I’ve had a couple of client conversations recently on the topic of money… more specifically how to ask for and get paid what you’re worth. Is this something you struggle with? Well, you’re not alone.
For a large chunk of my career, I ran a Pricing team. Strangely, even with that professional background, it’s taken me a long time to link “pricing products and services” to “calculating and asking for what you’re worth” – as an employee, a freelancer or a service provider.
These recent conversations switched on a lightbulb that highlighted the similarity of these processes.
You’re a valuable commercial commodity
Yes, indeed you are. More importantly, you have a unique professional value. Why? Because even though others might have the same skills and experience as you… there is no-one else out there exactly like you.
So, what does this mean? Like any product or service you buy, you exist to solve a problem for your “client” (workplace, team or actual clients). This makes you a valuable asset.
It’s important you acknowledge this fact. Especially if you’re someone who feels awkward talking about money, or asking for a salary or fee. When you think in terms of the outcomes you deliver, you immediately transfer the financial number you’re requesting from “who you are” to “what you do”.
I can’t stress this strongly enough, the salary you request or fee you charge should directly correlate to the solution you provide, and is in no way linked to who you are or what you’re worth as a person.
So… if the amount you’re requesting is rejected by an organisation or client, this is not a reflection of you… it simply means that place or person does not appreciate the value of the solution you provide.
How to ask for and get paid what you’re worth
1. UNDERSTAND YOUR MARKET
Do your research and understand what the range and average rates are for the role or job you do. Use places like Seek, LinkedIn and Glassdoor to get an idea of the landscape. Then get out and speak to people… don’t miss this step. It’s important to get some real world insights from those in the roles or organisations you want.
2. IDENTIFY YOUR POINT OF DIFFERENCE
Work out where you fit in the market and how you’re unique or different? What aspects of your background, experience or interests can you use to set you apart from the crowd? Does being involved in team sports showcase your value as a team member? Does your interest in music point to your creative thinking? Or, does coming from a large family show you’re able to communicate well in group settings? Whatever it is, there’s something about you that you can leverage… so find it.
3. POSITION YOURSELF FOR SUCCESS
Everything (and everyone) you’ve ever wanted, or chosen, or fallen in love with, directly resulted from being inspired by what you believed that product, service or person would bring to your life. In other words, you fell for their story. When it comes to being paid what you’re worth, it’s important your professional story communicates your unique value, captures imaginations, forges connections and wins hearts.
4. SELL YOURSELF
I know, I know… the idea of selling yourself is icky, I get it. But, you can’t take it for granted your potential or current employer or your clients know everything you’ve done, how great you are and what you can do to improve their business or life… unless you tell them! It’s time to stop being the world’s best kept secret.
5. YOU WON’T GET WHAT YOU DON’T ASK FOR
Are you not asking for what you really want (and believe you’re worth) because you’re worried whatever’s on offer might be rescinded? If a workplace or client is interested in you enough to have a conversation with you, then it’s highly unlikely they’ll take the offer off the table simply because you’ve asked a question. The worst that’s likely to happen is they’ll say “no”. But remember, that’s about them, not you. It’s far better to have asked the question, than to spend eternity wondering what might have been.
It’s time to take the plunge and start asking for what you’re worth; you become what you ask for. Does the thought of proactively asking for what you’re worth make you feel all levels of uncomfortable? I’d love to help you work it out.