Tips for Hosting Webinars for Clients and Prospects
With a shift to remote work for many in 2020 and 2021, and limitations on interacting face-to-face with clients and prospects, there’s more interest in webinars than ever before. Hosting webinars – whether it’s a one-on-one webinar with a prospect or client employer or a meeting to facilitate a group’s open enrollment – webinars can be very effective in educating prospects and clients alike.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
Choosing the Right Technology
There are dozens of webinar programs and platforms available today. Some offer many bells and whistles, sometimes at a considerable cost, while others are fairly elementary and free. Your choice of platform should be based on ease of use, planned webinar presentation frequency, required and desired features, planned attendance/participation, and budget.
Online blogger Adam Enfroy reviews more than 20 options in his article, 21 Best Webinar Software of 2021 (Tools Ranked & Reviewed). He looks at some well-known platforms, like GoToWebinar, Zoom, and Webex, as well as many with which you may be unfamiliar. Some described are available with a free trial, at no monthly cost, or at subscription rate of $30 to $430 per month.Selecting a Topic
Obviously, to drive the most registrations, it’s vital you choose a topic that’s of interest to your audience. The timing of your presentation matters, too, as some topics are of greater interest at specific times of year.
If your focus is on Individual & Family Plan sales, you may want to plan a series of webinars near the annual Affordable Care Act open enrollment period (in Q4 and early January) – plus quarterly or more frequent sessions during the year for those who might experience a qualifying life event.
If your focus is small or large group sales, you may want to do monthly (or more often) plan comparison webinars that highlight the available coverage options from the carriers you represent. You can use webinars to explain to employers in group or one-on-one sessions what sets you apart from your competition when it comes to helping them find the best employee benefits program for their business and their employees.
For example, if you offer CaliforniaChoice in your portfolio, you might want to use a webinar to highlight how the multi-carrier, employee-choice exchange delivers options from eight different health plans (offering 90+ coverage options) in a single program. You could also present the benefits of a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) in combatting rising health care costs, or discuss the required annual reporting required by the Affordable Care Act. (Word & Brown offers an annual series of webinars for brokers and employers on ACA reporting to the IRS.)
If you’re focused on the senior market, you may want to schedule webinars to promote Medicare Advantage products – both during the annual election period (October 15-December 7) and throughout the year as Baby Boomers continue to age into Medicare at the rate of 10,000+ per day (through 2030). Beyond Medicare Advantage, there are other sales opportunities, too, with Medigap/Medicare Supplement products.
Think about what day and time might work best for your audience – not just what works for you. Some experts say 10:00 or 11:00 a.m. on a Wednesday or Thursday is ideal. If you work in a region with a rush hour (even it lasts many hours), keep that in mind, too. You want a time that appeals to the broadest audience, which could be “after hours” for some prospects.
Preparing Your Presentation
You want the information you present to be informative and engaging. Your carrier partners, General Agent, and plan/program/service administrators can be great sources of information for you. Ask them what they might have in the way of images or content to help you make your program more informative and visually pleasing.
In developing your deck, limit the on-screen words and focus on the highlights of what you’re sharing. Your presentation should not tell the whole story – that’s why your audience is tuned in to you. The presentation should outline what you plan to say. Your viewers are counting on your expertise to help them gain insight; they’re not there to read your slides. Be sure to have a CTA at the end to remind audience members how they can learn more – by visiting your website, calling you, or scheduling a meeting (or another presentation that’s just for them).
Promoting Your Webinar
There are many ways to get the word out about your planned webinar: targeted email, your website, targeted postcard or flyer distribution to your mailing list, your blog, social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), and personal outreach. If you’re using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program, you may be able to use it to help you in your promotion and webinar registration.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Practice really does make perfect. Your registrants (or attendees if it’s not a “public” event) have a limited window in which to take part in your webinar. It’s important you rehearse your presentation, so it fits in the allotted time, and so you’re comfortable with what’s being shared. Things can go wrong during a webinar, and it’s best if you can prepare to avoid a worst-case scenario. That includes testing the video, if a part of your presentation. Ask a co-worker or family member to confirm it is coming across as intended and is pleasing from both a visual and audio perspective.
The Right Follow-Up
After your webinar, it’s essential you follow up in a timely manner with all attendees – and those who registered but were unable to take part, too. If you’ve recorded your presentation, you may want to share a link to the recording. Ask if there are outstanding questions you can address – in email or a follow-up call or meeting.
Don’t miss the opportunity to get feedback on what you shared in your webinar. Send a survey. Ask participants what was most interesting and least interesting. Their responses may help you fine-tune your presentation for next time.
Use a headset. It can reduce echo and enhance your overall audio quality. Keep your program to 30-40 minutes, if you want to end with a Q&A. That will help ensure you don’t go over one hour – which is probably all the time your audience will allow you. (Depending on your topic, you can also consider questions as the webinar is underway. (Ask yourself if you want to allow your audience to “raise their hand” and be unmuted. Or, would prefer to take questions and get back to participants later?) Consider recording it, so you can refer to it later and for possible sharing with attendees or posting on your website.
Get Help from Word & Brown
Word & Brown is committed to brokers’ ongoing success. We offer outstanding sales support, technology to streamline quoting and managing your business, a team of dedicated professionals to present alongside you, compliance and account management professionals to help you keep your customers happy – and coming back – year after year, and much more. Visit our new broker web page, or contact any of our six regional offices to get started.