You are currently viewing How to follow up on a discovery call
take notes

How to follow up on a discovery call

What do you usually do after a discovery call with your prospect?

The discovery call is the first call you have with a prospect after they express interest in purchasing your product. The main objective is to learn the prospect’s needs, such as the samples and materials they want to analyze and what they want to characterize and determine if they are a good fit for what you offer. In other words, you qualify or disqualify the prospect at the end of the call.

Some salespeople just qualify the prospect and start preparing a quote or working on whatever the next step is. Some send a thank-you email. Neither is good enough.

You do want to send an email, and here is what to include in the email if you qualify the prospect:

  1. Thank them for taking the time to meet.
  2. Recap the conversation and describe their samples, desired parameters to characterize, current challenges, funding situation, purchasing process, time frame, etc.
  3. Summarize the next steps.
  4. Ask if you missed anything.
  5. Include links to resources that further address questions and concerns they expressed in the call.
  6. Encourage them to contact you if they need anything else.

Why do we want to do this? Imagine you go to a restaurant and order your meal, telling the waiter to hold this and substitute that, etc., then the waiter takes notes and says, “OK, got it.” and walks away. How would you feel? You would wonder, “Did he get it all? Did he understand that my kid has an allergy and can’t have any peanuts? Did he get that I want broccoli instead of asparagus?”

Instead, you would be at ease if the waiter repeats your order to give you feedback that he heard you and understood everything you said. He is also giving you a chance to make corrections if needed. The recap part of the follow-up email does the same thing.

There are also other subtle benefits.

  • The recap of the prospect’s needs in a written form discourages scope creep. 
  • The recap of the next steps holds them accountable if there are steps they need to take.
  • Referring to your web content and publications when providing resources to address their questions and answers will make them see you as an authority in the field.

For the last benefit to work, you need lots of inbound content answering common questions and addressing common concerns. This is another significant part of the They Ask You Answer framework. (Further reading: Why consultative B2B sales need inbound marketing)

This might sound like a common sense thing to do. But do you do it? I know few salespeople who do this. If you do, your prospects will appreciate it, and you will be ahead of the game.

Leave a Reply