This is a guest post by Anushree Saxena, an independent lifestyle & mental health journalist. She is also a website and email copywriter for coaches & brands who want to build meaningful relationships with their ideal clients and customers.
9 Discovery Call Questions to Ask Your Prospect
Do you remember your first day of high school? How excited you were about the possibilities, while still feeling uncertain about what the future held?
My first few months as a new freelancer were exactly like that. I was posting content on LinkedIn in the hopes that someone would love my posts and hire me, but that didn’t happen for months. So, when people started booking discovery calls with me, I felt like I needed to take every one and convince these people to hire me. But I quickly realized that approach was a mistake. Taking on clients that weren’t the right fit impacted my self confidence and led me to developing imposter syndrome.
So here I am with a message to my other freelance peers: you have the power to choose whether or not you want to work on a project with a prospective client.
Here’s a list of discovery call questions you can ask to help you make the right decision for you.
1) What are your goals?
Asking this question will help you understand the vision of your prospective client. It will tell you what their core values are and if they align with your long-term business goals as a freelance copywriter.
2) What is your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)?
If your client doesn’t know what makes their brand/business unique, then it will be difficult for you to differentiate them from others who have similar offers.
3) What has your experience been like working with other freelancers?
Notice how they talk about their previous contractor. This is probably how they will talk about you after your contract is over. On the other hand, if they haven’t worked with a freelancer before, it’s up to you to set their expectations and show them what a good working relationship looks like.
4) Why do you want to work with me? Or why did you decide to get on a call with me today?
If the prospect reached out to you via referral or inbound channels, then chances are they already feel confident that you can help them solve their problem. When they tell you that during a discovery call, you don’t just get a confident boost — you will also understand the struggles they are currently trying to overcome.
5) What have you done in the past that has worked or not worked?
When your prospect has experimented with their content, you’ll have enough data and statistics to come up with strategies that might help them. Their answer to this question will also give you a sense of how open they are to experimenting with their content in the future.
6) What problem(s) are you struggling with the most?
This question will help you understand where their priorities lie. This is what you need to focus on first when you start working together, even if you guys want to tackle other problems too.
7) How much are you willing to invest to overcome this obstacle?
Knowing the client’s budget plays a big role in deciding if you want to take on a project. However, a prospect might insist on getting a quote without sharing their budget or revealing the complete scope of work. In this situation, you can simply share a range rather than give an exact number, saying you need more details to give a final quote.
8) Will you be available for meetings?
This question tells your prospect that working with you is a team effort — not a solo operation. They will have to make time to answer your questions, share briefs, and give feedback to achieve their desired goals.
9) When do you want to start?
If by the end of the discovery call, you both decide to work together, then ask the client when they want to kick off so you can block a spot for them on your calendar. If they aren’t sure or need to discuss it with their team, then ask them when they’ll have an answer and follow up accordingly.
As a freelancer, you have final say on who you work with. Discovery calls are the time to collect the information you need to properly assess if a client is the right for you, so ask as many questions as you want before making your decision.
PS: You will still miss deadlines, mess up projects, and feel like an imposter at times. That’s all a rite of passage. But in the end, working with the right clients makes it all bearable!