Tuesday, February 26, 2013

It’s Webinar Time! How a Webinar can Bring New Business to your MSP

MSP Builder is excited to bring you a special guest post from MSP Business Management. If you are interested in guest posting, please contact us.

Have you ever thought about hosting a webinar as a way to stimulate interest in your MSP business? A webinar could bring in new clients, or be used as a way to sell additional products and services to existing customers.

Hosting webinars is a soft and easy sales technique. Business owners are always pleased to receive free information, and many will be attracted by the chance of asking questions to experts at no cost.

Hosting a webinar is really straightforward. Here is a six step guide:

1. Choose some topics

There are plenty IT topics you can select as a subject for a webinar. It’s best to focus on those you know will be of interest to managed service provider customers.

Think about the current issues that interest or concern your clients. At the time of writing, small and medium business owners are probably thinking about topics such as the implications of Windows 8, how they can use iPads and other tablets safely and productively within their businesses, and whether they should be moving in the direction of cloud services.

These are just three examples – all you must remember when selecting a topic is that you are inviting customers to a webinar to provide them with valuable information, and not just to sell them something. That part comes later.

2. Investigate the technology

A plethora of software exists that allows you to host webinars, some of which is free or inexpensive. Make sure you fully investigate the software options and that they provide all the features you require, such as screen sharing, facilities for voice and IM chat, and flexible presentation features.

3. Invite Attendees

There’s no point in hosting a webinar to a tiny or non-existent audience. If your webinar is designed for existing customers, persuading people to attend should be relatively easy; you can follow up an email invitation with a personal phone call if necessary.

If you are inviting new sales leads, you may need to employ other techniques to entice people to sign up. However, as you are inviting people to an informative event, rather than a sales presentation, prospects should require little coercion.

4. Devise and Practice

Once you have produced your slides and speakers notes, you must practice the webinar using your intended technology.

It’s essential to ensure that everything works as intended, as you don’t want communication issues and dropped connections. Make sure you host the webinar from a location with no background noise and a rock solid Internet connection.

5. Establish Sales Hooks and Calls to Action

Obviously, at some point in the webinar, you are going to attempt to gently promote your products and services. Decide exactly how you plan to go about this and have ready good answers to any likely questions.

6. Host the Webinar

Hopefully, when the day arrives, the webinar with go swimmingly, with plenty of online attendees. Make sure that you follow up on everything you promise during the session, in terms of sending additional information or answering questions. Don’t squander a rare opportunity for close contact with sales prospects – take full advantage.

Hopefully your first webinar will produce enough revenue to encourage you to make it just one in a series of several. Many large firms use webinars as a key part of their marketing strategy – perhaps it’s time for you to do the same.

MSP Business Management is a collection of ‘real-world’ tips and resources to help busy Managed Service Providers grow their businesses profitably, brought to you by the GFI MAX team. Follow them on Twitter to stay updated: @mspbizman.