A question I’m often asked is how to package services and get away from trading time for money. It’s one of my favorite questions because the answer involves two things that I love:
Funnels and Value Ladders.
To create packages for your clients, you must reframe the way you see value in your products and services. That’s the job of the value ladder. The second half of that is aligning that value with what your audience needs at each point in their customer journey, which is a funnel.
Note: The first imperative of this system is not profit. The goal is to get and keep customers. Profit is the result. Profit is always an outcome.
Your Value Ladder
A value ladder is a method of structuring your offering so it appeals to your audience at every point in their customer journey. It guides them toward purchasing your premium offers by providing them with smaller offers along the way.
Offering value as they progress up the ladder is about enticing, especially when you can target their “right now” needs. This is a sales mindset focused on the biggest, hurtiest pain point at the current moment. You’ll get nowhere trying to sell tooth whitener to someone with a painful cavity. Focus on where they are right now.
When you show you can ease their pain, struggle, or challenge, you’re proving that you’re trustworthy. You’re showing your expertise. The further they progress on the customer journey, the more pain you relieve. That’s where brand loyalty is born.
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 (crucial) trust you.
Your Customer Journey
A customer journey will always be specific to your business. This is a funnel approach, starting broadly and getting more focused as it progresses.
The general framework of a customer journey
Using this path will guide you to speak directly to the needs of the audience at each stage. You’ll find that in your Ideal Customer research. Assign behaviors to each stage. Ask yourself, “what does it look like when my audience is here?”, and match your offers to those needs.
Put It All Together
Awareness: Hello, I’m An Expert
Your audience needs to know you’re an expert and that you deliver serious value doing what you do. This offer should be one that allows you to show your skills. Entry-level offers have the job of building trust and awareness. This is where the traditional profit mindset often feels uncomfortable. Think of these offers as investments, the same way you invest money in marketing and other forms of lead generation.
Consideration: I Got You
You’ve established yourself as an expert and showed you understand your audiences’ needs. The next step is to dazzle with value that’s targeted at the high-priority pain point. The goal is to get them talking about you and your amazing solution. This is the beginning of an engaged relationship with you and your brand. High value, low cost offers are excellent at this stage. DIY versions of your offering, and guides like workbooks, and even special discounted consultations all get them further down the path to addressing their pain points...thanks to you. It absolutely increases the likelihood they’ll move up the ladder.
Decision: You’re The One That I Want
Your high ticket offer. Highest priced, highest value. Getting your audience here has been the plan all along. Although you’ve known from the start how excellent your offer is, they’re only just coming around to that realization. It takes time to build the trust needed to decide you’re The One. This is especially the case for high-ticket offers. It may be something that your audience absolutely needs, but getting to the frame of mind where they’re excited to be parting with cash takes time and trust.
Package for Customer Value
The real power behind packaging your offers is that they aren’t about you. Don’t throw your biggest, most impressive offer at your audience right away. What do they need right now? And how can you provide it? Then come the questions of pricing and profit.
Gradually walk with your audience up the steps of your value ladder. Be there. This way, you’re always the solution, wherever they are in their journey.
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