Smiling man looking down reading a document

A delightfully vague acronym with a truly powerful meaning that every forward-thinking sales person or persuader needs to know — and intimately understand — in order to be able to create relevant, successful solutions, packages, products, sales presentations and profitable websites.

If You Haven't Already Guessed, Just What Does W.I.I.F.M Mean?

Before I tell you, let me give you some clues:

  • It's your customer's most cherished question — especially if she doesn't actually ask.
  • Whenever you want something from your customer, potential customer or client, it's what he's subconsciously thinking about the minute he hears or reads your message.

The answer of course is: "What's In It For Me (W.I.I.F.M.)?" 

W.I.I.F.M is a success recipe made up of a careful mix of benefits sprinkled with essential features.

Whatever product or service you provide, your sales message should answer your customer's deepest need: W.I.I.F.M. — every time!

So just why is W.I.I.F.M. so important?

People read, listen or view to learn, discover, be entertained, or to find solutions to THEIR problems.

Within seconds of scanning your document title or article headlines, the most important subconscious thought your reader is probably thinking is, "What's in it for me" — although perhaps not quite so direct or articulated in the same way.

At that stage, you might have 8 to 30 seconds to keep your reader interested and compelled to read further.

For many, you might only have less than 10 seconds to make the kind of impression that your reader, listener or viewer feels that there is sufficient value in discovering more.

For text presentations, you can use a variety of techniques. For example, carefully worded headings and sub-headings can offer one of the most powerful tools available to you.

Your job, as a communicator, is twofold:

  • To deliver on your readers' primary expectation, and then ...
  • Surprise and delight them by offering compelling value on what they expect. How: rather than reduce prices, look for ways to create an incredible deal. Why: your profitability is important to both you and your customer (if you're not profitable, you'll eventually go and do something else and your customers lose another valuable source or supplier).

Easy to say and much harder to actually accomplish — successfully!

Key tip: deliver credible new answers to old problems and you will become noticed and position yourself well to succeed in your efforts.

More on this topic in later articles and presentations. For now, just never forget the power of W.I.I.F.M.

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