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Why is a discovery call not a sales call?

Updated: Jun 15, 2023

Woman in orange dress holding microphone

Ann Garry – Zest4life Director & Founder: Nutrition Business Success Formula

We all came into nutrition because we are passionate about helping others, creating something meaningful and doing the work we love.

We did not spend all that time studying and training because we are passionate about sales. But the fact is that without clients you do not have a business, and it is essential that you learn effective and practical strategies for selling your services in discovery calls in order to build a successful practice.

Smiling woman at desk talking on phone

In this post, we’ll look at the psychology of selling. By reframing your mindset around sales, you can learn to embrace and feel confident on discovery calls, rather than feeling uncomfortable, or even dreading them. Discovery calls are something to feel good about!

How is a discovery call not a sales call?

The important consideration with discovery calls is that you don’t see them as sales calls but consider them to be part of the process that remains 100% about the client and their health/life goals. The first thing we recommend is to replace the word ‘sell’ in your own mind with the phrase: ‘Positively influence potential clients to take the next step to move forward with their health (ideally with me!)’ You employ these skills not as sales skills, but as skills to influence in a positive way - because they work to help focus the client on what they want and don’t want for their health and wellbeing.

The trouble is that we are often so focused on ‘not appearing pushy’ or ‘getting it right’ or ‘sounding business-like’ that we are not fully available for the client during the session – we are too busy worrying about how we are coming across and whether we are going to get rejected.

A successful initial discovery call has to be client-focused, not coach-focused. It requires you - your worries, concerns, limiting beliefs, etc. - to step out of the equation so that you can be fully available to your potential client and able to hear what they are saying, ask the right questions and help direct them appropriately at the end of the session. If the most appropriate action is for them to join you on one of your programmes, invite them warmly. If not, then refer them, or advise them on some strategies they can use themselves to make a difference.

In this way, it’s not a sales process, but a motivational interviewing session to add value and positively influence them to take action.

Think of it as a gift.

Two women at sunset with arms in air

Reframing the process of discovery calls

If you reframe the process and view discovery calls as the first step in helping the client to achieve their health goals, you will see the calls as a potential opportunity for clients to change the direction of their health and wellbeing. This then alters the dynamics of the call and your attitude to it.

Discovery calls are all about helping people – something we all love to do! Remember that no one can be helped by your programme if you don’t tell them about it; if they don’t know you exist. You have to speak up and be heard in order to be of service.

Remind yourself of your value. Know that what you have to offer is of the highest value to someone who is suffering in an area of their health. Know that by holding back from offering your programmes, someone may remain in pain and/or discomfort unnecessarily. Discovery call conversations open up the possibility for change and transformation. If you were struggling in an area of your health and a friend had a solution, wouldn’t you want to hear about it? You could even view it as being selfish not to speak up, not to share your knowledge and not to invite them to work with you!

It’s all about feelings

"Your emotions will drive the decisions you make today, and your success may depend upon your ability to understand and interpret them. When an emotion is triggered in your brain, your nervous system responds by creating feelings in your body (what many people refer to as a “gut feeling”) and certain thoughts in your mind. A great deal of your decisions are informed by your emotional responses because that is what emotions are designed to do: to appraise and summarise an experience and inform your actions.” (Lamia, 2010)

Box of eggs with faces showing feelings

It’s not a coincidence that one of the most commonly-used coaching questions is ‘how do you feel about that?’ We are driven by our emotions.

People are more likely to act if they experience a strong emotion, whether it’s positive or negative. If we are really angry, we are more likely to do something about a situation that is not working for us – or that we have been tolerating for some time but have put to the back of our minds. If we are able to connect to how wrong something feels for us, we can become more motivated to do something about it.

At the same time if we feel really excited about something, we are also more likely to act. So, a heightened state of emotion can lead to taking action. And the more emotion we feel, the stronger the likelihood of us taking action now.

This is what coaching on a discovery call is about – exploring what is going on in the client’s life and how they feel about it – right now. We want to raise their motivation for choosing to take action and not put it off any longer. We must use this with integrity of course – we want to galvanise people, but for the best possible reasons.

Gently and carefully exploring a situation that is causing distress and/or disease and exploring all the implications and feelings that go along with this will heighten the client’s feelings about it, bring it to the forefront of their minds, and encourage action. There’s nothing ‘sales call’ about that.

To receive one to one coaching on how to approach your discovery calls book your 45 minute complimentary business strategy call with one of our experienced Business Mentors using this link -


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