Most coaches and consultants who have a discovery call are trying to get the person they are talking with to buy from them. This puts pressure on the seller, and without realising it that pressure is often transferred to the person buying, the client.
Discovery calls need to focus on the conversation and the rest will come.
Here are five essential strategies for getting the balance right and converting these calls into sales more consistently.
1. Do the preparation
No doubt you have heard before that you need to prepare well for discovery calls, and this is true. But all too often coaches and consultants say they will prepare but then don’t.
Remember that when you have a discovery call with a potential client, they are in the early stages of experiencing your business as a service.
There is a high probability that your client has already checked out your website, reviewed your social media, consumed your podcasts, blogs and YouTube channel etc. and now they are consuming you.
Get the customer experience right and your contact is far more likely to turn into a loyal client who will buy from you again and again and again.
So, put the preparation time in and review their website and social media, formulate some smart questions to ask and find common ground so your client can see that you have done your homework.
All of this helps create a great first impression that lays the foundations for a sale because the client knows you are interested in them.
2. Let them talk
When on a discovery call with your prospective client make sure you let the client do the majority of the talking.
Your job is to remain in the NOW.
Give all your attention to the client and try not to think about what you are going to say next. Stay focussed on what the client is saying and stay present.
All too often the service provider tries to lead the prospect down a certain path and although you do need a sales process and you will need to take the lead in conversations to some extent, the approach should never be too forced.
You should certainly avoid taking over conversations entirely. You need to let people talk and subtly guide them to the outcome that is best for them, which hopefully means working with you.
3. Be a mirror
This is a simple but powerful technique that helps you connect with your prospective clients, especially if you are having a discovery call rather than a discovery meeting.
Firstly, you need to listen to the soundbites that your prospect is giving you and then simply repeat elements of them back to them.
This tells the client that you have listened to them and that you understand them. Crucially, it helps create a stronger bond between you and the client because we all want to feel heard, especially in these scenarios.
Mirroring is a super effective technique that works well whether face-to-face, on a Zoom call or when having a conversation on your mobile device.
4. Anchor high
One of the things people stumble on during discovery calls is talking about fees but it is really important that you are leading those conversations.
Firstly, you should make sure you have more than one way for your client to work with you. For example, a coach can have a six-month 1-2-1 VIP programme, a four-month 1-2-1 programme, a power hour offer, an online workshop and a membership option.
In conversation you should only offer three options and no more because you run the risk of overwhelming your potential client, and if they feel overwhelmed they won’t buy. But they can cope with three different options so stick with that.
When you start off talking about fees you want to go high so if, for example, you have a VIP or Platinum option for £15K, that is where you should start when you bring up figures.
Your client might be shocked at this price and think they can’t afford it but whether they can or not, what they have sub-consciously done is raised their expectation around your fees.
Then you talk about your next offer, let’s say it’s your four-month programme and the fee is £8K so the client starts to think that’s a bit more reasonable and they are open to the idea of paying £8K because the gap between your £15K option and your £8K option is substantial.
But if you started at 8K then the client would have feltthatwas too expensive because they’ve started from a different perspective.
So, my message on this is ‘always anchor high’ so you manage the expectations of your client in ways that work for them and for you.
5. Clarify next steps
You should always aim to end a discovery call having agreed some next steps.
You need to get a commitment from your prospect as to the next action steps they might take so that it keeps the door open. By agreeing the next step, specifically, it makes it easier for you to reach out and continue the conversation.
Without the agreed next step, it’s much more difficult to get the door open again. And what happens with a lot of people is that they’ll say they are busy, and you’ll risk losing the connection you’ve made.
Getting it right
Discovery calls or conversations in person (remember those?!) are big opportunities to sell but it’s imperative to get the balance right between being proactive and not being too pushy.
Hopefully, the above tips help you find the right balance and give you some clarity around how to get it right and turn conversations into sales and positive new relationships.
Let me know in the comments if you have any views on all this or whether you’d add any tips of your own when it comes to converting discovery calls. I’d love to hear from you.
Carole Bernadette Bozkurt
Carole Bernadette Bozkurt is a Sales and Marketing Strategist and Business Mentor. She works with coaches and consultants to help them create their GO-TO market strategy and plan, attract their ideal clients and turn them into paying clients. Carole is the founder and CEO of Blueprint Group Practice.