Lesson 1 of 0
In Progress

Value Ladders

rainmakershub August 15, 2022

The value ladder is a way of representing the journey your customer can take with you. Some will start at the bottom and use each step to the very top, growing as they take each step toward your ultimate product or service and their vision of their ultimate aim. Some, a smaller number perhaps, will join you further along the value bladder, and some may even take the plunge and join you at the very top of the value ladder. The value ladder joins all of these steps together into a seamless journey of choice and benefit. The further up the ladder they climb, the more value they will experience.

Please note I am talking about an increase in value, which means there is a value at every step, and part of your differential will come from the fact that you are offering more value at every level with your offer than your competition. Value, not price!

I thought to illustrate this, I would use my own business as the example; I’ve chosen this for two reasons, firstly, of course, it is a story I know only too well and secondly, as you are already part of the community, you may well recognise the story yourself, and that may help to give it some life for you.

I was approached by a business owner who wanted advice on his micro business. Things were generally going okay, but for this individual, okay was not good enough, and they were in touch enough to recognise they needed to be doing more but were just unsure what. They also took some time to explain that they did not have the budget and so price might be an issue. I knew that, in reality, this was not going to be an issue because of the level of value we were about to offer to this keen and willing-to-learn business person.

‘Can you help me, Chris? I have heard from a mutual acquaintance that you are the person to talk to about developing my business. I know what I want, but to be frank, I am exactly sure how to get there. I have approached others, but I am just getting confused. It feels as if everyone wants to help, but they all want to pull me in a different direction. I am sure there is some truth in the different versions, but where should I go first? This is what I want to ask you; this is the help I need.’

At this point, we did not have a relationship and certainly, trust needed to be built too. The answer for me was clear, and in this case, the prospect entered the value ladder at the bottom with my book offer, but not just the book; I turned it into an irresistible offer by adding to that some supporting material and links to other options including the unlimited advice and support that membership brings.

I explained the book would introduce a structured model to follow and that within the book, there were some thought-provoking exercises to help the process of business development. It is worth adding that when this happened, the book was available free, and the client only had to pay postage and packaging. This placed this individual at the beginning of my value ladder as it was back then.

The book helped to create the trust we needed, and this was enhanced by the supporting material I threw in with the offer. These two items together represented to the client some great value, and they wanted more, so by their own choice and with links to help them explore the possibilities, they joined as members of the Rainmakers Hub. Within a few months, they had escalated their membership into the Inner Circle and ended up buying our top-of-the-range services. Make no mistake, and this happened because we added layer after layer of value that exceeded their expectation to the point that price was not an issue.

The value ladder is your tool for mapping out how you will serve your ideal customer so that they stay with you and become loyal and repeat customers. When you start to build your first serious value ladder, something else happens, too; you start to get a much better handle on the real purpose of your company, which is important too. By the end of the process, you should be able to say with complete certainty:

  • Who your ideal client is
  • What result do they want to achieve
  • How you help them achieve that with this opportunity

I appreciate we have already dealt with identifying your ideal customer, but now is the time we just check in again and make sure we have this totally pegged.

What is the result you can provide for your dream customer that will help them achieve their ultimate vision? Everything in your value ladder may be different, but they all have the same ultimate aim, and that is to help your customer with their ultimate aim.

The Value Ladder becomes your Business Plan

Let’s be completely open about this; the fact that you are currently reading or listening to this means that you are inside my value ladder. There is also a more than fair chance that before this, you bought one of my books, which are lower down the ladder. No matter, either way, you are on the value ladder, and so if you look carefully, you can begin to see how they work and how in fact, you can use the value ladder as a framework for your entire business plan of action. I say this because it shows who you are going to acquire, where

The reality is simply this if you enjoy the process of being part of this ladder and you are getting value from it, you will naturally want more, and you will start to ascend the ladder. This is not rocket science. It is a natural part of being human; when we get the value, we naturally want more of the same. What is true here is also just as true in your business. As you take your own customers through the process, you will be providing them with what they want, and the higher up the ladder they progress, the more value they are gaining and the more revenue you are generating. If you don’t have a value ladder, you don’t have a business, in my view; you’re simply selling a single product.

Let’s look at a typical value ladder for someone who is operating a micro business as a speaker and author on subjects relating to business development. It might look something like the example below:

Many of you going through this module will be in a position where you are figuring out what the Value Ladder for your business will look like. It is often worth talking to someone else about this to help you with your creative thinking. What I will say is to repeat a message from earlier, and that is when you designed your business and the ultimate product, you would have gone through a process of building out all the component parts for that offering. It is within this process that you’ll find the components that will make up your value ladders content.

The reality of this system is there is actually no end to the number of value ladders you can create from the various by-products of your ultimate product or service, and often the ideas will come from talking to others in a safe and competition-free environment.

As previously mentioned, when you are starting this system of value ladders from scratch, you need to consider your financial needs and the needs of your business. That means, unless you have a bottomless pit of cash, you will want to be prudent in approaching this project. I have a plan for that, which I have followed myself on more than one occasion with my own business and many of my now successful clients. It is simple and very straightforward, and I have illustrated the model I use below:

Start in the green; make the products that are in the middle of your value ladder first. These will not only be easier to sell but will also generate revenue to allow you the wiggle room to invest in the extremes at either end of the ladder, yellow that will generate little or no cash but opportunities and blue where your high-end clients will be spending with you. In this way, you not only grow your business but also manage your financial health too.

If you follow my lead in this, you will beat not only your competition but also create endless opportunities for you and your business, and this will only happen if you have spent some time and invested in the development of your own value ladders.

What About Funnels?

Now that we have established you have a different offer on each tier of the value ladder, we can bring into the mix that there is a specific model of funnels you can use for each of the offers, and they have been designed to work with the type of offer that is being made, that is because one size will not fit all. We need to be more sophisticated than that. So if you remember the rules of sales where we talk about giving value first, the front-end funnels will ensure that this is exactly what will happen. You will soon appreciate that if we placed this type of funnel at the opposite end of the scale, it just would not work! Let us take a quick look at the types of funnel we will be dealing with later in this program:

So just to be clear, we have lead generator funnels that offer value first but are designed to also begin the process of building a relationship that will lead to more sales later in the value ladder. We call these the Lead Generator funnels; they are followed by what we call the Reveal Funnel; some also refer to these as unboxing funnels. It is these funnels that generate cash and also encourage the customer to move to the higher levels of the Education Funnels. Here we find the higher-priced ticket items that begin to deep-dive the subjects they cover. Finally, at the top of the tree, we have the Personal Connectin Funnels or Telephone Funnels, where high-value and cost products and services are sold personally to existing clients.

While each of these funnels deals with that stage of the value ladder, they are also linked to the next level up for those who want to progress immediately. Again I want to make it clear that the goal is not to sit down and design the entire value ladder and then spend god knows how long building the different levels; that would be foolhardy unless you have already built them. No, what I am expecting is you sketch out the basics and then focus on one area and get that working first. Once it is generating a for-you profit, then and only then is it worth looking at the steps to its left and right for development.

It is very difficult to get someone to buy something of high value from you if they do not already have a relationship with you. So instead of burning time and effort on going in. high too soon, you build a funnel that will help to build that relationship through the provision of unique and high-value products and services that the client or prospect can afford. At the same time as this, the activity makes money and becomes profitable for you. During this process, you will also be able to easily identify those dream clients you are always on the lookout for.

So your funnel would look something like this:

The purpose of your funnels is simply to move people through the sales process. They enter at the top as prospects who are attracted by your bait. If you have got this right, those that are attracted will be your ideal customers. If this is not the case, then we need to revisit the content rather than the mechanism. Funnels work, and when they are not performing, it will not be their mechanism that is at fault but the content. Get used to using a system that follows this simple model: build, test, learn, adjust; this is the process that works best.

If you think about it, you will understand that with all the competition you will be facing out there, not just from your direct competitors but also the indirect, all vying for the same money out of the same pocket as you are. That means you need to find multiple differential points, and without a doubt, the deeper your funnels and the more options you offer, the greater the differential and opportunity. Also, remember the deeper your funnels, the more you can offer your customer, and in turn, the more each one will be worth to you.

It is also very worth noting that this means you create more revenue from your sales and can therefore invest more into the acquisition of your target market through the use of selective advertising and media. There is much truth in the well-used saying that those who spend the most on customer acquisition will acquire the most new customers.