Use Discovery Sessions — either one-on-one or with a group — to help people get to know you and your work and build your business. Discovery Sessions help people get to know, like, and trust you, the all important three things people need to make the decision to work with you. Structuring a successful Discovery Session, one that ends with a new client, also poses some challenges. They need to feel valuable, and non-sales-y, to the prospect, but not give so much away to the point where people don’t feel like they need to come back for an actual session/class.
Get your free Discovery Session Guidelines PDF HERE.
The work we do as health and wellness entrepreneurs asks our clients and students to trust us and be vulnerable with their feelings, thoughts, and bodies. That makes the decision of who to work with something that our prospective customers don’t take lightly. Add to that any limits people have with time, energy, and money (which we all have) and you can see that the easier we can make the decision for someone to choose to work with us, the sooner they will.
Discovery Sessions show people the WHAT, HOW, and WHY they, specifically should work with you. In the Discovery Session, you connect WHAT you do with the NEED the person has, showing them HOW their need will be fulfilled, the WHY they might work with you.
Client Need + Your Specific Solution = Desire To Work With You
The trouble practitioners get into is that they actually start doing the work during the Discovery Session. We all want to help people right away! It’s important to stick to the guidelines, below, to create a satisfying Discover Session that leads to your prospect signing up for more. Show the WHAT, HOW, and WHY, without actually doing the work itself.
We’ll begin with a One-On-One Discovery Session and then add additional specifics for Group Sessions.
Get the Discovery Session Guidelines PDF HERE.
There are 3 Parts to a Discovery Session, with the time divided equally.
How long should a Discovery Session be?
One-On-One Sessions: 15 – 30 minutes
Any longer and you’ll be tempted to start doing the work!
Discovery Session Part 1 Purpose: Build Rapport/ Discover Problem
- Help the person feel comfortable with introductory small talk, i.e., thank them, ask how they found you or if they were referred
- Invite them to share a quick overview with you what prompted them to look into your type of service or class
- Reflect back only the essence of what their challenges are (ex. “so what I hear you saying is…) so the person knows you’re listening and feels your desire to help them specifically
- The purpose of Part 1 is to deepen the rapport and gain clarity about what they are looking for.
At this point you may sense that you are not the right person for them to work with, that your service is not the right match. Don’t hesitate to say so, and to refer them to another professional. Be clear about your professional boundaries if what they are looking for isn’t a fit for you. If it feels like a possible match, move on to Part 2.
Discovery Session Part 2 Purpose: Connect Your Solution To Their Problem
- State that their challenge is in your wheelhouse, “I work with people on issues that you mentioned.”
- Explain how you will directly address each of their concerns specifically through your work to help paint a positive picture of working with you.
- Don’t just tell them what you do. Tell them how what you do specifically addresses their challenges.
- Ask them if they’ve had your type of work before and how often. If yes, ask them what really worked well and what didn’t in their previous experiences.
- If what worked well is also a way that you work, then say that this is how you work and this seems like a good fit.
Get the Discovery Session Guidelines PDF HERE.
Discovery Session Part 3 Purpose: Articulate and Invite
- Clearly describe where you’d begin in your first session together and what the goals of that first session would be.
- Be specific in connecting your work to their issues.
- Suggest how often you might meet, how much it costs, how they book and pay, and your cancellation policy.
- End with a clear invitation (call to action) to them to think about what you talked about and decide if you’re a good fit.
- Don’t push, but if you truly feel like you’re a good match, then say so, reiterating specifically how your work will address their issues. Be prepared to book a session!
Be sure they know your website address, and ask if you can put them on your mailing list so they can receive your newsletter, blog posts, or other valuable free information. If meeting in person, give them a business card or brochure when you say goodbye.
Follow up the Discovery Session with an email:
- “Thank you so much. It was a pleasure to talk to you.”
- Reiterate their challenge(s) and your solution(s).
- Give information for booking, or thank them for booking and remind them of the day, time, and location.
Additional Guidelines For Group Discovery Sessions (or Introductory Session)
- Use a Discovery or Introductory Session to introduce people to your class series or longer workshop/program.
- Group Sessions should be 30-60 minutes, depending on the setting and situation.
- Ask people to share why they’re there — this connects them to their desire for what you have to offer AND helps them feel comfortable with and connected to the group.
- Give the facts and benefits of your offer, relating as specifically as possible to the needs people have expressed.
- If possible, give a sample or do a demonstration. Have this all planned out in advance, so you don’t get side tracked and go on too long.
- Allow time for questions.
- End with a clear invitation and details, including a card or brochure with sign up information.
Thank them for coming!
- Follow up with an email, as above.
Need help designing your classes and workshops? Download my free guide “9 Essential Design Steps For Powerful Workshops”. Get the design guide HERE.
I offer free 30 minute Discovery Sessions (of course!) to help you determine of Holistic Life Coaching or Business/Strategy Coaching is right for you.
Book your free session HERE.
All My Best,