How to Sell High-Ticket Programs in 5 Simple Steps

September 24, 2021
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High-ticket programs can be incredibly lucrative.

But selling a service or subscription that costs $2k or more can be a special challenge.

The reason why is pretty obvious: because high-ticket items are expensive!

As a result, you have to spend extra time building value and trust with your prospects before they’ll be willing to buy. You can’t market them the same way you might promote a lead magnet or a core offer that might be inexpensive enough for an impulse purchase.

To sell an expensive program like this, you need a well-optimized conversion funnel that spans both the marketing and sales sides of your business.

In this article we’ll show you how it’s done, using a few examples from our own business, our friends at DigitalMarketer, and some of the many clients we’ve worked with.

Step 1: Start with a Content-First Strategy to Maximize Touchpoints

In order for someone to trust you enough to buy a $2k+ program, they’re most likely going to need some time to get to know you first.

That means multiple touchpoints.

A good way to approach this is with a content-first strategy. Each piece of relevant content you deliver can serve as another touchpoint, while also providing you with another opportunity to deepen trust by providing value and building credibility.

For instance, you might use top-of-funnel content in the form of a blog, video, or podcast to drive awareness and get people to start engaging with your brand. Providing free value in advance means you’ll also get organic leads coming in constantly over time. And once they engage with your content, you can continue to follow up via email or retargeting.

The more of your content a prospect consumes, the more likely they will be to purchase from you. At least—as long as your content is doing its job. Here are a few tips to help make sure it does:

Keep Your Content Closely Aligned with Your Offer

The more closely aligned your content is with the high-ticket offer you want to sell, the better. This way, you’ll be attracting the right audience while building credibility and demonstrating your expertise in the right subject areas.

One way to create that alignment is by using a piece of your program to create that content. For example, DigitalMarketer has a high-ticket partner program that includes “Certified Partner training days,” in which agency speakers break down their strategies and teach how to implement it in your own business.

DigitalMarketer uses content from these training sessions to create the pillar blog posts that they use to promote the program itself—which helps attract the right audience, because anyone who’s interested in the blog content is sure to be interested in more training from the program. This makes it easier to sell the program, down the line, because your prospects have already been exposed to pieces of it in the past.

Keep an Open Line of Communication Between Your Content, Sales, & Marketing Teams

Another way to create the content alignment we just talked about is to make sure your content team keeps open communication with your sales & marketing teams.

Think about it like this:

The whole point of content is to create something that will provide value to prospects and bring in new customers. Right?

So it only makes sense for that content to be informed by the people who actually interact with your prospects and customers—i.e., marketing and sales.

Without any input from sales, your content team is liable to go off and create the content they think is valuable. But when your content is informed by real customer interaction, it’s more likely to be helpful to your customers and create the goodwill and trust that will encourage them to interact with you again.

Step 2: Drive Engaged Visitors to Subscribe

OK, so you’ve engaged prospects with relevant content—now what?

A good next step is to drive a subscription so you can continue to follow up. You can do that by retargeting that engaged audience with lead magnets.

Make sure to continue having that alignment we talked about. Each lead magnet should be highly relevant to the content that the person consumed.

One note on this step: a single lead magnet may not be enough.

For some companies, it takes several opt-ins over before prospects are ready to make a purchase or take the next step.

Back in the day, DigitalMarketer needed 2-3 tripwires and 2-3 lead magnets before someone became a paid subscriber to their DM Lab. And that’s actually pretty good. One of our longtime clients at Tier 11 required 7 different opt-ins, on average, before someone would buy a program.

So don’t assume your job here is done just because you’ve gotten the email address. Keep promoting relevant content and lead magnets as long as you have more to promote; each little “yes” you get from a prospect will take them one step closer to making a purchase.

On the thank-you/confirmation page after that opt-in, you can begin promoting the next step in the process: inviting them to attend a webinar.

Step 3: High-Value Webinar That Drives Participants to Apply

Next up comes your webinar (or recorded training).

As you can imagine, the hook for this webinar should, once again, be highly relevant to both the content you’re promoting on the front end, and the program you’re going to be selling on the backend.

Make this webinar as valuable as you possibly can. The better your webinar, the more goodwill and credibility you’ll build in the minds of your prospects.

Don’t be afraid to give away your best stuff!

So many people feel like they have to hold back their best stuff for after the purchase. And that makes sense; why should someone purchase your program if you’ve already given away your best stuff for free?

But here’s the thing: the person watching the webinar doesn’t know this is your best stuff. All they know is that they’re watching a webinar filled with great information. They’re much more liable to think:

“If the free stuff is this good, just imagine how great it will be once I get everything else!”

It’s a bit counterintuitive, but it works.

Note that your call-to-action on this webinar should NOT be to make a purchase. Not yet.

Even if you’ve done a great job of building value so far, you’re still not likely to get many conversions by just coming out and asking for the sale.

Instead, make the call-to-action for them to apply.

Asking your prospects to apply is an effective tactic. For one thing, it flips the script, psychologically speaking: instead of you trying to convince them to buy your program, you’re now forcing them to prove themselves—to convince you that they should be allowed in your program.

It changed the power dynamics slightly, in a way that favors conversion.

It also makes for a lower-friction call-to-action. Signing up for your program is expensive, but applying for your program doesn’t cost anything.

Step 4: Handoff to Sales Team for Sales Call

Once an application is received, it’s time for sales to do its job.

As with just about any sales call, speed-to-lead is important. If you let your applicants sit around too long, their interest may go cold by the time you finally get in touch. So reach out as quickly as you can to have (or at least schedule) that sales call.

The nature of this call will depend a lot on how your funnel is set up and how qualified your leads are. Less qualified leads will usually require more selling and education; more qualified leads may just need some final questions answered before they’re ready to pull the trigger.

In either case, remember that people about to purchase a high-dollar program may be a bit apprehensive. As a result, you might need to do a little hand-holding to reassure them that this is the right decision.

Lead Volume vs Lead Quality

Some of the factors that can influence how qualified or unqualified your prospects are might include the number of touchpoints they’ve had with your business (more = more qualified), how long they’ve followed your brand (longer = more qualified), and whether or not they know the price of your offer coming in (already aware of price = more qualified).

But more qualified doesn’t always necessarily mean better. Remember, you need to strike a balance between lead quantity and lead quality.

You can focus on driving as many leads as humanly possible, but they are liable to be a lot less qualified on average. Or you can focus on driving the most highly qualified leads imaginable, but the volume is likely to go way down.

At the end of the day, the ideal balance of quantity and quality is the balance that generates the most revenue. And that point is most likely going to fall somewhere on the middle of that spectrum.

Step 5: Iterate, Test, Repeat

To recap, the most effect marketing & sales model for high-ticket programs typically goes something like this:

  1. Use content to generate awareness
  2. Retarget to get them subscribed
  3. Drive them to a high-value webinar
  4. Get the to apply for your program
  5. Convert them on a sales call

But don’t feel like you have to follow this word for word. Try different things and test to see what works best for you.

For instance, if your sales team isn’t getting enough appointments, maybe you try moving the application earlier in the process. Your leads will likely be less qualified, in that case, but it might still result in more sales.

The point is, try new things. See what works. Keep iterating on that process, and eventually you’ll find something that works.

I’ve seen so many companies that create only 1 iteration for their high-ticket offer, and leave it at that. But you’re not likely to hit a home run on your first at-bat, which means that unless you try multiple strategies and approaches, you’re almost certainly leaving money on the table.

So, what’s the best way to go about this iteration/optimization process?

When DigitalMarketer comes up with a new offer, they’ll often test it by sending it to their own list before trying it on cold traffic. The idea is to “see if it has a pulse.” And that’s a really smart approach.

In other words: first, you get some proof of concept that this is something people are willing to buy. Then you start figuring out how to structure the sales process and the metrics in order to make the numbers work.

Then, break down that sales process into steps to find where the biggest blockages are. For instance, in the DM Certified Partner program, their biggest hurdle is getting people who have subscribed to a lead magnet to then register for the webinar. That’s the biggest step holding them back, so it’s an area of focus for them.

Find your area(s) of focus and put most of your attention there. You’ll get better results that way than you will by meak-tweaking the stuff that’s already working pretty well.

Need Help Promoting Your High-Ticket Offer?

As you can tell, selling a high-ticket offer is no small task. It takes a lot of work, a lot of testing, and a whole lot of marketing know-how.

Here at Tier 11, we’ve got plenty of the latter. We’ve worked with dozens of name-brand companies from around the world, including many companies selling incredibly expensive and complex offers—so we know what it takes to make this kind of funnel succeed.

We’ve developed a synergistic marketing strategy that we use to help improve every aspect of our clients’ marketing. Unlike most advertising agencies, we don’t just drive clicks. We also help optimize sales funnels, clarify KPIs, implement creative strategy, and provide advanced data mining to help make sure your paid campaigns are always in the best position to succeed.

We call this approach Customer Acquisition Amplification™ (CaAMP™), and it’s a huge part of what enables us to generate such transformational results for our clients.

We can’t work with just anyone, but there’s an easy way to find out if we’d be a good fit for you. Just hop on a free, no-obligation strategy call.

This is the perfect way for us to learn more about your business, for you to learn more about how we work, and potentially take the next steps forward to having us help scale up your business with CaAMP™.

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