As business owners, we rely on others for help. We need service providers when outsourcing big projects. Or coaches for guidance when growing our business. It is important to do our due diligence because of the time and money we invest in these relationships. Discovery calls are important for both sides. Regardless of whether you’re the client or provider.
As a service provider, discovery calls are crucial for your business.
- Get to know your potential client better through a series of questions to determine their needs and challenges.
- Ask what their expectations are of you.
- Determine if the potential client is a good fit. This means you are realistically able to meet and/or exceed their expectations for the project. Good fit also means your values, personality, and the work styles needed for the project are in alignment.
- Share your experience and provide feedback.
- Define and set clear expectations for your work. Underpromise so you are able to overdeliver. DO NOT overpromise in a desperate attempt to get the sale.
Discovery calls are of mutual benefit, similar to job interviews. You are both at the table, or on the phone in the case, to determine if it is of mutual benefit. For both parties, ask questions that ideally do not have answers on the website.
When hiring for a service, you are the client. Discovery calls are crucial for finding out if the service provider will be able to meet your expectations, help you achieve your goal and work styles.
- Have a list of questions prepared for the service provider to better understand their process and workflow and how you fit into it.
- Share what your expectations and needs are from the service provider in order to make this a successful relationship.
- Determine if the service provider is a good fit. This means they have the experience and results from previous work to show they can meet your needs. Good fits also mean your values, personality, and work styles needed for the project are in alignment.
- Have a clear understanding of what your role is in the project and what they will need from you and when in order to do their best work.
- Ask about their communication style and method of delivery preferences.
Neither party should feel rushed to move into an agreement during the discovery call. If you need time to think it over, take 24 hours and then follow up.
Potential Red Flags
Do not try to make it work if there are red flags. What are red flags?
- It sounds like the other party is disconnected and did not do research about you prior to the call. This shows a lack of genuine interest.
- Their communication prior to the discovery call. If they can’t follow directions, are missing in action, have super delayed responses, or provide incomplete information consider this an indication of how they will operate in the relationship. First impressions are everything.
- DO NOT be desperate and take on a client because you need the money. Those relationships never end well. You are typically overworked and they are dissatisfied. These relationships turn into bad reviews and negative word-of-mouth which spreads like fire.
- DO NOT be desperate and hire a service provider because you need a project done yesterday. A project done well is better than a sloppy and rushed project. Spend your money and time wisely.
- Avoid service providers who cannot validate their work and show proof of results. Look at their portfolio, LinkedIn resume, case studies, blog, social media. Does their work substantiate their expertise or is it fluff and pretty?
When hiring a service provider don’t be shy about asking for referrals. Search on Google, Facebook, Yelp, etc for posts, reviews, and comments. Ask colleagues in the industry who have worked with the service provider before what their experience was.
Communication is key to a great working relationship and discovery calls set the tone. Whether you are a client or service provider use this time wisely to get to know the other person.
What questions would you include in a discovery call?