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What to Expect During a Free Consultation
Episode 14331st January 2023 • The Driven Woman Entrepreneur • Diann Wingert
00:00:00 00:17:18

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One of the practices in the coaching industry that I really dislike is the Discovery Call.  It sounds harmless, but most coaches have been trained to use manipulative tactics to "close leads" on these calls because what they don't tell you is that the purpose of the discovery call is for you to discover that you are in trouble and that coach is your solution.  Period. 

A free consultation is a way for potential clients to discover if the coach is the right fit for them and for the coach to determine if the client is adequately prepared to have a successful coaching outcome. It is different from a discovery call because it focuses on the client's needs, rather than the coach's agenda. I use a free consultation very intentionally.  I first started doing so as a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in my former career and incorporated it into my practices as a coach. 

I will not pressure the consultee to become a client, and I will not promise anything that I cannot deliver. I will provide guidance and advice, even if we are not a fit, and I will provide referrals to someone else if need be. I am taking on two more one-on-one clients, so if you are interested, don't wait and book your free consultation now.  The link to do so is right here in the show notes, below. 

"Applied knowledge is power."

In this episode, you will learn the following:

1. What are the hard-hitting tactics used by coaches to convert leads into sales?

2. What is the difference between a discovery call and a free consultation?

3. How can applied knowledge, rather than just knowledge, be used to move the needle in your business or life?

Book a free consultation with me:

Loved this Episode?  Here are a few others you'll enjoy:

Episode #141: Stop Getting Ready & Take Action Now -

Episode #139: How to Know if You're Coachable -

Episode #129: There is No Magic Pill -

Connect with me: 



Loved this episode? Leave us a review and rating here:

Chapter Summaries:


The purpose of a discovery call is to help potential clients discover that they need help in reaching their goals. Most coaches who sell high-ticket programs are not successful at ensuring that you, the potential client, get value for what you've invested. Many business owners are choosing to struggle rather than risk hiring another coach that doesn't actually help them move forward in their business.


Business owners are choosing to struggle and suffer on their own rather than risk hiring help. What is the difference between a discovery call and a free consultation? Applied knowledge is power. Learning without action is never going to move the needle in your business or life.


If you decide to schedule a free consultation with me, here's what to expect. I will not invite you to become a client if I do not believe you are ready to work with me. Because I'm working exclusively one on one at this time, it gives me a lot of freedom to customize the way I work, focusing on your specific goals, in a way that suits your needs and preferences.


Welcome back driven woman entrepreneur, and whether you have been listening to the Driven Woman Entrepreneur Podcast for a great long while, or maybe you even just found me and became a follower and fan overnight, chances are the following question has crossed your mind at least once, if this free content she's putting out is so good, I wonder what it would be like to work with her. So, I recorded this episode to answer that question and maybe a few others that you are thinking about to help you decide if it's time to take our relationship to the next level from passively listening to this podcast to implementing steps and strategies to reach your business goals with my expert guidance, support, and accountability.

Now, before we get into the details, I wanna just clarify a few things because I value your time, your energy, and your attention as much as I do mine. If you have ever worked with a coach, maybe are a coach or have ever even considered hiring one, you have no doubt heard the tern discovery call. Other variations are sales discovery call strategy, call goodness of fit call customer match call the list is basically endless. But the purpose of a discovery call is basically to help a potential client also called a lead to discover that they need help in reaching their goals, and that you, the coach, are the one to provide that help.

Now, most coaches who sell high ticket programs, and by the way, high ticket in the coaching world, is defined as thousands to many thousands of dollars for the program. Coaches have been indoctrinated to use discovery calls that are essentially modeled after the high pressure tactics that have been used for decades to sell other high value items from elite gym memberships to cosmetic procedures, enrollment in private schools and tutoring, you get the point, so these tactics are used because they're very, very successful. What are they successful at, well, unfortunately, they're not successful at ensuring that you, the potential client gets the value for what you've invested they are successful at converting leads into sales.

Why, because the principles of buyer behavior and buyer psychology are available to be studied and applied, and because many people, potential clients have trouble saying no to these tactics when they are applied by charismatic personalities who know how to manipulate others effectively and have no problem doing so. Well, in my opinion today's consumers, particularly consumers of coaching and consulting services, are a little more sophisticated than they've been in the past, I know I am. And because of that sophistication, no matter what you call it, the purpose of the discovery call is to close the deal and they know it.

So if closing the deal means enrolling you in their coaching program or mastermind, or selling you on their one-on-one or group coaching. So many of us have felt duped by past coaches, by enrolling in past programs that didn't deliver on their promises that tons of business owners are choosing to struggle rather than risk making the mistake in hiring another coach that doesn't actually help them move forward in their business. So because we're afraid of being burned again, we're toughing it out and we're not hiring anybody. Now, those of us who operate a little differently, like myself, I don't do discovery calls, so we're gonna talk about that in a minute. But those of us who are available to help you and operate a little differently, I think we need to speak up.

We need to speak openly. We need to talk about what is wrong in the coaching industry that hardworking business owners are choosing to struggle and suffer on their own rather than risk hiring help because of the people who have exploited them, ripped them off and duped them in the past. Now, I have said this before, I'll repeat it again. I've been duped more than once in the first few years of my business because I hired coaches who really couldn't have cared less whether I would benefit from hiring them or not, and I didn't recognize that. So after going through that, I stubbornly resisted working with anyone for several years, this cost me a lot of progress. I had utterly lost faith in my own ability to make good decisions about investing in my business, and I had simply stopped trusting my intuition about who I could trust.

Well, I'm happy to say that's no longer the case, but it was a very long and very painful lesson. So if this is you too, just know that it can happen to any of us and that you do not need to stay stuck and stubbornly self-reliant like I did indefinitely. I wanna tell you a little story about something that happened actually quite recently. I was at a Starbucks with a friend and the barista overheard me saying to my friend, well, you know, knowledge is power. This barista quietly and politely leaned across the counter, looked me right in the eye and said, no, applied knowledge is power. I seriously wanted to give him a hug right there on the spot, and I promised then and there, I will use this version from now on because he was absolutely right. Knowledge is not power, applied knowledge is power.

I talked about this pretty extensively in episode 141 just a couple episodes back. This one is 143, that one is called Stop Getting Ready and Take Action Now. But I'm gonna talk about it a little more in this episode because it is such an important point and I think it bears repeating. One of the lessons that I learned a little too slowly in my own entrepreneurial journey is because I love learning so much, and many of the women that I work with and a few men love learning as well. But I gotta tell you, learning without action is never going to move the needle in your business or life. Now, there's nothing fundamentally wrong with listening to podcasts, attending free webinars, downloading checklists and cheat sheets, and swipe files and templates, except this, all of these are tactics and without a strategy for using them, a strategy that looks at your business from the 30,000 foot level.

So that each tool or tactic you use fits into that overall strategy and you know what you're doing and why you're doing it, plus some kind of accountability so that you actually learn and implement, you are seriously wasting your time. Now, over time, wasting time turns into discouragement and eventually self-doubt and I have seen far too many potentially successful solopreneurs bite the dust as a result. So what is the difference between a discovery call and a free consultation? Well, it's not semantics or wordplay, and if you don't already know this, I was a psychotherapist for over 20 years before deciding to become a business strategist and coach. So my use of the term free consultation is something that I brought along with me from my therapist days. I always did a free consultation with a potential therapy client before I agreed to work with them for an even a single session. Why?

There's two reasons, one, I wanted them to have a successful outcome. The other reason is sadly, receiving mental health services is still in this modern age, stigmatizing for so many people. So making sure that I was the right person with the right training and the right skills and the right personality for a particular client meant that not only would they have a good outcome with me, they would have a positive experience with therapy. That was really, really important to me because something I learned many years ago is over 50% of all therapist client relationships end after a single session, and I believe many people went to see someone that wasn't the right fit, did not have a good experience, decided that, well, therapy isn't for me, and never went back.

So I always wanted to do a free consultation to make sure I was the right person for the right reason at the right time. I had the right training, the right attitude, I was the right fit, and I wanted them to have a good experience of therapy. So even if I wasn't their perfect match person, they would go find someone else. So there's a lot of things that I've changed about the way I work from being a therapist to being a coach. Maybe I'll get into that on a future episode but this part, the free consultation is something I was committed to maintain. I've never really questioned it because it's really important to me that I am working with the right people, not just the people who are willing to open their wallet to me. I have a few more things I wanna share with you about this, but we're gonna take a quick little commercial break and be right back.

Okay, so if you're still with me, and I hope you are, here's what's gonna happen if you decide to schedule a free consultation with me. I want you to know exactly what you can expect and what you should not expect, are you ready? Okay, you will know before we meet and by the way, we will meet on Zoom before we meet, you will know what the cost of my program is, what your alternatives are and whether I have the kind of experience and credentials that you are actually looking for, all of that happens before we even meet. You will hear my assessment about whether you actually need coaching or whether I believe a different approach might be more effective for where you are right now. You have my promise that I will not invite you to become a client if I do not believe you are ready to work with me.

And if that's the case, I will outline for you what I recommend you do first or do instead. I also will not invite you to become a client if it is clear that you will not be able to make the investment of money and time to successfully complete my program. Why would I take your money and waste your time and mine if I knew ahead of time that you are not in a position to complete the program. Either because you can't afford it or you have too many things going on in your life. I work with a limited number of clients at any given time, so I'm not going to put you in a slot that you will not be able to fulfill. I wouldn't do that to me and I wouldn't do it to you.

I will not invite you to become a client if during the course of our free consultation, it becomes evident that your expectations are just not realistic or your goals are unattainable given the timeframe of the engagement. Now, we would most certainly have a conversation about those goals and about those expectations. But if you are really insistent, this is what I want, this is what I need, and this is what I need to get, and I know that's not possible, at least not with me, I'm not gonna invite you to become a client, that's a setup for failure for both of us. I'm also not going to ask you to signal to the universe that you believe in abundance by hiring me. Or buy into any magical thinking that you might be indulging in that simply by hiring me, you will automagically succeed.

See, I believe in reality, and I believe in the right skillset and the right mindset to cultivate and sustain success. I've said many times, I'm not woo woo. I'm like half a woo, I don't completely discount it, these are just not the tools that I work on. I will tell you simply and honestly, if I believe I can help you and how I propose to do. I will also tell you how frequently we will meet and how to make optimal use of our work together. I will tell you what I believe is necessary to be successful working with me and what your options are within the coaching agreement in terms of things like additional contact between coaching calls and any homework or other implementation or accountability items I might suggest of you.

Because I'm working exclusively one-on-one at this time, it gives me a lot of freedom to customize the way I work to exactly what you need and want, and respond well to. Some people love, love, love homework. I have over a hundred worksheets that I can customize to you, but some people that's the last thing they want. Some folks need daily accountability, which I can provide via the Voxer walkie-talkie app. And other people all they absolutely want and need is that weekly call with me, anything above and beyond that simply doesn't add value for them, so we customize your approach. If we're not a fit, we have spent 30 minutes together and I promise you, you will get benefit from it even if it's not a fit. Why? Because I will give you guidance on what I think you would benefit from, and even a referral if I happen to know someone who would be just right to work with you.

I am committed to not wasting your time or mine, that is one of my never to be broken roles. Lastly, a free consultation is not free coaching, a chance to pick my brain or simply hang out with someone you admire on Zoom, I think we both deserve better use of our time than that. So if this gives you some reassurance about what you can expect from signing up for a free consultation with me, if it clarifies what it does and does not include, then I have reached my goal for recording and sharing this episode. Now if I have left something unsaid or created any confusion in any way, I invite you to email me at the email address included in the show notes.

Now, if I have helped you recognize that in fact, I am the right person and this is the right time for you to move forward in your business and achieve your boss up breakthrough, then let's go ahead and meet on Zoom and see if our personalities play well together. There is a link to schedule your free consultation in the show notes. Now I am able to take on just two more, one-on-one coaching clients at this time, so if one of them is you, don't wait. I hope to see your name on my calendar in the near future, and if not, I will keep delivering value on this podcast each and every week. Next week we'll be back to an amazing guest interview. I'll see you then.