The Five Critical Mistakes Coaches Make When Conducting A Coaching Discovery Call

Let’s talk about the five big mistakes that I see coaches and consultants making on their coaching discovery calls. 

What are Coaching Discovery Calls?

So let’s get clear on really what a discovery call is first.  I’ve heard these “calls” referred to as strategy sessions, accelerator sessions, coaching discovery calls, free coaching calls…

…and the list goes on.

But the end result is still the same.   You want to get people onto a coaching discovery call to give them a taste of what it’s like to work with you, and ultimately begin working with you if they’re a good fit.

So in this post we’re talking about that  introductory call – on either a video call or a telephone or whatever it may be. 

The Five Critical Mistakes

So let’s talk about the five things that really need to be shored up.

There are actually TEN things that I always urge my client to be very cautious of…

I’m going to go over five of them today, but there’s a link here that will take you to The Reverse Ask™, which is my free guide. That will walk you all the way through the nine step processes for your discovery calls.

Mistake One – Not Communicating the Agenda for the Discovery Call

The first thing that I see coaches do on discovery calls is not setting up the call agenda at the beginning, right?

So they might get on the call, but don’t layout the the agenda of the call with the potential client.

Now if this is you,  maybe that’s because you don’t really have a structure planned out.  And if that’s the case, I really encourage you to use the link here and download a copy of The Reverse Ask™. 

Sometimes coaches just don’t have that as part of the process. 

And when coaches skip this step, they often get on the call and start chatting…

….then the caller starts chatting…

… and sometimes a potential client even takes over control of the entire call!

So you want to make sure you have a structure and that the client knows what that structure is.

Now, if you’re doing a free coaching discovery call, certainly the potential client can ask questions and direct a call a certain way, but it’s your job as the coach here to make sure that you bring it back in line so you can have a value-added discovery call and still relay the information that you want to relay.

Mistake Two – Building Ineffective Rapport

The second mistake is with rapport.  Certainly you want to establish rapport on your coaching discovery calls, but you want to make sure you are doing it effectively and with purpose. Often times coaches mistaking rapport for small talk…and that stunt growth in your coaching business.

Many coaches build rapport by finding insignificant common ground….

….”Oh, you a have a labradoodle. I have a labradoodle too.”

…”You live in Colorado? My Aunt lives in Colorado”

That’s not what you’re looking for.

When it comes to discovery calls, rapport is about establishing the roles for the call – either consciously or other than consciously.

You are the coach. They’re the potential client.

Rapport is about establishing these role and making the other person comfortable in that role.

Less small talk, more rapport building.

Again, If you download The Reverse Ask, I’ll show you exactly how to do that.

Mistake Three – Forgetting to Actually Coach

If you’re a coach or consultant already, you understand that that coaching is about 80% listening, 20% talking.

But yet, sometimes coaches get on these discovery calls, and just take over the dialogue!

It’s important to remember that you need to control the direction of the call, but we don’t want dominate the dialouge.  Remember, as coaches you’re present to actively listen, so you can later get down to what value you can actually provide to this potential client.

Mistake Four – Not Value Matching

Often coaches on discovery calls don’t match the value they can provide with what the clients really want.

So what do I mean by that? Well, for those of you who have a coaching program, you could have an entire lineup of value adding stages, lessons, and resources.  

And this is fantastic.  

But what coaches do sometimes is,  at the end of the call, overwhelm them information about our entire program first instead of giving the information that will help them solve the very specific things that uncovered during that discovery call.

For instance, if you are a fitness coach, you might have a coaching program that takes them everywhere from how to set up a household for success along their fitness journey, all the way through mental fitness and meditation. 

But during the discover call, you discovered that their main three challenges are not having time to go to the grocery store and get to correct food,  not knowing what to buy when they’re at the grocery store, and  eating the wrong snacks.

Then when it comes time to talk about your program, you talk about all of your stuff! 

All that stuff is valuable and it’s super, super important…

…but it’s overwhelmed for them…..

And then they start to wonder who they can possibly do it all.

What you want to do instead is match up the tools that can solve their most pressing issues first.  That way they  know that they’ve been heard.

Remember, people will not hear what you are saying until after they believe they have been heard!

So you don’t want to take a sledgehammer to a thumbtack here.  

Mistake Five – Not Selling Your Program at All!

Finally, the fifth mistake that I see coaches making on discovery calls…. is they don’t try to sell the program at all!

Now, I will say this …

…my coaching clients who are using The Reverse Ask™, do things in a way that will the potential client actually asking the coach about the coaching program by the end of the call!

…But even if that doesn’t happen, you have to make an offer.  Not giving them the opportunity to buy your program….to invest in themselves….is a little like hoarding your expertise. 

It’s like meeting someone in the desert, talking about their struggle with thirst for 45 minutes and then leaving without giving them the chance to buy any water from you!

So you want to make sure that you’re offering your program at the end of these calls.

If you do it the right way, it’s not going to be pushy for two reasons.

1. because the vast majority of the time you’ve been listening and not talking.  You’ve heard what they’ve had to say. You’ve set them up for success on the call. So they don’t feel like you’re being overbearing, and 

2. you’re doing it in a way that they are going to be already wondering how it is that they can work with you!

In their mind, it will seem as though it’s the next logical and obvious step…

…and that’s the goal.

That’s why we call the process that I created The Reverse Ask.  Because it’s designed in a way, not for you to pitch your product to the potential client, but to have the potential client ask you how you can get started… and get started right away.

Okay. So those are the five mistakes that I see coaches and consultants make on coaching discovery calls.


 hope you got a ton of value out of this, please. If you did go ahead and share it!

Good vibes.