Experienced salespeople will often joke, “Everyone’s favourite radio station is WII-FM.” They’re of course referring to the acronym WIIFM ‘What’s In It For Me?’ Something we learn from an early age to think about even if we don’t say it.
Every prospect you approach will consider your pitch from the point of WIIFM because among other things it’s human nature to be that way. That’s why it’s so important to talk about benefits rather than features when you sell. Better still, don’t look at it as selling, look at it as people buying – where you’re the buyer – WIIFM really works!
Most SMEs will know it’s not about the features but it’s all about the benefits. Benefits are simply specific examples of what the buyer stands to gain if they buy from you. The result being they appeal directly to the WIIFM mindset of the buyer. Cost and performance implications are usually winners here. Features, on the other hand, are specific facts about a product or service and typically they don’t explain how the product will improve the buyer’s job or life. So back to what counts – focus on the benefits and give your buyers pleasure or reduce their pain and suffering, either work well.
Networking needs a different mindset – WIIFU
In SMEs where the functions of sales, networking, presenting etc all end up in the lap of one person, maybe the owner, it’s now where a mindset ’shift’ is needed. Often the WIIFM mindset is so fixed and entrenched in your behaviour it overpowers everything else. Even when you have a switch that may say mindset ‘shift’, nothing happens. This ‘shift’ button that gets stuck in the WIIFM place is for many the main reason why networking doesn’t work.
WIIFU or ‘what’s in it for us’ should be the networkers’ mantra and is in fact quite a simple shift to make. For WIIFU to succeed, just look at your colleagues (fellow networkers) as part of your business team and you are jointly selling to the local community. We don’t normally talk of a mindset shift, as Mind Fit people that are flexible and adaptable can flip or glide from one state to another without thinking and hence make great networkers.
WIIFU is the glue that makes networks work and why some networks only need a few people to be in the WIIFU mindset.
If you’re a WIIFM and you’ve been lucky to join a good network, it may still work for you if the others value what you bring to the party. But as lots of networks today have a business rule that only allows one plumber, accountant, solicitor etc into the group, as a WIIFU, you might need to be careful what network you join.
Is WIIFM for Sales, WIIFU for networking common sense?
As we say, the choice is yours. And you can always use the Mind Fit MAP.