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How to Qualify A Guest Before you Book a Full Interview [30-Min Call Format] & How to Nicely Reject if It’s Not a Fit

How to Research Guests and Rock an Interview

It’s important to build rapport with your guest at the beginning of your discovery/sales call. So that you’re equipped to do this effectively, do some research about the person before you get on the phone. Check out their LinkedIn or other social media, for example. Then, when you hop on the call, you can start by saying something along the lines of: “I see you live in _____. What’s it like there right now? I live in _____ and it’s freezing here!”

The next step is to set the agenda for the call. Here’s an easy script to follow:

“This will be a 20-to-30-minute call where we will go over a few aspects related to the podcast. I’m going to tell you a bit more about the podcast and the type of guests we feature. I also want to learn more about your business and what you do. Then, we’ll go over the format of the show and a few questions to prep for the interview. Finally, we’ll look to schedule the interview.”

When discussing your podcast, you can follow this example:

“Our specialty is being a revenue engine for B2B SaaS companies, so our goal is to create a collective knowledge base for the industry. We’re looking for leaders in B2B SaaS to feature on the show. Some of our past guests include _____.”

Then, it’s time to find out more about the expert and their company. Ask them to tell you a bit more about who they are, their company, and their ideal clients/customers.

Not everyone will be your dream podcast guest. If you determine the guest isn’t a great fit, here are a few scenarios to help you handle the situation:

  1. “You seem great but we are really focused on B2B SaaS. I would still love to profile your company by featuring a suggestion of yours. I’ll give you and your company a sponsorship on the show. Who do you know in the B2B SaaS industry that would be a fit?”

  2. “You seem great but we are really focused on B2B SaaS. Here’s another podcast I know that may be a better fit for your company.”

  3. “You seem great but we only feature founders and CEOs on the show. Who would be the best person in your company to conduct the interview with?”

  4. “You seem great. Let’s look into doing an interview a bit further down the line.”

If they are the right fit, you can start preparing for your interview by asking these questions:

“I want to make sure that we talk about what is top of mind for you, so what do you want to mention or discuss on the show? What is a great case study or a favorite story we can talk about? What would make this interview a big win for you?”


Here’s an example of Jeremy’s calendar invite link:

The people you choose to feature on your podcast set the tone for your podcast’s success. Ideally, these guests will become valuable referral partners, clients, and even friends! That’s why it’s important to find and connect with the right experts. This is where a great discovery/sales call comes in. 

This 20-to-30-minute call can be conducted by you, a member of your team, or a member of the Rise25 team on behalf of your business. No matter who reaches out, the goal should remain the same: to connect with people of interest and determine whether they are the right fit for your podcast. You can do this by discussing your business and podcast — which will also establish your authority — and by asking leading questions about their company, role, and ideal partners. 

If the person or their company doesn’t seem like a good fit, don’t worry — you can use one of our scripts to politely turn them down or ask for a different introduction. If you do want to feature them on your podcast, the next step is to start preparing for the interview. Begin filling out your pre-interview notes and book a time for the interview while you are on the phone with them. Before you know it, you’ll be creating your next podcast episode and, hopefully, your next great business connection!


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