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Tips and tools for a successful client discovery call

Client discovery calls are essential for independent businesses to determine if there’s a good fit with potential clients. It also gives you more information to close a sale and book the project. To make the call successful, use these tips and tools. 

Man conducting a client discovery call

Client discovery calls are an important step in the sales process, especially for independent businesses. This isn’t just because discovery calls determine good customer fit — though that’s certainly their main goal. 

It’s because smaller service providers already have limited time and resources to spare for every potential client. Each discovery call ideally should lead to a concrete sales opportunity if there’s a good match with your services. 

Use these tips to ensure you’re getting the most out of each call. 

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What makes a successful client discovery call?

A successful client discovery call should be an interactive conversation that helps both you and the potential client get to know each other. It’s a chance for you to learn about their needs, goals, challenges, and expectations in order to determine if there is a good fit between your services and what they are looking for.

The key elements that make a great discovery call include:

  • Providing an agenda ahead of time so your client knows what discovery questions you’ll ask during the call
  • Set the tone at the beginning of the call to show your personality and start building rapport
  • Asking open-ended questions that allow clients to provide detailed answers
  • Listening attentively without interrupting or trying to steer them away from certain topics
  • Making sure all information exchanged is clear and concise
  • Summarizing key points at the end of the meeting so nothing gets lost

Overall, the call should help you evaluate qualified leads so you can determine if they make sense to move further into your sales process.

Tips for getting the most out of your sales discovery calls

The same key elements above are applicable to most client calls. What makes sales calls special is how you should approach them. Here are some actionable tips you can use to prepare, ask the right questions, and get the right answers from your initial sales calls. 

1. Come prepared with data and experience

Before any call with a potential client, review your ideal customer profile. Think about the qualities they have, and which questions you can ask to vet them. Knowing what to look for in their answers will help you get more out of the process. 

Before the call, you can also spend some time learning from their website and social media accounts. Think about your clients from similar industries or with similar needs and how you solved similar problems for them. You can come prepared with specific case studies or testimonials that directly apply to them. 

2. It’s the quality, not really the quantity, of questions

Did you know that it takes around 11 to 14 questions for top sales reps to finish a successful discovery call? The number of questions you ask will always vary depending on your business, butWwhat you ask means more than how much you ask. 

Focus on questions that let you better understand your potential client’s current and future needs, which includes things like their own discovery process. Again, your prep work comes into play here. If you’ve solved similar problems before, you’ll have good context to work with and the confidence to back up your claims.

3. Follow up and follow through

After the call, make sure to recap what you discussed before signing off. That doesn’t have to be a long-winded dialogue — just a few sentences that summarize the prospects pain points and next steps. You may want to go ahead and discuss the product or service that would be a good fit, or simply let them know when you’ll be sending an email with a personalized quote. 

Lastly, remember to be prompt in sending over any documents or solutions your prospective client may need if they made any requests during the call so that you can remain top of mind throughout their decision-making process.

4. Make notes and move on

Even if the call didn’t result in a sale, make sure to take note of the conversation. This will help you with future calls with other potential clients, as it can give you more context about their needs. 

At this point, you should have all the information you need to assess how viable they are as clients and whether or not your offerings match well with theirs — even if that means being honest enough to tell them that what they want isn’t something your company delivers. Be polite but firm. Prioritize value-based solutions over short-term wins so both parties benefit long-term.

5. Leverage technology to maximize efficiency

If you’re making sales discovery calls with potential clients, it pays off to invest in the right tools. With modern customer relationship management (CRM) and sales automation systems, for example, you can quickly get a full picture of each lead before committing any calls — including previous interactions and notes from other emails or chats. 

This helps build trust since they know that you’re taking the conversations seriously while helping you stay organized and save time. Tools like these can significantly impact your prep work and considerably aid in the call itself because of how much background information you have.

The tools you have on hand can make or break a discovery call the same way they could bolster or hinder an entire sales process.

Staying competitive with the right tools

Remember that the right tools can streamline the discovery process, making sales calls more efficient and effective. A few capabilities, in particular, can greatly impact your sales process:

  • Automation — Automating manual tasks such as data entry or scheduling can free up valuable time to focus on what matters — connecting with clients and building relationships. Furthermore, using automated processes like reminders ensures that nothing falls through the cracks during busy times.
  • Centralizing information — A centralized information hub for each client allows you and any team members to stay updated quickly without having to search through emails or documents scattered across different platforms.
  • Reporting — Having the right analytics and metrics can keep you informed on how your sales process is progressing. This real-time feedback helps you make adjustments or refocus your efforts to ensure that each call goes as smoothly as possible.
  • Customization — Being able to customize the sales process (or parts of it) for each client helps to create a more personalized experience. This will help build trust and rapport, leading to better relationships and increased customer satisfaction.
  • Integration — Integrating your sales process with other key systems, such as CRM, marketing automation, and customer service, helps ensure that everyone is on the same page — especially as your client numbers grow. This can help to reduce errors and make it easier to track progress over time.

In short, leveraging technology helps service-based businesses maximize their discovery call efforts while optimizing their workflow so they can better serve their clients’ needs. These tools, used in conjunction with the tips above, can maximize each opportunity so that every call results in a positive outcome.

Supercharge your sales discovery calls with HoneyBook

HoneyBook offers the tools you need to bolster your discovery calls and improve your overall sales process. Through interactive files, for example, you can consolidate the discovery process through branded questionnaires that help evaluate client fit. You can also reach out with payment reminder emails and receive direct payments through the online payment software.

The scheduler tool can also help you seamlessly book discovery calls and combine scheduling with other actions, including payment, an online contract, and more. 

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