There is one phone call that is more sensitive than any other in the web development project timeline.

That’s the post-project discovery call. This is the moment when you wrap up the last week or two of research and communication, put together a solid, foolproof plan for meeting your client’s needs, and give them an estimate on how much it will cost.

Unsurprisingly, this can be a nerve-wracking time for any web agency.

You may know all of the ins and outs of the project and have a solid idea about how all of the different elements will fall into place, but you still have to communicate that to your client. The process of translating all of this research into a convincing, easy-to-understand proposal is understandably challenging.

Importantly, there is a difference between your value proposal call and your project proposal call. The goal of this call is to get you and your client on the same page concerning the value of the services you can offer.

Still Confused? Don’t worry! We have got your back.

In this guide, we will explain the basics of a discovery call, and how you can conduct a discovery call. 

So, let’s get the ball rolling.

What is a Discovery Call?

A discovery call is the initial conversation between the sales team, the customer, or the potential prospect. This call is made after the prospect has shown interest in your services. The primary purpose of this call is to identify the issue the prospect is facing, and whether they are a good fit for you. 

When conducting this call, you need to ignore all the prospect’s exceptions and focus on two of the most essential things: understanding the client’s current situation, pain points, and goals, and explaining all the solutions you offer as an agency to them. The two-way communication helps to understand whether the prospect is ready to invest in your services.

The project discovery call is the most essential thing for establishing a mutual relationship between the company and the prospect. With the help of this conversation, the agency’s role is to convey all the services and ensure that the client is ready to engage with the services in the future. 

Benefits of a Discovery Call

Here are some of the essential benefits of doing a discovery call. 

  • Know Your Customer Well: The discovery call helps you understand the current customer expectations, pain points, and goals.
  • Build Great Relationships: The discovery call enables you to establish a solid relationship with the prospect. You should be eager to actively listen to what they are saving and provide relevant solutions.
  • Building Credibility: By openly providing all the details about the work portfolio, expertise, and services you offer to the prospect, they will be more inclined towards your services. They will have more trust in your services.
  • Identify Qualified Leads: The discovery call allows you to ask genuine questions of customers and determine who is the right fit for your business. This will increase your time and effort in pursuing prospects who are heavily interested in your services.
  • Save Time and Resources: By determining the needs of the prospect at the initial stage, you will not invest time and resources in prospects who don’t like your services.
  • Enhance Your Sales Strategy: The discovery call provides invaluable insights into your sales strategy. By analyzing what happened during the call, you can determine what is not working well, and change your approach to serve your customers well.

To understand in detail, check out the importance of a project discovery call for agencies.

How To Do a Discovery Call?

Here is the streamlined project discovery process. They can also be referred to as the rules of discovery call. Let’ts begin.

1. Conduct Thorough Research

To make your discovery call successful, the first and foremost step is to know your prospect well. Hence, you should do extensive research on the prospect and their business.

Here is the simple yet effective discovery call checklist for research of the prospect.

  • Check out the prospect’s LinkedIn profile thoroughly.  
  • Review the prospect’s company website for their current and future goals.
  • Check out the company’s most recent news by looking at the announcements and events.
  • Conduct deep research about the key stakeholders on the call. This should include their roles, pain points, and overall responsibilities. This will help you understand their viewpoint and provide solutions accordingly.
  • Make appropriate notes about anything useful you discover about the prospect. This includes their current location, the technology they leverage, and their current customers.

In the end, a properly researched discovery call helps you have a thoughtful and engaging conversation with your prospect and indicates your dedication to offering great value.

2. Set a Clear Agenda

In this step, you guide your prospect about the discovery call. 

Here, you will first introduce yourself, your company, and your role. Make a friendly conversation, and include humour wherever possible. 

You should share the objectives and goals of the call. By doing this, the prospect will have a clear idea of what the company expects from them, and they will act accordingly. 

For instance, you can say to the prospect,“This call is for us to know your company and its goals. Ultimately, if both of us have the same goals, I will schedule a follow-up call with the sales team.”

3. Establish a Two-Way Conversation

To identify whether the prospect is the right fit or not, you should ensure that there is two-way communication between you and the prospect. Moreover, two-way communication leads to a successful project discovery call

Here are several things to consider for establishing a two-way conversation:

  • Ask open-ended questions: These questions could be something like, What problem you are facing? What do you want to achieve this year? and more.
  • Validate and respond actively: During the discovery call, actively listen to the prospect’s pain points. Further, you should acknowledge them throughout the conversation. You can say something like, “Oh! I understand what you are facing right now, and will provide you with a suitable solution” 
  • Keep conversation natural: Provide enough time to your prospect to understand your questions and respond in detail. The client should feel comfortable throughout the entire conversation.

4. Provide a Solution 

By doing a discovery call, you would have got a good idea about the pain points of the client. Now, it’s your time to showcase your product or service in a way that resolves the client’s pain points.

Moreover, you should have a pretty good idea about your client’s budget by now, so avoid including features and functionalities you know that are beyond their scope. Be ready to cross out some features you would love to implement and, if necessary, size down your project to fit the client’s needs.

One way you can help achieve this is by presenting feature sets as a choice between three options. Put together basic, intermediate, and advanced descriptions of the optional features you think your client should include, and match each to a corresponding price and required hours. This will help clear up any potential misunderstandings on the relationship between budget and functionality.

Here are some of the best practices to pitch your solution.

  • Repeat all the challenges the prospect faces, and explain effectively how your solution is best.
  • The majority of companies focus on value and benefits rather than just features. So, you should also do the same.
  • Include case studies and testimonials of projects relevant to the client’s industry.

5. Know Your Limits

Let’s say you put together a proposal plan, and start talking to your client about the features and values they get through your solution. As discussed earlier, you’re presenting each one as an option between basic, intermediate, and advanced functionality. However, your client surprises you by asking for highly advanced features all the way through.

Can you handle that workload within the timeframe specified? Do you have options for obtaining additional development resources if necessary? If your client asks for more than you can handle, you should be ready to comply – by outsourcing to a white label developer.

6. Keep it Simple & To The Point

The last thing any client wants is a long diatribe about all the various factors that went into your decision-making process concerning their web development project. Your proposal should reduce complex elements to their simplest forms.

Assume your client is busy and short on time – if they want to learn more about something, they’ll ask. Prepare for your client to ask questions by getting straight to the main point as quickly as possible. Otherwise, their questions may sidetrack your proposal before you even get started.

Using specialized software like Proposify can be a huge help here. You are neither the first nor the last person to have difficulties making a solid proposal – rely on an expert toolset to get the job done, and you ensure the best results.

7. Finalize the Things and Follow-Up

After proposing a solution to the prospect, if they agree, you should note them down and follow accordingly. Moreover, you should take a follow-up.

In another case, if you and the prospect left the discovery call without making a decision, you should follow up with them. 

Here are some of the things to consider in follow-up:

  • Send a Thank You Email: When your discovery call is completed, you should send a thank you email. In this email, you should thank them for attending the call. Plus, you should list down the summary of the discovery call.
  • Offer Additional Information: At the time of the call, if you have promised them to offer any additional information, you should provide it in the email.
  • Set Proper Next Steps: In the follow-up email, you should define all the steps you will take. Plus, determine the timeline of the next call or meeting.

Be sure to follow up on the set date. Here, you should not be aggressive. 

8. Do an After-Call Review

The last but not least thing that you should never neglect is reviewing the discovery call. Here, you should do a comprehensive analysis of the discovery call. Identify what went well, and what didn’t go as planned. 

Think about the questions you have asked from prospects, the responses you have obtained, and the entire flow of the conversation. 

By doing an after-call review, you will be able to improve your discovery call with future prospects.

Put Yourself in Your Client’s Shoes

Regardless of the particulars of your project, the best way to prepare yourself for communicating with your client is to put yourself in the client’s shoes first. During each of the steps outlined above, do your best to look at it from your client’s perspective and ask the questions you imagine they might ask – the ones you would if it were your project.

The more confidently you respond to these questions, the better you will be able to correlate them to fixed hours and rates during your phone call.

Remember that value is the key factor here. As long as your work adds value to your client’s processes, you are free to charge any price you wish for it. You will only hear “no thanks” if the price exceeds the actual value of the work to be performed.

Case studies and statistics are both great ways to demonstrate value to clients. Whenever you make an assertion, be prepared to back it up with a convincing argument. With the right approach, you will be prepared for anything when making your all-important proposal.