How to get the best out of a mentoring Discovery call

Discovery calls are often used by mentors or consultants to better understand your current situation.  

They also act as a “getting to know you” experience in which you can both work out whether you get on together or not.  

The mentor will want to understand whether they can really help you or not. Though some will tell you they can anyway!  

You probably want to understand in what ways they can help you, and how exactly they can help, for example their approach or methodology. 

[In this guide we’ll use the words “mentor” and “consultant” interchangeably. They might deliver different services but their approach to Discovery calls is likely very similar].

Should I go on a Discovery call if I have a strict budget? 

Most decision-makers have some sort of budget restriction. Money trees remain quite rare! If you’re used to buying a particular service – say for example you plan 4 days’ training a year for your management team – then you’ll have an idea of the market rate for that schedule. 

But if you buy less frequently you might truly have no idea what market price is. This creates a dilemma. 

Some companies share pricing for selected services on their website (we do!) and Google might provide you with some clues. 

If that information isn’t available it can be quite awkward trying to find out whether a particular provider is within your budget.  

If you were just buying a pizza it would be easy. No, wait! Even when spending £13.99 on a pizza you’re given all sorts of options about extra toppings, sides and so on.  

Even for a quick transaction like this the chef is trying to understand what it is you really want. 

So you shouldn’t be surprised if a mentor asks you for a Discovery call. It might feel like a salesy request, but it’s genuinely hard to price something if you don’t know what the customer wants. 

If you still feel uncomfortable about this the best route is to come up with a specific scenario and ask for a range of prices. 

Let’s say you’re considering working with a sales mentor for 12 months. You’d like a fortnightly call to give you guidance and make sure you’re on track. You’d also like to have access to daily advice for those frustrating occasions when you get stuck on something. 

You could ask for a “from and to” price for this to see whether your chosen consultancy is affordable. If the response is that it’s between £500 and £1000 per month – but we’d need a Discovery call to confirm – then you can choose whether to go ahead with the conversation or not.  

Alternatively, and if money is really tight, you could share your budget. The risk with this is that the consultancy quote spends everything you have – but sometimes this means you’re getting really good value. 

Think how this might work with your pizza shop if you explained to the owner you had just ten pounds: What can I get for that?  

You might be offered a small pizza; maybe you’d be offered garlic bread with tomato. Who knows, but if the answer was: Sorry, nothing. Then you make your choice and go elsewhere. 

What happens in a Discovery call? 

First of all, you don’t need heavy preparation for this call. You should be able to explain what problem you’re trying to fix and why you thought this mentor might be a good fit for you. 

Then you should expect to be asked lots of questions. If you’re doing most of the talking it’s going well!  

More often than not, we find business owners can explain in great depth the symptoms that are causing them sleepless nights.  

It’s much less often that someone can explain why this is happening. How does it connect to other parts of the business? 

This is what these questions are designed to establish: What’s your underlying issue and can the mentor help you? 

The mentor should explain how they work, what their typical fees are, and what results you should expect by when. This is your chance to ask loads of questions so take this time to ensure you’ve fully understood. 

If you do miss something don’t be afraid to go back later. It’s frustrating for both parties if decisions are made on partial information so there’s nothing wrong with a follow-up email asking for more on subjects A,B and C. 

Is a Discovery call the start of a beautiful relationship? 

Everybody is busy and it’s likely you’ll only schedule a Discovery call if you think you’re interested in the service being offered.  

The same holds true for the mentor, so the number one rule is you absolutely must show up. 

Many restaurants take upfront payment now because the cost of no-shows is impacting their business. If you don’t show, your credit card takes the hit. 

Mentors have different approaches to this. Some don’t charge for these meetings and some do. Some even charge when you book, but then refund later when you attend.  

Regardless of the financial implication it’s just simple good manners though, isn’t it. 

If you ask for a quote then please only do so if you’re seriously thinking about going ahead. We work with lots of business owners who are frustrated that clients disappear after they sent the quote.  

Too often asking for a quote is a roundabout way of saying No, and that’s just a waste of everyone’s time. Far kinder to say No right away so people know where they stand. 

This theme runs through into what happens after the meeting. 

Our take on Discovery meetings is that they are the start of a relationship. We’ve already established that the reason for the meeting is that you are both potentially interested in working together. 

That comes with no obligation at all, not from either side. But it’s a chance to meet someone new, help each other out and keep in touch. 

You’ve probably come across the concept of “ghosting”, where someone disappears from view and refuses to respond to any form of contact.  

In our sales training it’s one of the problems that business owners express most frustration about. Nobody really minds being told ‘no’ if they understand why and it’s done politely.  

So we won’t get upset if you don’t want to work with us but we will be put out if you just go cold. The minimum we ask is that you: 

  • Tell us what you’ve decided to do (like find a different solution, go ahead with someone else, postpone the decision until March etc.) 
  • Why that option was a better choice than going ahead with us 
  • Stay part of our business community, whether that’s through our newsletter, following us on LinkedIn and so on 

If you’re uncomfortable with giving this feedback it’s helpful to focus on positive language. For instance, you might explain that you chose to work with another provider because you really liked how they approach X and were excited about them helping you with Y. 

This is actually really valuable feedback for the mentor and for sure we’d be happy to receive this response.  

Not as happy as if you choose to work with us of course! 

If this sounds good to you, get in touch with us here.