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Land High-Paying Clients By Switching The Role on Discovery Calls

discovery call sales Mar 14, 2024

Today I want to talk about a game-changer in my freelancing career: the discovery call.

Now, you might think that these calls are all about the client interviewing you, but I’m here to tell you that the real magic happens when you flip the script and start interviewing them.

Imagine turning a $1,000 job posting into a $7,000 client. Sounds too good to be true, right?

Well, I’ve done it over and over again, and it all starts with a well-run, well-prepared discovery call. You simply can’t get the same results through email or Upwork messages alone.

So, why are discovery calls so important?

➡️ First, they help make face-to-face connection more authentic.

You get a little peek into your potential client’s world, which is invaluable.

I’ve turned down clients because, let’s be real, they were a bit on the crazy side. At this point in my career, I don’t work with crazy. You know the type — they’ve got six cats hanging all over them during a business call, or they’re driving while trying to have a serious conversation. When you see their background, you can’t help but think, “Whoa, this is not how I’d like to work.”

Peeking into their world gives you the confidence to make informed decisions.

➡️ During the discovery call, you want to hook them with valuable information.

Be a “drug dealer” and give them a little taste of what you can offer.

This is your chance to provide valuable information and leave them wanting more.

Your discovery call should act like a shorter version of a normal working call with you, and oftentimes I say to the client, “We kind of already got started here. If you like this (ie, style of conversation or working) then this is what it’s going to be like.” I paint the picture of working together, which reduces uncertainty.

➡️ You also need to ask good questions to get the information for proposals

Clients often think they know what they need, how long it will take, and how much it will cost. But trust me, many times they are way off the mark. By getting on a discovery call, you can ask the right questions to uncover their true needs.

Following the call, send them three options in your proposal: the first is what they think they need, and the other two are the full picture based on your discussion. You’ll be amazed at how many clients opt for the “platinum” package and want to start immediately.

➡️ Use the discovery call as an opportunity to build trust, deliver value, and set yourself apart.

Ultimately, you want to get to a point where you’re deciding if you want to work with them. When you can make that mental shift and realize that your time and expertise are valuable, your discovery calls will be transformed.

If you can suggest just a hint of exclusivity — like mentioning that you have a waiting list or that you’re picky about who you work with — it’s incredibly attractive to potential clients. People are magnetized to what they can’t easily have. If they think it’s hard to get, they want it even more.

For example, recently I’ve scaled back and only take on two clients per month. During discovery calls, I openly share this information. I say something like, “Just so you know, I’m interviewing with a few people and only take on two clients a month. If this is something you really want to move forward with, let me know so I can hold your space.” I’ve even told people, with a cheeky smile, “I’m kind of interviewing you as much as you’re interviewing me because I’m really picky about the clients I work with.”

It’s a bit of reverse psychology, but it works wonders.

Remember, the power of the discovery call is in your hands. Flip the script, be the interviewer, and watch as those high-paying clients come knocking on your door.

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