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So, What’s in it for Me?

By: Bruce Hayne

The now popular acronym WIIFM (pronouned wiffim) is a product of our “me generation” with instant gratification and motivation to act, only coming after a clear understanding of the upside of the equation. We see it all around us, an attitude of only doing something if there is a personal or monetary reward attached to it.

So what does that have to do with marketing? EVERYTHING! If your marketing and advertising message does not answer this fundamental question, your prospects simply will not take action. It’s not often that you are able to provide a brand new product, which everyone needs, with little or no competition. Therefore, the overwhelming odds are that your prospects are currently buying from a supplier offering a product or service similar to yours. So, what’s in it for him? Why should he switch? What makes your offering better?

These questions may appear obvious, and there is little doubt that you have identified what sets you apart in terms of your product, service, pricing, customer care, etc. However, if your marketing and communications materials do not immediately answer these questions, your prospect is left asking himself, why would I take a chance on a new supplier?

Having said that, not all your ads have to communicate every conceivable benefit of your service offerings. Remember, that some ads are meant only to introduce or strengthen a brand, while others are designed to develop a clear preference in the minds of prospects. What is does mean is that your overall communication strategy with your prospects has to clearly identify and then support your benefit claims. Once your prospect can clearly see that it’s in her best interest to take a serious look at your product or service, you are now well into the sales cycle and on your way to winning a new client.

Understanding the WIIFM principle means understanding your customers and why they buy. Each product or service category is different and each client has his or her own reasons for choosing and staying with a supplier. For instance, changing corporate law firms and changing toner-cartridge suppliers are entirely different buying decisions. Arguably the first deals with very sensitive information, relatively high costs, and long-term business relationships, while the other is more of a commodity item with a relatively low level business relationship. So while in the first instance the WIIFM question may include such things as corporate strengths, personal relationships, and integrity, the second would likely revolve around price, quick delivery, and ease of ordering.

If you are going to develop a strong marketing campaign, the first question you must answer is “What’s in it for me?” If you can answer that you can now speak with confidence to your prospects, and ultimately convert more sales.