Discovery Calls: What They Are & How to Run Them

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It’s crucial for entrepreneurs to understand discovery calls and how to conduct them. Whether you’re selling services or products, conducting effective discovery calls with potential customers can be crucial for your business’s success.

That said, if you’ve ever been on (or heard of) an awkward or pushy discovery call—don’t worry! It doesn’t have to be that way. Discovery calls, at their core, are really just a conversation, right?

Read on to learn all about discovery calls: we’ll talk about why they’re valuable, give 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?

This is a question I’ve been asked before. When I first started my business, I offered discovery calls, and I truthfully felt pretty used during many of the calls I had 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 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.

Jessie talking on a computer.
Image by WorkPlay Branding

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 attracting other introverts, who are also introverted, 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 because we offer them now, but we’ve also not had them, and we were still pretty successful.

Ask in your contact form

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 people to choose whether they would like to have a call or not. People can just choose whichever one they like.

For the most part, people will 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 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.

It’s also nice because it puts the decision to have a call directly in the inquirer’s hands.

When I reach out to service providers, I always see the discovery call as an extra step that I don’t necessarily want to take. When I want to work with someone, I know I want to work with them, but everybody is different.

Jessie holding up branding for Inkpot Creative.
Image by WorkPlay Branding

How to schedule discovery calls

There are a few options for scheduling discovery calls. You can go the traditional route, which is what we do. We use Calendly, which 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 they can 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

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 allowed 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.

KP and Jessie look through a printed booklet.
Image by WorkPlay Branding

Remember that you run the call, not the client

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 that if you let the client talk first, they tend to think that it means they can run the call instead of you. So the best thing to do instead is to make some small talk immediately after the call starts.

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 by letting them know the next steps. We always let them know we will send 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!

Are you a service provider looking to get your brand or website built? Click here to get in touch.

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Krystianna Pietrzak


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Krystianna Pietrzak

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