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WIIFT — The New Sales Mantra

by David Brock on March 13th, 2009

Every sales person (and business professional) knows the acronym WIIFM — What’s In It For Me. Sometimes, unfortunately, I think we have become great practitioners of that mantra — and that’s what does us in, both in how we connect and bring value to our customers, and in the result we actually produce.

While every sales person is driven by accomplishing their goals, making the number, we can only achieve success by focusing on our customer. Only when we truly ask the question “What’s In It For Them” can we know what the customer values and how we can fulfill their requirements.

I think WIIFM is important, to be honest, it drives all our behavior. However, it is only meaningful when we have answered WIIFT. Without this we don’t achieve our goals—more importantly our customers don’t achieve theirs, or they achieve them with someone else.

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  1. Dave,

    your post supports my believe of the importance of Mindset for sales success. At the same time this post is troubling me.

    As with so may concepts, I agree that we have perverted WIIFM. I thought it was ok to talk about WIIFM in change management initiatives; used in the sense that I ask managers who want to conduct change to answer the question WIIFM? from the change target point of view. Your article has opened my eyes that this is actually complicating the matter. It is much easyer to ask directly WIIFT and thereby exclude wrong applications of WIIFM.

    In a way it is petty leaving WIIFM behind, because it made such a nice metaphor, telling managers that they are like a radio station and better be careful what they broadcast with respect to change management initiatives.

    But here you go, one never stops learning and as Einstein ones said: “You cannot solve problems with the same thinking that created them.”

    • Christian: As always, your comment is very thoughtful. I think sometimes we make things more complicated than they need be. Focusing on WIIFT is simple and always producs results. Thanks so much for the comment. Regards, Dave

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