WIIFM – What’s In It For Me – Your Secret Weapon to Getting Your Prospect’s Attention

Change.  Inevitable,  Constant.  Everyone’s talking about it.  Social media, the new (2.0) customer, the downsized organization – and how selling strategies need to change to adapt to today’s customer.

As sellers, I think we can all agree on a few things, today’s customers:

  • Are harder to get on the phone
  • Are less likely to respond to email
  • Can discover a lot more about us and our solutions than they used to be able to (because we help them)

Oh yeah… one other thing:

  • Our solutions and services are still relevant… helping improve and optimize our prospect’s businesses. 

One thing that hasn’t changed is WIIFM.  What’s In It For Me.

In their simplest form, WIIFM statements communicate … what you (as a seller) can do… for your prospect… not what you do.

Sellers that can take their prospect’s point-of-view in a conversation, email or voicemail will get traction with today’s busy executives.

Jill Konrath has a nice hierarchy for message relevance (from the prospect’s viewpoint as they receive your communication):

  1. Is it relevant and aligned with my objectives?
  2. Is it urgent or can it wait?
  3. How complex is it?
  4. Does this person, and not the company, bring value?

How To Develop Your Own WIIFM Statements

Start with these facts, your customer is NOT concerned with:

  • What you think
  • The name, technical description, features, product line or other “details”
  • Awards that your product/company has won (validation comes later)

Your WIIFM statements will be most successful when they include:

  • Business impacts/results for other customers of yours (stats)
  • How you can improve your prospect’s business, “We help businesses like yours…”

If you don’t have a good idea about the content that you would use for WIIFM statements, start listening.  Start by asking your prospect questions, conduct surveys or participate in online forums and social media outlets where consumers of your product/service can be found.  LinkedIn groups can be very useful.

These types of communities are typically very forthright in their views/opinions… so you have a good chance of getting a wealth of valuable input.  More mature organizations are participating, monitoring and honing their messaging based, in part, by activity in social media forums.

Competitor web sites might also be a good place to research messages/approaches.

Putting WIIFM into Practice

Most B2B sellers are still using the phone to reach out to prospects.  Use your WIIFM content in your outbound communications to prospects: e.g.: conversation openers, voicemail and emails and then monitor your response rates for improvement.

Check out ShadeTree Technology’s Dynamic Conversation Playbook’s “Prepare, Engage, Record” process as a method for managing and delivering your WIIFM statements.



Incite: to stir up or provoke to action