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Key phrases to use on Discovery Calls to keep talk time under 20%

Maintaining a low talk time on discovery calls is essential, as it allows the prospect to share their needs, concerns, and insights, paving the way for a deeper understanding and stronger connections. If you often find yourself talking more than the recommended 20%, integrating specific phrases into your conversations can help shift the focus back to the prospect and enhance the effectiveness of your calls. 

The Pitch
Effective communication in sales is about listening more than speaking. When sales reps manage to keep their talk time under 20%, they demonstrate to prospects that they are truly interested in understanding and meeting their needs. A study by found that the optimal talk-to-listen ratio on a sales call is 43:57, that sounds way too high to me.  In my experience listening more than I talk significantly increases the chances of a successful outcome. There will be a time for me to do all the talking, but it's not on the Discovery Call.  Try these phrases and let me know how it goes...

"Go On...":
This phrase is simple yet powerful. By inviting the prospect to continue their thought, you not only show that you are paying attention, but you also encourage them to elaborate on their points. This can lead to uncovering more detailed information about their needs and expectations.

"Say more...":
When you prompt the prospect with "Say more...", you give them the space and permission to dive deeper into their thoughts. This phrase reinforces your interest in what they have to say and can help them feel more comfortable sharing detailed insights.

"Help me understand...":
This is a strategic way to encourage the prospect to provide more information, even if you believe you already understand their point. It shows humility and a genuine desire to get the full picture, which can prompt the prospect to explain their situation or needs more thoroughly.

"How / Why is that important?":
Asking "How" or "Why" something is important challenges the prospect to think critically about their needs and the impact of their issues. This can lead to a richer conversation and a better understanding of how you can tailor your approach to help them.

Repeat Their Last Few Words:
Echoing the last few words spoken by the prospect and then pausing is an effective way to encourage them to continue their train of thought. This technique demonstrates active listening and can help in drawing out more information from the prospect, providing further clarity on their statements.

So What? Using these conversational techniques helps ensure that the focus of the call remains on the prospect, allowing you to gather essential information while making them feel valued and understood. These practices not only improve the quality of your discovery calls but also build a foundation for successful sales relationships.

Next Steps
✅ Incorporate these phrases into your next sales call.
✅ Practice active listening to understand and respond more effectively.
✅ Evaluate the impact of these techniques on your talk time and call outcomes.

Closed Won!
Adjusting your talk time is crucial for creating more engaging and productive discovery calls. What are some techniques you use to manage your talk time on sales calls? What else are you trying that is helping level up your reps and make you the Sales Leader you wanted to work for? Leave a comment or question below, let's help move those deals to "Closed Won!"

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