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Suzanne Banta

#005: The 5 Levels of Client Value

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Hey! Tony Banta here and on this episode of the Client Whisperer Show, we’re going to talk about the five levels of client value and we’re even gonna drop an easy way for you to ask your clients what they need so you can get the highest level of client value, highest possible prices for you to charge for your services and have your clients actually thank you for it. Stay tuned.

Welcome to the Client Whisperer Show. I’m your host Tony Banta, and I am the Client Whisperer. I’ve spent over a decade running multiple six and seven figure client businesses and I’ve learned that the secret to success in a client business comes down to one thing, leadershi. Bad client behavior is the enemy. And with the right curriculum, infrastructure, and mindset, you can lead your clients to great success and scale your business the easy way.

So five levels of client value. This is a topic that I love to talk about because all client value is not created equally. And if you’ve ever been frustrated with knowing that you provide a good service, this is for service providers, especially cause we’re gonna rock your world a little bit in here. So get ready for that. But also for coaches and consultants. If you’ve ever been frustrated because you know that you’re doing a great job for your clients, but they tell you that it’s expensive or they might not be as grateful and as rewarding of an experience towards the end of the program for them as you know, it can be, then likely you have a little bit of value level mismatch.

So let’s dig into it.

Five levels. The first thing that we need to know is that all client value is derived, all value is to arrive whether you’re in a client business or otherwise, all value is derived in solving someone’s problem. So the good news is everybody has problems, right? And that means that there’s demand for solutions. This is literally what makes the economy go around. What you can do and what you’re doing now probably solve some problems for your clients. And so the very first thing that I want to say is, think about that. Think about what, what problems do you alleviate for your clients? And get clear on those. That will help as we’re, as we’re laying out some of these five levels, cause you can begin to associate with where the help is that you’re providing and where that fits in to these levels.

So the very first level, the basement, the bottom floor is information. Fun facts, right? You know, I think of this as like jokes. It provides some value, right? It’s fun. Or you know, some weird facts around a president a 150 years ago and how he liked Skittles. There weren’t Skittles 150 years ago. But these are fun. These are fun to know. It’s fun to throw around at a cocktail party. It’s great. That provides value. It makes people feel less boring. So there’s nothing wrong with providing value like that. A lot of podcasts just provide interesting content and if the, if the problem that that is solving for someone is that they want something interesting to listen to, then that’s great. That’s part of what we’re doing on this show is we’re providing hopefully interesting and, and fun content, but we also try and go a level higher than this. And that is to actually provide actionable information.

That’s level two actionable information comes from the fact that you know who you’re providing the information to. So when you’re writing a blog, you’re just putting that out there. When you’re publishing a podcast or just putting that out there to get and, in fact, we see this in every next level that we go to. It requires more two way communication. So for us to be able to provide actionable information, we need to get feedback from our listeners and we do talk to a bunch of you on social media and on our, our website, we get questions that come in on our website, so that we can actually have a dialogue there, go back and forth. It’s exactly how we get all of our What To Say Wednesdays where we answer somebody’s question around what to say to a client when they’re stumped.

So that is one of the most critical ways that you increase the level of value that you’re providing is that you need to increase the communication. So actionable information is different than just general information in that it can be used immediately. If you think of level one, just information as trivia, right? Which is, which is connected to the word trivial. So that’s an important distinction to make. Then level two is more than that. Level two is information to solve a more meaningful problem. I remember, uh, seeing Ramit Sethi and I hope I’m pronouncing his name right who has books and courses on finance and he takes a different, a slightly different approach than a lot of the finance people. He doesn’t thin that debt and some of those tools aren’t necessarily bad, but he has a holistic approach at how to leverage them, how to use them, where to cut back and where to spend.

And I remember seeing one of the lead magnets he put out years ago. He put out this guide that had, in fact, specific the specific script that you could use to call your a cable company, you’re, you know, internet company. You’re like all these vendors, your cell phone company that we use all the time and he literally gave you the words to read out to be able to maximize the discounts that they would give you. And he, I remember listening to an interview with him talking about this. He gave it away for free and he had people coming out of the woodwork saying, thank you so much for sharing this. This was so incredible. I now have 50, 75, 100 more dollars in my bank account every month because of what you did. That’s actionable information. Of course. Who do you think they trusted when he came out with a course?

When he released his next book when he offered, you know, I don’t know if he does events, but when he offered to do an event or if he ever wanted to sell high ticket programs, which most of our listeners use, sell, promote. So that’s level two actionable information.

Level three is when you solve a problem for somebody. Now you know we just got done saying that all client value, all value is around solving problems. But what we mean in level three is that you’re actually doing a done for you service for someone. Now this is a topic for another show for us to go a little bit deeper on this, we believe that every single high ticket offer needs to do three things. It needs to help people grow up and we’re going to get into that in just a second because that’s some of those higher levels of client value.

It helps a client grow up, it helps to shine the light down the pathway that the client needs to walk. And three needs to be used with extreme moderation is it does for the client what they can’t do for themselves. Right? So surgeons are a really great example. I literally can’t, even if I’m trained as a surgeon, which I’m not, I can’t literally cut into myself, right? I need to have anesthesia, I need to be knocked out to be able to do that unless I’m on, you know, the Island with the Lost cast or something and I’m Jack and I need, you know, but even in that case he needed someone else, he needed Kate right to help him in that first episode. So that’s a perfect example of I need someone to do that for me cause I can’t do that for myself.

We use extreme caution because if someone can do it for themselves, then oftentimes it’s a lot better to help them do that. We’ll get into that in just another minute, I promise. But done for you services are a great way to provide client value. In fact, it is level three of value where you’re actually doing something for someone. So in a sense, anytime we run ads for a client, we write copy for a client. We do something custom for them. We’re taking that problem off of their shoulders. My wife and I are privileged as we record this. We, we just, uh, just this morning, uh, we have a personal assistant, household helper who comes to the house and they clean and they help meal prep and they do some of those things with my wife. Which is especially value valuable now that we have the little one in the house. But it’s also super valuable in seasons when my wife and I are very busy with work. And so that’s a perfect example of level three value in that she’s actually there. Doing those things, removes that worry from our plate.

Level four and five value get into really interesting territory though. Level four value is a paradigm shift. This is big level, high level, long lasting clarity where you’re actually shifting someone’s understanding of reality, of themselves, of the world. It’s like opening someone’s eyes to the fact that they don’t need to be a victim anymore. It’s highlighting for someone the things that they can do to generate money. You know, opening them up, helping to dismantle fears or things that have held them back. That is all about what that paradigm shift is. It’s clarity. Clarity is incredibly valuable and in fact, clarity is even more valuable than solving a problem for someone. And the reason that that’s true is because, you know, it goes back to the, the old saying of you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a day, or excuse me, you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, right? You teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime. That’s what clarity does. It’s teaching someone something that actually changes their paradigm.

It’s like I was working with a client yesterday and this client has some significant costs. Their costs in the ways that they serve clients. It’s a specialty kind of a service they provide for clients and they have tens of thousands of dollars in costs  that they need clients to come in and to cover those costs. So they need to sell 10 or you know, between 10 to 20 clients, depending on the mix. Then I won’t get into the details, before they make any profit and they’ve been hovering right at, you know right at that amount, right where they’ve just been kind of breaking even and we map some things out and I, I help them look at the data and then connect into how it would feel once they were consistently getting twice the number of clients that they needed to pay off their bills.

Because of course when you look at profit versus expenses, especially fixed expenses like that, that aren’t variable expenses, and that was the majority of what their expenses were. As soon as you go over those fixed expenses, it’s almost all profit. Every additional one that they were selling, they were making a ton of profit on every additional unit beyond their break even point they’re making 80 to 90% profit on. And so some of what we needed to do was we needed to help break them out of that paradigm of that way of looking a. For those of you who don’t know what a paradigm is, we’ll stick the Miriam Webster definition in the show notes,, but the way in which a paradigm is the lens through which we see the world. It’s the way we interpret the world. So once we were able to help them break through that paradigm of just barely breaking even and think about what their business would be like when they were beyond that point, suddenly the problems that they had were easy to fund.

It was easy to resource the right people and to do them and to take those right actions. Invest in what they needed to, to build the various systems that would enable that to happen. Suddenly those were easy decisions because they were living in a place where it was 90% expenses below that break even point. And then it’s 20% expenses above that point. Huge, world changing paradigm changing shift that happened there.

A lot of value was exchanged in that one meeting that we had. Now that’s not the highest level though because the highest level is beyond just helping someone see the world differently. It certainly takes that into account though.

The highest level is personal transformation. Now there are a bunch of you who may serve businesses, right? You may serve corporate clients, you may serve teams, but corporations and teams are made up of people.

It’s just a group of people and the highest value that you can create is to help those people transform into someone that they weren’t sure they could ever become. And even if you work in the most hard nosed business offer places, the more that you can help transform the people that you’re working with, the higher the client value you’re going to generate. The higher you can charge and the more those people will do anything before letting go of that help from you, which means legendary client retention.

Now let’s talk about how personal transformation transforming the person is different than all of those others. Well, level one and two are really just information. It’s really just content. You can deliver it in a highly leveraged ways, right? And almost every offer needs to do that, almost. You know, if we’re working with clients, we would be well served to create leveraged content almost always so that the only content that we’re delivering doesn’t come directly from us.

This was one of the mistakes that I made in business for a decade as I was a consultant. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to package that up. Right? So I was was flying around the country or, driving around the, the East coast near where we’re located to clients and I would work on site with them sometimes when, when flying out I would be staying there for a week or two. And all of the value that I delivered came from me. Now I had frameworks and I had tools and I had things like that that I could use with them. But it still came from me being onsite with them. If I didn’t fly out to see them or at the very least I wasn’t doing a video conference. Right. Something like zoom or you know, back in the day, GoTo Meeting one of the worst programs ever.

If I was in doing that then I wasn’t getting paid. I wasn’t generating any revenue for our firm. Once you shift into a program model, we’re able to provide level one and two information actionable information in highly leveraged ways. Level three gets into doing something for them. And even if you’re just coaching with teams, we did this where when we would work with a large corporate client, we would have our admin team handle some things for that client, coordinate different things with the teams that we would be working with so that a manager or, or you know, whoever our champion was within that corporation wouldn’t have to worry about that. So we even provided some value there. Right. Because that was easier for us to do and it allowed for just a smoother way for us to then go in and help.It also provided some of that concierge level that that luxury experience for them so that we remove some of those worries from their plate and certainly what our hope was that for those individual people, we would shift their paradigm, we would shift the way that they saw what they were doing and help them break through to a new level of performance, of understanding of all of those things.

But that top level personal transformation, that’s different. For this reason, it’s different because personal transformation means that the person is different. That the old person, the old client actually peels away. Just like those Cicada bugs, right? It actually peels away and the new client, the new person emerges in a way where they can’t go back. It’s like a butterfly. It’s like a Caterpillar turning into a butterfly is the quintessential example of this, right? But this happens all the time in client businesses and it might even be happening in your business right now, but it almost never is systematized. It’s almost never the goal. It is just the thing that happens with the top 10% 20% of clients, but it’s rarely calibrated so that we can highlight what that looks like and what the clients need to do and set up the boundaries so that all of the clients get that kind of transformational result. And it’s one of the reasons why when we work with clients, that’s the first question that we ask. What is the transformation? What is the core transformation? What’s the beginning state? And then what’s the ending state?

We call that transformational fulfillment and it is that highest level because when you have your nutrition program and you bring someone in where they are literally a different person, their biochemistry, their physical makeup is actually changing because they’re repulsed by the foods that they know don’t serve them anymore and they’re attracted to the ones that do, you have transformed that client.

When you do mindset coaching and this is a classic one, right? And you help that person who’s burdened by their own limiting beliefs, their struggles, and they emerge as someone who is able to quite literally think and interpret the world, work within the world in a different way. To some extent, unchained. You’ve transformed that person’s life when you are the business coach, when you are the the Facebook ad agency who chooses not to just focus on the ads and transforming the campaigns or the funnel into something that works okay into something that works great.

When you look beyond that towards the client and you help the holistic client, you help the client become the kind of person who can take the help that you’re providing.Who can take the lead generation that you’re providing and, and actually know exactly how to use that. You transform that person into somebody who was struggling and now knows exactly how to take your help and double, triple, quadruple their business or whatever their goal is because those other complimentary pieces to what you do, they’re now able to do that for themselves. You’ve, awoken that part of them that is transformational.

Now, a lot of these steps, the way in which we can help clients, a lot of this is amplified based on how deep the pain point is or how high the client’s goals are. If someone is, is adopted and has struggled to find out information on their family of origin, then information about their biological parents and siblings could very well be life changing, right?

Even if that’s just information. So keep that in mind as we talk about all of these. It’s all calibrated to how deep their pain point is. If you provide exactly the right information for them, that can very well be life changing. But that’s all about knowing exactly who that client is. Similarly, a surgeon provides a done for you service, right? And this is a great example to help drive home exactly what we mean about some of this. Surgeon level three. They’re providing a done for you service. They’re cleaning out the cholesterol, putting in a stint in someone’s heart. We just recently had a heart attack.Saves their life. They wouldn’t be able to continue living for very long if they didn’t have something that happened in that state, right? Life saving. But if there’s not more than just that surgery, then it’s not life changing. Why?

Because eventually, if they’re still making the same decisions, if they’re still doing, they’re still eating the same foods. If they’re still living the same lifestyle as they did before that happened, they will just come back with the same problem or with another problem that just migrated somewhere else. Inflammation out of control in their body. Something else. I’m not a doctor. So that’s a perfect example of where many service providers get stuck at level three and they miss that whole other level of value. In a nutshell, that could very well be one of the biggest problems with medicine today. So many people are reacting to the immediate problem and doing life saving measures, but they’re not implementing life changing measures of people actually being healthy. Is one of the things that the first coach that I ever had about a decade ago taught me.

It was this idea of treating the client holistically. As of when this will go live, she passed away actually a week earlier. So that’s one of the reasons that you heard the announcement at the very beginning that this episode was in memory of the amazing Laura Novakowski.

So I promised at the beginning that we would share some simple ways that you can begin to measure your client’s transformation. They’re probably going to be different than you think. We’re going to dig into it in just a minute. And the one question that you could ask so that you can highlight exactly what you need to do to increase client transformation.

So the way in which you need to measure, and we just came off of a few episodes talking about measurement, but the, the simple way that you can begin to measure client’s transformation is to look at what we call behavior belief, activation. Behavior or belief activation.

So the best way to do this is to ask your clients questions on a scale one to five, one to three. Typically it starts to, it starts to get a little crazy if you go more than one to five, but ask them a question and attach that question onto something that you’re already doing for them. Something like if they have regular calls with you, attach that question to the a form that they can fill out before they get on that call with you. Question where you ask with whatever the critical skill is that they need. Ask them on that scale how well they can do that skill on their own or do they have that belief on their own and I wouldn’t just ask them with numbers right there. I would get even more specific. So if you’re coaching on Facebook ads and you’re reviewing that data for them, then I would ask a question like “how confident are you that you know what’s happening with your ads?”

Not confident at all, all the way to a scale of highly confident, I think that I know exactly what’s happening, I just want to check in before I make a change. If you’re doing nutrition coaching and somebody sends you their meal, ask them that question of “how do you feel about the food decisions that you made or how confident are you that you made healthy decisions?” Give them five options that describe how they might be feeling. It’s an easy way that you can track how well that client has that skill or that behavior activation, that alone does not create client transformation, but those things connected with them being able to get closer and closer to their goal that they came to you with in the first place. Of them having a business that wasn’t stuck in scarcity of them having a life or a body that they felt they felt comfortable with and confident in.

And then the one question that you could ask and if there was one thing that you do in this episode, this is the one question that I hope you ask. It’s in the show notes. If you go to this is right in the show notes that you can grab. The one question that you need to ask to your clients and I would ask them this as often as you can, once a week if you can, but certainly before any interaction with you, ask them the question, “what is standing in your way of blank?” And blank should be the next milestone that you know leads to their success. By asking them what is standing in the way of blank? You have this incredible opportunity to get into their head. Now, sometimes people say nothing, right? Some, sometimes people say the silliest things when when you ask them some of these questions, that’s totally normal. That’s the noise. But when you get the signal through the noise, you’re going to get to hear clients tell you exactly what their blocks are, and then your job becomes super simple. Help them remove those blocks. Thanks for tuning in. See you soon.

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