviews Era. Gather testimonials from happy customers, or anyone you’ve ever helped with your expertise. Other consumers are literally the single most trusted source of information on a product – no offense, sales people.
If you’re totally new to business, and you don’t have any existing customers, that’s ok. Like I said, get testimonials from anyone you’ve ever helped – even if you’ve done it for free or in some beta version of your service. Whoever can vouch.
That’s it! If your webinar software has a solid ‘Offers’ feature, use your 100-word script and relevant images to create an attractive embedded offer, then pitch away when the time comes.
Other tips to get those sales webinar conversion rates up:
- Make a replay of your live webinar available. Statistically a solid chunk of your “attendees,” so to speak, will watch the replay – which means there are sales to be had after the webinar is over.
- For those who don’t buy (which will be most attendees), follow up via email with either a final chance to get the original offer (something with a close, firm expiration date within 24 hours of the webinar), or a modified offer that’s still better than the off-the-street deal.
- Automated or “evergreen” webinars are an important part of your webinar marketing strategy. But live webinars will always convert better. Consider using automated webinars as “first dates” where you give attendees a win (though you can still include an offer), but also convince them to attend a live webinar later. Use evergreen webinars to extend your reach, but rely on live webinars for the bulk of your sales.
- Choose a webinar software that smooths out the friction in your selling process. Make sure it has:
- Payment processing integrations
- Q&A timestamping for replay attendees
- Engagement tools (polls, chat, etc)
- Built-in or integrated email CRM
- Offer embed tools
I can’t think of a single webinar software that has all that. Oh wait, yes I can…
Seriously though, if you’re thinking about giving WebinarNinja a try, swing by my next live workshop to see all this advice in action. Sign up below:
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