How to Deliver Powerful Coaching Discovery Calls

Discovery calls are the first step to figuring out if you and your client are the best fit for each other.

They are usually free, 30-minute sessions in which you and your potential client get to meet, understand the client’s needs, and end with an enrollment conversation if appropriate. 

If you’re a new coach and are still learning how to use discovery calls to enroll clients, they can be challenging. However, with the right tools and guidance, you can use the power of a great discovery call to your advantage.

What are the Benefits of Discovery Calls?

Discovery calls are incredibly beneficial to both coaches and clients. Let’s take a look at a few key benefits of these first calls.

  • It helps establish a relationship and rapport between you and the client, even before coaching commences.
  • It is an opportunity to create a memorable first impression.
  • It helps to determine if a prospect fits your ideal client profile and is likely to enroll in your coaching sessions.
  • It allows you to understand what elements your clients will require guidance in.
  • It creates the perfect bridge to pitch a coaching offer that is connected to the client’s goals and possibly end the call with an enrollment.

Why should Coaches make Discovery Calls?

It may sound tiring, but discovery calls allow you to understand your target clients better and tweak your coaching packages to suit their needs. There are three things that coaches focus on when making discovery calls.

1. Learn more about the client and their challenges

Ask them where they used to be, where they are now, and where they want to be.

From this, you can study your prospective client’s inner patterns and understand their environment, desires, dreams, strengths, fears, motivations, and obstacles to progress.

It is very important to be completely present during this conversation, listening carefully, and being aware of what is being said. Dig deep and ask the right questions to get to their hidden desires and emotions.

2. Determine if coaching is a good fit for the client

Here are some questions you should think about to assess the potential client:

  • How would your relationship with this client work?
  • What problems would you face while coaching them?
  • How do your services help this client realize their full potential?
  • Will you have to tweak your methodology a lot to help them?
  • Is the client ready for coaching?
  • Would my coaching benefit them?

3. Determine if you are the best fit for the client

As a coach, you need to keep an open mind when taking discovery calls. First of all, a discovery call ends with whether or not the client can work with you. It also helps you determine whether you have the right tools, methodology, and experience to help potential clients achieve their goals.

A good coach knows that, to be successful, you have to play to your strengths. A discovery call can help you determine if the prospect would be better served by other coaches in their particular field or other professionals such as therapists and counselors. The best way forward is to be in a coach-client relationship where your abilities and interests as a coach align with the needs of the client.

Our clients will want these three points to be addressed. Remember, they are looking to see how you add value to their life. All the accomplishments in the world will not be enough to make them work with you if it seems like your services do not enrich their lives in a clear, measurable way.

Setting up a Discovery Call Framework

A great discovery call needs a good framework. It helps you build a great rapport with your potential client. Following the tried and tested SPIN Model can help you in this regard.

The SPIN Model can be split as an abbreviation to:

1. Situation

Uncovering the background of your client is critical to understanding their needs. For this, you need to find who you’re communicating with. For example, you can learn more about your client through their company, job title, and interests by looking at their LinkedIn profile.

Some coaches use a pre-session questionnaire or jump on the call with curiosity to learn about the client. The idea of the call is to learn more about the potential client, what they need, and how you can help them. Do keep in mind that this is not a "coaching" call but a short conversation about understanding your opportunities and opening the conversation to potentially work together.

2. Problem

Asking open-ended questions can help uncover prospects’ needs and pain points.

This stage marks the start of a discovery call. This step involves asking qualifying questions that help identify your prospective client’s personal goals and dreams.

For example,

What are some aspects of your life that you’d like to improve?

What parts of your life give you the most and least amount of fulfillment?

How have you tried addressing these problem areas in your life?

What are the coping mechanisms you’ve come up with to address each issue?

3. Implication

Asking implicit questions can convey the importance of the issue at hand without explicitly communicating it to potential clients.

Once you have identified your prospective coaching client’s pain point, you need to step it up so that the prospect realizes the severity of the problem. At this point, you can include key questions in your discovery call, such as:

How much time are you wasting on this problem?

How long would it take to fix this on your own?

4. Need Pay-Off

These discovery call questions inevitably show what prospects can gain by choosing a solution offered by you, the coach.

You have now made your prospective client understand the pain point and have brought their attention to the problem they are facing. It’s time to have a positive image of the future by trying out solutions. Tie the benefits of your coaching services to their goals.

You can try adding the following payoff questions to your discovery call.

If you could [name one advantage they get from your coaching], how close would it bring you to achieving their goals?

Ending your Discovery Calls for Enrollment

At the end of the discovery call, invite the prospect to take the next steps, i.e., enrollment. You can now introduce your coaching packages and enroll your client through an e-mail or a similar call-to-action.

You can add the following statement to your discovery call script: “Based on everything I heard, I recommend [suggest next steps]” to continue working with them.

By the end of the call, you should understand whether you can help prospective clients reach their goals. If it fits them well and you think you can teach it to them, the next important part is concluding on a persuasive note.

At the end of your Discovery Call, don’t forget to

1. Summarize your conversation

This gives the customer a clear understanding of the value of the call. It also helps clarify what they want to achieve and what they’re missing out on by not signing up for your coaching service.

Verbalizing this has a powerful effect as it also shows that you have a clear understanding of them.

2. Explain to them what you are offering to help them with their challenges

Remind them of all their proposed solutions and how it hasn’t worked out for them. Give them examples and testimonials of previous clients who succeeded, thanks to your coaching.

3. Have a step-by-step framework that you can present to the prospect at the end of the call

You can either explain your coaching methodology and ask them what they think after you have explained it, or you can ask any of the following questions:

Do you resonate with this process?

Do you think this could help you achieve your goals?

How do you feel about executing this strategy?

What potential challenges do you see in this process?

The ultimate goal of a discovery call session is to educate your clients about what you offer and how to implement it. Remember to observe their verbal cues. If they ask more questions about your offer, that’s a positive indicator.

4. List the various payment methods available to give them financial clarity on why your coaching service suits them

Immediately after introducing them to the framework and answering their questions, weave in “This coaching plan has a recurring payment option...”.

This method of closing works because you provide a lot of value and show them how they can access it easily.

Also, don’t forget that it’s okay if they say no.

Denial is not a closed door. This is your chance to gather feedback and gain more insight into what your prospects would have liked to see.

5. Seek feedback on the discovery call

Any feedback you receive will help you and your coaching business grow.

You can ask questions like:

Is there anything that can be improved to make the call on hold more effective?

How did you feel during the conversation?

Is there a better process for speaking with you during a session?

Coaching Discovery Call Template

Here’s a sample coaching discovery call template you can use!

Discovery calls are an essential part of bringing in clients. It shows them that you are interested in helping them and that your coaching services could be the ideal solution that they are looking for.

At Evercoach, we offer training services for coaches looking to take their services to the next level. Our coaches will help you set up a successful coaching business step-by-step. You can check out our courses here!