Stop Selling and Start Interviewing – Your First Call with a Client

Liz Nugent Convert Your Audience Leave a Comment

Note the specific wording: this is an interview, NOT a sales call!

Since you are a Social Media professional, before you jump on a call with a prospective client, you need to have your prospect complete an application. If you haven’t read that article, we highly recommend reading it first.

Once you have reviewed their fully completed and enthusiastic application, you can schedule the first discovery call. Congratulations, you’ve set the stage for yourself as their expert!

On your first call with your prospects, you get 30 minutes to understand their needs and goals and to evaluate whether you are their solution.

There is no set script for this call, except for this blurb, which will set the agenda:

“ I just want to ask you a few questions to see if or how I can help you. I’ll tell you what I’ve got going on, then you can ask me whatever questions you want. When we get to the end, you let me know if this makes sense to you or not. Is that fair?”

Boom! You’ve just put yourself in control of the call. Best of all, you’re not “selling”.

Probe for the pain.

Your aim is to figure out their big frustration — do they want to make more money? Is social media going way over their head? Are they short on time? Use this information to effectively articulate how you’re going to fill the gap. It’s easy to fall into interview mode, but make sure that you stay on topic and focus on just the information that is important for both of you.

Make sure you’re only asking one question at a time and ask follow-up questions to get the full picture.

Following this call, you’ll create a proposal, which outlines everything you’re going to accomplish and how you’re going to do it. This call is your chance to gather all of the necessary information to make that argument compelling.

You want to:

1) Find out what your prospect already knows

Information on their ideal customer and details on their initial transaction amounts, profit margin, and customer spend per year is highly valuable. These details help you target and optimize your campaigns and confirm if the prospect is a viable client.

If they don’t have these details available, this is an opportunity: you can display your expertise by helping them find the answers!

2) Get a reading on the baseline

If you really want to know what you’re up against, you need to ask questions about the number of leads and sales they’re currently getting and the amount they are investing into marketing.

Winning the job hinges on creating a proposal that will exceed these baseline numbers. Furthermore, when you truly understand the client’s current process of capturing leads, you’ll be able to figure out exactly where and why the leads are dropping off.

From there, you can gauge and mastermind where to make which changes.

3) Understand their goals

It is important to ensure that you can outline SMART goals in your proposal, but also for you to price your services properly.

For example, pricing for campaigns that aim to build an audience and engagement should be higher, as it requires more content and collaboration with influencers. If they want engagement AND leads, they need to be prepared to pay for both.

Set the stage for the outcome

When you’ve done all the necessary digging and probing, the last part of the call is for strategizing with them about what could be possible if they work with you.

Paint a picture and get them excited, but also be clear about how much work they are willing to put in and how much you will do. For example, if you think building an ebook funnel is a winning idea, then confirm who will hire the copywriter. Being clear about expectations now will help manage future objections.

Finally, before you hang up, schedule the next call. The follow-up call should be within 24 – 48 hours, to keep excitement high and objections low. For this next call, you’ll have a project outline/proposal in hand and you’ll be ready to seal the deal!