Modern buyers are savvy.
We tend to do a huge amount of research and comparison before engaging with a company, even if they’re selling EXACTLY what we’ve been looking for.
One method many businesses use to guide potential customers through their sales funnel is the value ladder.
What Exactly Is A Value Ladder?
A value ladder is a tactic you can employ to map out the growth of the buyer/seller relationship.
Every interaction a prospective customer has with you counts as a rung on the ladder. Did they see your product or service on a Facebook ad? Your post on LinkedIn? Have they bought from you before and were happy with the product?
All of these instances can be thought of as steps, and with each step that your customer takes you to gain a whole lot of credibility.
Businesses use value ladders to capture leads and convert prospects into loyal, paying customers who come back for more and spread the word about how good they are.
Why Should I Use One?
Cold calling does not work and for very good reason. It is highly unlikely that the poor soul answering their door and hit with your most expensive product is going to buy just like that, and this is no different.
Because they don’t know you! It’s trite but it’s true: people buy people.
If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while, or even if you haven’t, you should know that trust is one of the most crucial pillars of selling your wares effectively.
And value ladders work by building upon that level of trust and slowly but surely upselling to higher-priced offerings.
They also get you repeat business from the same customer, which is faster, easier and cheaper than continuously nurturing new leads.
What's the 'Easy First Yes'?
Hooking in potential customers so that they cling to the first rung of your value ladder means starting small.
It might look like a click on an ad, or interaction on your social streams. It could even be a successful lead magnet that gets you their email address. The point is that these touchpoints are free, or very, very low-cost standalone or off-the-shelf items. EBooks and factsheets are both brilliant carrots to dangle at this stage.
If they’ve engaged with you and permitted you to contact them, it’s safe to say that your cold lead is warming up. And upon the satisfaction of the customer, they begin to climb your value ladder.
As they get further up, higher-priced offerings are designed to cement the trust they have in you through repeat, high-value interaction and consequent repeat satisfaction.
Does this technique sound familiar? It should. Plenty of my blogs feature the importance of nurturing your leads, and that same practice is a huge part of the value ladder strategy. Because the value ladder provides multiple opportunities for both positive interaction and buying experience between customer and provider, it’s only natural that trust is built and upselling occurs.
In short, as the customer becomes more invested they are more willing to say yes to what you’re selling.
How Value Ladders Can Grow Your Business
Businesses that use the value ladder strategy will experience growth in four areas.
Low-Cost Products = Big Sales Boost
Because the entry point to your ladder is low-cost, or even free, prospective customers are more willing to commit and buy what you’re offering or sign up to receive it.
People who take this first step are trying you out for size. Does what you’re offering do what it says it should? Are you a trustworthy provider?
If the answer is yes, they’ll stick around and start climbing.
Plenty Of Steps Builds Positive Relationships
Multiple rungs on your ladder provide the opportunity for you to build strong relationships with your existing customers as they climb.
Buyers don’t jump up the ladder, they move step by step. And each step is an interaction of some kind. By leading them from purchase to purchase, nurturing them along the way, it makes it a no-brainer for them to invest in what you’re offering.
High-Value Items Bring High Profits
Not everyone will climb your ladder to the top. And some will climb it faster than others. But the percentage who do will earn you more money and increase your average sale value.
Selling Repeatedly To Existing Clients
You can increase your profit margin by using value ladders.
This works because you’re achieving more sales from the same customers without having to increase your advertising, as you would if you were trying to attract newbies. This brings your cost-per-lead way down.
Are Value Ladders Right For You?
The reason for creating a value ladder is to guide your customer up toward higher-cost purchases through continuously evolving trust.
By mapping out each step from bottom to top you can create opportunities for multiple sales at different (ascending) price points to suit a variety of income brackets.
And the best bit?
All you need to start implementing the value ladder strategy is one initial offer. That’s it. You can then build it up as people start taking the bait.
So, are value ladders right for you? I’m pretty sure they are.
Not sure where to start? Already running a value ladder and it’s not going to plan? Book a call with me to start getting more out of your customers.