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Over the past couple weeks I’ve been breaking down my sales process. So far, we’ve got the prospect through the project inquiry form, logged all the data in our CRM, and evaluated if the lead is a good fit or not. 

If they are, then the next step is to jump on a Zoom call with them and get to know them a bit.

These calls, for me, are pretty free-flowing. I don’t have an exact script to follow, I don’t typically take too many notes, and I try to keep things as informal as possible.

More than anything, this is a “vibe check” to see if this feels like someone I could work with, if the project is interesting, if they are ready to get started, and if they are serious about moving forward. 

I want to do as little talking during this meeting as possible. 

In order to achieve that, I tend to ask really open ended questions, like:

  • Why are you looking for a new website?
  • What problems are you trying to over come?
  • What opportunities are you currently missing out on?
  • What functionality is important for the website?
  • What’s your experience working with developers in the past?
  • What does the perfect outcome look like?

I’m not directly asking the questions I’m looking for answers to (like “how serious are you about getting started?”), but you can get a good feeling for those things by how they answer some of these other questions.

Meetings are typically light-hearted, casual, and always 30-minutes or less.

Tip: One way I ensure these meetings don’t go over is by telling them right when we start the call that I have another call directly after theirs. This helps me wrap things up without offending them.

While the call is taking place I’m doing a little bit of mental calculations, because before the call is over I want to give them a rough ballpark of what I’d expect this project’s invoice to be.

It doesn’t have to be exact, and I leave myself some wiggle room by saying “based on what I understand and my experience with similar projects, I’d expect a project like this to cost between $10,000 – $15,000. Is that within your budget?”

And after that question, I shut up and wait.

You can tell a lot about how likely this project is to close between the next few second of awkward silence and their response. 

If they say yes, then I just let them know I’ll be emailing them with some more details and the next steps (but I don’t tell them exactly what they are).

If they throw out a lower budget, and it’s within reason, I let them know that they may not be able to get everything they want, but we might be able to break the project up into phases.

If they have total sticker shock (and you can tell they thought a website would be $500), then I let them know that I wouldn’t be able to help, but I can send them some recommendations (which is often Upwork, Fivver, etc.).

If I can tell from my “vibe check” that this just isn’t a project I want to take on or someone I want to work with, then I let them know I’ll email them with my recommendations (which ends up being a referral elsewhere).

Next week we’ll discuss how I follow up with prospects after this initial call and pitch paid discovery (when necessary).

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