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5 tips for a successful Client Discovery Call

discovery call presentation tips
Prepare for discovery calls that nurture business relationships

My friend once asked me to accompany her on a blind date (as a safety net). I was the one who stood nearby, waiting for her to call if something went wrong. 

She met a guy in an online chatroom, and they agreed to meet because they lived in the same city.

I saw the twinkle in her eyes when her date was tall, dark, and handsome. As they walked away to eat dinner, she seemed to be skipping with delight. I didn’t get any SOS messages, so I was relieved that everything was fine.

After a few hours, she showed up alone at a nearby coffee shop.

“What time is your date?” I inquired.

“I ditched him. All he did was talk about himself. He tried so hard to sell himself that it was annoying”, she said.

There will be no second date.

The first date is the discovery call. It is an opportunity for the client to get to know the service provider on a more personal level. It’s a way to see if their business values align.

A discovery call, contrary to popular belief, is not a pitch. Many people sell so aggressively during this stage that they irritate others, as happened to my friend.

The key to getting a new client is to successfully close a business discovery call. Making discovery calls is critical for your business as a service provider.

When scheduling a discovery call, you should be prepared with business knowledge, industry basics, and an understanding of the client’s pain points. This will help to lay a solid foundation for future discussions.

I’ve created the following checklist to help you in preparing for discovery calls:

Your goal should be to discover the client’s needs, not to close a sale

Having the right mindset is one of the most important things you can do when trying to close a deal. 

You must understand why they are looking for your services in the first place, their main pain points, and what they hope to gain from working with you. Allow them to speak and pay close attention. 

Following that, you can confirm that you’ve successfully completed similar projects and can support them with their needs, or you can safely say that you don’t offer the type of service they’re looking for and can refer them to someone else.

This demonstrates honesty, which is an essential business value.

Conduct market research on the client’s industry

Learn the fundamentals of their industry as well as the common pain points they have in relation to your niche. This is especially true if you’re selling a complex product or service.

You won’t be able to provide a good deal or solution to your client if you don’t have a good idea of their pain points.

Instead of guessing or making something up on the spot, you can answer confidently with knowledge and experience using basic research (and looking like an amateur). 

This proves to them that you know what you’re talking about and fosters trust! If you’ve done something similar for another client in the same industry, you can mention it to gain their trust.

Double-check your deck

Prepare a brief and simple deck that packs a powerful punch.

One slide is enough to introduce yourself and your company. Another slide can be used to showcase your successful projects. Finally, include the processes on the third slide so the potential client understands what to expect from the partnership.

Check to ensure that your slide deck connects with and communicates with your client. Avoid amateur errors such as using the competitor’s colour or typos.

Because these are simple slides, make sure that these are professionally done. If you want to impress clients, you don’t want bad design or readability issues. This is something that Deer Designer can help you with.


video sales call with a client
Preparation makes you more confident

Get ready for the big day

Check your internet connection and the communication platform you’ll be using several hours before the call. Remember to also be mindful of the time zones.

You should also be prepared to deal with any objections or questions that the client may have about your product or service.

If possible, try to prepare some responses ahead of time so that when they do arise, you can react immediately and without missing a beat!

One final tip: ask the right questions

If you don’t know what questions to ask or don’t have enough time to ask them all, the discovery call will be less effective.

Ask questions that demonstrate empathy. People prefer to work with people who understand their perspectives, and asking empathy-based questions can help you make that connection.

Ask things like “How did this issue come up?” or “What has been difficult about [this topic]?” These questions will help your prospect feel understood and valued by you, which is important when deciding who should get the deal!

Make sure your questions are genuine and not just filling in the blanks on an agenda or script.

Have a conversation rather than just a phone call

Through a series of questions on a discovery call, you should be able to tell potential clients why they should choose your company over others in 30 minutes or less.

They enable you to explore the client’s business and main pain points so that by the end of the call, they understand exactly what benefits they will receive from working with your company.

Be sincere and focused on helping the client. The money will come later, but it is more important to establish a relationship first.

The client may not be ready to buy right away, but if you make a good first impression, they will definitely consider your brand.