Mastering the discovery call is essential for any successful Managed Service Provider (MSP). This is your first interaction with a potential client, the moment you set the stage for what could become a long-term business relationship. But how do you move beyond the standard checklist of services and technical jargon to truly engage your prospect? The answer lies in creating curiosity. When curiosity is piqued, conversations flow more naturally, prospects become more engaged, and the door to genuine customer needs swings wide open. Let’s explore some practical tips for MSPs to ignite that spark of curiosity during discovery calls.

Harness the Power of Open-Ended Questions:

Your first tool is the art of questioning. Don’t just ask yes-no questions about existing IT infrastructure. Instead, delve into their business goals, challenges, and aspirations. “What your business goals over the next few years?”  This type of query invites dialogue, not just answers, encouraging prospects to open up about their true needs.

Listen Actively and Reflect:

It’s not enough to ask the right questions – active listening is critical. Listen to their tone, notice what they emphasize, and reflect on what they’re saying. Phrases like, “It sounds like X is a really important objective for you,” show that you are engaged and can help the prospect feel understood. This validation often encourages them to share more, and progressively, you edge closer to unlocking their underlying motivations.

Educate and Enlighten:

Sometimes sparking curiosity involves education. You want prospects to think, “I hadn’t considered that before!” Share insights about emerging cyber threats, compliance challenges, or the importance of seamless integration between cloud services. But deliver this information in a way that relates directly to their business context; this will make your call memorable and stoke their curiosity about what else they might not know.

The Art of Storytelling:

Humans are hardwired for stories; we find them compelling and memorable. Rather than dryly presenting facts about your MSP offerings, frame them within success stories from similar clients. This contextual narrative will help your prospect visualize the benefits of your service. Keep your stories relatable and concise to ensure they reinforce the discussion rather than derail it.

Create Interactive Experiences:

Curiosity can also be fostered by transforming a one-sided conversation into an interactive experience. For instance, use screen sharing to walk through assessments or analytics that could help them visualize their IT health. By showing them, rather than telling them, you involve them in the process and help them see the potential impact of your services.

Highlight What Sets You Apart:

Often, MSPs have similar offerings, making it challenging for prospects to decide who to partner with. Use your discovery call to highlight what makes you unique – whether it’s your company culture, your innovative solutions, or your commitment to customer service. Avoid industry clichés; instead, focus on specific aspects that demonstrate your value and can provoke a response like, “That’s interesting, tell me more!”

Use Silence as a Tool:

Don’t be afraid of silence. It’s a powerful tool that allows the prospect to process information and can often lead to them revealing more about their needs and doubts. After posing a thought-provoking question or sharing a piece of intriguing information, pause and give them the floor.  Do not speak first, even if you feel a little bit uncomfortable.   This not only shows respect but can also trigger the prospect’s curiosity to learn more.

Follow Up with Tailored Resources:

After the call, keep their curiosity alive by following up with materials tailored to their interests and concerns discussed during the conversation. Whether it’s white papers, case studies, or an invite to a webinar, make sure it’s relevant to them. This not only positions you as a valuable resource but also keeps the dialogue going.

Creating curiosity in your MSP discovery calls transforms them from routine transactions into dynamic interactions that can lead to fruitful partnerships. By asking open-ended questions, actively listening, educating, storytelling, providing interactive experiences, highlighting your unique qualities, leveraging silence, and following up with personalized resources, you’ll engage prospects more deeply and set the groundwork for trust and collaboration. Remember, the spark of curiosity can be the catalyst for a fire of opportunity. Embrace these tips and watch as your discovery calls pave the way to stronger, more meaningful client relationships.