When we think about landing clients, we tend to only think about the first part: The pitching the client and getting them to agree to talk with us. After that, we’re home free, right?
Well, not exactly. The next step is a call with your would-be client. That call is a crucial step in the process of getting your client to agree to work with you—in the process of “closing” that client.
You may close some projects right on the call where the client is super excited to get started and you agree to the scope of work and price on the call. But for the vast, vast majority of your discovery calls, you’ll likely take lots of notes and end the call promising to send over that scope of work and pricing (that way you have time to review your notes and come up with pricing that makes senes).
However, the key to getting clients to hire you and accept that scope of work really starts with the call. A great discovery call is the difference between getting hired … or not.
Comprehensive Copywriting Academy students, you have an entire course on nailing your client calls (including script templates so you know exactly what to say!). But here are eight basics at a high level that will ensure you put your best foot forward and increase your chances of landing the work.
1. Come Prepared
You researched their business before you reached out to them initially. But you can’t rely on your memory of that in your live call.
Before you get on the call, spend at least a half an hour familiarizing yourself with their business and everything about it: What they offer/sell, what they’re currently running for marketing programs, what opportunities you identified, what challenges you identified, etc.
Your prospective client should get the feeling that you know their business as well as you can being on the outside of it.
Also, if you have copywriting project ideas, you should come prepared with how much you’d charge for those projects! If you pitched the client on a specific project or idea (as CCA students know you should!), then you need to have an idea of pricing. It may, of course, change as you gather more information on the call.
2. Set an Agenda
Your prospective client doesn’t have time to waste (and neither do you!). So start out the call by giving them some idea of the time frame for the call, as well as what you’ll cover.
It can be as simple as saying, “Thanks for taking the time to talk with me today. Over the next fifteen minutes or so, we’re going to talk a little bit about some of your challenges and goals, some opportunities I see in your business, and whether or not I’m the right person for you to solve those problems and make the most of those opportunities. Then, we can talk about how to move forward. Does that sound good to you?”
Not only does this give them an idea of what to expect, but it also puts you in charge of the conversation—which is the role you want to have!
3. Don’t Start Out by Talking
The best calls don’t involve you convincing someone that you’re the right person for the job; they involve having your prospects come to that conclusion themselves!
So, instead of launching into your impression of their business and your solutions for them, start out by asking them questions like:
- What are your biggest goals for your business?
- What are your biggest frustrations in your business?
- What would your life look like if someone made those frustrations disappear?
- Have you ever worked with someone for marketing help in the past?
- What was that experience like?
- What are you best at in your business?
- What do you struggle the most with?
Then, of course, take careful notes on their answers.
4. Give Them the Solution
Now that you have a good idea of what they’re struggling with most, you can help them understand how copywriting help can be a solution to those problems.
For example, you can help them understand how a regular email program keeps them in their clients’ minds and nurture that relationship until they’re ready to purchase; how a good sales page makes what your client has to offer irresistible, how a well-written, testable group of Instagram ads can help bring in regular leads on autopilot and at the lowest possible price.
5. Explain Why You’re the Solution
It’s one thing to understand how copywriting might help them, but now your prospective client needs to understand why you are the best person to help them.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to say, “Here’s why I’m the best person.” Instead, it’s to help them see themselves as your client by saying things like, “Here’s how I’ve helped other clients in similar scenarios…”
Or by offering free small pieces of advice like, “I see that you have a sign-up page for your newsletter on your homepage—I’d strongly recommend putting one on every page of your site. And also regularly posting on Facebook to encourage people to sign up.” This helps them understand your expertise.
6. Outline the Next Steps
Remember, you’re the expert here. So it’s not a matter of asking them what they want to do; it’s a matter of offering up your recommendations.
Saying something like, “Based on our conversation here and based on your goals, I’d recommend starting with [insert project] because [insert end result]. Does that sound about right to you?”
If they agree, you can do one of the following:
- If it’s a project you came into the call knowing you’d talk about: quote the cost of the project and when you can turn it around for them.
- If it’s a project you discussed on the call or you have a lot of notes you want to review: let them know you’ll review your notes, put together a scope of work and price, and provide an estimated timeline based on a tentative kickoff date. Let them know when to expect your quote. Aim to either send it by end of day, or first thing the next morning (if your call is late in the day).
If they don’t agree, find out what they think they should start with first.
7. Take Cost Off the Table
When prospective clients object to a proposal, it’s almost always over price. But that shouldn’t dissuade you—it just means that you haven’t clearly conveyed the full value of what you have to offer.
They’re thinking just in terms of the money they have to spend, not what it will earn them. You can say to them that you completely understand their concerns and then ask them what the end results of their project would be worth.
You can say, “Obviously, I can’t make any guarantees of course, but if this $500 sales email series brings in $10,000, that would be worth it, don’t you think?” Explain to them that all of your projects are designed to help them improve their business and increase their revenue. It’s not a “cost” of a project; it’s an “investment” in their business.
8. Don’t Close the Door
Even if they opt not to work with you, ask them if you can check in again with them in a few months to see how their business is going and to pass along any ideas you have for new projects. After all, a “no” now doesn’t mean a “no” forever.
Your turn! Have you had a great conversation with a prospective client lately? What happened? Let us know in the comments below!
Last Updated on February 2, 2023
Thanks for this Nicki! I’m putting this on my list right now. 🙂
Nicki Krawczyk says
My pleasure! And good for you – the best way to master those calls is to practice ahead of time. 🙂
Thanks for commenting!