Now don’t get me wrong, webinars are fab. They are a great way of being able to communicate with lots of people at once and they work around your customer’s needs; they allow them to dip in and out as they please and you can offer webinars during the evenings and weekends when they won’t necessarily be tied up with other commitments. From a business point of view, it allows you to promote your product or service to multiple people at once from the comfort of your own office, drastically reducing your cost per sale.
But they do have a down side. Almost everyone who uses them says they aren’t as good as face-to-face meetings as it’s difficult to make any real connection. While there is the functionality to ask questions and chat, this is something webinar attendees tend not to do. You effectively end up ‘broadcasting’ your sales pitch when, as anyone who regularly reads my blogs will know, I believe the key to selling is listening and understanding. It may take more time and effort to meet your potential customers in person but it always ends up with a stronger relationship so is worth investing in if you can.
So when is a webinar actually better than a face-to-face meeting? When you want honesty!
Webinars are the perfect platform for showcasing a new product or service and asking for honest feedback. Given the relative anonymity of a webinar (i.e. you don’t have to look the presenter in the eye) your customers will give you their honest opinion on what they’re being shown which makes it an excellent platform for market testing.
Try it out. Create a webinar with the purpose of gaining feedback (and try to avoid making it a thinly-veiled sales pitch) and see what happens. People love being asked their opinion and you might get an insight into your product or service which you’ve never had before.