Discovery calls and initial consultations are an excellent ‘carrot’ to bringing in more clients and enticing them to pick you. Being in the health and wellness industry this is what can set you apart!
But, a lot of people are hesitant to offer them because the process can take a lot of time. So, I wanted to share whether it’s really worth it and how to use discovery calls to your advantage to get more paying clients!
Benefits of consultations and discovery calls
With this initial contact, you’re setting the tone of the entire relationship with the prospect. Think of it as a first impression that helps you in a few ways:
- It helps you understand the complexities of your prospect’s situation, which is crucial for successfully helping them with their pain points (and marketing the right services to them.)
- Gives you direct insight into their perspective for tailoring your services and proposition to them.
- Shows you whether you (and the client) are a good fit before committing to any services.
- You can figure out whether you can actually help them at the same time as building that crucial rapport and trust.
- It’s the perfect differentiator between you and your competitors that is high value to your potential customers.
The anatomy of a discovery call that converts
The benefits aren’t usually the issue when it comes to discussing discovery calls, it’s more about how to lead them to bring in paying customers rather than wasting your time.
It can take trial and error with your own unique offering to get that successful formula for you, but you don’t have to do all the heavy lifting on your own. Here are some of my tips that have worked well during my own discovery calls and consultations:
Before you start the call
There’s some due diligence to take care of before the actual call or consultation, which will help you create a smooth-flowing conversation without awkward pauses in the process.
The calendar invite: Always make sure the invites are detailed. Not just the time, place, and invite link to the medium of choice. Include the agenda and a few details on who they will speak with (in case you have employees who deal with clients too) as well as any information you would like from them before the discussion that will help.
Top Tip: Don’t make this an onboarding form because too much effort on their part and they just won’t bother with the call. So I like an open-ended email invitation that includes something like, ‘is there anything I need to know before we chat? Simply reply to this email and let me know!’ That way it’s up to them.
Prep work for the call: Do your research if possible on your potential client, especially if you cater to the B2B space which is likely to have a lot more information available. As most people nowadays have a solid online presence, you can check their social media to get a better idea of what the prospect likes and dislikes, learn a bit about their background, and where they are coming from. This will give you a personal touch from the beginning and help build a stronger connection.
Breaking the ice
That very first initial contact is what sets the stage for the rest of the call, so master your ice-breaker! First, always start with thanking them. What you thank them for is entirely up to you:
- Thank you for taking the time to chat with me.
- Thanks for agreeing to such an early meeting!
- Thank you so much for being this flexible with your schedule!
After that initial thank-you note, continue with a quick remark that ties in well with it. If they agreed to an early meeting, say you love nothing more than having a chat over early morning coffee.
The aim here is to make your prospect comfortable and relaxed – make them feel like they are really chatting with a friend in a coffee shop!
Framing the call
Have a plan on how the call will go. This is what is referred to as a “frame.”
A great option is something like:
- Welcome and introduce yourself
- Explain that a good fit is about both sides so you’ll be asking them questions too. This is a great way to differentiate yourself from other health coaches: by explaining you’re offering your services only to those people you feel you can help.
- Allow your prospect to ask their questions
- Discuss how you can help them (or what you would recommend if you can’t.)
- Provide one element of initial value e.g. a recommendation, a free resource like your opt in, or beginning help to solve their issue to show you’re the right fit.
- Discuss how you’ll follow up and let them take it all in.
- End on a light note
- After the call, wait 30 minutes and follow up (unless you’ve discussed immediately sending them something)
Top tip: Write down all the questions you get during discovery calls and initial consultations and see which ones get asked more often. Use these to write down answers and have them at the ready. You can even use them to create a FAQ page for your website which will help filter calls and streamline the process long-term.
Digging into the issue: struggle or pain point
Don’t forget, a discovery call is not an interrogation, and while you’re the one leading it, don’t make it exhausting for the client. Let it flow but keep the focus on the issue and their pain points as this is what drives their purchasing decision in the first place: it’s purely emotional.
They will commit to achieve a desired goal that will solve their problem, meaning they are purchasing to escape the current state of pain they are in and then will rationalise the decision later on.
So ask them the following:
- How long are they living with their current pain point?
- How did they realise they had this issue?
- How is it affecting them? Which areas of their life are suffering?
- How long have they been looking for a solution?
When you’ve covered the pain points, it’s time to shift focus on how you can help them resolve these issues. Now you’ll have to talk about your process and its role in the transformation the prospect wishes to achieve.
This is a tricky one – finding out just how serious the prospect is about working with you in the long-term. A few questions that could help reveal this include asking about the urgency, what challenges they are dealing with right now that keep them from reaching their goal, and their stance on why you are the one that could help them.
They should be able to easily answer these after you have presented your solutions to the issue. In this phase, you can also do something that’s called “normalising” the pain point. It simply means helping the prospect realise they are not alone, that other people also struggle with this, and that it’s more common than they think. Then transition to saying how you could help them solve it and lay out a solution, how you would approach it and deal with it through your sessions.
Top tip: You can also make this process easier by ‘qualifying’ your leads before a discovery call. That way you make sure you’re only having discovery calls with people who are pretty much ready to buy and commit if you’re the right fit.
Inviting them to work with you
As you’re aware, a deal is rarely closed on the first call/consultation, but it sets the stage to close it down the road. Don’t be pushy or you risk irking the prospect and coming off as just another brand interested in their money instead of them.
At this stage, your aim is to invite them to work with you on achieving their goals and resolving their issues. Give them time to go over what you’ve talked about in the call, but also make sure you pencil in a follow-up email and let them know if you’re going to send any resources.
Invite them to follow you on social media or join your newsletter, whichever you think would be the best option for them. This will create the necessary touchpoints with your brand that will nudge them towards accepting your proposal.
The benefits of discovery calls and initial consultations can extend to many clients because they are a gold mine of information that you can use for market research, marketing, blogging, and other areas of your business too. They help you discover the right keywords and pain points to mention in your marketing copy that will help you become more relatable.
Do they always have to be free?
Of course not, especially if you have lots of interest, then you can make it a bit easier and see who’s really serious by having a heavily reduced fee. That way, you’ll weed out those who were not going to pay in the first place or aren’t ready to commit.
If you need help implementing a decent discovery call automation on your website, don’t hesitate to get in touch! Let’s get you more clients together and streamline the process.