how to sell using webinars

by Jeff Molander, Conversation Enablement Coach, Speaker & Founder at Communications Edge Inc.

Time to read: 4 minutes. The word Webinar has become synonymous with “boring.” But for some marketers Webinars are money in the bank. What’s the trick to selling using Webinars? Helping viewers get so confident, so trusting, they jump at the chance to purchase. In the next 4 minutes, I’ll show you how to sell using Webinars.

No bull. No buzzwords. Here is a proven, step-by-step way to attract prospects, deliver your message and close business with a Webinar.

Living proof

On average, most Webinars keep 40% of their listeners attention from start-to-finish.

My Webinars keep 94% of attendees to the end. My best Webinar had a 29% close rate.

I’m not bragging; I’m following the success of others. Now I’m sharing what I learned with you. Here’s how to sell using Webinars.

Without this 1 element you’ll fail

Many Webinar hosts unknowingly sabotage their programs. They forget the basics of good communication. If you don’t follow the Golden Rule it will cost you:

  • 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?”

That’s your Webinar’s job: get buyers crystal clear, confident in themselves and trusting you. So trusting they’ll jump out of a plane with you.

Structure the entire Webinar to follow this flow. Similarly, structure each section of your Webinar this way. Doing so will help you sell toward the end.

The 5 steps to success

Ok, here’s how to sell using Webinars.

  1. Go beyond relevant: Make the title irresistible.
    Your topic must be goal-oriented—specific to a pain, fear, goal or ambition of your customer. More importantly, your title must promise complete satisfaction in a way that customers cannot resist acting on (signing-up AND showing-up).
  2. Skip the introduction.
    Other than a passionate 30-60 seconds on why you are bothering to invest YOUR time. After all, you’re talking into the air at them, alone in a room. You must be on a mission. This is where you connect with the audience. It’s do or die.
  3. Promise viewers something NEW.
    Literally say to them, “I know you don’t have time to waste, so I’m not going to waste it. Most likely, what I’m about to tell you about ______ (insert audience’s goal or pain) will be new to you … you’ve probably not heard this before.”
  4. Meet that expectation & create hunger for more.
    Give insights and “next steps” they’ve never heard before. Be crystal clear. Use stories to illustrate, punctuate. Guide prospects in ways that encourage them to ask more questions and creates intense curiosity in what else you can offer (eg. what you sell).
  5. Help customers, and yourself, with a call-to-action.
    At the end of your Webinar, if you’ve structured it correctly, viewers will crave more from you. They’ll want more clarity, more insights … more specific details about you or your business. Your call to action gives them a way to satisfy that hunger—and it gives you a lead (or sale).

Want to see a Webinar like this in-action? Check out this Webinar series.

#1: How to write an irresistible title: A shortcut

There are two kinds of titles: Attention grabbers that generate sign-ups and those that fail. Effective headlines get right to the point. The trick to writing magnetic title is to appeal to emotional and tangible desires of prospects in ways they cannot resist acting on.

Do you have a relatively boring product or service? Get that thought out of your head! Replace it with this one:

Scratch an itch for your customer. Everyone has a pain, a fear or a goal. Your Webinar is the pain-remover. We’ll get to the selling at the end.

Jot down answers to these questions on a piece of paper:

  • What keeps my prospects up at night?
  • What has them excited?
  • What specific goals or aspirations do customers have?
  • Are there myths they believe in that prevent them from getting what they want?

Focus your title on your remedy. Keep in mind:

  1. what matters (most) to customers … then …
  2. structure your title to answer/respond to what prospects need or crave.

Here’s my best short-cut to getting the job done.

Follow the 4 U’s. Print these off and hang them on your wall. Make sure your headline is:

  • Useful (Is the promised knowledge valuable to the reader?)
  • Urgent (Does the message make the reader want to act on it immediately?)
  • Unique (Is the promised message compelling and remarkable?)
  • Ultra-Specific (How relevant is the knowledge or message being presented?)

This formula will help you write headlines prospects cannot resist clicking on. Here are some examples of effective titles using the above formula.

“Why some patients are given favored status in hospitals: 3 secrets that could save your life.”
“3 Ways to learn about medical discoveries before your doctor.”
“How and when blood pressure can fool you: A surprising fact about drinking alcohol without hangovers.”
“5 famous cold remedies that, taken together, can give you ulcers.”
“Finally, a simple way to prevent Montezuma’s Revenge.”

Do you see how these are structured to follow the 4 U’s? They hint at a benefit of the Webinar without spilling the beans about how to get it. If you want the simple way to prevent Montezuma’s Revenge, you need you attend the Webinar.

#2: Skip the introduction: Give ’em what they want

Audiences don’t show-up to Webinars to hear about the backgrounds or experiences of the presenter. They’re there for one reason: To take from you.

Let them.

Qualify yourself and other experts quickly and move on. If you don’t they WILL! If they don’t move on, you know what they’ll do? Start checking and responding to email.

You’ll LOSE them!

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.

#3 – 4: Promise viewers something new, then deliver it

When is the last time you attended a conference or 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.

See how easy it was for you to recall? That’s because it’s rare. Being rare works.

Immediately tell your audience, “what I’m about to share is probably going to be new for you.” Let them judge if it’s going to be “powerful” or “life-changing.” Don’t over-sell your promise. Keep it simple, focused and under-stated.

Avoid adjectives and adverbs. Let them decide.

This is when you give your best insights or warnings. This is when you give away ALL of your very best knowledge.

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

Not really. 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.

So always present next steps. Get viewers on the path. Remove any confusion by showing them where to start. Show them how to start DO-ing your better way or short-cut. Why?

Guiding prospects encourages them to ask more questions, builds trust and creates intense curiosity in you—a hunger for more of what you can offer. 

90% of “what works” is based on this simple idea. Present the solution 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.
  • Be action-oriented.
  • But be incomplete.

#5: Make a call to action that customers want

The idea is to give away enough “how to” knowledge in the Webinar to create hunger for a short-cut at the end. In other words, the goal of this 5-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 (an “Ultimate Guide” ebook, educational video tutorial, a handy checklist) or
  • your product/service.

The idea is to present content that helps customers begin to desire your lead generation offer. If you’re making the pitch for viewers to buy at the end of your Webinar, the idea is to help viewers see buying your product/service as a logical next step.

You see, using this 5-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.”

Your turn: Make every SECOND count

Most Webinars are not bad. They don’t suck. The are HORRIBLE in every way. Don’t let yours fall into this category. Use the above “format formula” to structure your Webinar. Make it grab and hold your audience to the very end. Make it generate leads.

Make every single second of your presentation specific to “what’s in it” for them.

Here’s what I do: When done creating your images and script go back over your presentation. Ask yourself, “so what?” on each image.

Once you’re done crafting the message, it’s time to forget about “the what.” Focus on the WHY. If you cannot answer the question, “why does this matter to the viewer?” with conviction rip out that image and/or section of your scrip.

Push yourself. Push it. Push it real good!

Bonus tip: Pause frequently, let them think

In radio it’s called “dead air.” DJ’s and news anchors tend to avoid it. But in Webinars its pure gold. Why?

Because on most Webinars speakers over-focus on telling viewers what to do. They never shut up! They’re afraid to make an insight and then let the audience think about it for a few seconds.

Use pauses for drama—when you make an important point. Also, use silence to let customers react. Give them a moment to think. You’ll be glad you did.

Now you know how to sell using Webinars. Good luck!

Photo credit: SkydiveAndes

In 1999, I co-founded what became the Google Affiliate Network and Performics Inc. where I helped secure 2 rounds of funding and built the sales team. I've been selling for over 2 decades.

After this stint, I returned to what was then Molander & Associates Inc. In recent years we re-branded to Communications Edge Inc., a member-driven laboratory of sorts. We study, invent and test better ways to communicate -- specializing in serving sales and marketing professionals.

I'm a coach and creator of the Spark Selling™ communication methodology—a curiosity-driven way to start and advance conversations. When I'm not working you'll find me hiking, fishing, gardening and investing time in my family.

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  • Awesome post Jeff. I loved the part about boring introductions. I usually tune in 5 minutes after start for that very reason. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi, Julie… Very insightful. Thanks for sharing that habit. You know what… I’ll bet that’s why many of my attendees show up a little late too. I will dig into my data a bit to see how prominent this behavior is. Cheers!

      • Hi Jeff,
        great article. About to start doing webinars, so google helped me find you.
        Was wondering if you looked up that data?
        Maybe it’s worth mentioning in the marketing phase that you will just jump right into value giving and folks should appear timely. Cheers

  • I’m a year late, but still found this in a good ol’ fashioned Google search. Thank you so much for this content. I have watched a bunch of fantastic webinars, and a few bad ones, and everything you said here was spot on with my experience as the viewer. I’m looking forward to creating my first webinar and feel much more confident with your plan put in place! I was especially unsure about the intro, because I can’t remember what I have seen done, so I really appreciate you clearing that part up.

    As I’m practicing, I’m speaking roughly 1 minute per slide. Is that too long?

    Thank you!!

    • It may not be long enough, actually. My rule (given to me by one of my mentors) is make EVERY image count. Every image must have a point. I linger on images for as long as 3 minutes. It gives people a chance to LISTEN rather than look (or God forbid… read!). Make sense, Erica?

    • “Time on slide” depends on your audience. Sounds good though. I cannot say enough good things about virtually eliminating intros. Get DIRECTLY to the meat. Good luck, Erica!

  • Thanks Jeff. Wonderful info. I intend to print this article to reread on my journey toward webinar selling.

  • Thanks Jeff! I was totally ready to buy whatever you were selling! I constructed my webinar while reading this. It’ll actually be a live webinar with NO SLIDES- but I still think the content is BRiLLIANT! Thank you!
    Michelle in San Diego

  • Faith Okpanachi says:

    **Article: Boost Your Sales with Sell Like Crazy Webinars**

    Hey there, fellow hustlers! Are you ready to take your sales game to the next level? Well, get ready because we’re about to dive into the world of Sell Like Crazy Webinars (SLCW) – the secret weapon savvy marketers use to skyrocket their sales.

    Now, you might be wondering, “What exactly are Sell Like Crazy Webinars, and how can they help me sell more?” Great question! Let me break it down for you.

    Sell Like Crazy Webinars are online presentations where you get to showcase your product or service to a group of eager potential customers. But here’s the kicker – these aren’t your average boring sales pitches. Nope, SLCW are all about providing value, building trust, and, you guessed it, selling like crazy!

    So, how do you sell through these webinars? It’s all about strategy, my friend. First off, you need killer content that speaks directly to your audience’s pain points and offers practical solutions. Think of it as a virtual masterclass where you’re sharing your expertise and demonstrating how your product or service can change their lives for the better.

    But wait, there’s more! With Sell Like Crazy Webinars, you’re not just limited to pitching your product during the presentation. Oh no, you can also offer exclusive deals, bonuses, and discounts to attendees to sweeten the deal and encourage them to take action then and there.

    Now, you might be thinking, “Do webinars actually work? Can they really help me boost my sales?” Absolutely! Countless businesses have seen massive success using Sell Like Crazy Webinars to drive sales and grow their bottom line. It’s all about creating engaging content, connecting with your audience on a personal level, and making it easy for them to say “yes” to your offer.

    Ready to give Sell Like Crazy Webinars a try? Head over to [this link]( to learn more and start selling like crazy today! Trust me, your sales game will never be the same again.

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