Do you want to learn a simple trick I use to charge more than my competitors do, yet still close business deals left and right? Read on and I’ll tell you.

Now… why would I be so crazy to give away this secret? Simple reason: Even if I tell you, a very small portion of you will believe me and do this for your own businesses… Which is great for me (I explain below why).

Now, If you’re one of the very few that goes ahead and applies this tip to your business, then congrats! You deserve every bit of success.

Allow me to explain…


In this race we’re all running to close more deals and earn more business, most of us make the mistake of thinking that the race is a simple, linear run. Whomever runs faster gets to the goal first.

However, the truth is that it just doesn’t work that way. I like something Ramit Sethi from I Will Teach You To Be Rich often says, “When everybody zigs, I zag.” He’s talking about differentiation from his competition.

If you differentiate yourself from running the same race everybody else is, guess what? You may not get to the linear goal everybody is racing towards, but that one is bound to be gobbled up by the masses running in unison, anyway.

However, if you’re the one that stands out from the crowd, you have the best chance at winning a different kind of race: the race of distinction, the race of uniqueness. It’s virtually impossible to be distinct if you’re doing exactly what others are!

Let’s face it: When you make a purchase of any kind, you don’t want the standard, the drab, the boring. What makes you think your potential clients and customers are going to select you, when you appear to them  just like another player?

Do you want to be special and more valuable than anyone else? Dare to do things differently. Zag when they zig. Dance when they sprint. Sing when they scream. Do things more differently and artfully than everyone else, and you’ll win.

What the heck does that have to do with charging your clients more? Well, I’ve already given you the key… Let me just clarify one more thing before I tell you my secret tip.

In case you’re wondering, I do not mean to say that I set my prices high to gouge my clients in an undeserved fashion. I know many people do that, but it’s just not my ethical standard. My clients are happy to pay what I quote, because the service I provide them with is at least 120%+ worth what they’re paying for. Even if I charged them 120% more than I usually do, they would still find my prices low.

In the same order, my competition can’t afford to charge what I do because their service often falls way below what I’ve set as a standard. They would be laughed out of the room if they presented what is to me quite a normal rate.

I’m not saying this to sound boastful, but to tell you the truth so you know what to aspire to. If you deliver above and beyond the market standard, only then have you earned the right to charge a premium rate for your service. Don’t be in the business of charging money to your clients, but rather of providing outstanding value. Money will follow without you thinking about it.

“If you deliver above and beyond the market standard, only then have you earned the right to charge a premium rate for your service.”

However, if you deliver sub-standard service and came here just looking for a sneaky way to raise your prices, stop right here. That is not what this is about. If you can’t deliver an outstanding solution to a very real problem your audience has, you haven’t deserved to talk about prices. Fix your product/service first, then think about pricing.

“So when are you going to tell us the dang trick??!”

Before I do… I’ve already given you all the reasoning on why my trick makes sense. If you scoff at my trick, it’s because you simply didn’t understand everything I’ve just said above. Either read it again with an open mind, or go on and dismiss what I’m saying.

OK, here’s the trick:

I lay out my project proposals with professional publishing software. (I use Adobe InDesign CC)

Disappointed? You shouldn’t be.

Remember what I said above about doing things differently? What do you think happens when a potential client gets nine proposals as DOCX files, using Times New Roman, with a honky logo placed at the top, text badly laid out, a standard table with thick 2px black lines… and then they open my PDF, exquisitely laid out, with multiple type styles (header, sub-header, paragraph styles), carefully-measured margins, great font selection, and footers with the client’s name on every page along with the page number?

You know what happens? Something close to magic.

They are instantly, subconsciously, and irresistibly attracted to my proposal, no matter what price I’m quoting. Mine is the only proposal that looks as pleasing to the eye and harmonious as their magazines, the book they were just reading, or the annual report they just spent hundreds of dollars on. My proposal looks the way they aspire to look.

My proposal is the one that has a huge sign that shows, when it comes to business and attention to detail, who is the serious one. It shows that I don’t fret about making things look great even before I have a firm commitment to charge for it. In fact, I’m not even selling the proposal itself, but I’m sure as heck selling my credibility and my attention to quality, so I have no problem dedicating plenty of time to this phase of the project.

Some of you might think I’m joking, and that’s totally fine. I’ve done this for over six years, and I know exactly what effect it causes. You don’t need to believe it in order for it to be true.

In fact, if you’re thinking, “you gotta be kidding me,” and you go on and keep sending ugly proposals typed up in the first font choice Microsoft Word gives you, I dare say a) you’re having problems charging what you’re worth, b) you’re in a sector where your prospects really don’t have much of a choice than to work with you, or c) your ugly proposals are as ugly as everything else you deliver, which is why you really think it’s a joke that anyone would carefully design their documents. (If you’re C, shame on you.)

Your brand is not just your pretty logo or your website; it’s every second of the experience you give your clients… including your boring, “day to day” documents. Well-designed proposals are just one of many points of experience that your clients come into contact with, that without words say a whole lot about your brand.

“Your brand is not just your pretty logo or your website; it’s every second of the experience you give your clients… including your boring, “day to day” documents.”

Of course, there are many other things you can refine in order to give your clients the impression of a premium experience, and a premium experience demands premium pricing.

Which points of experience can you redesign towards giving your contacts a premium experience?