premium training

How to Run a Successful Discovery Call (Sales Call)

This is a premium training for Inner Circle members only.

More about this video

The Discovery Call is one of the most important calls you’ll make as an agency owner. It’s typically the first main impression a prospect gets of you and it sets the stage for how much you can charge as well as your entire working relationship with your clients.

In this training I’ll give you key insights to help you run discovery calls that help you:

* Land more projects
* Dramatically increase overall project prices
* Make sure you’re seen as a consultant and not a pixel pusher
* Land long term / recurring revenue clients
* Upsell additional services naturally
* Sell without being salesy

All this comes from the Discovery Call if you play your cards right, so watch this training, take notes, and then practice, practice, practice.

Video Transcript

Sales, revenue, cash flow, these are the lifeblood of an agency or a freelance business. If you don’t have clients, you basically don’t have a business. You have a hobby and assuming you have leads, which is a whole different story and a whole different training, we need to make sure that you master the discovery call. Some people call this a strategy call, an introductory call, a first impression call. I don’t know. There’s a lot of creative names for this. So the bottom line is you have to master this first call because it is the linchpin to getting business. It is the linchpin to getting bigger business, bigger projects. So for those of you who are stuck, maybe below $1,000 or in the 1,000 to 2,500 mark or in the 2,500 to 5,000 mark, anywhere in there, if you’re stuck anywhere in there, I guarantee there are big improvements that can be made in your discovery call and sales process. And that’s exactly what we are going to dive into today. So let’s go ahead and get into the training, how to run a prospect discovery call.

We’re going to go through the entire thing. What your goals are, what to say, what to not say, what to hone in on, how to respond to different things, when to talk about money, how to talk about money. This is going to give you exactly what you need to start closing more deals and closing bigger deals. So let’s roll through it. First of all, you don’t want to be like this obnoxious sales guy on the right hand side, right? Yes, you want to sell in this call, but the discovery call really is a way for you to qualify the prospect that is in front of you and then sell without sounding like you’re selling. And we’re going to talk about exactly how that works throughout this call. The key here though is if you get this right, you’re going to close more projects. Everybody wants that, right? You’re going to close bigger projects that would be nice and more importantly, maybe most importantly, you’re going to be respected as the project leader, as an advisor, as a consultant, rather than being seen as a pixel pusher.

And if you are currently seen as a pixel pusher in your business, your client comes to you, they hire you and then they just tell you everything to do. Here’s how we want it to look. You put this there, right? You move all the things around the way that I say that they should go. If you want to get out of that position, this type of discovery call is going to absolutely get you out of that position. It’s not a fun position to be in by any means. So let’s talk about before the call. Before the call is very important too, you need to always do background research on the company and check out their existing website prior to ever getting on a discovery call with them. You cannot go to this discovery call unprepared. The existing website is going to help you ballpark the price range for their new website. And we’ve probably all been in this situation.

Now, if it’s a brand new, like a prospect, it’s a brand new business. They don’t even have a website. That’s a little bit different story that we’ll talk about in just a minute. But for the most part, the prospects that come to you, they already have an existing website. They need a new website and you can glean a lot of really good information and insights from looking at their existing website, the size and scope, how old it is, what their needs are, where they’re failing, where they’re succeeding. There’s a lot of stuff that you can pick up by doing this just initial review of the website before you ever get on the call. This is also going to help you point out areas of opportunity that they aren’t currently capitalizing on. This is going to be a big part of the cell without selling part of this discovery call. Of course, if you haven’t done your homework, you’re not really going to be able to do that part of the discovery call.

Do your homework. Now, if they don’t have an existing website, they may be a newer company with a lower budget, you’re going to need to assess that further on the call. I will caution you here. This is very important to kind of suss out on the call. Just because they’re a new business that doesn’t have a website doesn’t mean they don’t have a lot of money. Don’t go into a call already saying no for the prospect in terms of what the budget is supposed to be or not supposed to be. Don’t make decisions for the prospect. Let the prospect make those decisions. There are people starting companies who, yeah, this company is new, but they have 10 other companies. They’ve got millions of dollars in the bank and they have more than enough money to invest in this new website.

There are people who they don’t have any other companies. They’re very first company, but they’ve got a grant or they have investors and they have a bunch of money that they’re ready to spend. There’s a lot of different scenarios out there. Just because it’s a newer company without a website, don’t assume that they can’t afford what you’re going to offer or that they have a low budget or anything like that. Only assume that when they’ve kind of told you that or they’ve made that aware that that’s the situation that they’re in. All right, let’s get on to step one. Assuming you’ve done all of your little initials, just take a look at the website, see what they’ve got going on, that kind of thing. You’re more prepared on this call. Here’s step one. You’re going to ask the client what they hope a new website will do for their company. This is very critical because a lot of clients will come to you and say, well, we need a new website and they’re looking at you as just a, again, a pixel pusher, a designer who’s just going to maybe make something that looks pretty and get it up for us.

There’s really no, they may not even have a goal in mind for their website. So this needs a lot, this is one of the most important parts of the call. All right, and we’re going to see why. So here’s some questions that I have. They’re kind of like, I don’t know. We’re asking the client because we want to know, does the client want more leads? Does the client want more sales? Do they want to build an email list? Do they want to have an impressive portfolio that their sales team can send to prospects? There’s a lot of different goals underlying this desire for a new website that a company might have or a prospect might have. And until you drill down on that, you definitely don’t want to make assumptions, right? But until you drill down on this, it’s really hard to make anything meaningful happen in this discovery call. And here’s why in making a assumption could actually be a lot worse.

We all might assume that a business because leads and sales are the lifeblood of a business, we might all assume that every prospect that comes to us wants a website to get them more leads and sales. But I’ve had plenty of clients who said, no, we actually don’t care about leads and sales all that much. We have a national sales team who picks up the phone and calls people or goes door to door or whatever they happen to do with all of this prospecting in real life outside of the internet. And they basically said what we need is a website that these salespeople can leverage. So as they’re in their own sales process, they can use this website, different service pages, different portfolio pages, things like that to help them do their job in sales. So we don’t actually need the website to bring in a lease in sales. We need the website to exist as a sales tool for our representatives, right? So that could easily be a goal that people have. So you need to ask the client specifically, like what do you want this website to do and get details on that, right?

What is the actual objective? You have to know what they want to achieve so you can advise them on how best to make it happen. This is the like right from the beginning, we need to go from not a pixel pusher, okay, I’m not a pixel pusher, I’m an advisor, I’m a consultant. So you’re asking them what goal do you want to achieve with this website? So I can advise you on how best to achieve that goal, not so you can tell me what to do so that I can advise you on how best to achieve that goal. That is a critical, critical scenario that you need to propose, right? You also need to assess what they understand about the potential of a website because if they aren’t thinking big enough, you need to help them think bigger. This is also very common, a prospect might not know what a website can do for them exactly. They’re still in the mode of, I need an online brochure, right? Like I have a company and I’ve heard that companies need websites and mine’s kind of old, so I need a new one or I don’t have one, so I need one.

But they’re just in this like brochure mindset. They’re not in a mindset of, oh, my website can actually be like a central marketing hub for my company that pulls in traffic, pulls in leads, pulls in sales, acts as a 24, seven sales person for my company. This is not in their mind, right? In their mind, it’s like, oh, I need a brochure that I’m going to put on my like my business cards. I’m going to put in my email footer, that kind of stuff, right? They’re not, they’re not thinking nearly big enough. And so you need to see if that’s the case. Number one, and if that is the case, you need to help them think bigger. One of your goals during the discovery process is to be seen as that trusted advisor, someone who can help steer the digital ship. And this isn’t just for the initial project because I guarantee this, if you are a pixel pusher or see if you’re seen as a pixel pusher, then even if somebody hires you to do their website, they tell you what to do and you push those pixels around.

When the project ends, when it’s like the website is deployed, your usefulness just went out the window, right? They don’t have a lot of use for you anymore. If you’re a trusted advisor, a consultant who’s going to help steer the digital ship, now it’s a totally different conversation. Now when the website launches, it’s, okay, what do we do next? What’s our marketing plan? What can we do for digital marketing? What’s our SEO plan? Who’s going to implement all this stuff? What’s our PPC plan? What’s our social media plan? You, if you’re the consultant and the trusted advisor, are now the most important person to drive this new website and make it successful. You have to position yourself as that from day one.

It’s very, very difficult to go from pixel pusher to consultant in the same project. You have to be the consultant in the very beginning and stay the consultant the entire way through. You do this by asking questions and then painting a picture of how the website can achieve the goals that they have, right? Now, here’s some flags to look out for in this early stage where you’re asking questions about, hey, what’s your goals? What do you want this website to do for your company? If they don’t know how to answer the question, that’s a flag. Now it also can be, you know, flags are not necessarily bad, but it is a flag. Like it should, boom, like an alarm should go off in your mind. Like, oh, okay, they don’t know how to answer the question. That can be bad in the sense that they don’t know what the hell they’re doing. They’re not a good business owner, they have no idea. Or it could be that they don’t know how to answer the question because they’re in that state of like they do lots of things really well offline, but this online world is really new to them, right?

And so they’re like saying, I need you to tell me, right? Like you tell me what this website can do for me. And that immediately puts you in advisor consultant role, not pixel pusher, right? The worst, the worst is they don’t really know how to answer the question, but they think they know everything that needs to be done on the website. That’s a definite red flag where you have somebody that’s ignorant or naive, but also who thinks they’re an expert. That is the worst combination. So you just need to be looking out for these different flags and assess, all right, what angle is this flag hitting me from right now? They could say something generic like, well, we just need a better web presence. This can be good or bad because again, you can leverage the consultant role to show them exactly what needs to be done or it can be bad because they have a core belief that that’s all they need. Like they believe to the fullest extent that they don’t need anything other than a cheap brochure website.

That’s going to be a bad client for you. What else? They don’t have a goal beyond our website is outdated, right? When you bring up leads and sales, they’re not really interested. Now go back to the situation where I said they can have an outside sales team and they only want an online brochure. I still educate those clients on the benefits of brand awareness, the benefits of, hey, what? I mean, if you have more leads with that, kill you, like with that hurt, if you have more sales, with that kill you, with that hurt, because we can do those things with the website. How expensive is your sales team? Would you be, would it be nice if, hey, this sales team goes out Monday through Friday closing deals? But what if I had this website over here that’s closing deals 24, 7, right? And it’s actually much cheaper than employing all these sales people.

Now maybe you don’t want to get rid of all your sales people, but maybe you want to get a little balance going there where, yeah, we have a sales team, but it’s not as big as it used to be because now we have this online platform that does so much selling for us around the clock. I just open those conversations and see if they’re interested in that sort of thing. And that’s kind of the exploration. That’s why this is called a discovery call. You’re discovering things and you’re helping your client discover things too. Very important. Okay, let’s move on to step number two. Now it’s time to probe for more details. And you’re kind of doing this probe for more detail step throughout the entire discovery call, but it’s very important in the early stages, especially when you’re talking about goals that the prospect has for their website. Storytellers, we all know storytellers are very popular, right?

storytellers use granular details to paint a picture. Without these details, the story they try to paint feels very generic. And if you’re trying to paint a story or a picture with no granular detail, the same thing is going to happen to you. You’re going to come across as super generic. It’s like, ah, this guy’s like saying things. We’re not really telling me anything meaningful. He’s saying things that everybody says, right? That’s going to be the feeling that they get. So it’s the prospect sets. Here’s an example. Prospect says, we’d like the website to get us more leads. We can’t just like move on to the next question, because now you’re just going to be saying, oh, we’ll get you more leads. We’ll get you more leads.

We’ll get you more leads. Every agency is going to say that. And you have no leverage in terms of money, which we’re going to talk about in just a second, right? So here’s the response that I would suggest you have to something like that to probe deeper. Go deeper on this, right? And then you can just choose your details. How many leads would you like the website to bring in every and then you can just choose your period like week, month, right? We might want to say month. It’s going to depend on the type of business, right? If it’s an ice cream shop, you probably want to go with week. How many people do you want a week? If it’s a longer runway sales process client, then you might say a month, right?

That’s up to you to determine in the sales call. This is a feel kind of thing. You got to feel it out. All right, what’s the most relevant way to ask this question? So we’ll just say, hey, how many how many leads would you like the website to bring in every month? Okay? Now, this is a critical question because one, it gives you a good idea of how easy or hard it’s going to be to achieve. Number two, it gives you an opening to talk numbers. And three, it lets you know how realistic their expectations are. If their expectations are way, way, way out of line with reality, your job now is to hone them into reality, right? Here’s a realistic number. Or, yeah, I can get you that many leads, but how much money you got, right?

Like this, and you’re going to see how this bleeds right into the money conversation, right? But gives you a good idea of how easy hard it’ll be to achieve. If the goal that they have scares you, doesn’t mean you’re disqualified from the project, but it means you got to get serious. You got to really pay attention here and really figure out how you’re going to get this done. And then it gives you the opening to talk numbers, which is very, very, very important. So let’s say they want 50 leads a month. Now you ask, you got to get more specific, right? Now you can ask things like, well, how many leads does it typically take you to close a sale? Because I tell businesses this all the time, I’m very upfront with them. When they tell me we need more leads, I tell them you can’t pay your bills with leads. You can’t pay your people with leads, right?

I can get you leads, but can you close the leads? And how many leads do I need to get you in order to close a lead? That’s a very, very important part of the conversation. And by the way, this is something that a lot of agencies and freelancers won’t even touch or talk about. They’ll, the client will say, hey, I want more leads. Agency’s like, oh, we can get you more leads, right? And you know that the agency doesn’t actually care about the outcome because they’re not asking about the outcome. You should be asking about the outcome. Be upfront with your client. Be like, hey, I can get you leads. Problem is you can’t pay your bills with leads. And they’re going to agree with you on that. And they’re going to love the fact that you acknowledged that.

And they’re going to love the fact that you care about the bottom line, which is them actually getting sales and growing revenue and things like that. So how many leads does it typically take you to close a sale? And what’s the average price of a sale when somebody buys? You’re getting more detail in these answers, right? And you should be jotting these notes down. And you should also be able to do some math quick on your feet. I’m not a mathematician. I can’t do stuff quick on my feet in math. I have this, it’s a real actual condition. I don’t know what it’s called. I don’t know the name of it. I should probably look it up. But it’s basically people who can’t do math in public. Like if I’m sitting in a room by myself, I can do math.

All right. But if I’m in public, my brain stops working when I do math. All right? So I’m doing these little calculator. I’m doing these on Zoom calls or whatever. They can’t even see what I’m doing. I look like I’m writing notes down. I’m just doing some quick calculations and stuff like that. Because they’re not always going to give you straightforward numbers either. But here’s an example. If it takes some five leads to close a sale, each sales worth $5,000, you get them 50 leads, you’re going to get them 10 sales, you’re going to make them $50,000.

And if that’s happening every single month, that’s $50,000 a month in revenue that’s coming in through this website. So if that’s the case, if that’s a reality, if the website you build them generates $50,000 a month, how much do you think they should pay for that website? Now suddenly, you’re like, oh, this can be a $2,500 website. Sounds like you’re getting robbed, my friend. Sounds like you’re not getting paid for the value that you are helping produce. Now you get to see when I talk about value-based pricing, where these kinds of conversations come in, and how you can leverage these details in your pricing. All right, so now that you have specifics, you can continue to inject those specifics into the conversation throughout the entire call.

This is much more effective than talking about getting leads, generically. So here’s a quote that you can say right off the bat. You just collected this new detailed information. So you can say something like, 50 leads a month is a makeable target for sure. Now you’re coming in with confidence here. You’ve already determined it in your mind. That’s a doable target. They didn’t give me some outlandish number, like they won 500 leads a month or anything like that. All right, 50 leads a month is a makeable target for sure. Do you already have a plan for how you’re going to drive the traffic needed to hit that goal, or is that something you’d like our help with?

So now you can see, you’re already upselling. You’re about to put yourself squarely in the advisor role because they almost never have a plan. They almost never have a plan. They know what they want. They might know where they want to get to, but they almost never have a plan. And so you’re asking them straight up, do you have a plan? For how this is going to work? And again, in their mind, they’re hiring a web designer. Somebody to push pixels around. They didn’t even realize, until now, that they’re on the phone with you, that you’re actually able to steer this digital ship for them. You’re able to actually take them from point A to point B and then to point C and D and E and F and G and H and Z.

That is, again, super critical for them understanding, hey, dude, you’re not talking to a pixel pusher. You’re talking to a consultant. And that is going to drive up your value tremendously. And you’re just doing this by asking questions. You’re not telling them, hey, I’m a consultant. I’m an advisor. You’re just asking questions. Like, that’s a makeable target for sure. Do you have a plan for how you’re going to drive the traffic needed to hit that goal? Or is that something you’d like our help with? And they say, well, now that I know you can help with that, I guess we would like your help with that, because we don’t have a plan.

All right, so let’s get into step three. Now that they’ve said, yeah, we would need your help with that. If that’s the direction we’re going to go, great. Now you got to qualify them. And this is, we move swiftly and easily and smoothly in from, you just gave me these numbers. Now let’s talk numbers, right? So we’re going to throw out a budget range. Now we’re going to see if they flinch. The sooner you talk price in these calls, the better. You need to make sure that the prospect has realistic expectations and that this isn’t all a waste of time. So we needed to make sure they had realistic expectations in terms of the goals that they have for the website. Now we need to make sure they have realistic expectations in terms of what they’re willing to pay for the website.

So we’re going to pause the discussion. We’re going to make sure that the person you’re talking to has the willingness to invest in this website that they’re asking for that’s going to generate them $50,000 a month, by the way, if we can hit our initial goal that they had for this website. And there’s a critical piece of wording in this paragraph right here. It says, make sure the person you’re talking to has the willingness to invest. A lot of you tell me, my clients can’t afford that. My prospects can’t afford those prices. I will tell you right now, take it 100% afford it, right? They can 100% afford it.

You haven’t put them in a position where they’re willing to afford it, right? Or they’re just cheap skates. Some people are just cheap skates. And no matter how much value you have, they’re not willing to pay for value. Those people you need to get rid of ASAP. But the worst thing a lot of you are doing is you’re taking people who have the money and you’re making them not willing to spend it on you. They’re going to go spend it on somebody else. They’re not going to spend it on you for whatever reason. There’s a lot of reasons you might be putting them in that position. One of them we’re going to talk about the very end of this, which is you’re coming across as desperate.

You’re coming across as not experienced. You’re coming across as not confident. You’re coming across as not having a process. You’re coming across a lot of ways that says, don’t pay me a lot of money, right? Don’t pay me a lot of money. Go pay somebody else a lot of money. So we need to make sure that you qualify based on willingness to pay. And a lot of clients, by the way, they think, like they have the money, but they don’t think they should have to spend it. And you have to make them understand why this costs the way that it does. And then they’re going to be fine with it.

No problem. So here’s what you say in a situation like this. We can definitely design a website and a digital marketing plan. Notice how I just went from website to website plus digital marketing plan. We can definitely design a website and a digital marketing plan that can get your company 50 leads a month, inject details, inject details, didn’t say they can get your company leads, right? They can get your company 50 leads a month, which sounds like it would generate around $50,000 a month for you. Now I’m bringing value onto those leads, details, right? So there’s hearing that number again.

They’re hearing 50,000 a month, 50,000 a month, 50,000 a month. I’m confident about that. My question for you is about budget. As we slide into the next part of this conversation, we’re getting into the money now. Now how you handle this part depends on the info that you’ve collected thus far. So if you’re talking to somebody who wants a website for a brand new business and it sounds like they have a low budget, remember I said that doesn’t always the case. But if it’s sounding like they have a low budget, you need to use your project minimum as a benchmark. We’re not going to go below your agency’s project minimum ever, ever.

That is how you go bankrupt. That is how you get stuck in an endless cycle of a project to project cash flow, right? Always needing another project to come in the door because you’re out of money. That’s what happens when you go below your project minimum. You’re never going to go below your project minimum. And if you don’t have a project minimum, you need to set a project minimum. And if your project minimum is currently too low, you need to raise your project minimum. But we’re never going below our project minimum. So we get a person on the phone who sounds like they don’t have a pile of money sitting around for this website.

You’re going to use your project minimum as a benchmark. If they can’t meet your project minimum, they are not a good fit. Hang up, click, goodbye, right? But I mean, we’re going to tell them that in a nice way. But that’s the end of the story. You’re not going to go out on a limb for this person and feel bad for them. And you really want the business because you got bills to pay, even if you’re a project to project, even if you’re cash flow poor, right? You’re not going to go below your project minimum. Because you will never get out of the hole doing projects at your project minimum. And if you say yes to this project, below your project minimum, and a project comes to you next week, you can’t say yes to that one, too.

Now you’re providing a bad experience, right? So there’s lost opportunity cost in saying yes. You need to learn to say no, and then go find somebody who will say yes, all right? So here’s the next part of this discussion. And this is for the person who you feel like they don’t have a website, they’re kind of low budget, whatever. Our minimum to design and build a new website is $5,000. Does that feel low or high to you? And so you’re not saying, do you have that money? Does that match your budget? Definitely don’t ask them what their budget is. I never ask a client what their budget is because the client’s never going to tell me what their budget is.

Very, very rarely is the client going to tell what their budget is, right? So we’re asking them what prices sound like to them. And so we have a project minimum of $5,000. It’s a very simple question. Our minimum to design and build a new website is $5,000. Does that feel low or high to you? And this is where you gauge their response, right? I’m not going to get into all of the negotiation aspects. This is going to be a different training. But we’re going to assume, because this is a discovery call, and we’re going to continue with the call, that they say that they can meet that $5,000 minimum. All right?

Now, if they have an established business, and obviously they have money. We don’t know how much money they have, but it’s obvious that they have money. We’re going to go with the price bracketing approach instead of throwing out a range instead of using our project minimum. So we’re not even going to worry about the project minimum. We’re above our project minimum now, because we’ve established they have money, right? And so we’re going to just throw out a range for them. So I’m going to, here’s the quote that we would say. The last few sites we did, so you’re telling them, I have other clients. You’re also telling them, I have other clients that pay the amount I’m about to throw out here, because I’m not just making pull in this shit out of my butt, right?

We do this. This is what we do. We’re an agency, right? And so we have clients, and clients pay this. So they can’t, this automatically defeats the that price is too high. We can’t be too high, because I have other people that pay it, right? It might sound too high to you, but it’s not too high in general. Like that’s not, that’s a subjective coming from your brain. That’s not an objective reality, all right? So this, this like wording just automatically kind of defeats that frame of mind. So the last few sites we did, they’re similar to what you’re wanting, we’re between 10,000 and 20,000, is that within the range you were thinking?

So I’m just asking them questions. We’re just trying to see how they feel, see how they react to questions like this. Now how do you come up with the range? Well, the range needs to coincide with the scope of the website they’re wanting. You should know what this is, because you review their existing website prior to this call. So you know what the scope of the website is. Very rarely does a company have a five page website, and they’re like, we need a 500 page website. Now you’re throwing at a big range too, right? So you have a lot of room to maneuver, but you should have a general idea of, is this gonna be a 10,000 to 20,000 site, or is this gonna be a 25 to 50,000 site, or is this gonna be a 50 to 100,000 site?

Like you know, right? And you could throw out whatever ranges you want, but small ranges aren’t helpful whatsoever. You can’t be like, do you wanna, well, the last client we did this for spent between $5,500 and $6,000. Like that’s an absolutely useless range. You want a big range to work with, all right? Also, keep in mind that this range is for phase one of their new website. You’re trying to land a phase one project here. You’re not trying to sell them everything under the sun up front. You’re trying to give them what they need right now, and then you’re gonna impress the heck out of them and build a great relationship with them so that you can get ongoing work to add to their website over time, to manage their website, to do the marketing for their website, all of that stuff.

So you’re just thinking, hey, phase one, what can I get I’m a great website for? The higher the price goes, the bigger the range needs to get. So once it’s over $20,000, I typically start going in $25,000 increments, like 25 to 50 or 50 to 75 or 75 to 100. Sometimes if it’s a large, large, large website, but it may have some complication in there, I might be like 50 to 100. But that, if the range is too big, you start to run into a problem on the opposite side of things, where they’ll be like, yeah, but if there is a lower end, but they really need it, the higher end, we’re all set and done.

It’s really hard to make that jump. So I think that a $25,000 range is a really safe range to be in on those higher priced projects. When you use a range, you can use price bracketing to figure out what their actual budget is, assuming they’re within the range. And again, there’s gonna be prospects who are like, man, that’s not close to that range. And so you’re gonna have to go into a negotiation period. That’s gonna be in a separate training. For the purposes of this discovery called training, we’re gonna pretend that you throw out a range, and they say they nod. Yes, okay, that’s within the range, all right? So if they say that range is what they expected, you can’t stop there.

This is where the actual bracketing comes in. You’ve set a bracket, but we need to, we need to make the wall start closing in on this bracket a little bit, right? So your goal now is to get a better feel for their actual budget. Let’s say the range was $10,000 to $20,000. And I know there’s a lot of you out there who can’t fathom doing a website for $10,000 or $20,000, or maybe even $7,500, right? You’re nowhere near that right now. You’re going to be there. If you keep watching these trainings and you keep interacting in the inner circle and you keep interacting with me, and like you’re going to get there.

And so this is going to be a reality for you very, very, very soon. So play with it, right? Put this in your mind that this is going to be a reality for you very soon. So we say perfect. Will we have, pay attention to how the stuff is worded. It’s very important. Will we have the full $20,000 to work with or do we need to be on the lower end of that range? So I’m kind of letting them know when I ask that question, hey, if you give me that full $20,000, I can do a lot with it, right? But if we have to be on the lower end of that range, I probably can’t do as much, right?

So I’m not going to have the full $20,000 to work with, to do my thing, right? If we’re on the lower end of that range. But at the same time, it’s a non-threatening question. They’ve agreed to the range pretty much. Now they’re just going to tell us kind of where they are in that range. And it’s kind of a, I’m giving them the possible answers, right? It’s multiple choice. Yes, you have the full $20,000, or no, we need to be on the lower end of that range. So there’s always nuance to these discussions, obviously. But you should be able to dial things in pretty well. Best of all, you’ve already overcome any price objections and sticker shock issues.

They’ve already pretty much agreed on what they’re going to spend. So you throw out a range, maybe you’re thinking 15 for this website. You throw out a range 10 to 20. It would be nice if you had $20,000 to work with for this project. But if they’re like, now we’re on the lower end of that, you pretty much know that if you give them a proposal at $12,500, you’re going to get them to say yes, right? So they said they’re between 10 and 20, $12,500 toward the bottom end of that. You’re probably going to get them to say yes. If you have justification for them needing to be at $15,000, which you wanted in the first place, you can probably pretty easily get them to $15.

And then we can get them way beyond this later on. Once we wow them at $12,500 or wow them at $15,000 with this initial phase one, we’re going to be able to get more out of them in the future and do. And it’s not getting things out of them. And like, oh, we got to get as much money as we get. You’re going to be able to drive more value and more results for the business. So that’s why you’re getting more out of it. OK, so that should be obvious to people, right? We’re not about scamming people or not about sleazy sales and all of this other stuff. It all comes down to the value, right? You’re going to give a lot of value to this company. They’ve got to give a lot of value to you and respect you as a consultant and advisor and not a pixel pusher and things like that.

If for some reason they object to the range or they flinch at the prices you throw out, you’re going to need to immediately work to overcome price objections. We’re going to cover that in a separate training for this training. We’ll proceed by pretending you have a serious prospect that isn’t a cheap skate. That’s not, I just, I threw a little salt in there. But it’s, there are some cheap skates out there. Some people that you can’t turn around. But there are some legitimate people who absolutely want to pay for your value and they just can’t pay that much right now. And if that’s the kind of person that you’re working with, you don’t have to say no to them.

There are other avenues that we can take. That’s going to be in a separate training. This is a discovery call training, okay? All right, so step four. We got to get clear on features and functionality. We’ve qualified this person. Now we got to dive into more details on the actual what we’re going to do here. What are we going to deliver? All right? So typically what I do at this stage of the call is I pull up their existing website on screen share and I walk through it with them. Very important to like make this stuff interactive. You definitely need to know what pages need to stay, which pages can get removed.

They might have some stuff that, hey, we don’t need that anymore. When you go to scope this website out, you don’t want to be including pages like that because it’s driving up the cost for no reason. You want to spend that money on stuff that actually matters. So you need to know what pages need to stay and which, which pages need to go. You need to know if there are any really important features that might be more technical in nature that you need to rebuild or replicate. Keep an eye out for those things because if you forget to scope them in, that’s going to be a big problem. And I have another training on scoping website projects.

So I’m just kind of flying through this. You need to know if there are any third party tools involved that need to be migrated. The point is though that you’re doing this on screen share with the client. So they see the time you’re investing in this. They see the things you’re thinking about and the level of detail that you’re getting into makes them really confident that you are the right choice for this. You need to know if there’s anything missing from their existing site that they’ll need on the news site. And if you notice things, here’s Mission Critical. This is a huge area of sales. If you notice things that are missing, sell them those things.

For example, if I know that SEO is important to a client but their existing site has no service area pages, I sell them on the concept of having service area pages. I show them what those are, why they’re important. We go into detail on that. That way when they see them on the proposal, they’re not like, what are these? Why do I need those? They already know what they’re for. I also pull up their site on a tool like A-TRIF. I show them their current SEO status versus their competitors. Anytime you can show metrics and data, and anytime you can take those metrics and data and compare it to a company’s competitors, they get really fucking interested.

They are like, that’s, we need to step our game up. And since you’re showing me this stuff, sounds like you’re the person to help us step our game up. That’s kind of the conclusion that you want them to arrive at. If I notice issues with things like copy and conversion optimization and user experience, I’ve got to point those things out and talk about how we would fix those issues. Just do it in a positive way. You don’t want to trash their website. For all you know, their great anti-Mary did this website for them. And you start going through and trashing it. And they’re like, wow, you hate my aunt. So I guess I don’t know. I say aunt.

So I don’t like them anymore. So don’t trash anything that’s gone on with their existing website. Just point out some things that you think could be greatly improved. And again, this shows them the level of detail and knowledge and expertise that you have when you’re looking at a website and how to make it better. And so they know when you’re designing their new one, these are the thoughts and ideas that are going to be baked into that new website. This makes the call very interactive while giving them a lot of key insights that they probably had no idea about. Once again, this makes you a consultant and not a pixel pusher.

Let’s move on to step five. Now you walk them through your process. And by the way, and that member has said painting a picture of their new website and what it can be and what it can do, that all happens in stage four. When you’re walking through it with them, very, very, very easy to paint the picture. Now we just walk them through the process of, all right, we said all those things we’re going to deliver. Here’s how we’re going to actually deliver them. And here’s how we’re going to make sure that this is done on time and on budget and ultimately gets the results that you’re looking for. So once they’re qualified and you’ve pretty much settled on a price, it’s time to discuss the how of getting all of this done.

If you don’t already have a rock solid process, watch my training on that and get one implemented ASAP. I have a training on process. Prospects want to know that you can get their project from start to finish smoothly and that you can make their project run like clockwork. Here’s how it sounds when I walk clients through our process at Digital Gravy. And I want you to pay very close attention to how the process walk through cells, services that they are going to see in the proposal so that they’re not blindsided by all these things we’re going to do. You’re not blindsided because I already walked you through all the things we’re going to do.

That’s very important. You don’t want the proposal to be a summary of everything that was covered and with all of the insights reiterated, you don’t want it to slap them in the face like, wow, we didn’t talk about any of this stuff because now what happens is there’s a lot of questions. We need to get back on another call. You want to avoid that. So we’re walking them through everything right now. Okay, and this is how I open, right? So I say, okay, let’s talk process now and how we’re actually going to get this done for you. There’s an pay attention to the embedded cells in here that doesn’t actually sound a lot like cells, right?

There’s seven steps and it’s important for you to know what they are so we’re on the same page. In fact, I think it’s important for them to know what they are because my process is a sales tool, right? And my process is very important and a lot of agencies don’t follow my process and I’m going to tell them that right upfront. Most agencies only have two to three steps which causes a lot of issues and projects like this. I want them to pay attention to the seven steps because there’s a lot of sales baked into the seven steps but I also want them to know that if you go to an agency, if you choose to somebody who’s not me and they don’t follow a process like this, there’s a good chance the project is going to go off the rails and you don’t want that nightmare on your hands.

So pay attention, right? All right, so here we go. The first thing we’re going to do is discovery. We need to dive deep into your brand, your processes, your services, SEO research, and your competitors. This is a key step that most agencies don’t do but it’s part of the secret sauce when it comes to UX design, copywriting, ranking and conversion optimization. So I’m selling discovery right now. So Nett and if you watch my training on discovery and how to add $1,500 to every website project you do, I’m selling that $1,500 right now, right? So when they see discovery on there for $1,500, they know exactly why we’re doing it.

And I explained it a little bit more in detail. This is kind of the cliff notes, right? But I explained that I want to know your brand as good as you do. I care that much about your company. I care that much about getting you results that I’m going to do that legwork. Now, I’m not going to do that legwork for free, but I am going to do that legwork. And we’re going to bake everything that we learn into your new website. The next step is UX design. We put a lot of thought and expertise into the layout of each page by building detailed wire frames. This makes design and development smoother and more predictable.

And it gives you an opportunity to approve layout and content flow before we actually code anything. So yes, I’m explaining part of the process, but I’m selling them on the concept of doing wire frames. This is a thing that I bill for. And a thing that I recommend you bill for. Now, why are we doing that? Are we doing that just to inflate the cost of the project? That’s is this what the client’s thinking? No, they know why we’re doing it. Because it makes design and development smoother and more predictable. And it gives you an opportunity to approve layout and content flow before we actually code anything, which means we don’t ever have to move backwards in our project.

We can always move forwards. And everything that needs to be there is there. And nothing is missing at the end. The next step is UI design. We pass off the initial wire frames to our design team. I’m letting them know, hey, there’s other people involved that I need to pay here, right? This isn’t just me. I’m not just your sole pixel pusher. We have a team of experts who are going to be working on this project for you. That comes with the added expense. And it’s expertise. That comes with added expense, right? So we pass off the initial wire frames to our design team.

And they do the hard work of creating detailed mockups of how your website will actually look and feel. Once again, you get to provide input during this step so we can get the website looking exactly how you want before we start coding. So I’m selling the design. I’m selling the mockups. I’m selling the UI style guide. I’m selling everything that happens in the UI design phase. During the design phase, we also start working on copy and content. Copywriting is one of the most important parts of a website. I’m just talking about my process. But I just sold them discovery. I just sold them wire frames.

I just sold them mockups. Now I’m selling them copywriting, right? Copywriting is one of the most important parts of a website. How your website looks is important, but what your website says determines whether it’s successful or not. Our copywriting team is amazing at crafting copy that gets people to convert. Check this out. Remember the details from earlier painting pictures? If we’re going to get you 50 leads a month, it’s going to require professionally written copy. So I’m telling them, if we’re going to get that goal you had, I’m talking specifics, we need to do this. All right, so I’m selling them on the copywriting.

Once you’ve approved the wire frames in the UI design and we’re starting to get a solid handle on copy and content, we move right into development. And since we’ve gotten all our ducks in a row with the previous steps, development goes very smoothly. This is the step where we actually build your new website and we take great care to make sure it looks and works great across all devices. So I’m hitting on things like responsiveness that a lot of clients care about. But what am I also doing? I’m telling them because we’ve gotten all of our ducks in a row, which basically says, if we don’t do discovery, don’t do wire frames, don’t do UI design, we won’t have all of our ducks in a row.

So there’s critical steps that you need to pay for that are part of this process, right? Development’s going to go very smoothly. All right, so I want them to know that this process is going to go very smoothly. This is another area that sets us apart from other agencies. We’re very technical with our development and we take great care to make sure that there are two important features. One, that your site is built for scalability. And two, that your site is built with the latest accessibility standards in mind. Why is my development maybe a little bit pricier than other agencies because of the things that we think about and the things that we implement in our development process?

And I explain it a little bit to them. Making your website scalable means that it’s easy to add new pages and functionality, make changes as your business evolves. Everybody knows that their business is going to evolve and ensure that you’re never locked into a template or a platform that doesn’t do what you need it to do. So obviously, they want to make sure that they’re not locked into a platform that doesn’t allow them what they need to do. That’s automatically in my later discussions, defeats square space, defeats wicks, defeats themes for WordPress. Like, right, we want to be in an open box concept that allows us to do anything that you guys need us to do.

That’s what we give you. So yeah, it might be a little bit more expensive, but we’re not putting you into a situation that’s ultimately going to harm your business’s growth, okay? Or make you have to build this website again at some point. Making your website accessible, which most agencies won’t do, ensures that people with physical or cognitive disabilities can still use your website. This is important for user experience and it also protects you from accessibility lawsuits which are becoming very common. In my experience, it’s easier to sell accessibility and make the case for accessibility. If you talk about legalities, then if you talk about user experience and serving a small percentage of more visitors, right?

Even people who are empathetic to people with disabilities don’t necessarily want to invest a lot of money in those people, right? But if you talk about legalities, suddenly people’s ears perk up, right? If somebody’s from HR on the call, oh, what, you say legal, right? They want to know now. And this sets you apart from other people that they might be getting bids from. Another huge benefit of working with us is that you get to monitor development 24-7. We build your site on a live development server with a private URL so you can check in on our progress whenever you’d like.

Many agencies develop behind the scenes so you’re always in the dark. We prefer full transparency. So right there, huge selling point, right? That’s worth extra money. If you’re gonna develop live where I can see it versus keep me in the dark, hey, I’ll probably pay more if I can just see it live all the time and check up on you whenever I want. As we start to wrap up development, we do a round of final checks. This is a stage six right here. We do a round of final checks and then move into the punch list phase. We encourage you to create a punch list of any issues or minor changes you want to make and then we aim to make those changes within a week.

Once those changes are made, we put your site live for the world to see. So now I’m educating them on, yeah, it goes smoothly up through development, but when we’re done with development, we’re not necessarily like taking you out of the picture, like all your decisions were made already. We’re giving you this final punch list phase. You get to review the website. We can make some changes before we go live. It’s not a problem. That’s how it works. That’s our process. The final step, once your site is live is to start managing it and marketing it for you.

It’s going to need ongoing maintenance and new updates and it’s going to need a specific marketing plan in place to get you those 50 leads a month. See that specific goal coming back into every phase of this call? We have a monthly management and marketing plan that covers all this, which will outline in the proposal. Okay? I got to keep selling it. You got to give a little bit more value here, right? This management marketing piece is very important. I’m sure you’ve heard the quote, if you build it, they will come. Well, the internet isn’t field of dreams. If we build you a website and just let it sit there, your people will never come.

It needs to be actively managed and marketed online and we’ll put a specific plan together for what that looks like. All right, so we’re letting them know. If we just build you a website, you ain’t getting 50 leads a month. Okay, it’s not going to happen. We need a management and marketing plan in place in order to get to that goal that you initially told us you needed. Now guys, this is another low end $24,000, right? $2,000 a month, $1,000 a month, maybe $12,000. If you go on the low end, for some clients, this could be $60,000 extra in your pocket. This could be $120,000 extra in your pocket.

I have a $12,500 management and marketing retainer with one of my clients. Okay, so you’re seeing these numbers about doing, oh, I don’t think I’ll ever get to 10,000 with a website build. Well, with that client, it was a big website build, but the retainer that came with it is even bigger just for management and marketing, right? So you don’t have to do a $50,000 website. You can do a $10,000 website and then make $40,000 in management marketing per year for that client, right? That’s a possibility. I don’t know how those ratios work out, but maybe that’s not super accurate, but you get the point, right?

It’s not all, if you can do the management and marketing piece really well, then the website is just one part of what you’re doing. And so yeah, you might do a $15,000, $20,000 website, but over the life of that client or over the year with that client, you’ve actually generated $40,000 or $60,000, or what have you. All right, so then I close the process talk with this. That’s the seven step process. We follow to make sure every site gets from point A to point B on time, on budget without fail. Is that more or less involved than you imagined? Critical question. You see, hi, often in these closures with questions to get more feedback to check in with the person that I’m talking to, but this question right here, is that more or less involved than you imagined?

Because I can guarantee you, you walk to me through a process like this. Remember, this is a person who’s like, I need a pixel pusher to design me a new website. They had no idea that all of this stuff is involved. They had no idea that all of this stuff is really, really important to be thinking about and doing. And they had no idea why you would give them the price, you gave them, and now they know. Because what they’re gonna answer this question with is, it’s a lot more involved than I imagined. And there you go. There’s your answer for why is it more money than I imagined? That’s it. You just married those two things together.

In fact, you asked them to marry those two things. They just did it for you by answering the question, right? So they’re acknowledging that’s a lot more involved than I thought it was. But they see why. It’s not just there’s more to it, and I don’t wanna do it, it’s there’s more to it, and you’re right. We need to be thinking about all this stuff. We need an expert. We need a consultant. We need an advisor who can make sure all this stuff is happening. I wanna make sure I touch on the timeline too. For site like yours, we aim to get the site finished and live in 60 to 90 days.

That’s ideal. We don’t rush it or cut corners, but we don’t take six months to get the site done either. Will that timeline work for you or do we need to look at other options? Again, just ending it with a simple question. Check in with them. Get some feedback from them. And don’t just say, what do you think, right? Like give them kind of a detailed question. Will that timeline work for you or do we need to look at other options? Now you legitimately need to know this. If they’re like, no, like we’re actually late on this project as we speak, we need to shit down to 45 days.

Okay, well guess what? We can expedite it, but that’s gonna cost more money, right? That’s where that conversation goes. Or if they’re like, yeah, we’re in no rush, 60, 90 days sounds good. Cool. All right, that’s our timeline then. All right, step six. Tell them what the next step is and make sure they feel zero pressure. This is so important. If they feel pressure, if they feel icky, you’re creating a barrier to getting them to yes, eventually, right? Your goal is not to get a green light on this call.

You’ve done most of the selling, but there’s no need to go for the close. Zero reason to go for the close on this call. Because you haven’t even given them a proposal yet, right? So the next step is to work up a custom proposal and send it over to the prospect for review. And guys, I’ve done a training on what a proposal is supposed to include, what a proposal is supposed to look like. I think I even gave you the template. You’re fully equipped to do this part of it, right? You’re fully equipped to do this follow up. So I say, all right, so what I’m going to do is get with my team. Again, it ain’t just me, it ain’t just a pixel pusher over here.

I’m going to get with my team. We’re going to work up a custom proposal. The documents, a lot of what we talked about. List every single deliverable in a statement of work, something that a lot of agencies will not do. You’re going to give them such tremendous detail, right? They know exactly what they’re going to get. And clearly outlines the pricing options. Sound good? All right. And then of course they say yes, because usually you’ve been on the call for an hour now, right? They’re like, okay, I’m excited. I just, I want the details, right? Give me the details.

So then I just say, they say yes, I say awesome. I’m excited about this. I think we can knock this out of the park for you. Get you a beautiful, I’m painting a picture again, right? We got to close a little picture painting. I think we can knock this side out, this out of the park for you. Get you a beautiful new website. Hit that goal of 50 leads a month, specifics, injection, inject specifics, right? And keep it close to that $16,000 price we talked about. Now in this, maybe they were like, we’re kind of, I bracketed them into the middle somewhere. Remember we said 10, 20. Maybe I ended up bracketing them to where I could figure out that, hey, 15, 16, that’s going to be really comfortable for them.

I inject that knowledge into this closing right here. So I can keep it as close to that $16,000 price we talked about. Is there anything else that your company needs that we haven’t discussed that you might want me to include in the proposal, right? So now I say, hey, $16,000, but I also say, if there’s extra shit you think about, right? It’s going to be more than $16,000. But we can do it, we can absolutely do it. But you’re not just going to be able to pile more deliverables into that $16,000, okay? All right, final, final thoughts. The number one, basically I’m going to give you three keys to success here. The number one key to a successful sales discovery call is positive indifference.

You’re positive in the sense that you’re excited about the opportunity, but you’re indifferent as to whether or not they end up choosing you. And when I do my training or when you watch my training on overcoming objections, you’re going to see how aggressively indifferent I am sometimes, to where when they say like, oh, that sounds a little bit high, I’ll be very direct in walking them through some things. Not, and it’s not from, let me keep selling you on this. In fact, it’s almost from a position of, maybe I’m not the right fit for you, right? And why do you really want to work with me? Because I need to get that person to sell themselves on working with me. I don’t want to sell, I don’t want to convince them.

Because I’m always in a position when I have to convince somebody to work with me that that’s always the relationship. It’s like, ah, you convinced me to work with you. I never wanted to do it. You convinced me, right? Versus if you can get the person that convinced themselves that they need to work with you, that’s the position that governs the relationship all the time. They chose you, right? You try to get rid of them and they chose you. They came back, right? So that’s always a more powerful position to be in. This comes from positive indifference.

If you look at the most successful people in the world, they are pretty much positively indifferent at all times, right? This is the opposite of desperate. If you come across as desperate or pushy, it lowers your status, it makes you less desirable. The number two key is asking questions and listening. Always be asking questions, gather more specifics, achieve more clarity, take what they give you and show them how you’ll work with it. The number three key is that you can’t just follow a script or an outline on these calls. You have to play off the person you’re talking to. It does take experience, it does take practice. None of my discovery calls sound the same, except for the part where I outline our process.

Everything else is different. It goes in the same general order, but sometimes it goes in a different order. I have to play off the person that I’m talking to. For the most part, it goes in the same order that I outlined here, but all the details are different, except when I get to the process part, because the process is the process. And so now I might inject other details while I’m talking about the process that I’ve gathered from them on earlier parts of the call, but by and large, the process is the only thing that you can almost script. Aside from injecting a few different details here and there, or a story or two in there.

But everything else, you just gotta feel it. You gotta feel your way through it. You gotta know what the goal is. You gotta know what your attitude needs to be, that positive and difference attitude, confidence, being able to communicate the confidence, not go into salesman mode, pushy mode, don’t be desperate. Like, you’ve gotta take these tools and navigate the call based on what’s happening. That’s the hard part of it. That’s the part that takes practice. So that’s it. That’s the training on a discovery call. Now, what I’m thinking about doing, if you’re interested, I need you guys to comment below.

Let me know if you’re interested. We can do some mock discovery calls, where we actually role play, we get on a call. I can, if you guys do it together, I can do it, whatever one personal act is a customer, a client, a prospect, the other personal act is the agency owner, and we’ll listen to you guys do a sales call together. And then we’ll pause in different areas and say, why the hell did you say that? Whatever will make it valuable, we’ll practice. If that’s something you guys are interested in, let me know down below. I need some comments. I need to know that that’s the direction you wanna go in.

We can absolutely go in that direction. But that’s it. If you have questions, drop those below as well. And if you have discovery calls, the other thing we can do, I do coaching, I do consulting, right? If you record your discovery calls with people and you want me to review them and coach you on what you could have done better in the discovery call for, and what you can do better for next time, I do that stuff all the time, right? So all you have to do is ping me and schedule a coaching session, and we can do it together, right? But you have to record the calls, obviously, a front, probably get permission to record the call, depending on now, I’m in a state where you don’t have to get permission to record calls, but check with your legal department, right?

I’m not gonna tell you to do something that’s illegal, obviously. You just need to make sure that you have a recording we can actually listen to and that you obtain that recording legally. All right, other than that, and I can stop talking to you guys in a small circle. Why, why don’t we just go back to camera here? Other than that, that’s the end of this training. Let’s discuss it. Let’s go further with it if you guys want to. I’m out, cheers.