How I Went From Barely Surviving to Getting Paid Top Market Rates

9 min read
Aug 2, 2022

There are more high-profile business professionals out there rubbing two pennies together than you think.

By that, I mean an unnecessarily and unusually high number of business pros get paid pennies compared to what they are worth.

What about you?  Do you go ham only to feel you are getting jipped?

If so, you are not alone.  Even better, you can go from where you are now to not having enough time in the world to count all your pennies!

To prove it, I am sharing how I went from barely scraping by to getting paid top market rates.

The longer you keep accepting exceedingly low rates, the longer you will:

How much longer will you continue rubbing your pennies together?


Why Do You Charge Low Rates in the First Place?


You get low rates because you charge low rates.

Most business professionals charge low rates because they lack confidence in themselves and their product or service.

Specifically, they lack confidence in the value they bring to the table.

Even if they have plenty of evidence suggesting they are worth high rates, they do not believe it.  As a result, they lower their rates to reflect that low confidence.

For example, a business owner might have evidence through experience that their services are worth $10,000 per month.

Despite that, they question if the evidence is accurate.

If you are charging low rates, I bet it comes from stunted confidence.


Where Is Your Confidence?

If you have a $100 bill in your hand, do you question if it is really worth $100?

Probably not.

Therefore, why do you question the value of yourself and your deliverable?

If you have evidence suggesting that you and your deliverable are worth $100, why do you question it?

Why are you confident that $100 is worth $100 yet unconfident in your own worth?

Without confidence, you will NEVER charge what you are worth.

Instead, you will always charge less to reflect how poorly you feel about yourself.


Somebody Right Now is Charging More Than You for a Worse Deliverable

Not getting paid top market rates because of low confidence?

Here is something to consider: Somebody out there is currently charging more than you are for a similar deliverable.

Even worse, somebody out there with a WORSE deliverable is charging more than what you charge now!

How often do you see an ideal client working with your competitor for more money but getting trash results?

Probably all the time, if you are like most business professionals.

The key difference between you and somebody who charges more than you is confidence: You are on the low end of the spectrum while they are on the opposite side.


The #1 Difference Between Just Surviving and Getting Top Rates


The #1 difference between scraping by and getting paid top rates is carrying yourself as the expert you are.

Experts, including doctors, scientists, and professional athletes, carry themselves as such and get paid accordingly.

Confidence comes from the way you consistently act: If you wake-up every day and go to work looking like a bum and never take care of yourself, you will inevitably feel unconfident.

On the other hand, if you wake up every day, focus on your goals, work on yourself, and stay consistent, you will feel confident.

Moreover, confidence comes from carrying yourself as the expert you are.  Confidence manifests itself in getting paid higher rates.

Acting like a vendor → low confidence → charging rates below your worth.

Acting like the expert you are → high confidence → charging what you are worth.


I Used to Carry Myself as a Replaceable Vendor

I used to carry myself like a replaceable vendor when I was charging low rates.

In my heart, I thought I brought something unique to the table. However, I still carried myself like a replaceable vendor.

Sadly, B2B vendors are just as replaceable as street ice cream vendors on a hot summer day!

That said, I carried myself like a vendor and resultantly became unconfident. I charged low rates because I was unconfident.

Sound familiar?

If you struggle with low confidence, I bet it is because you see and carry yourself like a replaceable vendor.

You must act like the expert you are to break the never-ending low rate cycle!


These Days, I Carry Myself as an Expert

These days, I carry myself as the expert that I am.  

I am confident because of this, and set my rate according to what I am really worth.

Best of all, prospects NEVER question it.

Do not believe it?

Consider this: Surgeons charge tens of thousands of dollars for surgery, and nobody questions it.

The surgeon has no problem charging tens of thousands of dollars because they believe in their expertise; They know few people can do what they do!

Not only does the surgeon believe they are an expert, but so do their patients.  As a result, patients do not question their insanely high medical bills!

Furthermore, I carry myself as the expert I am and feel confident because of it.  As a result, I get paid top-tier rates in my market.


Anybody Can Go From Getting Scraps to Winning Top Market Rates


Anybody can go from getting scraps to earning top market rates in their field by carrying themselves as the expert they are.

To carry yourself like an expert, you must believe you are one.  The belief will help you take action like an expert.

At first, you might not totally believe you are an expert, but you still have to act like one.

Once you start acting like an expert, your confidence will go through the roof, and you will get paid higher rates.


Can You Fake it Till You Make It?

So, maybe you are not yet an expert at the top of your field.  Should you fake it till you make it?

Here is the thing: You can only fake being an expert for so long.  Lack of expertise will eventually catch up to you.

However, you do not need to be the #1 expert to be an expert. 

Moreover, just because you are not the most well-known or have the most experience does not mean you cannot be an expert.

Maybe you are not the Michael Jordan of SAAS sales or the Brad Pitt of digital marketing consulting.  Who cares?

Start by being an expert in the B or C tier instead of the A tier.  Over time, you will make your way up to the A tier and dominate it!

Michael Jordan did not start as the expert of the Chicago Bulls.  Instead, he began as an expert in high school and college basketball.

Just because you are not an expert in the top tier does not mean you are not an expert in another level!


Can You Increase Rates Without Losing Customers?


In short- yes, you can increase your current rates without losing customers.

However, you have to show customers what it is worth.

Unless customers believe paying you more will benefit them, they will not willingly agree to it.

You can increase rates without losing customers if you do it the right way!


Yes, But You Have to Show Them What it Is Worth.

First, do not just pick a number to increase rates by out of thin air.

For example, you cannot go from charging $1,000 to $2,000 per month and expect customers to oblige just because you want it.

Instead, be calculated in how you choose to increase your rates.  Pick a number that holds legitimate grounds.

For example, imagine you run a marketing consulting company helping other B2B companies generate leads.

Imagine you help your customers generate an average of 1,000 new leads per month.  The average lead-to-customer conversion rate is 10%, and each new customer is worth $10,000.

Use those numbers to craft a new rate for yourself!  

Support your new rate with legitimate numbers instead of pulling them out of thin air.


Remember, Customers Do Not Care About What YOU Want

Here is the thing: Your customers do not care that you want more money.

And, you should not try to make them care.

Therefore, you cannot just say, ‘I am raising my rates because I want it!’.  That will only make customers drop you like a hot potato.

Instead, frame your rate increase as a means of helping customers achieve better results.

You must be on top of your game for prospects to get the best results, right?  

Being on top of your game requires getting paid the rates you need to perform at 100%.

Furthermore, frame your rate hike as a means of helping the customer get what they want.  NEVER make it about you; always make it about them.


Do Not Be Apologetic

Finally, never be apologetic about increasing your rates.

Prospects will think you are BS-ing them if you come across as apologetic.

They will think, ‘Is this person really the expert who we think they are?’.

Remember, expert surgeons never apologize for steep hospital bills!


Because they know they are irreplaceable experts who are confident in the value they bring to the table.

Therefore, do not be apologetic unless you want customers to think you are pulling their leg.


How to Start Earning Top Market Rates to Grow Revenue More Than Ever


Here is how to go from barely surviving to earning top market rates.

Each of the strategies below help you carry yourself more like an expert and less like a vendor.

The more you carry yourself like the expert you are, the more confident you become.  The more confident you are, the more likely you are charging rates that reflect your true value!

You may not feel 100% comfortable acting like an expert at first.  

Even though you are not 100% comfortable, you still must act like an expert!  You cannot wait until you believe you are one to act like one.


Be Crystal Clear on the Value You Bring to the Table

First, every expert knows exactly what value they bring to the table.

Specifically, they are crystal clear on the outcome they create for prospects.

Value comes from the outcome you create.

There is a difference between your product/service and your outcome; the outcome is the result your product/service creates, while the product/service is the means of manifesting the result.

For example, the outcome a surgeon creates is a healthy lifestyle and their service is surgery.

Similarly, a business owner selling marketing services sells the services but the outcome is a more inbound leads.

Most importantly, experts realize that the key to sales success is selling the outcome.

Ultimately, prospects do not buy products or services!  Rather, they buy outcomes.  Prospects do not care about the means, they just care about the end.

Get crystal clear on the outcome you create.  You will not be successful without clarity.


Be Even Clearer on Your Target Customers

Experts do not waste time on prospects unlikely to buy from them.

Targeting prospects outside of your ideal customer profiles comes from a scarcity mindset, but true experts believe in abundance!

That said, do not waste time going after prospects out of your league.

Time is an expert’s most valuable resource, and wasting it on shoddy leads is the worst way to throw it away.


Make the Sales Process All About the Customer

Do you ever notice how insecure people tend to make everything about themselves?

For example, they go to lunch with a friend and talk only about their life.

Insecure people talk about themselves because it reduces the odds of somebody picking on them.  If they are always talking, then nobody else can attack them!

Here is the thing: Business experts are not insecure!  Therefore, they do not make the business and sales processes all about themselves.

Instead, they make it all about the prospect.

Not only does making the process all about the customer make you look like an expert, but it also makes the prospect feel like you are interested in their success.

Believe it or not, many business and sales pros come across as the least interested people in helping customers!

That said, affirm your expertise by making the sales process all about your customer and their success.


Pitch As if Your Life Depends on It

Business experts know how and when to strike when the iron is hot.

The best and most important time to strike is during final sales pitches!

You will live a great life if you know how to pitch like the 1%.  On the other hand, you will suffer the consequences if you do not.

Experts follow the most important rule of pitching: Showing the prospect that their deliverable is the best and most efficient way for them to accomplish goals!

If the prospect wants success, they must choose your deliverable.  If they do not, then they will not reach their business goals.

That said, can you pitch as if your life depends on it?  Experts certainly can.

Not only will pitching like a boss affirm your expertise, but it will help you grow your business more than ever.


Never Offer More Than One Option

Finally, never offer prospects more than one option.

By that, I mean never offer prospects more than one package at the end of your final sales pitch.

For example, do not offer X, Y, and Z different packages, each with different deliverables and prices.


Because, you are an expert, of course!

Experts never offer more than one option because they:

  1. Know what is best
  2. Never risk confusing prospects

First, experts never leave it up to prospects to choose what products/services they get because prospects do not know what they need!  

Only an expert knows what a prospect needs to succeed.

Second, offering more than one option confuses prospects, and top-notch experts never confuse people.

Therefore, stop offering more than one option as if you do not know what is best!


Final Thoughts on How I Get Paid Top Market Rates


The only thing stopping you from getting paid higher rates is you.

You are the one who set low rates, now it is up to you to increase them.

Remember, somebody out there with a worse deliverable is charging higher rates than you.

How much longer will you continue to sell yourself short?

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