Selling a product on a webinar can be scary. A lot of people avoid doing it because they’re afraid of upsetting their audience or losing their trust. Have no fear! In this chapter, I’m going to show you that there is a way to sell and serve on your webinar at the same time.
Adopting the Webinar Sales Mindset
Selling and serving at the same time. When you commit to doing both on your webinar, you quickly start to see that selling is not a bad thing! As long as you’re selling something of value that can indeed help people, and you work to earn their trust, then selling can even feel obvious and natural. It can feel like something you should be doing.
The SPI archives contain a number of podcast episodes and blog posts about overcoming internal objections to selling. The first one I want to recommend is a clip from an episode of my daily YouTube streaming show, the Income Stream, featuring Chalene Johnson:
Chalene joins the show at about 25:50. Watch for some excellent tips on getting into the mindset of selling. You'll hopefully come away understanding that if you have a lot of value to offer, selling should feel natural and obvious.
Here are two podcast episodes that will help with getting into a sales mindset:
So getting the mindset piece right is the crucial first step. But then how do you put that into action on your webinar? How do you sell your product on your webinar in a thoughtful way that doesn’t get in the way of teaching and providing value for the people who show up?
I spent a lot of time working through this sales mindset stuff, because to be honest, the idea of selling on a webinar was something that made me feel gross. Part of that had to do with some of my experiences as a webinar attendee. I’d sit through 45 minutes of a big emotional story—then all of a sudden, a pitch for a $1,000 product! Yes, that kind of pitch can work sometimes, but it’s not how I sell on my webinars, and it’s not what I want to teach you here.
Before You Sell Anything on Your Webinar, Provide Value First
Instead, I want to emphasize the importance of first providing value on your webinar, and then offering your webinar audience something that makes sense for them—and pitching it in a way that’s not going to make people hate you for it or make you feel slimy about it.
Ultimately, you’re hosting your webinar to help people. And so you want even the folks who don’t purchase anything from you to thank you for the webinar.
So, making sure that your webinar content is packed with value is an absolute must. That means picking a great topic, and making the entire webinar experience engaging. Each person should leave with something they can put to use right away and feel like their time spent with you was hugely worthwhile.
Because guess what? If you get this part right and your audience sees that there’s a lot of value in what you have to share, they’re much more likely to stick around for the whole webinar and be open to hearing your product pitch.
Laying the Groundwork for a Successful Pitch
I’ve run over a hundred webinars at this point. Even though I used to be afraid of using webinars to sell, I now sell on roughly half of them—and each time I feel really comfortable doing so. Here are the two things I do consistently to help put the audience at ease about being pitched to.
Strategy #1: Let Them Know You’ll Be Pitching
The first simple thing I do in every sales webinar that puts both me and my audience at ease is to be upfront about the fact that I’ll be pitching something later on.
Take my podcasting webinar, which includes a lot of detail on how to get started with your own podcast, followed by a pitch for my Power-Up Podcasting course. After I welcome people in and cover some webinar housekeeping items, I give them a heads-up about what’s coming. It usually goes something like this:
“You’re about to learn a lot. In fact, you’re going to get an open window into the material you’ll find in my Power-Up Podcasting course. If you want to go deeper with this material, I’ll share more information about Power-Up Podcasting at the end of the webinar, along with a special offer. But either way, as long as you stick around and pay attention, you’re going to get a lot of value, whether you take advantage of the offer or not.”
This way, I’m letting people know upfront that an offer is coming, which deflates any worry or nervousness about a potential bait-and-switch. Also, pointing out that some of the webinar content has been taken from my paid course increases the perceived value of that content among the webinar audience.
So that’s how to introduce the fact that you’re going to be selling on your webinar, to set expectations and put people’s minds at ease. But that’s not all. There’s a second strategy you can use to prepare people for your pitch—and even get them looking forward to it.
Strategy #2: Showcase Your Students & Customers
The second way to get people prepped for your pitch is to pepper your webinar content with real examples from students who have used your product or taken your course. Not as testimonials—testimonials are important, and they can indeed help you when it comes time to pitch at the end—but as stories embedded organically into the content of the webinar.
For example, in our podcasting webinar, before we go into the meat and potatoes of the content—things like which microphone to buy, how to edit your podcast, and how to launch your show—I cover some objections people might have and myths we have to debunk. That’s right—we start by addressing mindset.
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In terms of podcasting, one of the myths we work to overcome in this webinar is the belief that you need to have a popular topic or a large potential audience to succeed.
I show people how that’s actually not true by using examples of students who’ve taken Power-Up Podcasting. Take Phil Lichtenberger, host of Scanner School, who launched his show after taking the course, and after just twenty-two episodes he’d gotten thousands of downloads. He’d even cultivated some superfans for his show about the niche scanner radio hobby. I share a screenshot of his podcast and some messages he’s gotten from those new superfans—people who join him on every live stream, who interact with him on Twitter, and so on. These are new relationships that have come about just because of the podcast.
Using Phil’s example helps crush the objection that people might have about creating a show for a niche audience. It also shows that he was a student of my course—without my needing to directly sell the course.
Another myth I tackle upfront in my podcasting webinar is the idea that you have to have an audience before you start your podcast—whether it’s through your email list or blog or a website or somewhere else—in order to succeed.
I share the story of Sophie Walker, another Power-Up Podcasting student and the host of Australian Birth Stories. She launched with zero email list, zero audience—nothing. But her show helped her build a huge audience. In fact, her podcast episodes have been downloaded millions of times, and the experience has completely changed her life.
So the truth is you don’t need to start with an audience in place—your podcast can build one for you. And I use an example like Sophie’s to support my case, while also providing an amazing plug for the course, ninja-style.
Batter Up: Time to Make the Pitch
The two tactics we just covered—mentioning the product upfront and alerting them that you’ll be pitching later, and inserting student success stories—can go a long way in getting people ready and excited to hear your pitch.
So how do you go about, you know, making the pitch itself? Let’s dig in.
First off, in every sales webinar I do, after the main content portion is over and I’m about to launch into my pitch, I ask the audience for permission to talk about the product I’m offering. Even if you get just one “yes,” that’s one person who wants to know more. Getting that validation can give you a lot of energy and confidence as you begin to pitch your product.
Next, when the pitch starts, don’t waffle—go right into it. Be clear about what the product is, but don’t spend too long getting into all the details. This is the part where people tend to drop off, but if you can keep things exciting and high level, you’ll keep a good portion of your audience engaged.
For my Power-Up Podcasting course, I take people through the course modules quickly, using that time as a selling opportunity. For example, in the podcasting promotion section of the course, I’ll mention that module five covers your podcast prelaunch strategy, which is important for getting the most listeners on day one. I walk them through some of the content in the module, to both teach a little bit and sell them on the value of the course.
Once you’ve used the content to sell people on the value of the course, you can start to share the terms of your offer: cost, any discount or bonuses, when the offer expires, and any other terms (like a no-questions-asked refund policy).
As I’m wrapping up the pitch, I like to “deflate” the sale a little bit by redirecting attention away from the product itself and onto the people who’ve had success with it. This is where you can inject some testimonials to drive home the value your course or product can provide.
Finally, you’ll want to spend time speaking to people who are on the fence. I usually say something like this:
“If this is something you really want but can’t afford right now—if you’re going to have to dig into your savings or withdraw from your retirement account to pay for it—don’t do it. I still want to help you. You can rewatch the replay of this webinar, or listen to episodes of my podcast that cover the same topic. But if you’re ready to invest in your future, to get access to more information, along with some hand-holding and accountability, I want to help you cut through the noise, reduce the overwhelm, and help you achieve results faster than you could otherwise.”
Boom. Now go out and sell.
Now that your webinar’s over, you’re done—right? In fact, your webinar journey has only begun! Chapter 8 tells you everything you need to know about following up after your webinar to continue growing your audience, teaching and serving more people, and landing more sales.