Why Every Digital Agency Needs the Paid Discovery Method

There’s nothing like the feeling of closing a deal! But how do you turn that one phone call into a consistent cycle of paying clients? What if you could create new revenue streams in every sales process, ensuring recurring revenue as your business grows?

Better yet…How does closing clients with an 85% conversion rate sound? Too good to be true? Think again! 

Success in the sales process requires the right set of tools to optimise customer relationships. Developing an effective strategy to drive the sales process will help with client acquisition and management, understanding what drives client satisfaction, project scope and much more. 

How does one do this? The Paid Discovery Method of course!

Introducing The Paid Discovery Method

Using the framework outlined in our Paid Discovery Method, our very own Maverick Adam Silverman from Muletown Digital is currently closing clients with an 85% conversion rate. 

It's a simple as triage, plan, prescribe.

Let's dive in and talk about what happens when people come into the top of the funnel, because typically speaking, the process to close a new client sees someone put their hand up and say they are interested in looking at what it is you do. You optimistically jump on a call with them and try to figure out if they're a good fit. 

More often than not you kind of fumble your way through it. Sound familiar? 

The success of that call is measured by whether or not they ask you for a proposal. And if they do ask you for a proposal on that first call, then you're thinking great, this is looking good and I've got some momentum! They are trusting me enough to potentially work with me and want to see a proposal to work out the details. 

Now, your conversion rate if you're really good might be around 15% or 20%. 

But we can help you increase that conversion rate dramatically. 

Something that we've been working on over the last couple of years is a way to shorten the sales cycle, acquire clients faster and increase that conversion rate. 

How Adam Silverman Has Used the Paid Discovery Method to Grow his Agency

Before joining Mavericks Club, Adam admits that his process with new prospects was a bit of a mess. It mostly consisted of him trying to figure out what they needed without much of a structure or gameplan. 

He remembers constantly worrying that he was overpricing his services and ended up taking underpaid projects because he just wanted to help everyone

Like so many of us, Adam was feeling like a deer in the headlights and was overwhelmed on what to do moving forward. 

Enter… the Agency Mavericks SWAT Team! 

Once Adam decided that he wanted to be a part of the business growth of his company, as opposed to just the tech side, he knew he had to make that shift with a team to drive it. 

He wanted to build a business that could passively run and that he did not have to physically be inso he joined Mavericks Club and has never looked back!

The Switch From Proposals to Paid Discovery

Adam quickly realised that he would often be on the phone conducting triage calls for an hour and a half or more, and at the end of the call he still didn't have all the data he needed to put together a propsal. Plus everybody had different questions still,  from his designers, to his dev team, as well as the clients. It was obvious that he needed to do a deeper dive into the discovery phase and include his whole team. 

Extracting enough on a discovery call to make it valuable can sometimes be tough. You've got to be willing to keep asking them the same question, a bunch of different ways if you're not getting an answer that's going to help. 

After adding up how much it was costing him for three different team members to join a triage call along with him, he had a moment where he stopped and thought ‘I either have to stop doing this and just fire off a proposal not knowing what the result will be or I have to start getting paid to figure this stuff out.’ 

That shift into Paid Discovery creates a totally different working relationship with the client. They very quickly figure out that they just don't know enough on their own to achieve what it is they're hoping for – they need your help. (An important element of our Four Truths in the sales process)

That pivot from ‘I want this’ to ‘what do you guys think I should do?’ is an immediate change in the power and the dynamic of the collaboration moving forward. 

And of course, there might still be instances where the strategy you have developed during Paid Discovery with the client is then taken to someone really cheap and executed – it happens. But the important thing to remember, is that if a client felt like it wasn't a good fit for them, then you'd probably rather not work with them anyway. BUT at least you've already been paid for your time! 

Another advantage of this entire process is that it is a really good way to vet clients. It allows you as a business owner to go hey, does this feel right and is this going to be a good working relationship for us? 

Conversion Rate And Productised Paid Discovery 

Adam got to the stage where he was selling Paid Discovery (what he calls Track Builder, we recommend you call it something other than paid discovery) straight off a triage call (Woo!). Using our Paid Discovery Method and refining the sales process, he was soon able to tell where the call was going and what needed to be done after around 15 minutes. He either went on to sell Paid Discovery or decided he didn’t want to work with that client.

Structuring his sales process in this way meant it got really easy to make those assessments and convert prospects to clients off a single call. Adam converts clients who buy his Track Builder into a larger project at a rate of 85 to 90%. These clients then invest more and more with Muletown Digital to get the solution that they need.

Adam also found that instead of coming back and saying no if the budget was too high or they wanted to change the scope etc. The client would actually come back and say ‘hey that’s great we’d love to do this, can we break it into monthly payments instead of a project price?’ So instead of not wanting to go ahead with his agency, they would look at other ways to try and make it work because they decided straight off that Track Builder process that they needed to work with Adam. Which is a totally different response to sending a proposal for example. It requires no follow-up and in a few days they’re ready to sign. 

“For one, it's just so much better” – Adam 

Muletown Digital has seen strengthened numbers on sales calls and a big shift in operations within the team and the way they handle clients. The Paid Discovery Methodology means you won't be wasting six months on a project with people you end up realising you can’t help (and who you also don’t like). It allows you to establish the scope and build trust from the get go – while also getting paid. 

How to Learn our Paid Discovery Method

Paid Discovery will transform your business! 

It will completely smooth out the way you approach taking on a new potential client and take the guess work out of the sales process. Our framework will put an end to free discovery calls, slash price resistance and give you the skills, knowledge and confidence to finally charge what you are worth!

You can find out all about it here. 

We are giving you ALL of the assets you need to run paid discovery. You have access to all of the workbooks, all of the slide decks, the entire timeline AND checklist of everything you need to do to successfully run Paid Discovery and decide whether or not you want to take that client on. Plus full video training to walk you through it all! 

The Agency Hour Podcast

Check out the episode of The Agency Hour related to this blog.

Episode 41:

Listen to the full podcast episode related to this blog on how to close clients with an 85% conversion rate! 

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Troy Dean

I am the Founder of Agency Mavericks. The reason I get out of bed every day is because I love helping people to grow their web design or digital marketing businesses. I do this through coaching, creating courses, speaking, consulting and heading up our awesome community.

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