The Value Slider: Ten Things People Want In A Service Based Offer (+ Four Things You Should Want)

To Give Yourself A Self Assessment 


(Thanks to Dr. Doug Tataryn for the idea and creating the first draft of this)

Note: Many of the resources linked below are in my Membership. If you’re not a member, you won’t be able to access them.


Recently, I was reading Leadsology by Tom Poland and he speaks about what clients are looking for in an offer from a service in terms of value.

Let’s remember that value is the final step in marketing. First comes relevance. Then credibility and then value. 

If you don’t establish relevance (which Tom includes here in his list) then they won’t buy.

If you don’t establish credibility, if they don’t trust you, or if the offer seems ‘too good to be true’ they won’t buy. The offer must be believable. This means two things. The first is that they believe their problem is even solvable (not always the case) and the second is that they believe you can solve it. For more thoughts on credibility go here

Relevance and credibility come first.

For more thoughts on how relevance, credibility and value intersect, go here

Value will be based on whether or not they get the result they’re looking for. So, it’s important to articulate that result precisely

I’ve also added to more pieces to the list as well as a few ‘internal’ pieces to make sure the offer is a good idea for you.

External Things


External Thing #1: A transformation that’s relevant to the client’s needs.

Relevance comes down to all of the niche work. Tom gives an example of someone who created swimming classes for little people (e.g. in the past referred to as dwarves and midgets). 

When I say relevant I mean narrow and deep relevance not shallow and wide. 

If you can make an offer that is tailored to a particular community of people or a particular issue, you’ll get a much stronger response. 

This video lays out the difference it can make to what you charge to have an offer be more relevant.

Questions to ask yourself:

Product: “Is there a demand for this product and my style of making it?”

Service: “Does this service solve a well defined problem and offer a clearly articulated result?”

External Thing #2: A measurable transformation.

If you can’t measure the result they’ll get, then how will they know when they’ve gotten it? Ideally this can be put into quantitative metrics, dollars, hours, percentages etc. That’s easiest. If not, then you can move to qualitative measurements based on how they might feel. 

So often, offers are ‘your life will be better’ vs. ‘you’ll make another $1000 per month’. It’s ‘you’ll be healthier’ vs. ‘you’ll get a solid eight hours of sleep every night.’ 

This measurability helps build the credibility of the offer and contends with the ‘too good to be true’ voices that can appear.

Another way to look at this is that it’s really simple to understand what the offer is and what’s being promised. It’s not nebulous. It’s crystal clear. It’s something they could accurately remember and tell to their friends.

Yet another way to consider this is that your offer must solve a pressing problem for them. You can read about properly articulating that here

Question to ask yourself:

“Can I measure (ideally quantitatively but also qualitatively) the difference this service will make in their life? Is there a way I can prove it’s made a difference?”


On Milestones & Promising Transformation

Island B: Nine Qualities of a Well Articulated Result

External Thing #3: A significantly better transformation.

The idea here is that no one is willing to pay much more for a small improvement.

  • “Gents! Feel slightly less terrified about approaching that beautiful woman!”
  • “Ladies! Hate your bodies slightly less than you do.”
  • “Salespeople. Feel a wee bit more confident making cold calls.”
  • “Make a 1% increase in profits for your business this year.”
  • “Sniffle a little less with those allergies of yours.”


People don’t pay money for that. They pay money for something big (and yet still believable). So that’s the needle to thread: big but believable. 

The above would be compelling if you said something like,

  • “Gents! Feel at ease and confident in approaching even the most beautiful woman and have fun doing it (whether it works out or not)!”
  • “Ladies! Silence those inner gremlins telling you to hate your body once and for all.”
  • “Salespeople, you can learn how to do cold calls in a way that’s respectful and effective (even if it seems impossible).”
  • “Make a 2% increase in profits for your business this year.”
  • “Eliminate your allergies entirely.”

Question to ask yourself: “Is the result people get really dramatic, noticeable and impressive? If not, how can I make sure this offering helps them make progress they and others couldn’t help but notice?”

“Can I measure (ideally quantitatively but also qualitatively) the difference this service will make in their life? Is there a way I can prove it’s made a difference?”

External Thing #4: A transformation that’s delivered faster

Looking at the above examples, if I said I could help you achieve those results over the next decade that would get less response than if I promised those results within a year or within three months. 

Again, the amount of time needs to be believable (for you and them) but, in the beginning, start with the time frame your clients would want and then work backwards from that: how could you get them the result they’re craving faster? What’s the 20% that makes 80% of the difference you could focus on? What could you trim? Could you hone the result more specifically?

Going back to the above examples:

  • “Gents! Feel at ease and confident in approaching even the most beautiful woman and have fun doing it (whether it works out or not)! You can learn how in our five day bootcamp.”
  • “Ladies! Silence those inner gremlins telling you to hate your body once and for all. Give us nine months to birth a new relationship to your body and you’ll be amazed at the difference.”
  • “Salespeople, you can learn how to do cold calls in a way that’s respectful and effective (even if it seems impossible) in 30-days.”
  • “Make a 25% increase in profits for your business this year in just three months”
  • “Eliminate your allergies entirely in three sessions (or your money back).”

Questions to ask yourself:

“How quickly can I help them get from Island A to B? How does this compare to others? Is there any way I can offer the same result in less time and still give them 80% of the result? What’s the 20% that makes 80% of the difference? What can I cut that isn’t absolutely necessary and still deliver a dramatic result they’d be thrilled with?”

External Thing #5: A better return on investment (not cheaper).

Imagine you have trouble sleeping and it’s ruining your life and health. 

So you hire a sleeping coach. 

They’ve studied the field a lot but the sessions with them aren’t great. Their kids are always home and interrupting the zoom calls and they vanish for five minutes at a time. They often show up to the calls five minutes late too. And they end them five minutes early. They don’t really listen to you and they go on long tangents that have nothing to do with sleep. It’s so frustrating. You’re only paying $100 for the hour for weekly sessions but it feels like a waste of money.

Then you meet another sleep coach who a friend says is ‘the best’. They charge you $2000 per month. That’s five times more than you were paying. But, within three months, you’re sleeping like a baby.

The second coach had a better return on investment. You could have kept going with the first coach for years and not gotten anywhere near as far as with the first coach. 

People don’t mind paying you more if you can show it’s a solid ROP=I (and ideally better than other approaches). 

Question to ask yourself:

“How much time, money and energy will it save them to hire me? Where is the demonstrable benefit for them? How can I make the value of this for them ten times greater than the cost?”

External Thing #6: A transformation that’s simpler to implement.

They don’t have time to learn everything you know. Nor do they have the interest. As the adage goes, ‘easy is the new free’. They don’t want to read a hundred blog posts. They won’t want to spend days trying to piece together an approach from random YouTube videos. They don’t want to feel overwhelmed, like they’re drowning in information.

If you can take a process that’s been hard, felt overwhelming and create a process that is streamlined and easy to do, this will make your offers much more compelling and your word of mouth much stronger. 

If you can remove extraneous steps, trim off 80% of the steps to leave the 20% that matter the most to get them the result and to remove any friction or stumbling blocks to pave a smooth, step-by-step path for them, they’ll be incredibly grateful. 

Most of us are so incredibly overwhelmed.

They key is that your approach is not confusing to people. The steps are ideas are clearly laid out for them. This is where all the Point of View work pays off so much. 

Questions to ask yourself:

“How can I make this process simpler, more straight forward, step by step? Are there things I’ve added that unnecessarily complicate the process?”

External Thing #7: A transformation that’s easier to achieve.

Of course, what everyone wants is less effort for the transformation. They want to wave a wand and it’s done. They want to pop a pill and it’s done. The closer you can get to that the more people will want to sign up. Can you make implementation easier for them?

What many of these criteria have to do with is giving your clients a short cut to get from A to B. There’s a kind of minimalism asked for, being economic and giving them only what they need and cutting the rest. Sometimes it’s good to look at what you can add to an offer, sometimes the key is to ask yourself what you can strip away and still get them the result, or, at least, most of it. 

Questions to ask yourself:

“Are there ways that I can help them get the same result with less raw effort? What’s the 20% of effort that will make 80% of the difference for them?”

External Thing #8: It’s simple to understand and talk about.

The confused mind says ‘no’. If your offer is to difficult to wrap their mind around, they are unlikely to buy. If they can’t go home and explain it to their spouse easily, that’s bad news. 

Questions to ask yourself:

“How easily can they describe this offer to a friend? Can I articulate it in a sentence or two?”

External Thing #9: It doesn’t rely on them.

Making your product or service easy to use is good. Making the use transparent is more compelling. Knowing you can turn on the lights with the flip of a switch is easy. But having the light turn off automatically when it stops sensing motion in the room is better. If you can help them double their profits with a lot of work on their end, that’s good. If you can do it with no work on their end, that’s better. If you can do it with NO work on their end, that’s the best. The closer you can get to getting them the result without their work, without it relying on them, the more people will want it. 

Questions to ask yourself:

“How can I reduce the need for their labour and involvement in them getting the result? How can I make this more ‘done for you’?”

External Thing #10: It is credible.

If they hear your offer and smirk and say “Uh. That sounds a little too good to be true.” That works against you (even if it’s totally legit. What we want is for them to hear the offer and think, “Shit. That could work. That actually makes sense as an approach!”

Questions to ask yourself:

“What can I show them that will prove that this offer will deliver the result it’s promising? What evidence can I offer? How can I help them trust my integrity and the integrity and effectiveness of the process?”

Internal Things


Internal Thing #1: It is simple to offer.

It’s easy to get carries away with offers and make them so complicated to do on our own end that they become logistical, temporal and administrative nightmares. This leads to burn out. The key is to make the offers so simple and streamlined that they’re a pleasure to do. 

Questions to ask yourself:

“When I look at the plan to promote this, do I feel overwhelmed? How can I streamline the process of offering this? What can I delegate to others? What needs to be systematized? What am I doing in the prep, promo and producing of this that’s extraneous?”

Internal Thing #2: It is sustainable for you.

This is tied to thing #1 but there are more elements to sustainability than complexity. How many hours will it take to make it work? How much screen time? How much money will it cost you to do? How much prep time and wrap up time will it take (and has that been factored in)? How much travel? Etc. When you look at the full ecology of the thing, is this really going to work out for you?

Questions to ask yourself:

“Is there a good ROI on this for me? Can I run this program indefinitely, over and over, without burning out? How do I feel when I think about offering this? Have I really crunched the numbers on this an included all the time and money it takes to run this?”

Internal Thing #3: It is satisfying for you.

Lifestyle should always serve life. Never the other way around. If we want our offers to feel deeply satisfying and fulfilling they must give us the kind of lifestyle we want. We start our business with the lifestyle we want and then we back our offers into that. We don’t start with our offers and see if we can fit some good lifestyle into the margins of that.

Questions to ask yourself:

“Does this offer allow me to have the kind of lifestyle I want? Does it allow me to spend my time the way I want and with the kinds of people I want? Is this offer aligned with the bigger why’s of my life? Does this offer feel connected to a deeper sense of purpose as to why I’m here?”

Internal Thing #4: It is repeatable.

So many entrepreneurs burn themselves out creating new course after new course. But each new course needs a new salesletter, a new approach, new curriculum etc. There’s so much work for the first one. When an airplane takes off it uses most of its fuel just to get into the jet stream. It’s the same with offers. The first time you put it out is a rough beast. The second time it’s twice as easy. It gets easier every time. Pick an offer you’d love to put out at least ten times. Every time you repeat it saves you time and energy that you can put into other aspects of your life and business.

Question to ask yourself:

“Could I do this same offer over and over again or is it something that I can or am planning to only offer once? Do I have plans to repeat this and systems to make that really easy to do?”


To Recap:

Tom lays these out in what he calls a Value Slider:

Irrelevant <—–> Relevant

Vague <—–> Measurable

Insignificant <—–> Significant

Slow Results <—–> Faster Results

Loss/Low ROI <—–> High ROI

More Complex To Implement <—–> Simpler To Implement

Harder <—–> Easier

Harder To Understand <—–> Simpler To Understand

“That’s too good to be true!” <—–> “That could work!”

But let me add a few internal pieces to evaluate your offer with for yourself:

Overwhelmingly Complex To Offer <—–> Simple To Offer

Burnout <—–> Sustainable For You (in terms of time, money and energy)

Unfulfilling <—–> Deeply Satisfying

One Time Offer <—–> Can Repeat It Regularly (weekly, monthly, annually etc.)

I highly recommend taking every offer you’ve got an ranking it on the sliders here from 1 (the low end) to 10 (the high end) to see where you offers are strong and weak and then seeing which ones you can get creative and improve. 

Next Steps:

  1. Watch the videos below
  2. Pick a specific offer. 
  3. Give yourself a candid self assessment.
  4. Make a copy of the assessment and send it to your colleagues and clients and ask them to fill it out about the offer.
  5. Identify the weakest three parts of your offer based on your self assessment and their assessment of you.
  6. Identify ways to improve those three as much as you can.

Here’s a video of me talking it through with the good George Kao.


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