Key Lessons Learned from a Year of Virtual Workshops

A young man in a blue and black shirt sit in front of a computer with a notepad open, ready to take notes.

The pandemic has necessitated the need to meet our clients where they are and has shown us how events of all sizes can be adapted to fit into a virtual world. At DMI, we launched our virtual workshop program in 2020 and have seen tremendous success with advisors adapting to the webinar format and bringing in new leads. Let’s take a look back at what we’ve learned and how we can continue to use virtual workshops in the future.

Build Trust as Knowledgeable Resource

We’ve learned that building trust and portraying confidence are integral components of your virtual workshop. The best way to build trust is knowing your content and practicing your presentation. You are introducing yourself as a knowledgeable resource to your audience and you need to carry that through the entire presentation. We’ve also learned that your confidence as a presenter will have a lasting impression on your audience. With virtual workshops, a big part of being confident is about mastering the technology. By learning the platforms and functions, you will feel prepared and comfortable.

First Impression Matter – Even Virtually

In our virtual world, your introduction is the backbone of your presentation and will set the tone for the rest of your webinar. First impressions are everything. Initially there was some skepticism about building relationships virtually, but our advisors and agents learned that you can still form a connection with prospects over video calls and webinars. Technology allows you still connect face to face and close business without ever meeting in person.

It only takes a few seconds for an attendee to evaluate you. In a very short period of time people can form an opinion about you and your company based on your appearance, body language and demeanor. It’s essential to make it a positive and enjoyable experience for them. Begin your presentation with an opening that catches the attention of your audience. Tell a story about your life, or why you started your business, to make yourself relatable. Don’t carry your credentials, just be yourself, you want to come across as approachable and authentic. This will help you connect with your audience immediately. Building rapport electronically can be challenging but by being genuine, and letting the audience know you are there to help them, you will gain your prospect’s trust.

Review Your Workshop Return on Investment and Adjust

We’ve learned that it takes time, patience and flexibility to get comfortable with the webinar format. Each workshop becomes a learning experience for you to reflect on. For our partner agents and advisors, DMI can help you track your return on investment for your virtual workshops and webinars. After your workshop, DMI’s Workshop Coordinator will share your Workshop Return on Investment Tracker. The tracker will house all of your workshop data and will highlight your cost per lead, number of registrants, attendees and appointments booked. Reviewing your virtual workshop recording and your Workshop Return on Investment, you may learn that you need to adjust your strategy. This could mean targeting a new marketing audience, adjusting your follow-up process, or adding rapport calls before your workshop. Trying a few different strategies will help you learn what works best for you and your prospects. Whatever the outcome, reflecting on what did and didn’t work will help you improve your presentation style and workshop results.

Meet Your Audience Where They Are

We’ve discovered how important it is to give your prospect options on how you can meet with them. By communicating that you can meet in person, social distanced and following the CDC guidelines, or virtually, you are showing them that you respect their health and safety. This will make them feel more comfortable and at ease with working with you. Showing them that you care about them, and aren’t just interested in gaining their business, will help you create life-long clients.

The Convenience Reduces Windshield Time

The great thing about virtual workshops is you can host them anytime and anywhere that fits into your schedule. Once you are confident in your presentation you can book and host your workshops at your convenience. You won’t need to travel to the event location or set up a room. You can just login and present, it’s as simple as that.

Sales Enablement and Technology Efficiency Here to Stay

Who knows what 2021 will bring but we do know that virtual workshops will continue to bring you new leads and help you achieve your business goals. In fact, over 90% of B2B decision makers expect the remote and digital model to stick around for the long run, and 3 in 4 believe the new model is as effective or more so than before COVID-19 (for both existing customers and prospects).

We have learned that the key practices for virtual workshops include having a power opening, building trust with your audience, being personable and portraying confidence. Focusing on these key strategies will help you excel in a virtual workshop.  When you’re ready to learn more about our virtual workshop program, contact your DMI Sales Representative.