5 Tips for Using a Webinar Facilitator to Generate Leads and Customers

"Lead Generation"
Lead Generation

By Heather M. Butts, Founder, L.E.A.R.N for Life Consulting, L.L.C

Many business people and entrepreneurs would love to do a webinar, but are stopped for various reasons: Will I have a horrible technical issue that will ruin my webinar? Can I come up with a compelling topic that will entice potential customers to attend? Will the individuals that register for my webinar actually show up?  Individuals can turn to webinar facilitators – yes they do exist and I am one of them – to alleviate anxiety around webinars and online training, ensure a seamless, successfully programming and drive business leads and sales! Is a webinar facilitator for you?  Here are 5 tips to help you decide?

1.   Will the webinar facilitator assist you in the planning stages of your webinar?

So, one of the most critical services that I have provided as a webinar facilitator is around planning the webinar. What will be the length of your webinar? 1 hour? 2 hours? 30 minutes? What will the format look like? A presentation followed by a Q & A? A presentation only? An educational workshop? A 15 minute sales pitch at the end?  What platform will you use and do you know the pros and cons of using that specific platform? Will you be the only presenter or will there be a panel of presenters, each of whom may have their own PowerPoint presentations that will need to be uploaded for the webinar? How far in advance should you market your webinar and how often should you send email reminders, tweets and facebook messages to potential registrants? Do you have a really great title for your webinar that will attract the audience that you want in attendance? A webinar facilitator can be very helpful in helping you think through these issues and can ease some of the anxieties that you may have as you’re getting ready for the webinar. Planning out a first-rate webinar will ensure that attendees who are there will be more interested in your product, services or tools and that will lead to attracting leads and ultimately customers.

2.  Will the webinar facilitator work with you in the preparation and practice stages of your webinar?

Practice, practice practice!  Any webinar facilitator will tell you that the way to ensure you have a phenomenal webinar is to practice a lot! The way to ensure you have a nerve-wracking experience with glitches and problems is to sign onto the webinar platform 3 minutes before show time and hit the start button. Will the webinar facilitator do run-throughs of the webinar with you and do an actual simulation of the webinar 1-3 days before your event? Will the webinar facilitator proof-read your slides for grammar and syntax mistakes? Will the webinar facilitator coach you on voice modulation and pacing as you speak? Will the webinar facilitator prepare questions for you if they are going to facilitate the Q & A section and do a run through of those questions with you, possibly multiple times? Will you and the webinar facilitator do recording checks to ensure that the webinar platform you’re using is recording you well? These are all questions to find out and again, you may not need all of this help but find out if these are services the webinar facilitator can provide.

3.  Will the webinar facilitator assist you with marketing your webinar?

One of the biggest fears the individuals and businesses have regarding planning a webinar is that they will put a ton of work into the production, design, and content, and end up with 4 people in attendance! A webinar facilitator can be of assistance here in terms of advising you on ways that you can have a high marketing reach by reaching out to groups, organizations and other contacts to draw individuals into the webinar.  You’ll want to get very specific with the webinar facilitator to ascertain if she can and will be of assistance to you during the marketing and advertising process, if she has assisted others in promoting their webinars, what the results have been and what their previous registration-to-attendee rates have been.  A webinar facilitator can be critical in not only thinking through where your leads can come from, but also in helping you target those leads, getting attendees to your webinar and, as we will talk about later, helping to turn those attendees into customers.

4.  Will the webinar facilitator provide technical support, Q & A support, discussion support or all of the above during the webinar?

Webinar support can be everything from setting up your webinar for you from a technical standpoint – getting the platform ready 15 minutes before the webinar is to start, all the way to introducing you as the speaker, being a content facilitator during the webinar, helping you with the slide presentation (if applicable) during the webinar, and assisting with the question and answer period after the formal presentation has ended. Many webinar providers can also alert you to issues as the webinar is going on, such as distracting background noise, low voice volume, and other technical issues happening during the webinar that you either may be unaware of or unable to do anything about while the webinar is going on.

If you’re going to take questions during the webinar, the facilitator can also be of service in terms of vetting questions either via a chat feature, phone feature or computer microphones, thus freeing you up to answer the questions as opposed to concerning yourself with technical issues  that may distract you from your focus – great content and information!

Decide where your strengths and weaknesses are and what would make you most comfortable during the webinar.  Some people would feel very uncomfortable allowing someone else to be in control of the slide presentation during the webinar and would want to be in control of the slideshow. Others would be petrified to control the technical aspects  of moving the slides forward, so be honest with yourself, decide what you’d like to be in control of and what you’d like assistance with during the webinar.

5.  Will the webinar facilitator be of assistance to you in post-webinar production and wrap-up?

So life happens right.  Recordings of webinars have glitches, don’t turn out exactly the way you’d like, or you want to follow-up with potential clients post-webinar, or maybe you want to target a specific group that really seemed to enjoy the webinar and do another webinar for them.  If you hire a webinar facilitator, will they say goodbye as soon as you hit end on the record button, or can they be of assistance when you find out that the link to your webinar recording isn’t working and you need help to fix it? Does the webinar facilitator have the right equipment in place to edit the webinar in post-production and share that edited version with you either as a link or file?  These issues can be critical. For many people, the most important part of the webinar is the post-webinar marketing and follow-up with prospective customers, so if you need assistance with follow-up make sure that this is a service your potential webinar facilitator has experience in and is willing to provide.

Once the webinar is over, you’ll want to go over the registration/attendee rates.  How many people registered and how many people actually attended?  From there it is imperative that you follow-up with the individuals that registered but did not attend, ideally with a recording of the webinar very soon after the live event.  This can be instrumental in targeting individuals who are interested in what you have to say, but due to scheduling issues or other conflicts, could not make your webinar. Do you have a system for taking questions from individuals who watched the recorded version of the webinar? The webinar facilitator can assist you in creating such a system and managing queries that come through this system from prospective clients.

Following these 5 steps will ensure that you have a productive, wonderful webinar that will lead to increased registration and attendance, fantastic engagement of your audience and customer growth.


AnyMeeting’s “Small Business Toolkit” Webinar Series Rolls On


How to Use Webinars to Generate More Sales

AnyMeeting kept the “Small Business Toolkit” webinar series rolling with its latest webinar from Tom Treanor of Right Mix Marketing.  A veteran marketing expert, we would like to thank Tom for presenting “How to Use Webinars to Generate More Sales.”

Tom’s webinar was very informative and provided some great insight on how webinars can work for you.  If you were not able to attend Tom’s webinar and would like to view the recording of his presentation, just click here.

WEBINAR: How to Use Webinars to Generate More Sales

Tom Treanor

Join us Wednesday, March 21st at 11 am PT for the next free webinar of our “Small Business Toolkit” webinar series, and learn how to use webinars to generate more sales for your business.

Webinars are a very important and powerful way to connect with your target market. They are also a way for your company to stand out from the competition and to build bonds with potential customers. Join Tom Treanor of Right Mix Marketing as he presents ways that webinars can generate more sales for your business.

All registrants will also receive a copy of Tom Treanor’s report, “12 Damaging Webinar Mistakes (you need to avoid).”

Only 200 spots are available – so sign up today. Make sure you log in to the webinar early – attendance is on a first-come, first –served basis.

AnyMeeting Brings Successful Webinar Series Into New Year

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA–(Marketwire – Jan 18, 2012) – AnyMeeting, the completely free web conferencing and webinar service, today announced that sales and marketing expert Michael Halper will kick off the first webinar of 2012 for AnyMeeting’s “Small Business Toolkit” webinar series. An established industry professional with an extensive background in sales and marketing, Michael Halper will present his webinar on Wednesday, January 25th at 11 am PST titled, “Rapport Tactics that Instantly Build Relationships.”  See the complete press release on MarketWire.

Growing Profits and Sales with a Smarter Sales Compensation Plan

Increase the ROI for your salespeople

By Josh Turner, Gateway CFO Solutions



Compensating salespeople is a struggle for most businesses.

Are you paying them too much?

Are you paying them too little?

Is their compensation incentivizing them to work toward the company’s objectives?

Whether you have one or fifty salespeople, you have surely felt the pain at one point or another.

The best sales compensation plans align pay with the goals of the organization (usually higher sales and profits), and there are a number of ways to skin this cat.

Below is an introduction to a handful of the most common sales compensation plans, along with the pro’s and con’s of each. As you read them, consider which would be the best fit for your business and keep in mind that there is never a one-size-fits-all solution.

Sales Compensation Based on Gross Revenue

Commissions based on gross revenue are probably the most common way of paying salespersons. While they are also generally the easiest to implemenet and track, they’re also the least effective in helping reach your broader business objectives.

Here’s why:
1. Salespeople don’t care about profits if they’re paid on top-line revenue/sales.
2. They’re willing to sell a job at almost any price.
3. They usually become very price driven, relying on low price instead of selling value and premium benefits.

Depending on your industry, company size, and other factors, a good salesperson might demand somewhere between 3-5% of revenue.

Sales Compensation Based on Gross Profits

Gross profit is the money that’s left after subtracting direct costs from revenue. This is often considered the profit that a salesperson has some control over. If they know their costs and have some say in the selling price, then they can have a great impact on gross profit.

Compensating salespeople based on gross profit is often the best way for an owner to protect from paying out commissions on unprofitable work. This is exactly the reason why salespeople often don’t like commissions based on gross profit. They will argue that it’s really out of their control, they’re just responsible for selling, and that costs are for somebody else to worry about. If that is really the case, you should consider realigning their responsibilities so your salespeople are more engaged with the business.

Paying salespeople based on profitability is the best way to keep your entire team working together, all aligned toward the company’s goals. Again, how you structure the plan is highly dependent on your specific circumstances. If you are currently paying based on revenue, and you are considering switching to profits, expect that you will need to offer an upside that will allow for your salespeople to make even more money. Otherwise they’ll view it as a paycut.

Sales Compensation Based on Growth in Gross Profits

An innovative approach to compensating on profits, is to add incentives for GROWTH IN PROFITS. You establish a baseline of sorts at which they receive X compensation. Then, you give them a growth target for additional profits.

This challenges them to not only increase profitability on existing accounts, but to sign new work at higher profits. The more profits they can squeeze out of every sale, the greater their compensation will be.

Sales Compensation Based on Net Profits

Tying compensation to net profits can be somewhat complex for salespeople. For one, many business owners don’t want salespeople knowing what the overall profits of the company are. Second, it’s often complicated to accurately tie overhead/expenses/SG&A to specific sales or projects. Yet, when done properly, it can be an extremely effective compensation model.

Keep in mind that the goal of a good sales compensation plan is to align the salesperson’s interests with the goals of the business. I don’t know too many businesses that don’t have a goal of maximizing the bottom line.

Let’s take a closer look at the two common hurdles and how you can get past them.

“I don’t want my salespeople to know the company’s overall net income.”

Luckily, you don’t have to. Working with your numbers people, you should be able to come up with a multiplier for your different business lines, geographies, customers, etc. When taken in total, these multipliers would net out to your bottom line. But your salespeople won’t have all of this information. All they will have is the basic “expense multiplier” that will be used to determine the net profits on their individual sales.

“It’s too complicated to come up with an accurate expense multiplier.”

Certainly there are hurdles and assumptions that have to be made. It’s not an exact science, and never can be simply because revenues are not 100% predictable. But even a 70% accurate model will deliver you the business results you need, distributing enough of the right expenses to the right sales.

Whatever you do, don’t overcomplicate it. Stick with a basic model that is easily maintained and updated.

Using Sliding Scales to Further Improve Sales Compensation

No matter which of the above compensation models you go with, you can use sliding scales to further incentivize the performance of your salespeople. If top line revenue growth is a major priority, consider making it a component of your plan along with gross profitability. A common model is to increase commissions at certain sales levels. For example, you might offer an additional half percent commission over $500,000 in sales and another half percent for all sales over $1 million.

This kind of compensation plan, combining the best of the above models along with higher percentages at higher volume levels, is often the most effective way to get the best of all worlds.

Regardless of the path you take, be sure to run the numbers carefully and consider the implications of each option. You want to be absolutely certain that the compensation plan you put in place will stand the test of time and help improve both revenues and profits.

Editor’s Note:  This article is brought to you by AnyMeeting, the completely free web conferencing and webinar service.  Use AnyMeeting for your next online meeting

How To: Price Your Product or Service

Price is right
The price is right Bob

By Ilona Dolinska-Reiser, CFA, Wealth Skills, Inc.


Working with entrepreneurs I often find they are uncertain about how to price their product or service.  Mispricing your product or service, at minimum, leads to frustration:  working hard, growing the revenues, but not getting what you want financially out of the business.

Wealth Skills recommends using three methods for pricing of product or service: cost based, market based and pricing for your desired income. Using all three methods for arriving at possible prices for your product or service may just give you the confidence and profitability you desire to have.

For illustration purposes we’ll use a simplified example. Let’s say you are selling 100 units of product/service per month that costs you $30.

Cost based pricing – pricing based on your costs. Let’s say you want to have 50% operating profit margin. This implies $60 price for the product or service (=$30/0.5). At $60 revenue per unit and your $30 costs of delivering product or service, you have $30 left as profit (a 50% profit margin)

Market price – what similar products or services are selling for. Let’s say the prices range $55-$75. Therefore the average is $65.

Pricing for your desired income – how much do you want to pay yourself from this business. In this case you sell 100 units per month, each unit cost you $30, for total costs of $3,000. Let’s say you want to pay yourself $5,000.  This would translate to $8,000 in gross revenue ($3,000+$5,000) or $80 per unit (=$8,000/100).

Usually, these three methods lead to different price levels. One method is not better than another. They are simple methods which help you think through pricing and profitability in your business.

Often times, pricing for the desired income yields a higher price than the other methods, but simply dismissing it as too high and settling for pricing based on one of the other methods means forgoing an opportunity to have what you want financially from your business.

If your product or service has a unique and different value (one recognized by your customers) it may be worthwhile to try to sell the product/service at $80, and be the high value, high price provider in your industry.

If you are not certain about the unique, differentiating value of your product, you could ask yourself if the costs could be sustained at a lower level: $2,500 per month total (lowered by $5 per unit), then you could price the product at $75 (within the market price) and have the desired income from the business.

I find that these three methods help entrepreneurs gain confidence in pricing their products/service, help them manage the financial aspect of business, and have the desired income level.