Think back to a webinar you attended in the past.
You signed up for that online training for a reason, right? Maybe you dug the topic, or you really liked the host. Or maybe you were genuinely interested in buying what that webinar might be selling, but you wanted to learn more about the product first.
Then the day of the session arrived. You tuned in, ready to take notes. It started out well. The host was articulate, knowledgeable, and had a lot to say.
But as the well-meaning host opened up their mind and spewed a ton of information, the minutes started to tick away. And you found yourself wondering:
“Yeah, that’s great, but what are you trying to sell me?”
After all, you know how it works. No one hosts a webinar just to give away free knowledge. Therefore, they’re trying to sell you something.
The webinar continues. You hear more facts, examples, and step-by-step tutorials than you’ll be able to remember.
But you’re only half-listening. You keep hearing a voice that says:
“What are you trying to sell me? Will everything you’re teaching me work if I don’t buy? And what if I can’t afford it? This isn’t a great month for me to spend extra money anyway …”
At some point, you realize you’re not listening anymore. You may even consider leaving, because you’re too stressed out about the host potentially hard-pitching you something you might not be interested in.
That’s what I call “Webinar Offer Anxiety”
This anxiety is something I’ve discovered firsthand while hosting more than 1,200 webinars over the last five years. And most people who give advice about webinars just don’t want to talk about it.
I define “Webinar Offer Anxiety” as the feelings of unease, nervousness, stress, or frustration that attendees experience when they don’t know what you’re selling on a webinar.
This anxiety stops would-be customers from buying — long before you even have a chance to tell them what you’re selling.
Sadly, most webinar hosts don’t even know this anxiety exists. So they have no clue how to get around it. (I’ll show you how to overcome it — and boost your webinar sales — in just a minute.)
Even worse, most webinar presenters go the other way. They try to keep their product offer a secret.
Your average (i.e., wrong) webinar presenter: “Whatever you do, don’t mention the offer!”
I’ve seen it way too many times.
Lots of presenters spend entire webinars talking about everything except what they’re selling. Somehow these hosts believe that the longer they hold off from mentioning their product offer, the better their chances for sales.
They couldn’t be more wrong.
These hosts might as well tell all their attendees to not think about the giant elephant wandering around the room. (Don’t think about the elephant. Seriously, don’t think about it.)
Most webinar hosts follow a webinar structure that looks like this: “Content … content … content … introduce offer … HARD PITCH … close.”
They spend nearly the entire session shrouding the offer in mystery. In doing so, they actually screw over their webinar attendees in a very interesting way.
Because when you don’t mention the offer, that’s the only thing attendees can think about.
Attendees can’t focus on your content, no matter how awesome it is. They can’t hear what you’re saying about that one amazing customer who had that fantastic experience by using your company’s product. They can’t even make an informed buying decision.
As rational, well-informed human beings, all your attendees can think about is what you’re not talking about: the offer.
As the minutes tick by, you’re losing attendees’ trust, their attention, and what they might have spent on your product if only you approached your webinar differently.
So, let’s talk about how to fix that …
It’s almost too obvious, really.
If not knowing the offer causes all this anxiety, why not treat your webinar attendees like grown-ups and tell them the offer right up front?
I’ve done this myself in hundreds of webinars over the years. I even tested it in door-to-door sales once upon a time. So I can tell you: It works.
I start every webinar by introducing myself, the company I’m representing, the webinar topic, and then I quickly introduce the offer like this:
“Okay, so I’m going to do something really weird that you’ve probably never heard on another webinar before. I’m going to tell you exactly what I’ve got to offer right now. You can take advantage of it now or later — but this way we can get it out of the way and then dive into the training.”
I then take three to five minutes to introduce the product I’m selling and explain:
- What it does
- Where to get it
- How to purchase it
- The bonuses I’m giving away on the webinar
Simply telling your attendees what you’re selling at the beginning of the webinar doesn’t just erase anxiety, it boosts sales.
More chances to sell = more sales
Now, this is important: I don’t just mention the product in the first five minutes of the webinar and never bring it up again.
Instead, I introduce the product offer at both the beginning and end of all my webinars. I save the bigger details for the very end, but I also mention the product offer right up front.
This accomplishes several goals at once.
- It erases all offer anxiety. Your customers can now listen to the rest of your webinar content without worrying about what you’re going to offer and when.
- It treats customers with respect. It shows your customers you appreciate their time and their intelligence by not trying to shroud your offer in mystery.
- It gives customers time to think it over. By not shoehorning your pitch at the end, it gives would-be customers time to considering purchasing. (Yes, that increases sales.)
- It gives you more chances to sell during your webinar. When you introduce your product at the beginning, you can talk about your product throughout your entire webinar with complete ease.
- It creates a webinar structure that sells. The end result is a webinar structure that’s designed to make sales. I start by saying what I’m selling, I give awesome content that explains why they might want to buy what I’m selling. Then I show them how to purchase what I’m selling.
- It helps ease potential sticker shock. If I’m selling a product that costs more than a couple hundred dollars, when many people hear the price, they’ll get instant sticker shock. But bringing it up in the beginning of the webinar means I’ve got the next 45–60 minutes to blow their minds with value, overcome objections, and then present my offer again without that initial sticker shock weighing them down.
In other words, I get multiple chances to sell while still showing I respect my customers. Gold.
Questions? Comments? Keep ’em coming!
I’d love to hear from you in the comments: Did you find this blog post useful? Even just a two-second “Yes, Tim!” comment below would make my day. 🙂
Also, do you have any questions about hosting your own webinar? If so, drop them in the comments below. I’d love to answer them.
Join us for an in-depth workshop on selling with webinars:
Tuesday, May 15, 12:00 Noon Eastern U.S. Time
If you want to learn to make much more effective offers, join us for an in-depth workshop we think you’ll find helpful.
It’s specifically about selling with webinars — one of the most reliable ways to convert interested fans into happy customers and clients.
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