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How to conduct a discovery call as a Virtual Assistant

Updated: Aug 2, 2023

Congratulations! 🥳


You’ve had a potential client book a discovery call, the excitement has faded and the nerves are kicking in.


What’s next? What do you need to do? 🤔



Remember…

You’re now halfway to signing them. They’ve booked this call because they like what they’ve already seen of you, they’ve identified that they need Virtual Assistant support, and they are getting closer to taking the plunge.



Preparation

You can collect this with a pre-call questionnaire, conduct research, or both! Take time to gain some knowledge about the potential client, and make notes of questions you might find helpful in the call.


Note down any positives or weaknesses you’ve observed, and consider what of your experience might be relevant.



Nervous or unsure?

If you feel you might be nervous during the call, then practise beforehand.


Write out and rehearse the sentences you want to use during the call, amending them in a way that feels natural to you.


If there is something in particular you lack confidence in saying (hourly rate or terms of business often fall into this category!), then say it out loud until it’s more natural.



Before the call

Make sure you are in a calm, peaceful state of mind, in an environment that conveys the impression you want to give.


That might mean a quick tidy up beforehand, check what your computer camera shows, place a strategic throw or two if needed!


Check your lighting, and ensure that you’re happy with what the potential client will see.


Finally, take some deep, calming breaths, and remind yourself that you’ve got this, if you want it!



It’s your call

Start with a smile! Make them feel welcome and at ease.


Remember, this is your call, not an interview, and so you can direct it, setting whatever boundaries you are comfortable with.


A nice way to do this is with some housekeeping at the start - an introduction, a reference to the time you have available, an outline of the call structure, and an invitation to share more about their business.


Your potential client may have never worked with a VA before and so will welcome the explanation.


Of course, they may just go straight into what they are looking for - if that’s the case, let it happen, it will tell you lots about how they will be to work with, and you can still direct it by explaining your process when the opportunity arises.



Relationship building

Allow time for small talk and building that relationship. If you can find common ground, brilliant.


You may have already done this through other avenues such as social media engagement. If so, refer to it - the weather, a hobby, children, a holiday - something that isn’t totally work related - assuming that’s who you are!


Again, remember this isn’t an interview, it’s two people deciding if they want to work together, exchanging tasks for money, and as such you are equals.



Ideal questions

While you want to let the potential client talk and share what they feel is relevant, at times you may need to guide the conversation, or collect information that you need to make a decision. Having questions you want to ask can help with this.


Have a list of generalised questions available that you can refer to if the client is unsure what type of help they may need. Consider what details are going to be useful for you to make a decision, and what they may need to know to make a decision.


As the call develops you may be able to target your questions in a particular way.



Summarise

When you feel you have a good insight into what the potential client requires you could start to summarise what has been discussed in the call.


This not only ensures that you have understood the client’s pain points but shows the client that you have been actively listening.


Make your recommendations at this point.


This will give you a chance to assess their reaction, and decide if they seem ready for you to close the call, or if they need to discuss further.



Closing the call

Some clients will be happy to say yes on the call, others will need time to decide. We’ll cover the latter first.


The client may prefer to have some time to reflect on the meeting or may have discovery calls planned with other VAs. Keep your boundaries in mind, establish what you will do next, and whatever you say you will do, stick to it!


Demonstrating reliability at this stage is vital in starting a potential working relationship positively.



When they say yes

Congratulations! You’ve just signed a client!


Confirm the details - how many hours, start date, etc, and then similar to the above, establish what you will do next and stick to it.


Will you send over an onboarding package? (Fancy way to describe invoice, contract and introduction email)? Will you send over a summary email of what was discussed and wait for written confirmation before you then onboard them?



So that’s it! My guide on how to run a smooth, successful discovery call.


If you feel you would benefit from some additional support prepping for discovery calls, or want to map out your onboarding process, then let’s chat.


I can take you from confused and lacking clarity to clear and confident!


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