Ep. 014: How to Rock Your Discovery Calls and Land Your Dream Clients
Why discovery calls? Why can’t we just email back and forth with someone until they hire us as a virtual assistant? Because, as you’ve heard me say many times, building a virtual assistant business is all about building relationships.
Having a solid system for discovery calls sets the foundation from the very beginning. It shows your potential client that you are a business owner who takes her work seriously and that you are making a real effort to establish clear communication and an awesome working relationship from the very start.
So let me take you through an imaginary scenario so that you can see exactly how I manage my own discovery calls:
Picture this - I’ve just met an amazing life coach on Instagram who says that she needs to hire a VA to help her with scheduling and managing her calendar, providing customer service to her clients, and scheduling her social media.
We chat a little bit over DM about what her needs are and it becomes clear that we might be potential business BFFs. She asks about my rates and how it would all work, but before I go into all of that, I let her know that the easiest way for me to answer all of her questions would be for her to book a free discovery call.
Now, I know that this boss babe is super busy and is looking for someone to make her schedule and her life a lot easier. So the last thing I want to do is complicate the situation with back and forth scheduling chat or to leave any room open for miscommunication. The best thing for me to do is send her a scheduling link through an app like Acuity or Calendly.
Before I send her the link, I want to make sure that I’m totally set up in the back end of whichever scheduling app I’m using. I’ll want to include a questionnaire, so that I can be really clear on her needs and expectations before the call. I’ll ask where she most needs support, what her goals are for her business, how many hours per week she most needs support, and I’ll also ask about her business, including her website and social media links. I’ll use these things to research and prepare for the call.
She should also be able to see all of the available options for times, and I definitely want to double-check that these are the most up-to-date times. Double-booking is embarrassing!
To make things super seamless, I’m going to make sure that my scheduling app is connected to a video conferencing app like Zoom. Acuity and Calendly both integrate with Zoom and will automatically create a connection link and send it to your potential client when they book the call. That means that there is no room for potential mix-ups about who calls who or where to meet. It will all be automated and added to the calendar event.
I’ll also make sure that I’ve set up a reminder email to go out 24 hours before the call with the Zoom link. (You can automate this step in most scheduling apps.) That way, when it’s time for us to hop on the call, my client won’t have to search through days of emails to find the link.
Alright, so now that my link is ready to go I send it off to my potential client and she chooses her time, 3 days from now. This gives me 3 days to get SUPER prepared for the call. Before I talk to her, I’m going to take some time to research her business. I’ll read through every page of her website and since she needs social media help, I’ll definitely look over all of her social media accounts in detail.
Then, on the day of the discovery call, I’ll be prepared with an outline to follow so that I can stay totally in control of the conversation. When we hop on Zoom, I’ll immediately establish myself as an expert by leading her through the call with tons of confidence.
The structure will look something like this:
I’ll open with a summary of the answers she gave on her questionnaire. So I’ll say “I can see that you need support with A B C so that you can achieve your goals of X Y Z. Is that, right?”
Then I’ll ask a few questions to get to the bottom of how I can really help. “What is keeping you from accomplishing your goals right now?” “What are some things that you want to do in your business that you haven’t done yet because you don’t know how?” “What systems do you have in place already?” “What are 3 tasks you would love to never have to do again?”
I’ll make sure that I’m really listening as my potential client is answering these questions and I’ll take detailed notes I’ll need them later to followup.
After I’ve gotten a good feel for my potential clients pain points and goals it’s time to paint the picture of exactly how I can help them. Since I already have a general idea of the help that they need based on the questionnaire they filled out when they scheduled, I’ll come to the call prepare with a list of the ways I can help them and the systems that I can put in place. I’ll say something like “Thank you so much for sharing all of this with me, now I’d like to take a few minutes to tell you how I can help. Does that sound good?”
This is the time to explain my onboarding process, my rates, my schedule and routine, and most importantly, exactly what I’m going to do to help my potential client achieve her goals. This part is SO important. This is where I’m establishing clear boundaries right from the start, claiming my worth, and showing that I am totally in control of my business. I’m going to resist the urge to justify or defend my rates and I’m not going to settle for less than I deserve.
After I’ve spelled it all out, I’ll ask a very powerful question. My mom has worked in HR for her entire 35 year career and she taught me to always end every interview with this question. Ready? Here it is: “Is there anything that would prevent you from working with me?” I’ll take a deep breath and listen to any objections they might have. Then I’ll answer all of their questions and respond to all of their doubts and then make sure to ask if there’s anything else I can clarify for them.
At this point, my potential client is going to be totally blown away by my professionalism and my confidence. She’s going to say “I’m in! What’s next?” And that’s the point in time where I’ll explain the call to action: signing the contract. I’ll let her know that I’ll draw up a contract with all the details and send it over within 24 hours.This puts a clear end to the call, and gets rid of any lingering questions. It again shows that I am totally in control and have a clear process in place.
After I get off of the call with my potential client, I’ll send a contract over from HelloSign and also send a follow up email where I thank her for her time and outline a few of the specific things we talked about in the call. It’s not a bad idea for me to include a deadline for signing the contract here. I can say something like “I’m happy to hold your spot for 72 hours so that you can review the contract. Please let me know if there’s anything I can clarify!” And of course, she’ll sign it right away because I have given her so much confidence in my abilities and she’ll be eager to get started!
Woohoo! Just like that, I’ve landed a new dream client. And you can do it, too. The most important thing to convey in these discovery calls is CONFIDENCE. And the more time you spend preparing the more confident you will be. Do the research, write the outline, over-prepare. Get your onboarding system perfectly in place. Be ready to handle objections about your rates. Stand firm. You’ve got this.
If you have questions about leading the perfect discovery call, feel free to ask in The Support Squad Hangout on Facebook. I love hearing from you and answering your questions. I’ll see you in there! Until next time, boss babe.