Discovery calls! Love them or hate them, most of us as online business owners can’t live without them in our businesses. Chances are if you are coming to this post, you don’t feel like your discovery call game is as effective as it could be, which is totally understandable! Most of us never had official “sales” training, and even if we did, that doesn’t mean those tactics work for us in our own personal businesses.
In my business, I see discovery calls for their potential for discovery, not necessarily as “sales” calls. Depending on your business and your brand, this way of viewing discovery calls may or may not work for you, but I highly recommend giving it a try if going the more traditional route hasn’t felt right for you. Just by changing this mindset, it already took some of the pressure off these calls for me, but at the same time, at the end of the day, we all want them to go well.
So with the mindset of using your discovery calls as a chance to discover more about the potential client, to allow them to get to know you better, I have a few additional tips for making these calls as successful as possible and having them lead to those amazing client relationships that you dream about.
Sure, we all get a little nervous before and during a discovery call. It’s only natural that you would want the person on the other end to like you and want to work with you! But it is so important to remember that no matter what, you should always be yourself.
Not only will it help make sure that your personalities are compatible, but people can usually tell when you aren’t being genuine. By embracing your true nature on the call, it will give off that natural confidence that we call authenticity!
Do some research beforehand! Making sure that you’ve researched your potential new client before the call will show them that you are interested in them, their business, and what they have to offer. At the very least, try to find out what services they offer and who they work with, making sure you have a good look at their website and/or social media handles to see what they have been posting about recently.
It is also a great idea to know how you would like for the call to go. Having an “agenda” in mind before the call will help you to take the lead and show your client that you are prepared to learn about them and see if you will be a good fit together.
Another thing I have learned to always do before the call, is to ask some qualifying questions. These will be questions like: What is your budget? When would you like to begin working together? Which of my services are you interested in?
I always want to respect the time and energy of my clients, and the discovery call is no exception! Knowing the answers to these questions before the call helps me to determine if on a “working” basis, we will be a good fit. For example, if the lead is only really interested in community management for their Facebook group and it isn’t a service I offer, it is better to know that before we get on the call together. Or if their budget is $100/month, but your services begin at $300, that is also something you will want to know before agreeing to hop on a call.
While it is important to make sure that you are leading the direction of the call, it is also important to do more listening than talking. Hear what the person in front of you thinks and what they have to tell you about themselves and their business. Not only does this help you to gauge if they are going to be someone you want to work with, but in order to know how you and your services will help them the best, you need to know what they need!
When you are preparing for the discovery call, come up with a list of questions that you think are important for getting to know your potential client and what their needs are. Having these questions ready to go will help make sure that you are getting all the information you need!
Here’s where you can incorporate some of those sales techniques! Let’s say, you know the client will be a great fit and you would be excited to sign them on. To get them from potential client to signed client, when you’re speaking with them on the call, continue to come back to the end-goal of your collaboration. What result are they looking for? What emotional reward will they receive by working with you?
Whether your job is to save them time, help them reach new leads, or support them in another way, return to this point and show them how you and your services will get them there. At the end of the day, they may be looking for a VA, but what they’re really looking for is more time, freedom, flexibility, or peace of mind!
I like to always go into my calls with a proposal outlined (based on the information gathered from the pre-qualifying questions). That way, when we both decide that we would like to work together, I can quickly fill in any missing bits and send it to them right away. That way, our call is still fresh in their mind, and since I use Dubsado, they will have access to the proposal, contract, and invoice all at once, so they have everything they need to be able to make their decision!
At first, discovery calls can seem scary and intimidating, but when you allow yourself to change your mindset around them, it can really make all the difference! When you pre-qualify your leads before the call, it takes the pressure off of “selling”, and puts emphasis on getting to know each other and figuring out if you are a good match.
By implementing these tips, you should notice your confidence increase on your calls, and with that extra confidence, clients will be lining up to work with you! At the end of the day, these tips will help you to land those dream clients, not by convincing and hard-selling someone into something, but by being prepared and attracting them by showing them the authentic YOU.
When you implement these strategies on your next discovery call, let me know how they work for you!