But if you don’t have one, how do you get started?
I think it’s important to acknowledge that most companies probably have bits and pieces of their value ladder already in place – even if they don’t think of it as such.
When it’s your own business, it can be hard to see the wood for the trees. So start off by taking a very cool, detached view of your existing core services or products.
Write them all down. Which belong at the bottom, the middle and top? What’s missing from your range? Are your offerings too concentrated in one area? What are your gaps?
If it’s the lowest value offering you’re missing, think about a really valuable tip you can offer your idea client, or a tool you can create for them. Turn it into a report, an eBook, checklist or a piece of training that you can give away for free, and hey presto – you have your ‘entry level’ product.
Then look at your existing products and services. You might be able to break them down into different components, which together will form your value ladder (and remember, selling those separately should mean selling them more profitably). To create a basic offering, simply strip out premium elements. For example, we help companies create sales funnels. But we can offer smaller parts of that – like email marketing or handling your online advertising – separately as well.
If it’s the higher end you’re missing, think about:
• Bundling products together
• Offering to deliver more value through related products
• Helping people accomplish the same goal faster
• Doing some of the implementation for them
Even if you have a higher-end product, make sure that your top rung is really as high as it can be. It should offer as much value as you can think of – at a corresponding price.
Go crazy! Think about the most valuable thing you can possibly sell – and then offer it.
Never mind that sales will be very few and far between, it reassures people to see it there – a bit like a new wine bar having a top vintage champagne on the menu. And just occasionally, you’ll be surprised and get a sale. There is always a small percentage of customers who will buy more than you ever expected.
If you can, put a continuity offer at the top as well. Get people to sign up for a regular programme or contract. There’s a reason why recurring revenue is every business owner’s dream.
Now, if you have several different product ranges or service streams, it might make sense to design more than one value ladder for different parts of your business. It’s important that each rung leads naturally to the next one.
For that same reason, you should also think carefully about your ideal customer – the one most likely to make their way right to the top.
Each rung on your ladder should be truly valuable to that client. You need to make sure that your bottom rung is low enough to encourage your ideal customer to step onto it with very little commitment. And that the top rung is something they want to reach.
So what does your value ladder look like? Send me your ideas – I’d love to see them (and of course, offer my advice if you’re stuck!).