A discovery call is your first conversation with a prospect. The call where you learn more about what they need.
And the most important element of this call is how you wrap it up.
Because the last few minutes is an opportunity to set expectations to avoid misunderstandings.
It’s also your chance to uncover unspoken objections and address them before getting off the call.
You can accomplish these two things by following these steps:
Review next steps
You always want to end discovery calls by clarifying the next steps and leaving with a shared understanding of who is going to do what.
Maybe the next step is that you’ll put together a quote and send it to the prospect by a certain date.
Or maybe the prospective client will pull together some additional information and send it to you so you can prepare a quote.
Whatever the next steps are, you and the prospect need to agree to them, so that you’re both on the same page.
Set a timeline for following up
In some cases, the next steps can’t be clearly defined in advance.
Maybe the prospect needs to think about the project some more.
Or maybe the parameters of the project remain unclear.
In this kind of situation, the best question to ask is “When can I follow up with you?”
This forces prospective clients to set a deadline for their decision making.
It also creates the expectation that you will follow up. So when you do, you won’t feel like you’re rushing or hassling them — because they already agreed to that follow up date.
The date that prospects select for follow up also gives you insight into their thinking.
If they ask you to follow up in a day or two, you know their need is urgent.
But if they ask you to follow up in a month, you know the project is either less urgent or they have some internal processes they need to work through.
Ask “How are you feeling about working with me?”
This last question is optional. But it’s worth experimenting with.
This question is useful in situations where you’ve talked money with prospects, but you’re still not sure where they stand.
So you ask, “Based on our discussion today, how are you feeling about working with me on this project on a scale of one to ten?”
And then be quiet and let them talk.
If they give you a rating of anything less than a seven or eight, say, “Great. I respect that. What would it take to get a nine or ten?”
And again, be quiet and let them respond.
This approach takes some practice. Try to role play it or at least say it aloud to yourself to get more comfortable with it.
I’ve been using this approach myself, and it’s provided me with valuable insights.
Several times I’ve had wonderful conversations with prospects where they’re responded favorably to my offer. But when I ask them this question, they rate their feelings as a four or five.
When I ask what it would take to get those numbers to a nine or ten, I’m often surprised by their response. They often cite concerns that we hadn’t touched on.
But this conversation gives me the opportunity to address those concerns and make sure they have complete information before making their decision.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask!
Discovery calls are your opportunity to learn more out the prospect — and for them to learn more about you.
So don’t hesitate to set expectations and ask questions.
But remember: you can’t close what’s not closeable. It’s not your duty to try and take every inquiry to the finish line.
Instead, go in with the attitude of “I’m glad to have this inquiry. I don’t know if we’re a good fit or not. But let’s talk some more to find out.”
That will put you at ease and help ensure that you end discovery calls gracefully and effectively.
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