7 Tips For A Successful Discovery Session
What makes for a successful discovery session? What do you need to do to prepare yourself? How can you maintain the standards you set for your ideal client and stop slashing your rates at the last minute? How can you stop making last-minute concessions that end up making you feel guilty and charge the prices you deserve?
I used to do all of these things. I would go against my intuition, make concessions for clients, and even take on clients who I had no business coaching in the first place. Mainly because I was driven by worry and fear and the need to pay my bills on time. I would take on whatever client that came to me, and instead of it solving my problems, it made things worse. I ended up with clients who would not finish their programs, or with clients who I dreaded working with, and worse yet, clients who asked for refunds that I had no way of paying back.
Ideally, by the time a client signs up for a discovery session with you, they are probably receiving your newsletter, have been watching you on social media, or they were referred by a friend.
No matter how clients come to you, you must remember that a discovery session is not an audition. You’re not there to impress the client, AND you are not there to be evaluated as to whether or not you are a good coach.
You are here to transform lives and help people.
A discovery session is really about you having an honest conversation with a potential client. A conversation that lets you know if this is your ideal client, that your values are aligned, and whether or not your programs are going to work for them.
Often I get asked by new coaches, "Should I coach someone during a discovery session?"
Personally, I don’t. I'm not there to “audition” for the role. I'm there to understand who you are and if we can work together. There is no need for me to "audition" because, during the call, you will get a clear understanding of who I am and what I have to offer during the call.
If you DO decide to coach in the discovery session, you’re not wrong in doing so. Many coaches do. It’s purely a personal choice. Just make sure that if you decide to coach, set an intention that you are not there to prove your worth and give the coaching a container, say 15 minutes. Anything more than that is considered a free coaching session and your time is way too precious to be given away for free.
So what are some things that can cause a discovery session to fail?
If you are feeling desperate for money and you don't check your feelings at the door, you can appear needy, desperate or lacking in confidence.
The client may give answers the coach wants to hear rather than what’s really right for them. I once had a client who said all of the right things, we started working together and the person who showed up to the calls was a completely different client. Hey, if it can happen in dating, it can happen here too.
Discovery sessions are very much a mindset. You are open to what you believe you are meant to receive.
So what can you do to make a discovery session successful?
Give yourself time before the call to compose yourself. Don’t jump from one call right into another. Take a few minutes and meditate, play some music, or do some breathing exercises. Stay away from email and social media. Imagine what would happen if you got an upsetting email or saw an awful social media post before you jumped onto the call. You’ll bring that energy into the call with you.
Set an intention for the call. This is an intention for you! Do you want to be curious about your client throughout the call? Is it your intention to be conscious of your decision to work together? Do you want to focus on following your intuition wherever it takes you and release the need to “close the deal”?
Avoid urgency. Slow down! Take your time. Let go of any agenda or expectations and just let the conversation flow naturally.
Listen to the client and your intuition! Some of my most successful discovery sessions were when I listened more than I talked and when you follow your intuition get really curious with the client about any red flags that appear.
Stay in the present moment. Turn off all distractions and leave whatever problems you have going on at the door. Clients will be able to tell if you are distracted.
It’s okay to say no! If the person on the call is not your ideal client, it’s okay to say “no.” It was a hard thing to say no to a client when I needed the money, but I found out what it felt like to say "yes" to a client when I ignored my intuition. The clients that I said “yes” to in those moments ended up becoming a nightmare. Just know that not every client is going to be a fit and it’s okay! Build a network of coaches that you can refer them to. People will respect you and trust you more when you say “no” and will appreciate the help that you can give.
Have fun and be yourself. The right client will come to you at the right time.
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