Webinar Horsepower: “Co-op”etition & Panels to Skyrocket Your Attendees – by Jamie Shanks

Webinars are supposed to be an amazing tool to help buyers evaluate solutions to their problems.  Depending on the subject of your webinar, the attendees could be at the earliest stage of the buying process or even at the vendor selection stage.

Unfortunately, most companies look at their webinars as “a nice try”, but providing only modest success.  Their registrations are 50, 100, maybe even 200 – but it’s the same people and not enough to fuel your lead generation fire.

Our own business went through the same challenges.  Yet with a few tweaks to our process, we now have multiple 1,000’s attend our webinars.  In fact, we are on a panel with LinkedInHootsuiteOneSourceSelling Power & Shift Selling in March with an anticipated 12,500 attendees!  Now that’s horsepower.

Why are most webinars not working?

  • Simple, the webinar series has been about your solution – stop talking about yourself.  The buyer isn’t ready for that yet.  Save it for the demo.
  • Your firm is the only “subject matter expert” on the call – you’re just one opinion that the buyer doesn’t fully trust yet.  Your advice will only sound self-serving.
  • You keep churning your database – you will eventually get tuned out if the subject is relatively the same.
  • Your subject doesn’t tickle people’s funny-bone with a real PAIN-POINT – many webinar attendees as still very early in the buying process.  They are still in “Status Quo”, so you’ll need to shift their mindset.

How can you fix this?

  • Round up a panel of “subject matter experts,” and don’t be afraid to invite indirect competitors. Have 3 voices on the call.  Perhaps a client, vendor, industry consultant, and/or competitor.  If you’re in an industry that is still driving awareness, work with a competitor to better educate the marketplace.  Our best webinar in 2012 was with a fellow “Top of the Sales Funnel” training company.  We benefited by hammering home the importance of a lead generation strategy.
  • Adjust your webinar topic to drive home PAIN, or give away juicy SOLUTIONS.   Be mindful that most webinar attendees are very early in the buying process and are unsure they even have a problem.  They are not looking for a product demo -yet!!!  Your job is to challenge your future clients thinking so they see the problem in a different light, and their current process is not enough to solve their problems. Your goal should be to have them walk away from your webinar thinking differently than when they joined the event. Don’t be afraid to give away juicy tactics and solution ideas that your buyers can walk away with.  They will then trust your business as they “go-to” solution when they’re ready to buy.  DON’T MAKE THIS A DEMO ABOUT YOU!
  • Your new panel will have a Gorilla on the team (database horsepower).  One of your panelist will be the 800 pound gorilla.  They have marketing klout + a database that makes you drool.
  • You will use Social Selling + your sales team to promote the event.  Don’t just rely on email blasts.  Your sales team must use LinkedIn & Twitter to make your webinar go viral.  Social Selling best practices is about sending your webinar to potential buyers with an article that isolate a huge market problem.  If the buyer resonates with that problem, the call-to-action is your webinar (talking about solutions).  This can easily be done with great LinkedIn messages.
  • There will be a structured post-event process.  Your webinar link is a viral marketing machine.  We landed a client from a webinar we did 6 months ago!  The webinar was found on a LinkedIn group.  Make sure your webinar recording not only goes to registrants, but make it easy for future buyers to find your webinar on your site & social media.


Jamie Shanks is one of North America’s leading Social Selling experts.  This stems from inside sales and lead generation as Jamie’s passion, having grown sales teams for the last 8 years.  Jamie has built Social Selling training programs and models in nearly every technology sector, ranging from start-up to Fortune 500s.  Jamie began his sales career at CRESA Partners, building a real estate portfolio from scratch.  These business development fundamentals helped Jamie become the Director of Sales at two SaaS software companies – Captive Channel Corp. and Firmex Inc., again building from infancy to profitability.  After proving great success at Firmex, Jamie decided to help other technology companies build inside sales/Sales 2.0 models under his company Shanks Group Inc.  Jamie merged Shanks Group Inc. with Sales for Life to form Canada’s leading Social Selling agency.  Jamie is also the Toronto chapter President of the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals.

Jamie holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Ottawa, and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of South Australia.  CLICK to email Jamie directly.   Book a meeting with Jamie – CLICK HERE.


Get your free Preview of Selling Fearlessly’s Chapter 1 here.