How to Conduct Effective Discovery Calls that Lead to New Clients
If you do 1-on-1 coaching, doing discovery calls is likely how you get most of your clients, so knowing how to conduct these calls effectively is key to growing your practice.
On this episode, we’re covering how to prevent your discovery calls from going off the rails, so YOU are the one who is in control of the flow of the conversation rather than leaving it up to chance and running the risk of the call getting off track and not being productive.
Let’s dive in!
We recommend you have an outline or a list of questions to ask, so YOU are in control of the call because your discovery calls should be strategic and intentional. You don’t want your potential client to lead the conversation because it can quickly and easily go off the rails and then it can be tricky to get things back on track. It’s also important to set the stage at the beginning of the call to let your prospect know what to expect, since this helps put them at ease, while also establishing boundaries.
Here’s one example of what I mean (this would be after you initial greeting): I’m excited to get to talk with you today to learn more about you. I have set aside 30 minutes for our call (or however long your calls are) so I’d like to start out by asking you_______________ and then move into the first question.
If you have people fill out a questionnaire prior to their call and send it to you (this can be automated), you’ll have a lot of their information beforehand that you can review which is how I did it when I was a health coach.
If you don’t get any of their information beforehand, you may need to have longer calls, such as 45 minutes, but test to see what works for you.
The important thing to keep in mind is that when you have a list of questions to ask and you know how to lead people to the next step in making a decision about working with, you’ll enroll more clients, so it’s a win-win.
Your discovery call is like a sales process (it’s basically a sales call) where you are finding out what they need and where they are feeling stuck, so you can present your coaching as the solution to help them reach their goal or solve the problem. If you don’t have a framework in place for this, the call can end up anywhere, and it won’t be a good experience for either of you.
Here are 7 basic steps to conducting an effective discovery call (download my free HC toolkit to get the exact wording):
- Welcome them to the call and ask how they are doing.
- Ask what their top 1-2 biggest challenges are right now (related to your niche).
- Why is that important to them to solve? What will it allow them to do? How would it feel if they reached that goal of had that problem solved?
- Confirm that this is an area where you help clients, if applicable, and share a story about a past client that had a similar issue/struggle.
- Ask if they would like to hear about your coaching program and how you can help them.
- If they say yes, give them a basic overview of your program and the investment and answer any questions they may have.
- If they aren’t ready to commit, ask them if it’s okay if you follow up with them. If they say yes, ask them when a good time would be to follow up. Put that date in your calendar and be sure to call to check in and follow up.
Being prepared is half the battle because when you know what you want to cover on the call, it’s easier to find out where your prospect needs help and if you are the right person to help them. If you can help them, you invite them to work with you.
This takes practice and fine tuning. The first few calls you do may feel a little awkward and you’ll learn what to change as you go. If you can practice with colleagues, that’s always helpful too, but just start however you can. The more discovery calls you do, the more clients you’ll have.
If you need ideas on how to promote your discovery calls, we covered 11 ideas on episode 91 of The Wellness Business Podcast.
Learning how to master discovery calls to enroll new clients is a key conversion strategy for many health coaches. In this episode, you’ll learn exactly what you can do to increase enrollment on these calls.
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