Discovery Sessions serve a very important purpose as both a marketing tool and as a way to get to know a potential client. They are meant to 'discover' if you and your potential client are a good fit for each other. This is very important to establish because not every single client is the right fit for you, and vice versa. You don't want to waste your time, or the potential client's time. If it's not the right fit, one bad client experience may end up impacting future word-of-mouth referrals, so making sure you manage the situation from the start is critical.
What is the mindset going in?
Before we begin, let’s review what Discovery Sessions are NOT about: they are NOT to sell yourself or for you to provide free consultations.
The point is to ask insightful questions so that both you and the potential client can discern whether or not you want to work together. It’s actually a very strategic conversation comparable to a mini-interview! If it is the right fit, the goal is to make them see that what they want most in the world can be achieved by working with you as their guide.
The mindset that you need to have for this Discovery Session is to look at it as though you’re presenting an opportunity that they can say yes or no to.
Remember, they have health concerns they need help with, and it’s that simple. You have valuable information you’ve had years of education on, and this is simply your opportunity to share it and change their life. It’s truly up to you!
You get to decide what works for them based on the services you offer. You can decipher how long you want them based on your experience, price point, and time you have available.
Industry average for Discovery Sessions are usually around 15-30 minutes.
How to put together a discovery session offering
Create a Free Discovery Session Page on your website that speaks directly to your prospective client clearly stating the value of the free session, and ask them very specific questions about their lifestyle and goals via an online form.
The meaning of value isn’t to say: “Here’s a FREE session, a $50 value!” It’s to inform the client of how you want to dive in a bit deeper so they’ll learn if you are the best one to help them.
If you are taking private pay, any of these options are fine. However, keep in mind that if you are insurance provider, you must follow HIPAA rules and will need to make sure any contact information you receive complies.
2. SET EXPECTATIONS
Once you schedule the session, set clear expectations of what you’ll leave them with through a quick follow-up email or message. For instance, that could be clear and specific goals, a mini action plan, increased awareness, more motivation. Whatever is true for you, state that.
Review their thoughtful answers before the session so you can really think through how you can best serve this potential client so you can relay that information during the session. Perhaps outline a loose action plan before the session.
4. LEAD THE CONVERSATION
Get to know the client, determine their readiness, ask questions that help you decide if they are really ready for change. Use a pre-prepared list of suggested topics/questions. Some examples include:
Ask them what’s going on with the issues listed in their answers in their pre-session form, or what are they looking to change?
Ask them what their life would look like if they had what they were looking for.
Explore what challenges or roadblocks they’ve experienced in the past. Get an understanding of what’s stood in their way.
Determine how not reaching their goals in the past has impacted their life.
What would be the best part about achieving their goals?
5. SHARE YOUR SERVICES
Once you understand what they’re looking for and that you have the solution to their problems, now is the time to tell them about your services. Always relate it back to their goals. After clearly stating what your available packages are that will meet their needs, ask them what option feels like the right fit for them. Empower them to decide.
6. BOOK THE FIRST SESSION
Collect all of their payment or insurance information necessary for you to enter them into your system as a client. Then pick a date and time that work best for the initial consultation.
Here are some additional tips to keep in mind during the Discovery Session:
Establish an initial connection (2-3 minutes) by finding something you can relate with them on.
Take notes during sessions.
Listen more than you talk.
Use their words back to them.
Suggest simple, initial action plan based on what’s not working for them.
Guide them to understand that they see that the results they’re going to get from working with you that can change their life.
Be clear and concise when you state your prices stating them as a fact.
What do you do if they are not ready to sign up?
If they are not ready to work with you and you truly feel that it’s the right fit, you can ask:
Ask them directly what their objections are and help them overcome it.
What do you need from me to know if this is right for you?
If my services were free, would you be willing to set up your first session with me now?
What do you do if it's not the right fit?
As an entrepreneur running your own practice, you want clients who are truly the right fit for you, so if a Discovery Session doesn’t lead to a client, don’t be disappointed! You know what you do best and who you best serve as you’ve defined through your speciality.
When it’s not the right fit, refer out to a fellow colleague who can best meet the needs of that client. It will still give that person a great impression of you because you’re trying to help them out. That might even come back to you in the future in the form of a referral if they have someone in mind who they think would be a great fit as your client.