Federal Sales Tactics for the Stage and ScreenPosted: July 20, 2016
This is a guest post by Judy Bradt of Summit Insight. Judy and I recently partnered up for the webinar, Insights from the Mid-Tier: More Federal Q4 Tactics. If you missed Part One, here are Judy’s first three federal sales tactics for Q4.
Webinars, podcasts and videos
YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine. Do your competitors have a YouTube channel? You could be the first in your niche to have one!
After websites, federal buyers consider webinars to be a leading, trusted, source of information from vendors. In fact, federal buyers are far more interested in webinars than suppliers realize.
The webinars don’t even have to be an hour; try a half-hour. Thirty-minute podcasts are particularly popular, because that’s often someone’s drive time (okay, in the DC area, someone might listen to three of them in a single trip, but you get the idea).
Pick topics for your webinars and videos that center based on their biggest concerns. Did you know…? Simplify complex concepts. Share actionable ideas. Vary the format: Invite guests, include an active Q&A, chat with a moderator or industry expert, share your screen.
Close with a call to action. What would you like your listener to do? Visit your website? Sign up for your e-news? Invite a deeper relationship: what’s the next natural step? You’ll want to have a solid, permission-based promotion platform and make sure you’re capturing at least name, email address and phone number when people register. If your content is good enough, people are willing to share information like job title and name of organization, too.
Stand out tactics:
- Be energetic, focused, and authentic. Have some fun!
- Go shorter rather than longer. Did you know that the vast majority of YouTube how-to videos are just two minutes long? What could you teach someone in two minutes?
- Focus on content that emphasizes your best values: things that are quantifiable, and objectively proven.
- Be sure to include a healthy Q&A period. Invite some of your best contacts or even current clients to ask the first few questions.
- Get to know how the features of your broadcast platform work. Experiment ahead of time, learn how to get good lighting and audio quality. There are often many options, and that can be another reason to invite a partner or moderator to share the broadcast with you.
- Take advantage of the post-webinar survey features to get feedback.
- Use the chat windows as well as the ability to selectively unmute people in order to let everyone hear diverse voices. Then it gets fun! Ask people where they’re calling from and what they do before you get to their question, and remember to thank them afterward. If your platform lets you include a webcam stream, don’t be shy.
- Record your webinar! Once you have the recording, you can share it with those who participated. You can also share the link afterwards to those who missed your event, post it on your website and social media, and have the content transcribed into later blog posts or articles, just for starters.
- Finally, be generous as well as confident! Share handouts or links to follow-up tools like short checklists or more in-depth insights from you, your co-presenters, and others.
Key: these online educational channels offer a no-risk way to get to know you and connect.
Speak up about innovation! Thought leaders get invited more. Share your expertise and insight. Keep the focus narrow. Inspire conversations! Share highlights of case studies – including but not limited to those involving your own clients. Not all gigs will be paid, but some will be; expect a mix of free and paid speaking opportunities.
Great speakers make complex things simple. You might not ever give a TED Talk, but you can draw on these masterful tips offered by Chris Anderson, the head of TED.
Stand out tactics:
- Memorable speakers come early and stay late.
- Share fresh, meaty data, but don’t fill slides with busy graphs and tons of tiny-font text. Let images be the backdrop for your story.
- Involve your audience, with quick polls, questions, and even the chance to talk with each other.
- Talk about their problems and leave them with hope and ideas for solutions. Offer actionable next steps – besides suggesting they hire you! Let that come naturally, when they understand they could do it themselves, but they’d love to have you do it for or with them.
- Own the room: treat the occasion as if you were the host, and each attendee were your cherished guest.
Key: Be the friendly expert: generous, personable, accessible.
About the author: Judy Bradt, CEO of Summit Insight, gives federal contractors the focus, skills and tools you need to transform your federal business and achieve the sales and partnerships you’ve always wanted. It’s easier than you ever imagined. Call her at 703-627-1074 or visit http://www.summitinsight.com and find out more.