How do you feel that moment your email or phone app pings to let you know a client has booked in a discovery call to find out more about your interior design services?
For me, it’s pure elation. But if this brings you dread, it’s probably because you aren’t properly preparing for your client discovery calls. You might need to build your confidence, or you need to create a system to feel more organised.
Let me help, with a short guide to prepare for a successful client discovery call as an interior designer.
How to prepare before the discovery call
When people book a discovery call with me, I ask some questions upfront. You can do this through a Calendly link. It’s good practise to help you to feel more prepared for the discovery call.
The first thing I do when a client books a discovery call is to check out the responses to the four questions I ask:
- Brief overview of the project/challenge
- Timescales (with radial buttons to choose – keeping it super easy)
- Instruction of any trades (with buttons to select trades)
Then I wonder, how did they find me? I don’t ask this question on the Calendly link that clients use to book, as I want to keep the booking process short & sweet. So, I wait until the call, and trust me it’s one of the first questions I ask.
These 4 questions, along with their name, give me a chance to complete some initial research before the call.
- Understanding the project/challenge helps me identify which of my services would be most appropriate for the client.
- Understanding the timescales gives me insight into whether this is a serious wanting to get going within 3 months, or a client that’s perhaps researching/planning.
- Knowing the postcode gives me an opportunity to look at the area the client lives in, and check out any recent property sales, with images and floor plans to potentially understand the space. This also gives me a guide on the value of the property, and ceiling prices if the client is planning a large renovation project.
- Knowing if any trades have been instructed, for example an Architect completing plans, gives me insight into the scale of the job.
Now the insight certainly doesn’t mean I have all the information I need, but it does give me some starting knowledge when jumping on a call.
I should also mention I look at the name across social media accounts to get information on family, friends, and potential job roles.
I send a reminder email the day before, and an hour before the call, to ensure the client has the zoom link easy to hand and doesn’t forget about the call. If you use Calendly, you can do this automatically.
Before the call I make sure all the unnecessary tabs on my browser are closed, and I open an example of a project that I feel could be relevant, plus my website. Always have a drink to hand and turn your phone on silent to avoid distractions.
I grab my digital notebook and I ensure I arrive 2-3 minutes earlier to be ready to welcome the potential client into the call.
What to do during a client discovery call
Next comes the call itself, where the conversation starts. I always remember to ask where they found me (this is important to track).
During the call it’s important to look out for information that will help you qualify whether the client will turn into paid work, or if it’s just a fact-finding conversation.
Following up after the client discovery call
If you get a positive vibe after the call, you need to be proactive in following up. You should send a proposal and keep in touch with your prospect. When people don’t reply straight away, don’t be afraid to follow-up. People often need a nudge.
It’s useful to have a system to track leads and enquiries, so you know when you last spoke and set reminders to follow-up. Some interior design projects can take time to start with, so you don’t want them to slip through the net.
You might instantly feel like they won’t turn into a new interior design client – and that’s okay. Not every discovery call will result in a sale, because not every potential client is a good fit for your services and prices. The important thing is to not take these calls personally.
Feel confident during client discovery calls
This guide should have given you the confidence to prepare for client discovery calls as an interior designer. After you have a system in place, the whole process will feel natural to you. When you’re more confident in yourself and your process, it won’t feel like ‘selling’.
If you need more business support as an interior designer, please get in touch or book a Fresh Pair of Eyes for a personalised strategy.