Discovery Calls: What They Are & How to Run Them

Krystianna Pietrzak

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If you find yourself in the entrepreneurial world, it’s essential to understand what discovery calls are and how to run them. Whether you’re selling services or products, running effective discovery calls with potential customers can mean make or break for your business’s success.

That said, if you’ve ever been on (or heard of) an awkward or pushy discovery call—don’t fear! It doesn’t have to be that way; gone are the days when discovery calls are painful for both parties involved.

Read on as we provide a comprehensive guide into all-things-discovery-calls: we’ll talk about why they’re valuable, tips on how to prepare for them, and give helpful advice so that at the end of it all you’ll feel like an experienced pro hosting your very own amazing discovery calls.

Do you even need to have discovery calls?

Laptop sitting on a desk next to a water bottle, plant, and cell phone.

This is a question I’ve been asked before. So when I first started my business, I offered discovery calls and I truthfully felt pretty used from a lot of the calls I would have with potential clients.

I might have been giving away too much free information, or again, my pricing might have been too low so I wasn’t attracting people who were serious about investing. But I found that I had so many discovery calls, and people weren’t moving forward.

Because of that, I ended up actually ditching discovery calls and I didn’t have them for a good six or seven months in my business unless someone reached out and specifically said they wanted a call, then I would send them a link to sign up.

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I never outwardly said that we offered them. So at that time when I wasn’t having calls, our web design service was $2,500. I believe we’re now at around double that. But I was still signing clients at that price point without having discovery calls and I found I was just attracting other introverts, which I’m also an introvert, so it ended up working out perfectly fine.

So I personally think it really depends on you and how you want to run your business as to whether you need to even have discovery calls or not. Because again, I’ve had a successful business model with them now because we do offer them now, but we’ve also not had them, and we were still pretty successful.

Ask in your contact form

Girl writing in a journal with books open around her while sitting on a bed. A laptop is open in front of her.

What we do now is on our contact form, we have a question that says “Do you want to hop on a call?” The question has a drop-down that allows them to choose if they would like to have a call or not. People can just choose whichever one.

For the most part, people will just still take that call, but again, it’s just a meet face-to-face, make sure that we’re vibing, that they’re a good fit and we just answer any questions they have.

But we do still get, like I’d say, maybe around 20% of people who inquire and are ready to go. Those tend to be people we’ve been in contact with before, whether on Instagram or maybe they inquired before and are now ready to move forward, things like that.

It’s nice too because it does put it directly in the inquirer’s hands as to whether they want to have a call or not.

I know for me personally, when I reach out to service providers, I always see the discovery call as an extra step that I don’t necessarily want to have. Because when I want to work with someone, I know I want to work with them. But everybody is different.

How to schedule discovery calls

Girl drawing on an ipad on her couch next to her orange cat.

When it comes to scheduling discovery calls, there are a few options. You can do the traditional route, which is what we do. We use Calendly. It lets you set up a calendar with your own availability.

You can connect it to something like Zoom or Google Meet, and basically, when someone signs up for a time, it will send them, a calendar invite along with a link so that they can just join at that appropriate time to have the call.

We found that that’s the easiest way because there’s no back and forth. But you can also do something like Voxer discovery calls, and essentially that way you wouldn’t meet face to face, it would just be on your phone. But that can cause a whole other hassle of having someone download Voxer and things like that.

You want to make it really easy for people to get in touch with you and potentially work with you. You don’t want to scare them away with all this tech right at the beginning. But for instance, if your main client is coaches they probably already have Voxer, they already know how to use Voxer, so they might find it impressive that you’re hosting discovery calls on there!

Decide on the order of operations

Laptop set up on a desk next to plants.

Another thing to consider when having discovery calls is deciding if you want people to inquire before you allow them to sign up for a discovery call. So for a while, I was allowing people to not inquire first and just immediately sign up for a call.

This meant I’d have to do the selling on the call and decide if we were even a good fit on the call. So one thing I think helps a lot now is we require people to inquire first.

That way, we can check out their current website, check out their Instagram, and just make sure we’re a good fit before we even hop on a call, just to save ourselves both time.

Remember that you run the call, not the client

A woman writes in a notebook while her black laptop is open.

When it comes to having the discovery call, I want you to remember that you are the service provider, so you are the one running the call, not the client. This means that you’re the one who asks the questions.

You should be the first person to talk. I’ve noticed if you let the client talk first, they tend to think that then it means they can run the call instead of you. So the best thing to do instead is immediately when the call starts, make some small talk.

Then, we ask the following questions:

  • Tell us about your business. What are you looking for help with?
  • Was there a specific service of ours you were interested in?
  • When is your deadline/when are you hoping to launch by?

Finish the call off by letting them know the next steps. We always let them know we will be sending a proposal shortly, and we follow up on social media after we send the proposal.

Hopefully this post has helped you learn more about discovery calls!

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