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Using Discovery Calls for Leads and Paid Consultations

Using Discovery Calls to Get High-Quality Leads

Hey everybody, it’s Brian Freeman of The BuildIt Media Show. I want to share some sales processes with our custom home building and remodeling business. I also want to share what’s working with discovery calls, a few changes to our operations, how we’re doing it, and what we charge for the consultations. 

We have a ton of leads coming in, and we’ll go ahead and take consultations for a short time. Then we’ll shut it back down again and start it back up whenever we need more work. But we had a point where we had shut down the pipeline for a year and a half. That’s because we couldn’t take any more work — there was just too much to produce.

Initially, we charged $100 for consultations. After that, we charged people $400 and eventually $1,000. These are all for one-hour consultations — before even talking to anyone. We shut it off entirely after charging $1,000 because we kept getting consultation requests. And then we turned it back on, but we ended up setting it up to where we had a discovery call. 

Requesting a Consultation and Following Up

On our site, we have the opportunity for someone to request a consultation. Then our team gets back to that person once the request comes in through HubSpot, our CRM. It’s technically a 15-minute discovery call, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to get the 15-minute discovery call. We even have email templates that we have generated that are awesome.

There should be 50 or so that we have already pre-built, depending on every circumstance that’ll come in for different projects and requests. And then what happens is that a follow-up email immediately goes to them. It says, “Hey, follow up before your 15-minute discovery call.” And we’re sending them more and more questions that we need to get the answer to qualify the lead. 

What’s the Goal Here?

The goal is to kill the lead to where we’re only meeting with the people we want to work with. That’s because we have an abundance of leads from the content marketing that we do that starts with the videos we’re pushing out. But what happens is that email goes out to qualify or disqualify that lead. 

We can then schedule a 15-minute discovery call and set up a meeting inside HubSpot. Then we’ll send a link where people can schedule the consultation on my calendar. We need to block off two or three hours twice a week to make room for these meetings as necessary.

We’re shutting them off again because we can’t take any more work. So we shut it down ahead of time, and then we turned it back on. Once we did, we had 14 consultation requests. I met with 14 people in about a week and a half. 

Meeting with Leads

If I have a conversation with a lead and we move into an onsite or a remote meeting, we will charge $400 to meet with them for a one-hour consultation. Some are local or relatively local — usually about half an hour or so away from our office. 

Before that meeting, we ask them about their expectations regarding what they want from the consultation. From there, we’re entering into either a consultation or design agreement.

Giving Project Estimates

So if it looks like a promising lead, we’ll give a rough project estimate. We have our rough estimate templates that take us about half an hour to do. Once that is over to them, that’ll turn into a letter of intent or design agreement, which we typically would do. After that, you’re getting paid to work from that point on. 

The one thing I noticed regarding discovery calls is that some people were put off by getting charged immediately for that initial phone call to talk to you. But you’re qualifying that lead on the front end, so you do not have to meet with everybody wanting that consultation.

We have weeks where we have ten consultation requests in a week, and we need help to even keep up with that. 

Keeping Up with Leads

That’s a quick rundown on the process that works well for us. This initial discovery call is on Zoom, and it works out great. We keep up with everything inside of HubSpot, which works great. 

If we cannot meet with a qualified lead, we put them on our waiting list and feed them weekly emails with the content we create. Doing so allows us to build their trust.

We can then call them back when our schedule opens up. Or if they are ready to go at that point, they can download all our lead magnet guides from our Resources page. It’s a way of warming up the leads. So a year or two before they’re ready, they’re already in the pipeline and know who we are. 

Wrapping Up

I hope that helps you guys. Feel free to contact us if you need help with a website or are wondering how we can help you with a marketing plan. You can request a consultation, and we will reach out to you. 

Have a fantastic rest of your day.

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Brian Freeman

Brian is the president of BuildIt Media. His passion is helping local businesses get clarity in their message allowing them to build authority and dominate their competition.

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