How many discovery calls have you done this week, this month, this year? I used to think booking a lot of these calls was a sign that my business was doing well. In a sense that’s true because you’re getting noticed. But the real goal is getting a new client from the call. So how do we increase your discovery call conversion rate so that the majority of your calls turn into new clients? It just so happens that I can help you with that.
INCREASE YOUR DISCOVERY CALL CONVERSION RATE
1. HAVE A CALL OUTLINE
One of my first discovery calls lasted 75 minutes and I never heard back from her.
When I was getting started I had no control of my calls. I would give away too much design advice, I would let the call go way beyond the allocated time and I let the clients lead the call.
Ugh, I feel bad for the old me just thinking about those calls.
The 75-minute call is imprinted in my brain as a reminder that no matter how much you give, if you look like an amateur nobody will ever take you seriously.
The first thing I did to change that was to send out an email just before the call reminding the potential client of how much time we have together. I dressed it up so that it sounded like I was taking control but really, it was just a way to remind them so that I had a chance of control. Here is a polite way to dress up the email:
“Hi client, I’m looking forward to our call tomorrow. Since we only have 30 minutes together I would like to maximize our time. We’ll focus on these three areas – your project, your budget, your timeline.”
And then stick to that guideline. You can create a checklist or a script that you use to guide you through the call for the first 5-10. After that, you won’t need it. It’ll be second nature.
The point is that with a controlled method, you show your authority and leadership. A potential client wants to see that you’re able to run a call effectively. Honestly, if we can’t do that there’s little hope you’ll get the job.
2. Create a screening PACKAGE
You need to qualify your potential clients in order to impact your discovery call conversion rate. The best way to get your conversion rate up to 70%-80% is by sending out a package once the call is booked.
Ideally, you’ll automate this so that it’s sent immediately after the call booking.
Create a list of questions and requests that every client will need to complete before the call. Figure out what has been preventing you from converting on your previous calls and address them. For example:
- PROJECT TYPE – a lot of potential clients google designers in their city and go through the discovery call process with several before deciding. They may not have done any research and they may not be a good fit. Know what type of project this is before you get on a call. If you only do new builds and renovations you don’t need to waste time on a call with a client who’s interested in a powder room makeover.
- PROJECT TIMELINE – if you need 6 weeks before you can take a new client you don’t want to waste your time speaking to someone who wants a designer onboard tomorrow.
- CLIENT PREFERENCES – this potential client wants a west coast modern design but you specialize in neo-classic design. You’re not a good fit and you don’t need a discovery call to tell you that.
If you filter out the clients that are clearly not a good fit, your discovery call conversion rate will immediately increase. It doesn’t matter if the calls go down in volume.
You’ve just saved yourself endless hours of wasted time by screening the clients that will never be a match.
3. REMOVE STICKER SHOCK
Some of my clients say they want to speak to potential clients before they reveal their pricing. I disagree with this idea and I think it’s going to result in more headaches than you signed up for.
If the client has a budget and you “convince” them to increase that, you’re in for a long battle of price negotiating.
Stop trying to convert clients that aren’t a good fit and focus on attracting more clients with the budget you work with.
3 WAYS TO PRE-SCREEN BEFORE YOUR DISCOVERY CALL
You’re ready to get serious about pre-screening before your calls but what does that look like? Ideally you want to send all 3 of these (again, automate) but start small and add pieces as you go.
- CLIENT QUESTIONNAIRE – figure out the important questions that will help you determine good/bad fit and create a digital questionnaire.
- SERVICES & PRICING GUIDE – send out a guide that outlines the exact services you offer as well as the minimum dollar requirement for a project. Show some examples of your work to reinforce your niche.
- VIDEO WELCOME – this is a 10/10 for professional looking businesses. You can introduce all the important aspects of your business quickly.
IMPORTANT – set boundaries around completing and/or viewing these digital documents.
You can see when a questionnaire has been completed or when a video has been viewed. Let your potential client know that if it isn’t completed the call will be rescheduled.
I hope this helps with your conversion rate. Just think of how many hours you’ll be able to stop wasting on calls and devote to the outstanding client service and design work.