How to Structure Your Discovery Calls to Close More Sales

How to Structure Your Discovery Calls to Close More Sales

I know what you’re thinking: “But Melissa, I want to do less sales calls!”

Trust me: I get it. Sales calls and time freedom don’t exactly go hand-in-hand in my brain, either. (Who wants to spend half their week on Zoom calls with people they’ve never met? Not this girl!)

The problem is that most online businesses require sales calls – at least in the beginning. If you’re offering services or even high-end coaching, you probably have to take sales calls at least a few times a quarter to top up your client roster.

So, if you have to do them anyway (at least for now), why not make them as painless and profitable as possible?

That’s what I thought. 😉

Below, you’ll find 7 tips for structuring a successful sales call, so you can get off the “sales call struggle bus,” get less rejections and make the whole sales call process as pain-free as possible (for both you and your prospect).


1) Prepare and Research

One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make on the sales call front is trying to “just wing it.”

Research and preparation are a must when you’re connecting with a prospect via phone or video chat.

The good news? You can easily collect all the 411 you could ever need with a quick pre-call intake form (or by setting up your online scheduler to ask a few Qs before anyone can even officially book a time slot).

Use this information to custom-tailor your approach to the call. Who is this person exactly? What are they looking for specifically? Which offer of yours would make the most sense for them, given what they’ve provided you?


2) Create an Agenda

Next up: It’s a great idea to whip up an agenda to keep things on track. (Even if it’s a loose and flexible one!)

When you show up well-prepared, you also show up more confident – and that confidence shines through in your sales conversations.

Your agenda doesn’t have to be extravagant. Just jot down in order what you plan to do throughout the call, so you make sure you don’t miss anything and don’t go over your time. (Your time is precious, remember.)

This might look like:

– Quick hello and small talk. Ask question about [insert something specific to that prospect, which shows you’ve done your research]

– Ask 3-5 specific questions to help uncover prospect’s pain points and desires

Question 1:

Question 2:

Question 3:

– Ask for permission to tell prospect about offer that will work best (You might even write out your pitch here, so you have something to refer back to if your mind goes blank)

– Wrap up with next steps and let prospect know

Again, it doesn’t have to be super detailed. The point is to have something to reference to keep everything on track.


3) Set the Tone and Quickly Build Rapport

Real talk: Your first few moments on the phone (or Zoom cam) with your potential new client are actually the most important.

This means your “pre-call prep” is important, too. What do you need to do to take care of your own needs before your call, so you can show up as your more cheerful, upbeat and comfortable self (even if sales calls aren’t your favorite)? Maybe you need a quick breathwork sesh, or a pump-me-up playlist (as long as you don’t show up to your call super winded or sweaty after your own rendition of “Roar”– unless that’s your vibe!)

Speaking of comfort, be sure to take the call in a way that makes you comfortable, too – whether that’s at your standing desk or walking around your house (or in nature, especially if you’re not on camera). You make the rules, boss.

The goal is to shift into “relaxed” mode, so it comes across to the person on the other end, so they in turn feel relaxed (and more receptive to what you’re saying), too.


4) Make It *Alllll* About Them

It’s tempting to wanna jump right into details about you and/or your offers (especially if sales calls make you anxious or jumpy and you just want to get it over with!), but the truth is, this call isn’t really about you and your offers at all.

It’s about your prospect.

And the more you make it clear that this call is about truly serving them and providing them with a solution to their problem, the less sales-y and the more exciting it’ll feel – for both parties.

How can you do this?

– Ask thoughtful questions about their struggles and desires. What’s keeping them up at night? What’s their ultimate goal in the [insert-niche-here] department? (Be sure to ask open-ended questions to help better understand your prospect’s challenges and desires – rather than simple yes or no questions – for a more open dialogue and more options to piggy-back off of!)

– Listen actively to their responses, mirror them back when appropriate and take note of key concerns (so you have them for later in the call and/or when following up–more on that in a moment!)

– Don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions to clarify something if you’re unclear or need more information. People like to talk about themselves, and it’ll actually make you look more professional, too.

– Affirm and validate both their needs and desires. Let them know you truly hear them.


5) Naturally Present Your Offers (and Focus on Benefits)

The next phase is where lots of people (especially those who are afraid of looking too sales-y) struggle.

That said, there’s no right or wrong time to start transitioning to pitching your offer. In fact, I’d encourage you to not think about it as “pitching” at all.

One way to do this is to ask explicit permission from your lead to share potential solutions to the specific problems they just told you about. You can literally just ask, “Do you mind if I tell you about my copywriting services?” Easy, peasy.

It’s also a great idea to tailor your pitch to your client’s specific need sand preferences.  Refer back to a point they made (or a specific goal they mentioned) or highlight aspects of your product or service that directly address their specific challenges. This might sound like, “Based on what you’ve shared about [specific challenge], our coaching program includes a personalized strategy session to tackle this head-on. We’ll work together to create actionable steps that align with your business goals.”

It’s also important to note that since you’ve asked about their specific struggles already, you should know exactly which solution to present to them when the time comes. (And don’t forget: Sometimes, a client will come to you thinking they want one offer, but actually need another. It’s your job to educate them about what will truly work best for what they are – and what they want. If you’re a Pinterest manager and the client says they don’t even have a blog, it should be crystal-clear to you they’re not a good fit for that service. But it you also offer blog writing services, you can let them know about that would be the best first step. Just be sure to explain why.


6) Address Concerns & Objections Proactively

What are the most common objections you’ve received from past prospects? Take some time before your next sales call to sit down, write them out and come up with responses that address these objections. The last thing you want to do is gloss over your prospect’s (very real, to them) objections.

It’s your job to provide clear and transparent information to alleviate any doubts or hesitations they have about working together. In fact, sometimes people bring up an objection because they want your reassurance that it’s okay to have this particular objection and move forward anyway.

This might include sharing relevant case studies or success stories from people who’ve been “in their shoes” before. For example, if your prospect is hesitant to sign up for business coach because they’re six months pregnant, and you can provide a real-life example about another client who was also hesitant about coaching at this stage in life, but achieved a major milestone regardless– share it!


7) Cinch the Deal (Now or Later)

Before you go for the yes or no, I suggest summarizing everything you’ve already discussed. Check in with your prospect, reiterate what you’ve heard and simply ask, “Hey – here’s what we talked about. Is there anything you’d like to add?”

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t actually have to get a “yes” or “no” on the call to get a yes overall. Maybe that’s a hot take – but I’ve found that some prospects need more time to make their buying decisions.

While you absolutely can ask for a commitment on the call– and if that’s your vibe, go for it – it’s not a requirement. (What you do need to do, though, is let your lead know what the next step is. Will you follow up with a proposal, or a sales page link? Keep it simple, clear and let them know exactly what to expect. The worst thing to do is leave them an excited buyer-to-be hanging – or worse, confused – about how to proceed.)

Don’t force it if you’re getting pushback or a weird vibe. Every client is different–but most of the time, we can ‘feel’ whether a lead is “into us.” Pushing an already apprehensive lead to give you an immediate answer is a big no-no. (If you’re here, I’m sure you’d never, but it’s worth saying, for sure.)

If you’re not sure whether to straight up ask for the sale or play it cool, pay close attention to the prospect’s tone, enthusiasm, and the specific questions they ask about your services. Positive affirmations (“Wow, that sounds amazing!”), excitement about a particular topic or feature (“Oooh I’ve been wanting to learn about that!”) or asking detailed questions about logistics and pricing are often signs they’re leaning toward a yes. (You can watch for visual cues on video calls, too – like nodding, smiling or leaning in toward the camera.)

And of course, if a prospect belts out something like, “This sounds exactly like what I need!” don’t be afraid to fire back with, “Amazing! Would you like to get the ball officially rolling?”

If you get a crystal-clear no, you can always offer a “down sell” or micro-commitment – like a one-off assessment or audit rather than a full 6-month coaching package. You can also follow up with a down sell down the road, and not right in the heat of the moment.


8) Thank Them for Their Time

If your prospect does answer on the spot, always thank them for their time and let them know you completely understand their decision (whatever it is!). This ends the call on a positive note and leaves the door open for future collaboration.

Because just because somebody didn’t buy today, doesn’t mean they won’t buy in the future.

Ultimately, how you run your sales calls is up to you. But I truly hope these sales call structure tips help you get more aligned “yeses” with more ease.



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