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What's a Value Ladder and Why Does It Matter?

Posted by StellaPop on Feb 20, 2018 9:02:00 AM
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You might be the smoothest-talking salesperson in the world, but if you don't have a value ladder you're leaving money on the table. When combined with a sales funnel, a value ladder helps you deliver the right product or service to a prospect — driving up conversions and profitability.

Before we take a closer look at how you can build a value ladder, let's refresh your memory about sales funnels. Sometimes dubbed the "buyer's journey", sales funnels map a prospect against a particular stage of brand awareness and purchasing intent.

StellaPop-Sales-Funnel

Are we having funnel yet?

Different verticals have different sales funnels, but they generally look something like this:

1. Awareness. Where your audience first discovers you.

2. Consideration. Where your audience is comparing you to your competitors, doing research and getting input from reviews or friends.

3. Decision. Where your audience (hopefully) decides that your products and services are what they need.

So there's our funnel. But how does that relate to a value ladder?

StellaPop-Value-Ladder

The value ladder is a simple a way to structure your offering so that it appeals to your audience as they move through each of the sales funnel phases above. stellapop-click-to-tweet With each phase you'll have prospects drop off, right?

Well sure, to an extent. But a solid value ladder helps reshape the look of that funnel somewhat. It helps you deliver tantalizing, must-have products and services at each step of the sales funnel, enticing new prospects to keep on keeping on.

The upshot: if you don't have a value ladder, you're missing out on sales. And if your mantra, like ours, is "always be closing", that's no good. A value ladder that taps into each step of the buyer's journey gives you the competitive edge needed to be the solution for your audience every step of the way. They'll stick around until they know, like, and most importantly, trust you.

So let's climb that ladder of success.

The first things in life are free

The first rung of our value ladder is all about the freebies. Your audience needs to know that you're an expert and that you can deliver serious value doing whatever it is that you do. Some businesses offer up a free consultation. But a better way is to start with a gated piece of content.

Gated content is walled off behind a subscription field. A user inputs their contact details in order to get that must-have white paper, ebook, case study or dancing hamster GIF. Your offer should be something that lets you strut your stuff and show up-front why you're the obvious choice. Your audience gets some value along with their growing awareness — and you get the handy bonus of having a new database of email addresses.

Administer some Novocaine

We've moved up our ladder. Now we're on the rung where our audience knows their pain points — and wants something to dull the ache. Hint: that's you. Here's where you offer an amazing solution at a gosh-that's-good price point that makes them reach right for their wallet.

Perhaps you offer a one-hour consultation at a heavily discounted price. Maybe you offer a DIY version of your high-ticket offer like a workbook or planner that sets them on the path to dealing with their pain points. It's a no-brainer for them — and for you, as it increases the chances that they'll ladder up to your high-ticket offering. 

At this point in the ladder it's key that you're selling your social proof. If your audience has made it this far, they're considering taking things to the next step. So let them test you out and see why you're the obvious choice. Depending on what you're providing and the price points involved, you might want to break this "rung" up into multiple stages to ensure as many people as possible reach that final rung.

Life's good at the top

So they've made it to the top. This is where your high-ticket offer exists. If you're a coach it might be a 6-month one-on-one coaching engagement. If you're a product-based business it could be the highest priced item you have in your inventory.

Chances are you know what your high ticket offering is. Getting your audience here has been your long-term play. But as good as you know your product is, your audience is only just coming around to that idea - after all, it takes a while to build the trust needed to decide to go for it. This is especially the case for bigger items. Your product may be something that your audience absolutely needs, but getting to the frame of mind where they're excited to be parting with wads of hard-earned cash takes a bit of time. 

So to sum up, don't throw your biggest, most impressive offer at your audience right away. Gradually walk them up the steps of your value ladder. This way, you and your business are always the solution — no matter where your audience is in their journey.

Need help figuring out what your funnel looks like or how to structure your ladder? We can help!

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