One of the most common questions we get these days is: How do I get new leads and clients in this shell-shocked economy?
People are clutching their wallets tighter than they have in a long time. Response rates are down. It’s harder than ever to make advertising pay. And cash-flow is tight. What should I do?
No, I’m not going to insult your intelligence by telling you there is some kind of magic pill to fix this. Every business situation is unique. But for many, my recommended solution is the web learning event.
Allow me to explain …
It’s a pretty simple concept, really. You find a red hot topic your target market is interested in, a problem that’s keeping them up at night, or an opportunity they’re afraid of missing out on. And you put together an hour or so of step-by-step instruction on solving the problem or capitalizing on the opportunity.
Next, you shop that training around to businesses and organizations with access to your target market. And there are many ways you can craft these deals. There are no real rules, save one:
Everybody must win. There can be no losers…
You have to walk away from an event duly compensated for your efforts in delivering the training, either immediately or down the road. Your host or partner who sponsors your training event has to get sufficient business value from it. And the attendees of the event obviously have to come away thrilled they took the time out of their busy day to attend your event.
Your goal is to build your business, and this means, either more sales, more leads, or more exposure. And these web learning events can give you all three in one fell swoop.
For example, let’s say your niche is, I don’t know, liability insurance for chiropractors, and I’m just pulling this off the top of my head as a generic example that hopefully you can adapt to whatever you’re actually selling.
Anytime you have a profession, you have professional associations, places where the professionals hang out. Any kind of endeavor, actually, professional or not, has watering holes where people come together with a common interest in bettering themselves through the activity that defines them as a group.
And so you approach the people that run these collectives — trade associations, publishers, list owners, power-bloggers and such, and you engage them in the idea of hosting your training event.
Give your web learning event a name that demands attention …
If you offer liability insurance for chiropractors, maybe you create an event about 5 Emerging Practice Liability Nightmares and How to Avoid Them — Before They Rip The Shirt From Your Back or How to Safeguard Your Practice from Devastating Lawsuits in 3 Easy Steps, something like that.
Then you say to your potential host, “Hey look, there are chiropractors out there losing everything because they’re missing this crucial information, and I can help your members to avoid this problem, cheaply and easily. Let me make you look good by bringing them this information.”
And maybe that’s enough for the host organization. Maybe they win big by being the white knight bringing this information to their members. Remember, their members have expectations. They expect problem solving information. They expect their trade organization to look after them. You are making it easy for your potential host to be that white knight.
This is also true of publications. Their subscriber base is like a hungry dragon that needs to be fed. Here you are offering to feed the beast.
Now, here’s a big secret for getting and profiting wildly from these sponsorships …
Make it brain dead simple for your partners to put on the event. The less they have to do, the more likely they are to agree to sponsor you. And when you handle everything, what happens? You get people’s contact information.
Include a free newsletter subscription with their registration and you’re collecting leads that you can keep in touch with and to whom you can present offers, for as long as they remain subscribed to your newsletter.
So you’re getting valuable exposure with the people who come to your event. You’re getting the host organization’s endorsement. And you’re building your list.
If you stopped right there, you’re getting tremendous value. But why not go for some more?
Don’t stop when you are on a roll …
After teaching people for an hour or so about some wonderful opportunity or threat to their wellbeing, if you’ve done a good job of it, they’re going to want more.
How much can you teach in an hour? You can get people excited and aware and pass on a few general tips. But if those people are going to really benefit from you they’re going to need additional instruction. And so you almost have an obligation to give it to them.
This is the best opportunity you’ll find anywhere to make some serious sales. Don’t squander it. Be ready with an irresistible offer and a stunning benefit presentation. You’ll be shocked at how many people will jump to the pump to snap up your offer, even in this brutal economy.
Bolting a powerful offer and sales process to the end of your training also offers an additional incentive to potential hosts and JV partners to promote your event. You can pay them a commission on the sales you make. So not only can they feed the beast. They can actually get paid for doing so.
So everybody wins. It’s a fantastic strategy.
What do you think? Do you like this model?
Until next time, Good Selling!