How to Master Confidence for Discovery Calls to Book Higher Paying Clients
I will be completely honest with you, if the word “sales” still makes you uncomfortable, then you need to make a change. The reality is, YOU are your biggest red flag when it comes to booking high paying clients.
My guess is that you’re a service based business owner who offers a service (or maybe a product) that betters the world we live in & the lives of your clients/customers.
Oh that doesn’t sound like you? Then this article could still help you, but today I am addressing the importance of utilizing discovery calls for service based business owners who want to enhance their inquiry to booking process.
We all dream of booking more clients, right? I mean that’s the whole point! The more you book, the more people you can help, and the more revenue you generate, and the more of an impact you can make. All good things!
But in order to get there, you need to shift your mindset around the concept of selling.
This topic used to scare the crap out of me & gave me anxiety for YEARS. I would go down rabbit holes for hours, googling questions like “What is a discovery call?” and “How long should a discovery call be?” and “What questions should I ask on a discovery call?”
And honestly so many more… I was stuck on how to make both myself and my potential clients comfortable on a call that I had no freaking idea how to navigate.
I used to LOATHE them & preferred sending my pricing packet over via email and crossing my fingers that people would book. The main reason why I was so uncomfortable with even having discovery calls were for the following reasons:
It wasn’t until I made the simple switch from presentational to conversational that I truly started to feel comfortable with getting my leads on discovery calls & eventually started having fun with them, too!
And that’s really it. Sales should not be presentational. They need to be conversational.
Your typical finance bro will tell you different, but here’s the truth behind closing on more sales as a small business owner:
This economy is so crazy, people are holding onto their money differently than how they used to. Why do you think so many people started using companies like Carvana? Because they don’t want to deal with the sleazy car salesman that breathes down your neck & pulls every cliche sales trick in the book to pressure you into buying a car from them.
So that’s where most people go wrong. They try to use every cliche sales trick in the book then wonder why you feel so uncomfortable about the topic & no one ends up buying.
Don’t be like those people. You’re much smarter than that.
Discovery calls are not about using sleazy tactics to win over clients. Salesy language doesn’t sell, it repels.
So what should you do instead? Well, let’s break it down.
First you need to understand what is a discovery call to understand how to become confident in using them for your services…
Discovery calls for small business sales are calls you set up with an inquiring potential client to better understand the prospect’s needs, pain points, and their personality. It is ultimately up to you to decide after that call if they seem like someone who aligns with the values you have with your business. They’re super important because the last thing you want to do is book a client and realize that you don’t work well together or that the expectations were not clear before they signed a contract.
Most business owners get their potential buyers on a call just to have no strategy, no structure, and no clue what to talk about. That’s the last thing I want for you.
Or even worse… they don’t get their inquiries on a call at all & just communicate via email or text before booking…
Like I previously mentioned, the whole point of a discovery call is to better understand the needs of your potential clients. So you first need to understand how exactly you help the people you’ve already worked with.
Here are some discovery call questions to help you better understand:
When you better understand the purpose of WHY you do what you do, you’re able to communicate that with your prospects on your discovery calls & to help them gain clarity about what they will be receiving from you. They buy feelings, not features. So understanding the dream outcome you provide will allow you to communicate this with them on your call!
Discovery calls are not for every service based business owner. Here is a list to help you understand if your service based business needs to be getting your inquiring potential clients on a discovery call before booking:
|THOSE WHO NEED DISCOVERY CALLS:
|THOSE WHO DON’T REALLY NEED THEM:
|Wedding planners: better understand the couple’s vision, themes, and specific needs
|Hair stylists or salons: clients typically book specific services they see that are offered based on their preferences and availability without the need for extensive consultations
|Interior designers: understand the client’s preferences, functional requirements and budget constraints for their space
|House cleaning services: people usually book cleaning appointments based on cleaning needs & availability
|Graphic designers: understand their brand identity, design preferences, project requirements for effective visual communication
|Tutoring services: they book based on academic needs & scheduling preferences without much need for detailed discussions before hand
|Financial advisors: enable advisors to assess clients’ financial goals, risk tolerance, investment preferences, current financial situation to develop tailored plans
|Lawn care services: clients usually book based on their lawn maintenance and scheduling availability as well
|Life coaches or health coaches: understand the their personal goals, values, challenges and aspirations to create personalized coaching plans
One last thing before we kick it into high gear. There are multiple different methods to having a discovery call. But when I say the word “call”, I really mean video call.
If you’re anything like me, then you’re avoiding discovery calls because they give you anxiety and make you nervous. You feel much more comfortable behind the screen of an email. That’s how I felt for many years & it got me nowhere. I’m just being honest.
But that’s the whole point of this article. To help you gain the confidence you need to successfully carry out video discovery calls without feeling like you’re going to throw up, pass out, or embarrass yourself.
So why should you not communicate with your potential clients just via email?
Emailing completely eliminates the personal connection you could be building with them. It lacks personal touch, immediacy, and real time conversation.
Studies show that relying solely on email for sales communication results in lower conversion rates due to the possibilities for delayed responses & lack of personal interaction.
Now the reason why I am encouraging video calls vs. phone calls is because while phone calls for discovery calls allow for more personal connection compared to emails, they don’t allow you to see one another’s emotions or facial expressions. This plays a MAJOR role in building trust and relating to your prospective buyers– two things that determine their booking decision.
Studies have shown that phone calls are a great way for efficient communication, but allow for certain visual cues to be missed which can make it more challenging for showing both your emotions and personality when connecting with your prospects.
Getting your potential clients on a video or Zoom call is the best route you can take to facilitate a deeper emotional connection and to really showcase the value you offer!
Creating a personalized experience from the get go is a must for alleviating any doubts, concerns, or objections they may have. Showing your personality, visual cues for body language, and emotions are all key factors in their decision making process.
Remember, if they get a good vibe from you then their chances of booking you are much higher! People buy from people they like and trust. Video or Zoom calls are the best option for making both you and the person interested comfortable throughout the process!
Gaining the confidence for your discovery calls all comes down to how well you know your service and know your audience.
Your goal is to first be at a high level of understanding for what you, your business, and your services can do for your clients! Remember, you must know the outcome in order to make the impact!
The second step is to now bring your potential clients to that same level of understanding and confidence as you in what you’re selling!
Sales is not about giving some fancy pants presentation to communicate this. Instead, it’s simply about having a conversation with your prospects to help them understand. Your discovery calls should not be about manipulating people. It’s simply asking questions that lead people to a state of awareness that is good for them.
You’re not offering a crappy service or scamming your audience, right? Not at all! So your job is quite easy. It’s just showing your potential clients that what you offer is literally the solution to the problems they’re experiencing. You have what they need! Now all you have to do is to help them realize that as well!
Gaining confidence on your discovery calls literally stems from your confidence in what you’re selling and the impact you know you make. If you don’t think that what you offer is of high quality or high value to anyone out there, then of course you’re going to be a nervous wreck on your calls! Because you are not prepared nor educated!
But if you take the time to take a step back, evaluate what you’re offering, understand your services, understand your audience, and prepare… then you’re golden my friend!!
Seriously. It all comes down to how deeply rooted your confidence is in what you’re offering in the first place.
Okay so now that you know how to get comfortable with your offer, the second part of gaining confidence lies in your preparation.
When you are prepared, you can relax. So how do you prepare for your discovery calls?
With this simple discovery call checklist with 3 steps to prepare:
Knowing your questions. Knowing your objections. Knowing your answers.
How do you know what questions they will ask on your call?
By going back, reviewing your past calls or emails, and writing down every single question a potential client asked you before they either booked you or went a different direction.
What I want you to do is to make a google doc, notion template, or grab a good ol’ pen and paper then make a list of every question you’ve been asked from anyone who’s ever been interested in what you offer. Write down every single question, including repeat questions.
Once your list is made, go through and count which ones were repeat questions. This will tell you what questions were asked and how many of each were asked so you can find the most commonly asked questions. Which leads me into the second thing you need to know.
How do you know what their objections will be?
Same thing. The people who said no to working with you, why did they say no? Was it that you were out of their budget? Or that they didn’t have enough time? Or that they went with someone else who offered something you didn’t?
You need to understand what exactly is turning people away so you can figure out how to be prepared for when these objections arise. Which now leads me into the third thing you need to know.
Now to figure out your answers to these…
Study the data you just collected. Data is honestly the most valuable asset to your business. And your answers lie within your data. Once you know what questions people are asking and what may make them walk away from booking you, you will be able to spend time curating responses to each of them.
But remember, these are not sleazy sales responses… they’re simply conversational responses.
Don’t make your potential clients regret spending their time to get on a call with you just for you to waste their time or to make them feel uncomfortable. The whole point is to make the process fun and enjoyable! So you can’t take your calls too seriously or your prospects will find you flat out boring.
Salesy communication doesn’t sell… IT REPELS!
Now read that like 10 times over again so it sticks with ya!
(1) Educate, don’t sell…
Sounds a little counterintuitive, huh?
The goal when speaking to your prospects is to help them understand WHAT exactly they will receive, WHY they need this, and HOW your process works.
This will give them both clarity & closure on your specific services. This framework answers a potential buyer’s questions. And answered questions provide clarity.
(2) Ask questions & lots of them!
When you’re on discovery calls, your goal is to treat it as if you are having a conversation with the person, not an interrogation. Yes you want to learn more about them and get them to talk as well, but you should not be the only one speaking. A conversation has dialogue going both ways! So ask lots of open ended questions to get an idea of their own opinion and/or feelings about specific topics. This allows you to gain a deeper insight into your potential clients’ needs and preferences.
(3) Talk to them naturally
Too many finance bro business owners are in my DM’s trying to pitch to me their services with the most cliche lingo… I mean they seriously all sound like corporate robots with no personality.
And they don’t even know you…
It’s a really big turnoff. You wouldn’t talk like that to a close friend so you shouldn’t talk like that to someone who could be a client. I’m not saying to sound unprofessional, but you shouldn’t sound like a corporate robot.
The more authentic and natural the conversation, the easier it will be to navigate. This is because when you’re less tense or anxious, you will be able to focus better which will enable you to remember your answers a lot easier vs. freezing and forgetting everything you prepped for.
Gaining sales confidence on your calls stems from being confident in what you offer! Learn to speak to people naturally and this will be a cakewalk for you!
But you have to let go of all of the bull crap you’ve been taught before about having specific “strategies” and “formulas” for a successful sales call that stem from a cliche crap pile.
Remember, you know you have what people need! Now all you have to do is help them realize that as well through the art of natural communication!
This article was written by me, Kaylie Miller - the founder & CEO of the Elevated Education Company! I'm a small business coach & educator helping you see your blind spots that are holding you back from reaching your business goals!
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