Offering a "discovery call" to potential clients is common practice in the health and wellness space. These free, short chats allow you to better understand your potential client and see if they are a good fit for your nutrition services.
To learn more about offering discovery calls that book more clients, I chatted with Stephanie Long, business coach for nutritionists and podcast host of Next Level Nutrition Biz. She helps nutritionists start and scale their business with more ease so that they can start signing clients and make money.
Stephanie believes the discovery call not only sets the tone for your client but also sets you up for success as the nutrition practitioner.
"A discovery call will give you the opportunity to see if you and your potential client are a good match. It will allow you to evaluate their needs and goals and accelerate the sign-up process by recognizing their needs and providing the solution to them."
Stephanie has a seven-step process she recommends to all her coaching clients so that they can rock their discovery calls and book more clients. She's even telling you exactly what to say, so let's dive in!
1. Book the Call
The first step is to book the call. Once potential clients start to express interest in working with you, it’s important to qualify them and understand if you’ll be a good fit for each other.
What to Say: "I would love to book you in for a Discovery Call so that I can learn more about where you're at so I can give you the best guidance possible."
It’s important to set a time frame for the call and communicate that with your potential client. Stephanie says 20 to 30 minutes is a great length. If you use a scheduling platform such as Calendly, be sure to set it up so that your clients get call reminders. This will help you to avoid no-shows.
2. Outline the Call Details
At the beginning of your discovery call, it’s important to set expectations.
What to Say: “I'm so excited to chat with you! I book these calls to see if we’re a good match to work together. I just wanted to remind you we have 20 minutes to dive into what's going on for you. Are you ready to get started?”
From there, you’ll want to be sure to ask open-ended questions. Digging into why they came to you in the first place should be your number one goal, but allowing them to tell you their story in their own words is super important.
What to Say: “Why don’t you tell me a little bit about what’s going on in your health right now?” or “Why don’t you tell me what brought you to this session to work with me. Why now?”
Listening is the key to connect with your clients. You want to understand where they’re at, what their main pain points are and how you can alleviate those. Make your clients feel understood and heard. Act as a guide in the conversation so they stay on topic for the call.
What to Say: “What have you tried in the past? Did it work?” or “Tell me about the biggest concern you’re dealing with right now.”
4. Relate & Connect
Once your client has shared their experiences with you, it’s important to recognize where they’re at. Validate their concerns and connect with them on a level that feels authentic for you. Acknowledge how it must feel, especially if you’ve been there before.
What to Say: "What would it mean if you moved beyond this feeling?" or "How would you feel achieving your goal?"
"You’re trying to bring them to some sort of understanding or breakthrough. You want to show that there is a way to move the needle in a positive direction."
5. Evaluate What They Want
Have your client tell you what they’re looking for in terms of results. You’ll want to ask specific questions so that your client can explain why the time is now and why you’re the person to help them get there.
What to Say: "Tell me what the results are that you are looking for" or "How can I help you achieve your goals?"
6. Reiterate What They’ve Said
Use this opportunity to take what they’ve said and repeat it back to them. This is a really important step because it illustrates that you’ve listened, you’ve absorbed what they’re saying, and you understand their needs. Saying back to them what they’ve told you is crucial in helping them feel heard, but also showing them how you can help.
What to Say: "Based on the fact that you're struggling with _______ and that you want to get _________ results, I have a program that would suit your needs. Would you like to hear more about it?”
In the first blank, insert their struggles. In the second, insert their desired outcome.
"In my experience, when you’ve done a great job of reiterating what they’ve said, the pain points they have and explaining the pleasure they could be living with, they are going to say ‘Heck yes! Tell me what that program is. I need it!’ If you feel your program could help them, you have to tell them about it because it’s doing a disservice by not inviting them into this transformation with you."
7. Sell Your Program
The entire point of your discovery call is to qualify your client. So if you get to the end of the call and you see how you can help them, you need to tell them how.
In this step, you’re doing most of the talking. You need to review the program details, such as the length of time, what is required of your client, how you will support them and the cost for them to work with you.
When it comes to selling your program, Stephanie explains that it is important to stop and pause.
"The most important thing is to pause after you tell them the price of your program. Do not ramble on, or feel inclined to offer a discount. I understand that stating our price makes us nervous, but the pause is really important. We should state our price and wait for them to respond because it gives your client the opportunity to genuinely react."
Stephanie also advises against being pushy. Let the potential client know that they do not need to make the decision right now.
"Don't push your potential client to make a decision on the call if they're still undecided. Even though ideally you'd like to ‘close the sale’, first think about what your client's needs are and if you are the right practitioner for them. Oftentimes people need time to digest what you've spoken about, need to consult with a partner or need to figure out finances before they're able to say yes and commit fully.”
Let them know you will be following up with them, then be sure to follow through. Most importantly, a no right away doesn’t mean it's over.
"Always remember that a 'no' can turn into a 'yes' later down the road, so always, always, always cultivate the relationships with your clients - even with the 'nos'!”
Want to learn more from Stephanie? Join her community for nutritionists here.