#287: The Two-Part Question You MUST Ask Every Prospect During a Discovery Call

Years ago, I started asking inbound prospects a simple question at the start of every discovery call:

How did you find out about me?

It’s an excellent ice breaker. And the responses contained valuable clues about them and the opportunity.

Even better, when prospects answered this question, they would sometimes inadvertently disclose another valuable piece of information. This information told me even more about them—and helped me build a case for why they should choose me for their project.

I found this information so helpful that I started asking for it specifically.

In this podcast episode, I reveal the two-part question I now ask during every discovery call to qualify prospects—and land those that are a good fit.

The notes that follow are a very basic, unedited summary of the show. There’s a lot more detail in the audio version. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. Or you can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music or wherever you listen to podcasts.

The Two-Part Ice-Breaker Question

Today, I’ve turned my “how did you find out about me” discovery call question into the following two-part ice breaker:

How did you find out about me . . . and what motivated you to reach out to me, specifically? 

This double-header question is primed to give you valuable information.

Let’s look at a couple of possible responses as examples.

Response #1: “Well, I started searching on Google for writers, and you were one of about six or seven I decided to contact. You seem to know your stuff.”

Not a great response, right? They found you through a Google search, which means they don’t know anything about you aside from what’s on your website. You have no history or foundation of trust. It sounds like they’re just shopping around.

So the odds of things working out between the two of you are probably low.

Response #2: “I got about three recommendations from colleagues, but what impressed me about you was your experience in logistics and supply chain software.”

This is better! You learn you have a foundation of trust (you’ve been recommended to them). You also learn what’s important to them: your experience in logistics and supply chain software.

With this info, you can build a case for why they should hire you instead of someone else. So the opportunity looks promising.

Response #3: “You reached out to me about two years ago. At the time, I was with a different company, and we were handling everything in-house. However, I held on to your information because I was impressed with how you presented yourself. Now I’m at a new company, and I need to launch a much more aggressive and strategic content marketing program.”

Here again, you’ve uncovered excellent intel. You’ve learned that you have history with the prospect. And you’ve learned that your outbound marketing efforts are paying dividends.

Again, this opportunity has good potential.

It’s About the Relationship

Good writing and copywriting projects are built on good relationships. And this two-part question can reveal a lot about whether this relationship is likely to work or not.

So give this two-part question a try during your next discovery call. Tweak the language until it feels natural.

It will reveal a lot about the prospects that reach out to you. And it will help you land the ones you most want to work with.



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