“Consumers are preconditioned to move up ladders and pyramids.”
~ Dan Kennedy
Psychology of Ascension
The desire for growth, achievement, and challenge may be part of the human psyche. It is definitely part of societal practice and culture worldwide.
Most of us have been trained from our earliest childhood to climb ladders, if not before we start school, certainly from the moment we enter the schoolyard. We progress from grade to grade and from skill to skill at school and then progress to university and work where the ascension process continues. In music, sports, martial arts, scouts, the military, and even online games we are used to ascension. In fact, it’s an observable phenomenon that when people arrive at the top of any ladder or pyramid they ask, “What’s next?” If the answer is, “Nothing;” the probability is that they will seek a new ladder to climb… Which is bad news for your customer list.
So why don’t more businesses offer an ascension pyramid?
Mostly it’s because they don’t know how or can’t think what they might offer.
Mathematics and Power of Ascension
One coaching and training company had a linear sequence of purchases which provided an average 2-year customer value of $8,000. Without adding anything new to their line-up, but simply rearranging the products into an Ascension product the average 2-year customer value became $20,500 which is just over 2.5 times the previous average customer value.
Even if your new customer numbers don’t change, that represents both a dramatic increase in customer value and the ability to spend more to attract new customers. However, the really powerful growth happens when those customers stay longer because they have more opportunities to ascend.
Based on existing numbers, the average customer lifespan has increased from two years and four months to four years and eight months – and that number is limited by the time the program has been in practice. The average Lifetime Customer Value (LCV) has also risen… It is currently sitting at just over $60,000 per customer.
If you think about that happening in your business, the numbers can be dazzling…
So, what can you do?
Practice of Ascension
The main reason why businesses don’t offer an ascension ladder is that they look around their industry and don’t see anyone else doing it, so they either conclude that it is too hard or not feasible. However, like most of the best business practices it isn’t a new idea… it has been done for many, many years.
Two simple areas you can focus on are:
- Goals… when you get you customers committed to a Goal then you will keep them as long as they see definite measurable progress towards that goal. This will provide your customers with a good reason for staying with you longer and spending more on your products and services.
- Gamify Progress… so that people keep investing more time, money, effort, and resources in your business. Just like many of the free games your customers play … and then spend more and more money moving up the ladder. The more resources that you can provide for your customers the longer they will stay and the more they will spend with you. You can see this in many gyms which also sell personal training programs, supplements, and nutrition products, and profitable training and coaching businesses usually do this quite well.
Some people look at the idea of ascension and think, “More work!” And it’s true, building an ascension practice does involve creative effort as well as implementation effort… But the work is far less than the financial rewards you receive and it also represents a much greater level of value delivered.