Today’s question was asked by someone selling online training to mid-size and large corporations.
My answer is 100% applicable to any business — from selling information online to consulting services and everything in between.
The concepts aren’t talked about much outside of advanced groups, but they are critical to understand to accelerate your sales no matter what your business is.
QUESTION: “I sell online training courses for corporations. We do pretty well already, but most of our sales come over the course of a few months after someone has responded to one of our opt-in offers. If I could make sales faster, I would be able to ramp up my advertising and list building. Right now, I can’t afford to build my list as fast as I could because it takes too long to get my money back. I have heard you talk about how teleseminars and webinars can make sales faster than just using a salesletter. Would they work for my situation?” – Dan (name and web site removed by request)
How teleseminars and webinars make sales faster that only salesletters and e-mail
What you are asking about is something I call compression.
In a nutshell, no matter what you sell you have a sales cycle.
Online, think of this as the time it takes to go from a person opting in to actually making a purchase.
During a typical online sales cycle, you’ll include things like squeeze pages, salesletters, and autoresponders.
Compression is all about asking, “how can I speed up (compress) the sales cycle?”
Three things happen when you do it right:
1) You generate revenue from your list faster.
2) You produce more overall profit because you end up selling more, not just faster.
3) The increased revenue and speed at which you get it allows you to grow your list faster than ever before because you have the security of knowing your money will be returned quickly.
How to compress your sales cycle
So, how do you make it happen?
Well, it starts with understanding why your sales happen over time.
One of the reasons is “stepped awareness.”
With rare exception, your prospects don’t go to sleep unaware and uninterested in what you have to sell … and wake up convinced they have to have it.
There is a process they go through to reach that point.
Think of it this way:
Your prospects have a slider, not an on/off switch.
On the left of the slider is “unaware and uninterested” … on right right side of the slider is “I have to have Product X right now.”
There are at least 6 steps on the slider.
When you understand what they are and how to help your prospects through using teleseminars or webinars, your sales cycle gets compressed. Revenue pours in faster. You make more sales. And opportunities open up for you that weren’t there before.
Let’s look at it in detail …
6 steps in a basic buying process (without teleseminars or webinars)
Here is a very simple illustration of what I mean.
First, people have to realize they have a problem they want to solve or a goal they want to achieve. (John goes to the doctor, and the doctor tells him he is pre-diabetic and has to lower his blood sugar or risk serious health issues.)
Second, they have to begin looking for possible solutions. (John searches for things like “pre-diabetes” and “how to lower blood sugar” on Google.)
Third, they research possible solutions. (John decides to opt-in for a few mailing lists — not just yours. He reads more about each thing.)
Fourth, they compare possible solutions. (John starts asking himself, “what should I do?” or “what should I do first?” He compares the information and web sites he has found, and he might talk to friends, family or trusted advisors to get their opinion.)
Fifth, they ask “final buying questions.” (John likes what he has read about your offer, is leaning towards it, but just has a few final questions. He goes back to your web site or e-mails for clarification. He *might* e-mail to ask, but probably will not.)
SIxth, they make a buying decision. (John has his questions answered and places an order.)
Now, pay attention.
This is a simple model. Often there are quite a few more steps in the process.
And, part of the reason why marketing through time with e-mail is so powerful is that you can be there throughout their entire buying process and even nudge it along.
Heck, a big part of being successful in business is just “showing up” … so you get points for that, too.
But here is the big trick … and how teleseminars and webinars can compress this process from weeks or even months to just a few hours.
How to fit your teleseminar or webinar into the process
When you offer a Teleseminar or Webinar That Sells, you can help someone to move through the entire process in just 60 minutes … ending with them decided to make the decision to purchase your offer.
Well, a well-done teleseminar that sells covers a few things …
* Clearly established the problem and associated pain (reinforces step 1.)
* Positions yourself as a trusted advisor (helps with step 4.)
* Talks about the various ways to solve the problem (done well, covers steps 2, 3 and 4.)
* Explains why your solution is superior (step 4.)
* Answers both asked and unasked questions to remove hesitation and doubt (step 5.)
* And makes an irresistible offer designed to get them to act now (step 6.)
In other words, it compresses a 6-step process that might takes months communicating through individual messages into a single, powerful and sales-producing 60-minute presentation.
Now, let’s take it to the next step.
Go back to step number 2, where John decides to opt-in for a few e-mail lists for more information.
If the next thing he sees after opting into that list is the opportunity to get on a teleseminar or webinar, held by an authority, that promises to answer his biggest questions about what to do about his situation …
… well, now John stops looking for other sites.
He settles down. Says to himself, “ah … this is what I was looking for.”
And you have a far superior prospect, primed to buy and buy quickly.
One final note.
If you have paid attention to me for any period of time, you know that I believe in automating teleseminars and webinars — just like autoresponders.
Which means, when you create your teleseminar or webinar that sells … all of the benefits, the faster sales and the increased profits … happen on autopilot.
And that is “pretty cool” in my book.
I hope that answers your question.
Put your comments or follow-ups in the comments below.
P.S. This concept of compression and also of the buying process is very important to understand in your business. You might want to print this post out and read it a few times to let the ideas sink in.