Discovery calls: Questions to ask & when to sell

Discovery calls: Questions to ask & when to sell

Discovery calls: Questions to ask & when to sell

Written by Jade Jemma

The Sales Strategist & Business Mentor

What is a discovery call for small business owners?

It’s the most important conversation in your sales process.

Discovery calls – they’re the first contact you have with your prospect and if you do them you’ll be able to establish an authoritative relationship with your buyer.

In this article I’m going to share with you what is a discovery call, the steps you need to take to nail yours, the questions you need to ask, what a typical discovery call conversion rate is and when not to sell!

What are Discovery Calls?

A discovery call is the first conversation with a prospect after they show initial interest in your product. It’s your opportunity to get to know the customer to see if they could be a good fit for your business.

Why Selling at The Wrong Time Will Lose You that Sale

I’m talking about when entrepreneurs sell when they shouldn’t which can show up as:

1. People on your sales calls saying they are ‘not sure’, ‘need to think about it’, or a just plain old ‘no’.

2. You discounting your fees OR adding in ‘lots of extra’s’ to try to get the sale.

This often happens because you sell:

1. Too soon in the sales process.

2. At the wrong time on a sales / discovery call.

Let’s Have a Look at a Sales Call Example…

I had a message from a successful 6-fig coach this morning who had “messed up” her sales calls this morning. After getting a bit more info it was very clear that the lady she had a discovery call with:

1. Didn’t understand what her problem was (so how can she then know what she needs in order to sell?).

2. Didn’t understand how the coach could help her.

Even though this was the case the lady who contacted me DID sell her services AND even went on to add 3 extra months (for no extra cost!), even though duration wasn’t an objection that had come up (so didn’t need addressing). 🤔

This resulted in a potential £5,000 sale turning into a BIG FAT NO!!

Now let’s get clear on the full loss to this lady this morning:

1. The loss of the £5k sale.

2. The time it took to do the call (over an hour) and arrange childcare for this time (there were some issues here too!) (approx £1,000 worth of time investment based on her hourly rate).

3. The time, effort and resources that had gone into content creation and marketing to get this potential customer on the call in the first place. (looking at the average amount of qualified discovery calls a coach gets each week I would work out the marketing to GET this lead to be at least £1,000).

4. Cost of stress caused from messing up and kicking herself for doing so = UNLIMITED!


How to Get Better at Discovery Calls?

The reason why I am sharing this today, is that being able to successfully lead your sales / discovery calls is CRUCIAL. Not just to ‘get the sale, but to ensure all of your daily marketing efforts are not being wasted and that you are running an effective and efficient business that will bring profits, and not just occasional sales.

If you know you could refine and improve your sales / discovery call process I have a few resources for you:

1. My Online Sales Calls Training Course (instant access!)

2. My Sales Calls Script blog [FREE]

3. My How to handle money objections video training [FREE)


What Is A Good Conversion Rate For Discovery Calls / Sales Calls?

As a Professional Business Mentor, one thing I am often asked is what is a good conversions rate for discovery calls.

For an established coached selling 1:2:1 services from $3k-$10k approx below is a guide for where you should be (for this example I am assuming you are not cold calling and that these people are booking calls with a view to working with you)

20% – Converting 2 out of 10 calls is the bare minimum, if you are below this you have a problem that URGENTLY needs fixing. If you are around this level then this is a part of your sales process that needs improving and optimising.

50% – If you are converting 5 out of 10 calls you are doing good, but unless you are very new to your industry there are certainly improvements to be made and you are spending too many hours on calls that are not converting.

80% + You are doing great! If you are converting almost of all your discovery calls then I would look at increasing your prices ASAP. Also I would look at the time it takes to get those calls and how you can make that process more efficient.

8 Discovery Questions to ask Every Potential Client

Discovery calls are a chance for your prospect to get to know you. At the same time, it’s an opportunity for you to determine whether they’re a good fit for your business.

Ask these questions to tackle both fronts:

1. What goal are you trying to achieve right now?

Not every potential customer is going to have goals your product can solve—and that’s okay! Gauge whether your product or service is a good fit for them by asking this question.

2. What are the main roadblocks to reaching that goal?

Understanding where the prospect has struggled in the past will help you decide how to explain your product or service to them. Say, for example, you’re selling a membership and your lead says that membership platforms they tried were too confusing to use. In that case, you could highlight your platforms ease of use to reassure the prospect.

3. What is at stake if you don’t reach this goal?

Encourage prospect to come to terms with the consequences of not using your product and they’ll be more likely to realise its value. Their answers will also help you get a sense of how urgently they need a solution.

4. What other similar services or products have you invested in before

Use this question to understand where competitors both fell short and exceeded expectations. Based on this history, you can determine the standards your product or services needs to meet to keep this prospect happy.

5. What is your budget for achieving this goal?

It might feel early in the customer relationship to talk about money. But if you don’t know what the prospect is willing to spend, you can’t assess compatibility.

6. Do you have any concerns about me, the product or service that I can address?

Give your lead the opportunity to share any hang-ups they have about your product or service. They’re more likely to have a follow-up call if they have a chance to talk through these objections and hear why your product is still valuable.

7. Can we go ahead and schedule a follow-up call?

Always offer three times for them to choose from instead of leaving it open-ended. If possible, try to get the prospect to agree to a time on the call to minimise back-and-forth scheduling.

I hope you found today’s blog beneficial. I LOVE talking about getting better at all parts of the sales process and love sharing everything I have learnt as a Professional Sales Coach over the years.

So, if there are any specific areas you would like to know do let me know as this week I am planning my next blog topics for the coming weeks.

If I choose your topic I will let you know!

Jade *

P.S. If you’ve enjoyed this blog then take a look at my sales calls training course.  You’ll discover in more depth more on how to lead your sales conversations, deal with those objections and make follow up sales calls.