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Don’t Make This Alienating Mistake on Webinars

I just clicked onto a webinar a few moments ago and I had to almost immediately leave to write you this quick note. As I watched the two people on screen I found myself physically moving away from my device. In fact I could not seem to get far enough away from these two people. Where I had been hunched over my laptop, my back was now pressed into the back of the chair, my head was turned away like I was about to flee, and I realized something was terribly wrong.

Don’t Make This Alienating Mistake on Webinars

So the question is, why am I having this physical reaction to these two webinar presenters? What is it in my primitive brain that is causing me, without conscious thinking, to put more physical space between them and me?

And what does it mean for their odds of making the sale at the end of this webinar?

My best guess is my subconscious brain – which is always on the lookout for threats – thinks they are putting on an act or pretense in order to somehow take advantage of me.

Here’s a paraphrased excerpt of what they were saying: “THIS IS AMAZING! WE’RE GOING TO HAVE AN AMAZING TIME! YOU’RE GOING TO LOVE THIS AMAZING INFORMATION! IT’S GOING TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE IN AMAZING WAYS!”

Their hands are waving in the air, their faces bobbing up and down, they’re just so… I don’t know… ENTHUSIASTICALLY PHONY.

Don’t get me wrong… real enthusiasm for your niche, for what you teach and for your products is commendable and a trait you should cultivate. But come on, it’s got to be REAL and not contrived.

People who put on webinars are almost never professional actors and they shouldn’t try to be actors. They’ve got to be themselves. Real. Authentic. Someone the viewer can relate to.

Right now I’m about as inclined to stay on the webinar and buy their product (whatever it might be, I don’t have a clue) as I am to deliberately run my car into a brick wall.

Which begs the question… how do you display enthusiasm on a webinar without alienating people? The same way you sell to people. You start where they are and you walk with them to where you want them to go.

Picture yourself looking at a used car on a warm summer day when two salespeople approach you. The first salesperson says, “THIS IS THE GREATEST CAR EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE AND IT IS AN ABSOLUTE BARGAIN AND YOU WILL LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS AMAZING CAR!”


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Gulp.

The second salesperson says, “This car is 3 years old, it’s got 45,000 miles on it and a small ding in the back bumper. It’s also rated as being one of the most reliable cars on the road, the interior looks almost brand new, it drives like a dream and the air conditioner blows the coldest air I’ve felt all summer.”

Which salesperson do you trust?

It’s a no brainer. The second salesperson started out where you are, looking at the reality of the situation. It’s a used car. It’s got some miles. It has a small ding you’ve already noticed. This person is standing right there beside you like a friend, telling you exactly how it is. You trust them because they are telling you what you already know.

That’s why when they start telling you all the good points of the car, you believe them. They are taking you along step-by-step from where you’re starting out (skeptical prospective buyer who doesn’t want to get ripped off) to where they want you to be (confident buyer who knows you’re getting a fair deal.)

The first salesperson is standing apart from you, shouting at you to come across this gulf between the two of you. This causes natural resistance on your part and a desire to flee the scene and never come back.

Now that I’ve written all of this, that webinar is 20 minutes in and I don’t plan on going back to it. I only want to work with authentic people who understand that I’m not going to fall for hyped up fake enthusiasm.

Just tell me like it is. Give me the truth. Point out all the good reasons why things can be much better if I’ll just follow along with you, and I guarantee I’ll stay right there and listen to your every word, and I’ll probably buy, too.

It really is that simple.

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