Better Business Bureau: How local businesses can use webinars to get new customers

Milwaukee, Wis. – If you’re like most small business owners, you’re always looking for ways to compete with the “big guys.” The good news is that nearly half of all consumers would rather purchase a product locally than deal with a large corporation. Consumers often shop with the big box retailers because they perceive it as being easier and more convenient. Or, they may not know that you have what they need.

One good way to combat that perception is by using webinars — online presentations that bring your store to your online customers and help them solve whatever problem has led them to seek out a product or service you offer.

What is a webinar?

A webinar is a web conference where internet users from all over the world — or all over your neighborhood — can attend from the privacy of their living room or office. This tool is great for meetings, lectures, and to sell your products and services. The beauty of a webinar is its low cost, quick turnaround time, and flexibility. The price of a webinar platform starts at less than $100 per month. Another advantage of a webinar over an in-person seminar is that your potential customers can view it at their convenience, not just when it’s convenient for you. In fact, 73% of companies find webinars to be one of the most reliable ways of generating quality leads.

Making good use of webinars

You might think that people purchase your products because they like you, your store is convenient, or even because your website is attractive. However, while those things may be factors in your customers’ buying decisions, the number one reason people buy a product or service is to fill a need or solve a problem. For example, your hardware store might sell a snow shovel because the customer just moved in, or because their previous shovel just broke and there are six inches of snow on the ground. Webinars offer a way to connect with your customers and show them how you can fill their needs.

Tips for using webinars to attract new customers

1.    Deliver useful information. No one wants to hear another sales pitch. They already know that you’d like them to purchase your products — what they want to hear is something they can use to improve their life. To use the snow shovel example, you might offer tips for shoveling snow efficiently, or how to winterize your home. Making your webinars useful also provides the added advantage of setting your company up as an expert in your field. Viewers are likely to turn to you when they need a product you offer, even if they don’t need one right now.

2.    Showcase a new product or service. Webinars can also be a good tool to showcase something new in your store, whether that’s a new product, a new location, or a new service. For instance, if you offer gift wrapping service, you might showcase the different wrapping types with a few tips on decorating your packages.

3.    Focus on content, not style. Sure, you want your webinar to be top-notch, but you want to put the bulk of your efforts into your webinar’s content, not on things like set design, music, and special effects. The goal is to impress and interest your viewers with your content, not win a production award.

How to turn your webinars into sales

Having a great webinar doesn’t always translate into increased sales. To maximize your sales using webinars, consider the following tips.

1.    Use your webinar to make an offer that will attract sales. To show your appreciation and to bridge that gap between viewers watching your webinar and customers making a purchase in your store or on your website, it’s a good idea to close your webinar with a limited time offer — this might be a gift with purchase or a discount on their total purchase.

2.    Tie your webinars into your social media pages. Ideally, your webinars add another layer to your existing marketing plan. This means you’ll want to mention your webinar on your social media pages and tell your webinar viewers to interact with you and learn more by visiting your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages. It allows viewers to ask questions and makes your company more accessible to customers.

3.    Make sure to mention your product. You don’t want your webinar to be a sales pitch; however, that doesn’t mean you can’t mention your product at least once or twice. Please don’t leave it to the viewers to associate your useful information with making a purchase. After all, they may not realize that you have the solution to their problem.

For More Information

The Better Business Bureau offers a wealth of resources for small business owners. Learn more about consumer trends in 2021cutting costs for your small business, or how to host a virtual party. We invite you to visit

Learn how to become a BBB Accredited Business.For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at, 414-847-6000 or 1-800-273-1002. Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.  ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2019, people turned to BBB more than 183 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.8 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Wisconsin which was founded in 1939 and serves the state of Wisconsin.