Episode 60: Discovery Call Planning: How to Close the Deal

In the last three episodes of the show, we’ve been talking about discovery call planning and on today’s episode, we are taking the next step in the discovery call process — closing the sale.

If you’ve been following along in this series, you’ll know we’ve been talking all about how to run a discovery call so that it’s a compelling and enticing journey for your prospect, and if you follow the five steps we outlined and covered in the previous three episodes, then asking for the sales is the natural next step, and it can feel totally aligned, comfortable, and natural. There is absolutely no need to feel weird or salesy.

Let’s quickly review the five steps to running your discovery call.

Remember, all five of these things happen BEFORE you EVER get to offering something to your prospect:

  • Clarify their goals.
  • Agitate their current problem.
  • Emotionally connect to what their problem is costing them right now.
  • Paint a picture of a better tomorrow.
  • Prove you have done it before.

So now that you’ve done that and set the stage, what’s next? How can you transition from these great conversations into making the sale without feeling squirmy and weird about asking for the sale?

If you’ve followed the five steps, this will feel natural once you’ve practiced it a few times. 🙂

Biggest Show Takeaways:

      • Most of the time — probably 80-90% of the time — when I follow the five-step discovery call process, I don’t even have to transition. The person I’m talking to usually says something like, “Michelle, that sounds like exactly what I want. How can we work together?”
      • For the few times when the person doesn’t ask me first, there are two main ways that I’ll transition from the discovery call conversation into asking for the sale.
      • Way #1: The Next Step Close  
          • I invite the person to agree that they’ve got a challenge, and they want to hear how I’ll help them solve that challenge. Remember, if you did step 1 correctly  — which I talked about in episode #58 — you’ve already gotten their agreement that we’ll talk about how I can help them.
        • Here’s how I might transition:  
            • ‘Cheryl, we’ve been talking about how you’ve tried so many marketing things but they’re just not working. You aren’t attracting the right people. You’re not making sales consistently, and it just feels like an overwhelming puzzle to figure out. If I could show you exactly how I’d help you solve this in your business, is this something you’d want to see?’
            • I’m asking for her permission to continue having this conversation as we move into the sales piece, but you can see how it’s a natural extension of your conversation — not something I’m just springing on her out of the blue.
          • I’m not leading with the number of calls she’ll get or the number of emails or anything like that. I’m leading with her desire — attracting the right people and making consistent sales.
    • Way #2: The Confident Close  
        • I like this close as well, but I don’t use it as often based on my own sales style. It’s really effective though when you do use it.
        • This close is a way of summarizing and confirming with the prospect how you can help them solve the challenge that they’ve been telling you about in your conversation.
      • There’s no need to pitch or hard sell your offer. Instead, you confidently move into the next conversation with a statement such as:  
        • Cheryl, based on everything we’ve been talking about today — including how frustrating it has been for you to figure out a marketing approach that attracts the right people so that you consistently have new sales coming in — I really think a marketing funnel will be perfect for you. I’d love to outline my ideas for your marketing funnel and schedule a time to review it so that you can see how simple and straightforward making consistent sales can be. What does your schedule look like next Tuesday?’
    • I’ve had success with both types of closes, but for me, it feels more comfortable to go with the first one. I’d suggest you try these two ways out for yourself and see what fits you best.
    • Before we wrap this series up, I want to share three extra tips with you that I’ve found INVALUABLE in running great discovery calls…
  • Tip #1: PRACTICE
    • Find a peer, a friend, a mentor, or a coach and PRACTICE your discovery call. Practice the questions you’ll ask. Practice the answers they’ll give and how you’d respond. Practice transitioning from questions to sales. Practice, practice, practice.
    • Spending a couple hours practicing will give you SO MUCH confidence. It’s worth it!
    • Before you just start recording things willy-nilly, be sure you know the recording laws of where you live because they’re drastically different.
    • When I record calls, I’ll usually say something like, “If it’s ok with you, I’ll record our call today. That way we won’t have to stress out about taking detailed notes and can focus on our conversation.”
    • After your call, I encourage you to listen to it. You might want to wait until you have a few calls saved up but listen with an observer’s mind. Listen to the questions you asked. Listen to the person’s responses. Find ways to improve — what could you have said differently or what clues did you miss in your conversation?
    • This is a powerful way to improve, and it’s even better if you listen with a coach, colleague, or peer who also does sales calls because they may be able to pick up on missed opportunities when you don’t.
    • It can be humbling to listen to yourself, but it’s so powerful in helping you to improve quickly.
  • Tip #3: FOLLOW UP
    • If someone has taken the time to get on the phone with you and has shared their desires and problem with you, and you’ve committed to a follow-up action — JUST DO IT.
    • You can set yourself apart from a LOT of your competitors out there by simply doing what you say you will do when you say you’ll do it.
    • Discovery Call Planner Cheat Sheet

Want to know which marketing funnel is right for you and your business? Take this free and easy quiz, and in less than 5 minutes, you’ll know EXACTLY which funnel is right for you.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Marketing Funnel Quiz: https://www.michellelevans.com/marketing-funnel-quiz/