Episode 32: How to Nail Your Consultation Calls

Have you ever fumbled over your calls with a potential new client?
Do you find yourself in hives when it comes time to talk about your rate?
What if you could wave a magic wand and suddenly your calls went from awkward to awesome, all while closing more new clients? Listen in designer. We think today’s post will give you a heap of confidence for your next call.

Episode 32 Show Notes

Key Takeaways:

  • [6:28] When we first got started, we didn’t really have a plan for our initial calls. We were still figuring out our services and rates. Having a plan for these calls can help you build confidence
  • [9:50] It’s hard sometimes to know what to ask and the order to ask questions in so having something like a script will help when you’re just starting out
  • [10:42] Sometimes you can get too involved with writing everything down that you’ll get distracted and not connect with the potential client. Having a note-taking cheat sheet helps you make quick notes in specific boxes to be organized
  • [11:49] There are two camps regarding calls – having your number publicly listed so people are able to call you at any point or having scheduled calls
  • [12:31] Having your business phone number publicly listed on your website does a lot to build trust and legitimacy
  • [13:16] A happy medium is having a Google Voice number that does not ring on your phone but goes straight to voicemail. Let people know it’s a voicemail that is monitored frequently and that you’ll get back to them as soon as possible
  • [15:02] Scheduled calls reduces distraction not only for you but also for your prospect client
  • [15:12] Scheduled calls also demonstrate commitment by the potential client. If they are willing to wait for an appointment, then it shows they are serious about hiring you
  • [16:29] Before taking a scheduled call, give yourself a few minutes to shift your focus and to get into the mindset of selling to your new potential client
  • [17:34] After printing all their basic  information and your note-taking sheet, go to a really quiet place with no distractions 
  • [17:43] Then take a minute to review and note any key words
  • [18:10] Have your calendar ready to book the consultation. Have 1-3 dates where you are available for an initial consultation
  • [18:31] Have your list of services with rates printed out for easy reference
  • [18:51] Smile when you dial! Make sure your warmth is coming through because this makes a difference on how you come across
  • [20:06] If you’re just getting started in your business and you haven’t done a lot of these calls, get a partner or a trusted friend to do a little roleplaying so you can practice
  • [21:05] As a common courtesy, ask if it’s a good time to talk in the beginning of the call. Sometimes people forget they booked this call or something unexpected came up
  • [21:47] Start with discovery, which means learning about their project
  • [21:50] Go into emotion – tapping into their emotions, sharing relatable stories, and bonding over what they are talking about to let them know they’re not alone in their problem
  • [22:01] Ask about the investment they’re prepared to spend
  • [22:04] Then, paint the picture for them on how you’ll solve their problem. Let them know what’s the best package for them based on what they told you
  • [22:16] If there are objections, you have to have good and clear answers or if not you’ll risk losing them as a client
  • [22:25] End with excitement. Make sure there’s a big smile on your face and enthusiasm in your voice. Make sure that next steps are made very clearly so that everyone knows what to expect
  • [23:21] When clients are getting on the phone with you, they are expecting to be sold to. By default, that puts them into a fight-or-flight mode in their head where they feel the need to protect themselves from scams or anything unusual
  • [23:44] When you have somebody start talking about themselves, they’re forced to start using the left, analytical side of their brain which they cannot use at the same time as their fight-or-flight mode
  • [24:25] Clients will also give you key words that you can reflect back to them. Examples include “frustrated,” “overwhelmed,” “my husband and I disagree,” “confused”
  • [24:50] If you take really good note of those words and pain points and you reflect it back to them, they will feel known and understood
  • [25:59] The very first words that should come out of your mouth after clients share why they reached out to you should be: “Thank you so much for sharing that with me”
  • [27:20] The next step would be to make sure you establish authority and experience – “This is why I became an interior designer. To help solve problems like yours”
  • [28:00] Ask them how they want to feel when they walk into the finished space. It’s important that they visualize the end result so they can get into a happier mindset
  • [29:37] It’s easy to make assumptions but when you mirror back, clients can see that you truly understood them and you give them the chance to dive in for any clarifications
  • [30:44] “If you were to throw a ballpark number what amount do you have in mind to invest in this design project?” – Investment is a more positive word than budget when you are preparing to ask them how much they are willing to spend
  • [31:35] Most clients don’t have a specific number in mind but you should get them to start thinking about it so you are all on the same page
  • [32:29] The truth is they always have a number but you have to give them a point of reference. It’ll be much easier for clients to come up with a realistic number of where their comfort level is at
  • [35:25] Don’t make the mistake of talking about all of your services. Take into account everything you’ve learned about them and recommend the service that best fits their needs
  • [36:02] Tell them what the package is, what it entails, a little bit about the process but most importantly what they can expect at the end of it
  • [37:36] “Does that sound like a plan?” – Finishing it off with this phrase loops them in, makes them feel involved, and gets them excited
  • [38:01] Have an entry-level service is ideal even if you think full service is the best choice
  • [38:57] Usually, if we think someone is a full-service client, we’re not trying to sell them a full-service package on the phone
  • [39:07] That’s for a number of reasons. It’s a big commitment for anyone to make off the bat. Also, you haven’t seen the project nor worked with the person long enough to make such a proposal
  • [41:54] The goal of this initial consultation call is to sell a two-hour consultation. You’re trying to get people in the door and invest in you and build trust so that you can upsell them to the next level that the ultimately need
  • [43:00] Have a PDF that outlines all of your services in detail with a pricing guide that you can send off to them as soon as you get off the phone. This will save you time and convert them from prospect to happily paying clients
  • [45:36] Wrap up on a positive, exciting note and share the next steps 
  • [46:42] Congratulate them by celebrating the fact that they decided to prioritize themselves and their home

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