As a humane marketer, I firmly believe in the importance of building relationships of trust with potential clients, and empowering them to make their own buying decisions. This approach is very different from the traditional approach where you use a discovery call script, which often makes the potential client feel manipulated to buy.
By ditching the discovery call script and following these tips instead, you are building a sustainable, long-term relationship with your prospects that is based on trust, honesty, and authenticity.
And if you were looking for a Discovery Call Script, I have something even better for you 😉
Replacing the script with a Human Conversation instead
Instead of following the traditional scripted approach consisting of six steps to close a sale, which include opening, relating, introduction, agenda, discovery questions, and closing, we propose a more organic and fluid sales conversation between two humans.
Rather than relying on a rigid framework, this alternative approach embraces the natural flow of human interaction, fostering a harmonious and genuine connection between the entrepreneur and the potential client. By replacing the script with a human conversation, we take off our ‘salesperson’ hat completely and instead engage in a meaningful dialogue, actively listen to our client’s needs and concerns, and respond with authenticity and care.
Non-linear Gentle Sales Conversation
In our case, our Discovery Call takes place in our Serene Garden. Each client’s path to reach the Serene Garden is different, as some may opt to climb stone steps for a panoramic view before descending, while others may choose a shorter route along a paved road and just fill in an intake form on our website. There may also be those who take a different paved path that leads to another area of the garden, which may provide a clearer view of the secluded garden that interests them.
We completely ditch any kind of discovery call script and instead hold the space for a nonlinear conversation.
Suggested Flow for a Discovery Call
If you’re very new to hosting these Discovery Calls you’ll still want some structure and idea of the flow, and that’s completely normal.
Below is a suggested flow of how a gentle discovery call in your Serene Garden might look like.
This is an excerpt from the Selling Like We’re Human book.
1. Frame the call by reminding your client of the time you have together
Announce time boundaries in a gentle way. Show your potential client that a) your time is valuable, and b) spending time with them is important to you as well. A nice trick is to reserve thirty minutes in your calendar, but build in a buffer of fifteen minutes and mention that at the beginning of the call. Everyone likes bonuses. 🙂
2. Mention your signposts
Reference your signposts (blog posts, newsletter, podcast, book, etc.) to make your potential client aware of where they’re at in her sales journey.
3. Listen with intention
Truly focus on your client. Since you have no sales script to go through, you can really just pay attention to them. Listen with your ears, but also listen with your heart. Watch your client’s facial reactions, their body language, and use your intuition to read between the lines to find out what they are not saying, but thinking.
4. Ask better questions
Instead of using the template sales questions, use some of the following examples. Deeper questions lead to a deeper conversation.
With Humane Selling, we want to give the client the power back. And we want to make her see the opportunity, not just the problem. Instead of making it a conversation about negatives, we change it to a positive exchange focused on the client’s possibilities, goals, and aspirations. So instead of using the same old template questions, we need to ask better questions that lead us into a deeper conversation so we can fully understand our client’s situation.
Here are some examples of questions that uncover both: the problems and the opportunities:
- What would be most helpful to cover in this hour that we have together?
This question will bring out exactly what matters to your ideal client.
- What goals and objectives do you have for your business or for this specific area?
Focusing on hopes and goals gives a positive tone to your conversation and may bring
forth needs that your client hadn’t considered yet.
- So, why did you want to talk with me today?
You may already know the answer from your intake form, but it doesn’t hurt to ask it
again and make sure you’re on the same page.
- What do you think needs to happen to improve your situation or [insert specific
Listening to your client’s perspective on things will help you frame your answers and
solution in a way that resonates with them.
- What have you done in the past to address this issue/try to reach this goal? What
have you tried that hasn’t worked?
This answer not only helps you understand your client’s antihero, but it also makes sure
that you don’t offer something they have already tried.
- Why? (Why do you want to create a summit? Why do you think you could use my
Just like Simon Sinek says, it helps to start with the why. The WHY question helps you
figure out your client’s motivations.
- How? (How do you see this panning out? How do you think you need to proceed
to achieve this goal?)
“How” questions are more pragmatic and help your client to start thinking about the new
reality. They may know their WHY, but sometimes they don’t know HOW to get there.
Getting your client to talk about the HOW can generate great insights.
- How so? / Tell me more about that. / Take me deeper into this topic. / But why?
These follow-up questions will give you further insight into your client’s perception as
well as their thought process. They will take you deeper into the topic and give you the
clarity you need in order to get to the underlying cause of the problem.
- How would you measure a successful outcome of our collaboration?
5. Take their perspective
Get into your client’s head. Picture where they’re at and how they see their situation and then help them see a better future (aspiration, not magical wand).
6. Tell other client’s success stories
This doesn’t need to sound like bragging! You can weave in your previous clients success stories in a way that makes your potential client feel good because they understand that you’ve worked with people in similar situations before.
7. Explain your offering
Usually, if your client has gone through the signposts, received your “everything up-front” guide, and otherwise done her research on you, this part of the conversation takes up not more than a quarter of the allocated time. This shouldn’t sound like a pitch, but more like a summary of what’s already been shared (in your guide, on your website, your brochure).
8. Give options
In case your client can’t afford your main offer, suggest some alternatives such as an online program, a group program, etc. This is part of Fair Pricing.
9. Give time to think about your offer
If you don’t get an excited “yes please, when can we start,” chances are that your prospects needs some time to think about it. Give them that time.
10. Set a follow-up call if necessary
If you run out of time because you have to jump on another call or your client wants to think about it, then set a date for a follow-up call.
11. Be firm, but flexible
When it comes to pricing, own your worth and be firm about that. But it’s also okay to be flexible. You make your prices, which means you can also change your prices. So say if you had an amazing conversation with a client but he just can’t afford your regular rate and isn’t interested in your alternatives, you can agree on a new price that works for both of you, which means it’s still in the middle of the resentment vs. guilt scale.
12. Provide alternatives and/or next steps
If you decide to work together, inform your client about next steps (contract, payment, etc.). If you decide it’s not a good fit, you may suggest alternatives (other people, resources, etc.).
Slow down the Sale
Nobody wants to be sold to, yet so many people are still selling the pushy way. This new approach is based on creating a relationship of transparency and trust with your potential clients so that they feel comfortable buying from you. If you are being too pushy and rushing people to buy, you are not allowing them to make their own decision.
Here are two main tips for practicing patience in the Gentle Sales Path:
Listen and understand your ideal client’s needs: Take the time to listen to your clients and understand their struggles and goals. This helps you provide personalized solutions that fit their needs, rather than trying to sell them something that they don’t really want.
Follow up consistently, but without being pushy: Following up with prospects is important, but you don’t want to be pushy. Instead, focus on building a relationship of trust with them by providing value and keeping in touch. This can be through sending relevant content, checking in on their progress, or simply sending a friendly email to say hello.
Ditch the Complimentary Call Script and Use the Gentle Sales Path instead
In conclusion, the Gentle Sales Path is a customer-centric approach that empowers your ideal clients to make their own buying decisions while building a sustainable, long-term relationship of trust. By implementing consistency, transparency, and patience in your marketing and sales efforts, you can create a holistic approach that benefits everyone involved. So, dear heart-centered entrepreneur, let’s ditch the pushy Sales Funnel Template and embrace the Gentle Sales Path for the well-being of ourselves, our clients, and our planet. Click here or on the image below to have a look.
If you enjoyed this article you might also enjoy:
- Blog Post: Fair Pricing for Heart-Centered Entrepreneurs
- Blog Post: How to Handle Objections in Sales Calls – the Human(e) Way
- Blog Post: Empathy in Sales
- Book: Selling Like We’re Human
- Podcast episode: Selling is Human
Other Resources You Might Enjoy
- Manifesto: The Humane Business Manifesto (no opt-in).
- Creed: The Humane Marketing Creed (no opt-in).
- The Humane Marketing Glossary: marketing words we love
- The 1-Page Marketing Plan (email opt-in with 7 email prompts to help you think about the 7Ps of Humane Marketing in your business).
- The Humane Marketing Circle, our community of Humane Marketers.