To prepare for the call, you'll want to do some basic research on the prospective client. This can be specific to your business and offering, but some common useful points to research might be:
- Review their website (can take this from the CRM);
- Sketch out what their key pain points might be;
- Review any key competitors, if appropriate;
- Scope out a rough project outline for this prospect, or the project you'd like to aim for on the call; Timeline, Budget range; and Key Outcomes.
To Fill During The Call
Enter information about the company, team, history and any useful background.
- Why this?
- Ask the client, directly, why they are entertaining this project, specifically—if you can think of an alternative, ask them why they aren't doing that instead;
- Lean on this information to ensure you collect the key project outcomes the client is most interested in. If you let them speak long enough, they should tell you why this is important and what they want to get out of it.
- Why now?
- Ask the client about any relevant timelines, upcoming deadlines, launches, changes—try to understand why they haven't already made this change or what is motivating them to do it now, not later.
- Lean on this information when calculating your bid, and writing up your proposal.
- Why me?*
- Ask the client why they are considering you as a candidate. They have agreed to meet with you, after all—something must have piqued their interest.
- Lean on the information gathered in this section when making your case in any future proposals.
*These three Whys are derived from Jonathan Stark's 'Why Conversation'—Jonathan is an all-around excellent resource for all things value-pricing, for those looking to learn more I'd recommend this conversation.
- [ ] Repeat back the project outcomes that you've listed during the call to ensure you're all on the same page, in terms of what is trying to be achieved;
- [ ] Ask the client for confirmation on how we will measure success toward those outcomes; and
- [ ] Give the client your estimated project budget range—and confirm that this is something they will be considering before you go and write a full proposal.
Leave the client with a clear idea of what the next steps will look like, including;
- Follow-up on any references, portfolio or additional information requested during the call;
- Whether or not you will be sending a follow-up proposal—and if so, when to expect it.