Automated Webinars: Right Tool for the Job?

carpenterJust as a master carpenter carefully selects the right tool to cut a mortise joint in to a fine mahogany chair he is crafting, so the master marketer carefully considers which tool to use at each point in a particular campaign.

To get a fairly complex offer delivered in an entertaining and personal simulated “live event”, an automated webinar may offer just the right solution.  But is it worth the up front effort and expense?  Let’s see if you could uncover hidden profits with this tool.

First, a little background…

The amateur salesperson thinks of selling as a grueling one-on-one contest of wills between salesperson and prospect.  It’s a waste of energy on two counts:

1) He faces a prospect who isn’t pre-educated, pre-disposed and pre-sold on doing business with him.

2) He’s working one-on-one, when he could be speaking one-to-many.

Pre-Educating and Pre-Selling

A pro never gets into a battle of wills – she sets up contexts where information is exchanged under her control, toward solving the prospect’s problem in order to close the sale.

The key to smooth, cooperative selling is context.  When a prospect is pre-sold, the salesperson can focus on matching problem to solution.  Customer education and positioning has already taken place.

As example, I used to sell insulation to builders and remodelers in the Boulder-Denver area.

In my favor, the company I worked for already had a reputation as the best in the area.  They had – and still do have – clearly marked trucks with a highly distinct red and orange logo, unlike any other competitor.

The company was also was known to have “premium” prices, though my prospects rarely let on if they were aware of that.  In some instances, I’d get the ploy, “Yeah, I heard you guys are the cheapest.”  It was a defensive move against an already strong positioning.

With all that going for me, my success in every sales encounter, while not assured, was often greatly enhanced by all the background information, the pictures and expectations already in the prospect’s mind when I showed up on their project.

While I enjoyed considerable success, it was grinding one-on-one, travel thither and yon, time-consuming effort.  Perhaps necessary in that environment, but not the stuff of real, leveraged time management and wealth-building.

At the time, and still for certain selling situations, it’s a necessary evil.  But there is technology that enables you to build context and sell to your entire universe of prospects, over time while you’re off doing other things.

Automated webinars are one such tool  They expand your reach by allowing you to make a simulated live presentation “one-to-many” not just at one time, almost “on demand”.

They allow a “virtual you” to personally pre-educate, pre-sell and close multiple prospects while you’re out building your business, watching your kid’s ball game, or taking the afternoon off for a round of golf.  Pretty nifty, right?

There are tradeoffs, but let’s look at some of the advantages…

What do you get when you cross QVC, a Tupperware Party and TIVO?

Automated webinars allow a host to introduce a vendor to her “tribe”.  As presenter, he can tell his story and close many sales at once to prospects  in their “comfort zones” and at a time – more or less – of their choosing.  All with the look and feel of a live event.  And unlike TV, cost of entry is very low.

While you deliver a one-to-many presentation, the viewer feels like he’s part of an in-person conversation.  Unlike a replay, an automated webinar conveys the feeling – more or less convincing, depending on viewer – of a live event.  You have the added advantage of controlled and instant social proof with other attendees supporting your arguments and stampeding to purchase.

All stuff you can manufacture, realizing not all, but a percentage will buy into it.

And of course, compared to “shoe leather” selling, because it breaks the geographic barrier, you can project your personality and pitch to thousands of prospective buyers you wouldn’t otherwise have access to.

Automated Webinars, while typically not as effective as a live presentation, offer a way for you to continually deliver your best presentation and close over and over again to a continuous stream of new prospects.

Finally, these are sophisticated systems that may give you an immediate leg up over a competitor’s scribble video, talking head on YouTube or plain text with pictures.

At first, they take some work to set up, but once done, give you the opportunity to “work once, sell many times”.

While several automated webinar systems are available, the two most popular are Stealth Seminar and Evergreen Business System.

Which one is best for you?

In “The Battle for Auto-Webinar Supremacy” (coming soon), we’ll look at each of these two giants to see who comes out on top.

To your Wildest Success