What kind of person are you? Little dog or big dog?
There are pros and cons to both, of course.
The little ones are a bit easier for you to care for. And the bigger ones can help keep your family protected in an emergency.
But bigger dogs also require colossal bags of food and can actually knock you over if they get too excited. And little dogs are yappier, and frankly a little more annoying (there I said it).
My parents (traditionally little dog people) recently made the switch to big dogs and got themselves an adorable Great Dane puppy.
He was cute, sure. But when that pup grew into himself, he became a real handful.
They needed to hold onto the leash with both hands now and plant their heels in the ground when he spotted a squirrel. Otherwise, they’d be dragged face-first across the lawn. Tracking in a bit of mud was now an hours-long cleaning affair. And when he jumped on visitors, they’d both end up on all fours after.
It was a rude awakening for them. They thought they knew how to raise a dog. But what they didn’t know was that raising a big one, well, that wasn’t as easy as they thought. And if they weren’t careful, that dog could cause some real damage.
So, how does this all relate to high-ticket items?
Well, just like with raising a big dog, focusing on high-ticket items also means the stakes are higher. The profits are too, of course. But compared to low-ticket sales funnels (or the “little dogs”), pulling off a high-ticket funnel takes a bit of extra work if you don’t want it to end in disaster.
And that’s exactly what I’m looking at today. What are high ticket items? What are their pros and cons? And most importantly, what 9 steps do you need to take to optimize your sales funnel and make your high-ticket product business a doggone success?
Well, let’s take a look.
So What Are High-Ticket Items?
They’re exactly what you’d expect.
High-ticket items are products or services that cost quite a bit of money and offer buyers a high value.
For instance, a new iPhone 11 Pro Max is a high ticket item because it costs an ungodly amount ($1450). And at the same time, it also gives users a lot of value (internet, camera, instant global communication, and above all else, Memojis).
However, a $10,000 opened jar of 30-year-old tartar sauce certainly has the price tag of a high-ticket item. But it falls a bit short on the value side of things and consequently doesn’t count.
Now, there’s no strict price cutoff that everyone uses for high-ticket items. Some say anything above $1000 while others point to over $2500.
Plus, there really aren’t any restrictions for what type of offering is high-ticket either. It can be a physical product like a car or jewelry. It can be an info product like an online training course or a sales funnel blueprint. Or it can be a service like coaching, business mentorship, or website design.
What’s Great About High-Ticket Items?
In a word… plenty.
There are tons of benefits to focusing on high-ticket items but below you’ll find 3 of the biggest: profit, authority, and cost-effectiveness.
1. More Profit Per Sale
Duh! This is why people get into selling high-ticket items in the first place: they tend to lead to more profits per sale. And that means you need fewer sales in order to meet your financial goals.
Imagine, for example, you’re marketing an ebook for around $12 with a profit margin of $3. With that product, you have to sell a lot more to meet your financial goals than if you were selling a $600 exclusive online course with a $150 profit margin.
Makes sense, right?
2. Positions You As An Authority Figure
Like it or not, a higher price tag often comes with more perceived value.
Even if it’s a bottle of snake oil with packaging that’s more expensive than the actual product, people will be drawn to buying it. You have heard of Goop, right?
The trick to turning it into a maintainable business is both selling value and actually following through on the promise of that value. Only then can you earn the trust of your audience and continue to offer them products and services that they’ll actually get something out of.
Because when you do that, you’ll have a customer for life.
And we all know the old stats about the costs of retaining customers versus finding new ones. No? Well, according to Harvard Business Review, finding new customers can end up costing 5 to 25 times more than retaining old ones.
3. Less Overhead Costs… Potentially
Low-ticket business models rely on quantity to meet their financial goals since profit margins are often lower.
And typically, that means they’re dealing with far-reaching problems that often come with a ginormous customer base. Problems like…
- High costs of advertising to reach more people.
- High burden of frequent customer support incidences.
- Needing a larger sales team to close on purchases.
- All the logistical challenges and costs that come with shipping high quantities of products.
In the end, lower margins mean higher quantities which usually leads to higher overhead.
But with high-ticket items, you’re dealing with fewer customers, fewer products, and fewer logistical headaches as a result.
And when you can automate your leads with a done-for-you sales funnel like AutoGrow’s, things can become even easier.
This, of course, is highly dependent on your unique product and industry. Some high-ticket items may still require massive ad expenditures, sprawling customer support staff, or pricey fulfillment services. It just depends.
What Sucks About Them?
Higher margins, more profits, greater opportunity to supercharge your growth—what’s not to love about high-ticket items?
Well, while there are some pretty substantial benefits here, high-ticket items are also a bit more of a pain than more affordable options.
1. Items May Cost More To Make
Now, this of course also depends on the nature of your product. But in general, high-ticket items often require more resources to make than other products.
Tesla’s cars for example (an AutoGrow example favorite), require loads of expertise, pricey parts, and specialized machinery to create. And all that costs money.
If you’re selling higher-ticket items you’re required to make a bigger initial investment. That investment can come in the form of buying up inventory, developing an expert-level info product, or even spending your own valuable time (think coaching sessions, consulting, business mentorship, etc.).
And if for some reason you aren’t actually able to find a market for that product, you may just have to swallow your pride and eat your losses.
In the end, high-ticket items have more profit potential… but could come with higher risk too.
That being said, if the demand is high enough, you can turn a cheap commodity into a high-ticket item too… provided you control the supply that is.
2. You Have To Be More Targeted With Your Marketing
Since a higher price point immediately excludes more of your potential audience, it may mean you’ll have to be a bit more careful with your advertising. Why? Because people don’t like spending money on things they can’t afford. Simple.
So what you have to do is…
- Sell to the people with more expendable income (“The Fat Cats”).
2. Sell to those who are more willing to spend a higher percentage of their hard-earned cash on your product (“The Enthusiasts”).
Low-ticket items can be marketed successfully with a shotgun blast approach. But with high-ticket items, your ad spend may be massive, only to come back with a wholly unsatisfying click-through rate that isn’t even close to justifying the costs.
That means you may need to put more of your resources into market research, expert copywriting, and ingenious ad development.
3. Buyers Take More Nurturing To Convert
The higher the investment, the more energy it will take to sell a customer on it. Because humans on a fundamental level are highly attuned to risk. And we’re really really good at avoiding it.
So when it comes to asking someone to sink 10% of their monthly income on what you’re selling, they’re going to be a lot more hesitant to pay up than if it were just 2% instead.
How do you overcome that natural tendency to recoil from a risk? You nurture your leads. You answer their questions, you show them how you’ve helped others just like them, and you get them more and more comfortable with the idea of following through with the sale.
The only problem is that higher investments require more nurturing to get your prospects buy-ready. That might mean producing more consumable content, more nurturing emails, or more product demonstrations
And in the end, that often means more effort on your part to keep them on the path to becoming a customer.
Now that you fully understand the pros and cons of focusing your business model on high-ticket items, it’s time to jump into the 9-point supreme guide to optimizing your high-ticket sales funnel and review its steps.
Now, let’s get right to it…
Step 1: Find The RIGHT Audience
We already touched on this above but it’s worth repeating. In order to operate a successful high-ticket item business, you need to know your audience. But more than that, you also need to know how to reach them.
Knowing the benefits and detriments of each is crucial for targeting the right kinds of leads.
What That Means For Your Funnel: At AutoGrow, we like to think of this stage as fueling your funnel.
And if you nail this part down, you’ve tackled one of the most difficult steps of building a high-ticket sales funnel.
But which ad platform is right for you?
Google Adwords is really good at helping you target prospects based on “search intent” since you can focus on specific search keywords your market may use. If your ideal client already knows what their problem is and what they need to solve it, Google is a great place to focus on.
Facebook is a bit more casual since most people there are looking for entertainment or news. But given the enormous amount of demographic information collected on it, it can be super helpful in targeting the right kind of lead, even if they aren’t looking for your service (unlike Google).
And finally, LinkedIn is also great with demographics but with a much more professional culture compared to Facebook. This platform might be a good place to market high-ticket services like coaching, mentorship, or consulting.
Step 2: Find The RIGHT Lead Magnet (*Cough* Webinar *Cough*)
There are oodles of lead magnet types out there. Checklists, recipe books, in-depth guides, templates—the list goes on and on. Plus, lead magnets are incredibly easy to make when you know what you’re doing.
But when it comes to high-ticket items, the ones that are likely to serve your purpose best are those that require a bit of buy-in. You know, a little work on the part of the prospect.
Why? Because it shows leads are already willing to spend some of their time or money on what you have to offer. Plus, it’s a simple way to weed out everyone that’s just trying to cash in on some free swag (not usually the kind of riffraff you want in your high-ticket funnel anyway).
But even more than that, getting a small investment from a lead actually builds trust. Once they see that the money (or time) they put in is returned with actual value, they’ll be more likely to invest even more.
What That Means For Your Funnel: A webinar is an excellent lead magnet choice for high-ticket funnels. There are a few reasons for choosing it.
- It requires buy-in, helping you build trust.
- You don’t have to charge for it. And even for the wealthiest prospects out there, money can be a stumbling block when there isn’t enough trust already built up.
- It gives you the chance to strut your stuff. A webinar is the perfect opportunity to show off your expertise in your field, helping to boost that trust even more.
- And finally, a webinar is also a highly effective way of pushing your attendees towards a desired end goal. The near in-person effect can make resisting the pull to click a CTA or hop on a consultation call nearly impossible when done right.
Another great lead magnet option is a tripwire since it also requires prospect buy-in, though this time in the form of good ol’ fashioned currency. And making a high-converting tripwire is simple too.
Step 3: Focus On High-Touch Nurturing
The low-risk nature of low-ticket items means that sellers simply don’t have to spend as much time and money on convincing prospects to buy. After all, what’s the worst that can happen if your USB-powered mini humidifier shaped like a whale stops working? You’re out 12 bucks… big whoop.
But when it comes to an $8000 2-day business coaching seminar, the stakes are a little bit higher. And most people won’t treat it nearly as flippantly as a cheap and tiny whale humidifier.
So that means high-ticket businesses have to put quite a bit more effort into lead nurturing to help ease prospects’ fears and convince them they’re making the right choice.
What That Means For Your Funnel: If you’re building a high-ticket sales funnel you want to be successful, you’ve got to accommodate the longer buyer’s journey. Keeping it basic with just an email or two, a lead magnet, and a short landing page simply will not do.
At AutoGrow, we use a pretty standard 3-email sequence for a good chunk of our clients.
But for our high-ticket sales funnels, we tend to include several of these sequences throughout the funnel, sometimes as many as 3 different sequences in a single funnel (9 emails total).
In fact, one of our funnels (which marketed a number of online courses for a highly targeted niche) had an astounding 20 emails in a single funnel.
On top of that, we also make use of retargeting ads, personalized videos, lengthy and detailed sales pages, and much much more.
Why? Because we know high-ticket funnels need high-touch nurturing in order to be successful.
Step 4: Incorporate TONS Of Social Proof
Social proof is killer when it comes to conversions.
Whether it’s customer testimonials, case studies, online reviews, direct quotes, or whatever, whenever you show that someone out there likes what you’re doing, you’re calming your customers fears. And you’re telling them that, “Hey, we can do a lot for you. Just look at what people are saying!”
With the risk of high-ticket items being inherently higher, anything you can do to quell those fears and address those risks is going to lead to more sales for you. And social proof is without a doubt one of the best ways to do that.
What That Means For Your Funnel: When you’re building out your high-ticket sales funnel, be sure to throw in social proof pretty much whenever you get the chance.
Customer quotes are great additions to emails and serve as solid section breaks to help add some variety to your sales pages.
Video testimonials can go a long way towards helping prospects feel more comfortable with taking the plunge, especially since they have the added benefit of connecting with a real human person. Just make sure they don’t come off as scripted.
And case studies can be especially beneficial since high-ticket prospects will generally dig deeper into your service than other types. It’s no wonder why these bits of social proof can increase sales by 185%.
Now the only question is how to get those good reviews and glowing testimonials…
Step 5: Get Tough With Your Lead Qualification
The high-ticket business model works when you minimize the time you (or your sales team) spends on the phone with low-quality leads.
Because that’s time you could be spending on convincing good lead that now’s the time to buy.
And since the value of a sale is much higher in this type of business, that one failed phone call could be worth hundreds, maybe even thousands. This is especially true when your sales staff’s time is limited.
The solution, of course, is to create a system that better qualifies your leads before they get on the phone with you.
What That Means For Your Funnel: Now, most funnels will have qualification questions somewhere along the buyer’s journey. Maybe it’s a question of finances here, an inquiry about timeline there. Nothing too extensive.
But when it comes to high-ticket sales funnels, it’s time to kick it up a notch.
Don’t hold back when you’re qualifying customers in this type of model. Rather than 2 or 3 simple questions that anyone will be able to pass, really dig into who your ideal customer is.
Are they qualified to make decisions?
Do they meet your hard cutoff for budget requirements?
Are they well aware of the investment they’ll have to make in order to get the most out of your services?
Don’t be afraid to ask the right questions and use the right qualifying strategies. Because the more you can narrow down the leads funneling into your sales department, the more efficient your business will run.
Step 6: Be Blunt About YOUR Pricing
Have you heard about imposter syndrome? It’s when the human mind (as utterly messed up as it is) basically sabotages the individual with self-doubt.
Despite all of their accomplishments, all of their proven abilities, and all of their track record for success after success, someone suffering from imposter syndrome continues to feel inadequate. Like it wasn’t them that made those successes possible.
And they have a persistent fear that they’re going to be exposed for the fraud, the imposter, that they really are. So they hedge. They undervalue their work. They set their goals too low. And they tend to achieve only a fraction of what they’re really capable of.
When you’re selling high-ticket items, you need to cut that crap out.
Don’t hide your price tag. Don’t sneak it in on some hidden corner of your website. And certainly don’t wait for the sales call to drop the price bomb.
Instead, wear your price tag loud and proud. And be blunt about it.
Because doing so is a great way to better qualify your leads and knock out those that can’t afford your services quickly and (most importantly) automatically.
What That Means For Your Funnel: While you probably don’t want to bring up price in the first stages of your funnel like in your lead magnet (there is such a thing as being too blunt), there’s no question you need a pricing section on your sales page.
Now, there are a few things you can do to make it as clear and welcoming as possible. You know, best practices like pointing out which package is right for which audience, making CTAs highly visible, including multiple packages—stuff like that.
But one thing that’s particularly important for high-ticket items is to set a price anchor beforehand. A price anchor is basically an initial price point that you set for a similar product before you reveal your price tag.
If, for instance, you’re a designer trying to get firms to outsource their technical work to you, you may set a price anchor that shows the high costs of hiring an in-house designer. And then when you offer up your price, it looks like a steal by comparison.
Price anchoring is a marketer’s go-to tool for softening the blow of even the most high-priced products and services. And it’s an awesome persuasion tactic for boosting conversions and pre-qualifying leads.
Step 7: Spend Extra Time On Overcoming Objections
Again, it all comes down to risk aversion. We’re human. And as humans, we don’t like to lose stuff—especially when it’s our stuff.
With low-ticket items, the risk of losing out is low because hey, it’s just a few bucks, right? Those voices in your head telling you all the reasons not to buy can shove it.
But when the costs are high, those voices get free reign.
Are you really going to get any value out of this? Is it really as great as they’re saying it is? What if it doesn’t work for me?
And all these voices can’t be silenced with the low-risk argument when you’re selling a product with a hefty price tag.
So when the stakes are high as with high-ticket items, you have to spend extra time on addressing your prospects’ objections and helping them overcome them.
What That Means For Your Funnel: When it comes to high-ticket funnels, you have got to put in the extra effort to address your prospects’ concerns.
Offering free case studies is a great way to do that.
You may also want to flesh out your email campaigns by focusing on individual objections and going into them in-depth. For instance, if pricing is a major concern, send an email dedicated to price anchoring, financing options, and ROI.
Including a detailed frequently asked questions section is also perfect for addressing any objections. But don’t just throw out any questions you come up with to fill in space.
Survey your target market and the leads that have dropped out of your funnel. Ask them what stopped them from buying. And use that feedback to build a FAQ section that actually answers real-life questions your prospects have had in the past.
And finally, there’s the risk reversal. Risk reversals are standard for a well-made landing page. And they’re absolutely required for high-ticket items.
Why? Because with high-ticket products, the risk is so much higher! Pretty simple.
With a risk reversal, you’re taking the risk of trying out your product off the table completely. It could be a…
- 14-day free trial
- 60-day money-back guarantee
- 100% free consultation
Anything that gets your prospects to see your value without putting them at risk is helpful here, especially within high-ticket sales funnels.
Step 8: When It’s Time To Close, Get A Human On The Phone
When you’re buying placemats or candles or janky electronics on Amazon for under $20, you don’t care about talking to a salesperson. In fact, one of the reasons you’re even shopping online in the first place is probably to avoid talking to anyone at all.
More importantly for our discussion though, low-ticket products simply require less convincing to buy. But when it comes to high-ticket items, however, people want to talk to people.
They want to get any lingering questions answered. They want to be reassured that they’re making the best decision. And they want someone on the other end of the line telling them that everything’s going to be just fine. This is right for you!
What That Means For Your Funnel: I know, I know—the point of a sales funnel is to automate your sales process. But when it comes to high-ticket products and services, you simply have to get on the phone with your leads if you want them to buy.
There are a few things you can do to make your call more productive too.
- Make sure all decision-makers are present on the call.
- Try to use a video call. This is no time to be bashful. The value of seeing a human face is HUGE when it comes to sales.
- Set expectations beforehand with a simple and informative email sequence (e.g. “How to get the most value from our upcoming call”).
- Review the benefits of the product or service.
- Address any lingering questions they may have. And take note of these questions so you can include them on your FAQs page in the future.
- Ask for the sale. It’s tough, I know. But this simple act is key for closing person-to-person sales.
- Congratulate them on their decision to buy! People want positive feedback after making a choice. And that’s especially true when that choice was harder to make like with high-ticket items.
Step 9: (Expert Tip)—Use A Low-Ticket Funnel To Drive Traffic To Your High-Ticket Sales Funnel
One of the biggest differences between a low-ticket funnel and a high-ticket funnel is volume. While high-ticket sales funnels tend to have higher profit margins, low-ticket funnels bring in more customers.
One way to optimize your high-ticket funnel even further is to bring in a separate low-ticket sales funnel that feeds into your high-ticket funnel.
Think of it like this. Instead of just having a lead magnet to bring in new leads, you can instead sell a low-ticket product to capture emails, build trust, and continue to sell to those new leads. And eventually, they may be ready to move up to your high-ticket funnel.
Best of all, your leads will be even more pre-qualified thanks to the fact that you’ve already broken down the biggest barrier to converting a lead into a repeat customer—the initial purchase.
What That Means For Your Funnel: You certainly won’t want to replace your free lead magnet entirely, especially once you’ve already put the effort into creating it. But what you could do is simply add another branch with your low-ticket sales funnel.
In fact, tripwires themselves (often used as a typical lead magnet) are a great product to start building your low-ticket funnel around.
Eventually, you can even add multiple layers with increasing product price tags.
You can, for example, start with a free lead magnet that leads to a tripwire. After that, you can offer an info product like an ebook and then an online course. And finally, you can work your way up to the real high-ticket items like private consultations.
This strategy takes some time of course. Not to mention, it’ll also requires some serious sales funnel expertise and a bit of the ol’ elbow grease. But when you partner with the right sales funnel builders (ahem…), then you can start building out your new lead gen funnel in no time at all.
And with AutoGrow’s soon-to-launch proprietary app (it’s coming!), building out that funnel will be as easy as pushing a button…
So there you have it. The SUPREME guide to high-ticket sales funnels.
Inside we covered the 9 steps of optimizing your sales funnel for high-ticket items…
- Find The RIGHT Audience
- Find The RIGHT Lead Magnet
- Focus On High-Touch Nurturing
- Incorporate TONS Of Social Proof
- Get Tough With Your Lead Qualification
- Be Blunt About YOUR Pricing
- Spend Extra Time On Overcoming Objections
- When It’s Time To Close, Get A Human On The Phone
- (Expert Tip) Use A Low-Ticket Funnel To Drive Traffic To Your High-Ticket Funnel
And though there are pros and cons of getting into the high-ticket product game, these optimization tips are sure to make your transition into this lucrative market a highly successful one.
So, what changes have you made to optimize your sales funnel for high-ticket items? Which of these steps have helped you see the most success? And do you have any other optimizations to help others looking to make the switch?
Let us know in the comments below!
Keep funnelin’, stay focused,