Yesterday's post went through the reasons Why Pain Points Are Hurting Your Marketing Webinars. I used up a lot of words telling you why a classic "Pain Point Selling" technique is counterproductive to mass audience lead generation. This left me with the obvious challenge of offering an alternative approach. Is there a way to introduce and explain your offering as a valuable and beneficial solution to real problems? A way that will keep your audience listening?
There is. And it can be encapsulated in two easy words: Think Backwards.
Or in four words: Outcomes first, background later.
Or in the following whole bunch of words:
The way to keep an audience interested is to give them what they want. If they sign up for a webinar promoted as a way to learn about a service or product (or even just a general solution to a problem), they want to hear about the solution. They are a million times more interested in the solution than in the problem. So give them the solution!
This means you have to throw away the typical linear agenda. "First I'm going to give a little background and history of the industry. Then I'm going to talk about recent advances. Then I'm going to focus on some of the problems you face in today's world (ughh… I HATE that cliché phrase!). Then I'm going to introduce our product and tell you how it helps. Then I'll summarize and take questions."
Wow. You have just told the audience that their top priority and interest is number four on your list. (Number five if you count introductions and agenda-reading.) Goodbye or goodnight… I'll try to recapture your interest 20 minutes from now if you're still here.
So get rid of the agenda and the presentation flow it
promises threatens. Instead, start with the outcomes the audience can expect:
What should you expect to get from this webinar?
- A new way to use audience data to improve your viewing share
- An understanding of the software that can gather and interpret that data
- What it takes to implement a competitive programming solution
Your audience is hooked already. You have told them not how you organized your slides, but what value, benefits, and new knowledge they are going to walk away with at the end. They have a reason to stay and pay attention.
Next you introduce your offering with the quickest of references to the benefit statement promised in your promotional materials. Very simple. "You showed up today to find out about a way to improve viewing share. That's what our VwrSoft solution gives you. A new and innovative way to build your broadcast audience."
Now your audience knows what the solution is. They could be called away to another meeting and still have enough information to do a website search later or ask a sales rep for more info. Don't make your lead-gen webinar a 30-minute teaser leading up to a surprise reveal.
Now you start introducing capabilities that your offering provides. With each capability, Think Backwards. Outcome first, background later. What does your solution do? Why is that important? What problem does it solve? How is it different from other approaches?
Instead of offering all the background material in a big lump at the beginning of your webinar, you space it out… intersperse it with the practical benefits and capabilities your audience is most interested in.
What's great about this is that it lets you trick the audience into associating your solution with their own pain points. Instead of starting by setting up generic needs with generic problems, you introduce a capability. Then you invite your audience to fill in the blanks for you… "What could this solve for you? Do you have a problem capturing viewers from a few major network anchor shows? Or is your problem capturing attention from the mass of channels during more competitive hours? Think how this could help with your number one priority."
They can make the connection in a way they can't do with a traditional "pains then solutions" flow. And you can do it over and over again. With each specific you introduce.
Don't think it works in practice? Watch Steve Jobs introduce the iPhone in 2007. One of the biggest marketing presentations ever. He had a captive audience of rabid fans primed for some big unknown announcement. He had an hour of speaking time on the agenda. He could have led them on with thirty minutes of pain points and setup justifying the iPhone before showing it. He didn't. He told the audience right away what the new offering was and what it did. Even with a little opening fluff, he had the device, its name, and its capabilities introduced at the three-minute mark. You can too.