What if you could talk more often to better leads? What if you could structure the way you deliver your services and your messages that made selling easier?
Today, you probably answer to many leads shopping around for a proposal and waste a lot of time.
Or you craft a proposal but they don’t buy, they’re not ready for such an investment yet (though they asked you for…).
There is never a magic formula, but I’ve got something for you that will help you immensely on how to think about your offers.
In this post, you’ll discover what is a Value Ladder and how to build one for your services business making it way easier for a visitor to become interested, a lead and eventually a client.
A typical Value Ladder
The concept of the value ladder has been popularized by online marketers such as the Clickfunnels guru, Russell Brunson.
The simple premise is to create a list of products sold in ascending order of price.
Each offer is a step to help at the current situation and a relatively low-level of trust needed to make a buying decision. You make it non-risky to work with you.
I’ll just list three big reasons that should make you think about your own value ladder or simply put, what is the customer journey?
Now, it’s all nice, but you don’t sell a 10$ ebook, you sell high ticket services! How can you achieve the same outcome and create a value ladder for your professional services?
Let’s think strategically on how to build your ideal client while actually helping him at each stage. You want to educate him while minimizing risk for him to slowly (well not so slowly) build trust.
Oh, and an important note. You can’t afford to spend much time with a non-paying client. So you want to make it as streamlined and automated as possible so that you only spend time with qualified and educated leads.
You want to create free actionable content that helps your ideal customer and solve an important and urgent problem. You should see this actionable content as educational pieces around your IP (don’t build great content around something that isn’t related to what you sell) and actually help the visitor.
The content can be articles, videos or audio depending on your strengths.
A lead magnet is self-explanatory and at the same time a horrible word. But here the goal is to offer something of value to the visitor in exchange for his email address.
You should think about your ideal client and what he should know before working with you. The goal is probably not only information and education if you sell services but a demonstration of your IP (process), some calculations to see if it’s worth it. Examples:
Here, you have the occasion to talk to someone who read your post and consumed your Lead Magnet. He knows your IP and trusts you and the call becomes suddenly easier. You can answer questions but shouldn’t have to do much selling.
The FREE Consultation is some kind of second Lead Magnet, as it’s free and is the only time you actually spend non-paid time 1-1 in the whole Value Ladder I present.
If we come back to the big picture, a mistake here could be to pitch directly a high ticket service. The whole goal is to get a competitive advantage and remove friction.
What if someone could try working with you for a low price? What if by doing that you could actually gain a competitive advantage while serving your new client better?
Brennan Dunn of Double Your Freelancing (and marketing and automation wizard) introduced me to the idea of paid discovery session. The idea here is to do a paid roadmapping/audit where you assess the situation, make recommendations and pitch (or not pitch) your next level of service.
Here you either provide your signature service (specialized and eventually productized) or the recommendations you made to your clients in the initial service offerings.
It's your main business, yet the one you master so no need to spend too much time thinking about it here.
Once someone became a client and you implemented something, you can propose them a continuity program or retainer.
It could be advising, maintenance, improvement, any continual services or a mix of the three. The goal here is to help them use what you implemented the best they possibly can.
While we don’t always think about it, our best source of new clients is a happy client. It makes sense to count it in the value ladder as it definitely adds up in the LifeTime Value of a client.
A system for getting referrals (eg: an automated email 3 months after a successful project and providing a template to make it easy for the client to craft a great testimonial and bring on referrals) can do wonder!
A simple way to do this is to set up a tag in your Marketing Automation Software that sends an email a few months after the end of a project or simply a reminder.
Don’t do it all at once though… Your goal is to start with the big wins!
This is your MVF (Minimum Viable Funnel).
And the only things you need to create from scratch now is your Lead Magnet!
By this point, you created a system and a client journey. You bring him on an adventure and let him move up the ladder at his own pace while paradoxically leading him.
You will slowly only talk to qualified and educated leads who don’t shop around. They took 3-4 steps before talking to you (read your articles, consumed your Lead Magnet and scheduled a call). They are intentional, educated and know what they are getting into.
You have been extremely respectful and started giving a lot of value before asking for the sale.
You created assets for your business, build once, reap the benefits:
From now on, the only thing you promote is your articles and your lead magnets (online or offline) and you let the system ant the logical progression do the work for you.
Promotion of Content and Lead Magnet only
Building a Minimum Viable Value Ladder can simplify your marketing and sales effort. You don't’ have to change much (besides creating a lead magnet) but just need to restructure the way you present your offerings and be ruthless about not accepting to work differently.