How to Ace Your Next Discovery Call
If you have a service-based business (helllooo, my fellow photographers!), you probably know the term discovery call quite well. After all, it’s usually the call that helps you secure a new client — or not — and acing the discovery call is key to acing your business as a whole.
In my business, I’m not sure that I could even count the number of discovery calls I’ve done. Like, there have been countless ones… some of them successful and some of them not so much. Over the years, though, I feel like I’ve learned the secret to acing discovery calls.
What’s that secret, you ask?! Well, there’s actually a few: preparation, top-notch Q’s, and relationship building.
And, you know me — I’m here to share all the deets. From why discovery calls are so important all the way to how you can ace ‘em, let’s go.
Why discovery calls are so important
When you’re in a service- or sales-based business, there are few things as important as a discovery call. See, a discovery call is how potential clients can vet you… and it’s how you can vet *them,* too. Plus, a discovery call is the place where someone can see why, exactly, they need your product or your service — and that, in itself, gives you an excellent chance for showcasing your value right off the bat. When you can set yourself apart during a discovery call and really intrigue a potential client from the jump, you no longer have just a potential client… you have an actual one.
How to Ace Your Next Discovery Call
When you hop on a discovery call with a potential client, it’s pretty essential that they’re instantly aware of your value… and it’s also important that they keep thinking about you post-call. The secret to doing this?
Focus on relationship building before anything else.
Before you dive deep into a discovery call, it’s important to set everything off on the right foot with one mission: to start building a relationship through actually, truly connecting with your potential client. As a service provider, you have this really unique opportunity to build relationships with your clients, and that all starts during your call.
Here’s the thing: building a solid foundation with any client you work with is an essential part of working with that client. And, the only way to build a solid foundation comes from building a solid relationship first — which is one of the most important parts of a discovery call in the first place. After all, building an initial relationship with your potential client is how you know if they’re the right fit for YOU, and it’s also how they know that you’re the right fit for THEM. This means that it’s absolutely key to lead into your discovery call with genuine connection points, by finding ways to start building trust, and by creating open communication pathways from the jump. Do you need to ask them how the weather is where they are? No — but you do need to approach your calls with a conversational, friendly, relationship-first method.
Do your research pre-call.
There is nothing more unprofessional or off putting to a potential client than them realizing you know literally nothing about what they do — so don’t let that happen! You definitely don’t need to be an expert on your potential client, but it *is* your job to understand on a high level who they are and what they do. This is exactly what a discovery call is for, so do your research!
Here’s what you should know:
- What does the brand/business you’re talking to do?
- What’s their mission?
- What kind of service are they asking you to do?
- How can you help your potential client?
(Psst… this is where a contact box that asks a few q’s comes in handy! Consider adding something like this to your website so that you have the bulk of this information in advance.)
Ask the right questions.
When you hop on a discovery call, the end result you want is to land a sale of some sort — whether that’s a request for a proposal or even something like a booked shoot! That, my friends, means that you need to know the right questions to ask in order to get ya there. It’s important to be able to strike a perfect balance between all of the things we’ve talked about — relationship-building, business, and research — to really rock the discovery call.
Plus, you’re in luck! I have a free download for you with all of my go-to discovery call Q’s, which you can access right here!
Be on with your follow-up info.
A great discovery call has to go hand-in-hand with a great follow-up in order to connect to a sale. In fact, I’d say that your follow-up is arguably *the* most important part of the entire discovery call process. Plus, it’s really simple to do, since all you have to do to follow up after a discovery call is to, well, follow up. I am a big fan of creating post-discovery call workflows for myself to stay on track, starting with a thank you email and a proposal and stepping all the way into an eventual contract signature.
Here’s the thing: people don’t want to wait on you. Ever. And, more importantly, you don’t *want* them to wait on you. Immediately after the discovery call, send a thank you note and any additional information that you promised (i.e., a proposal or work examples). This reminds the potential client that you’re on top of your processes and that you want their business, and that’s how you make a sale.
As a service provider and a photographer, I know you’re ready to get the clients of your dreams… and that really does all start with the discovery call. If you can use smart strategies in your discovery calls, you can land the kinds of clients and projects you’ve only ever dreamed of — and what the heck is better than that?
Remember to snag your free questions download here, and go rock that next discovery call of yours!
In the meantime, one of the best things you can do as a service provider is to keep learning — which is where my new course, Personal Branding Breakthrough, comes in. If you’re a personal branding photographer (or you want to be), PBB is the perfect resource for all things photography business growth… discovery calls included. Find out more here.
When you first started your photography business, you were probably a lot like me — AKA, just so excited and so ready to photograph everyone that