Tuesday, March 6, 2012

WIIFM and being generous

WIIFM is what the other person is thinking about while you try and sell your product, your idea or yourself. WIIFM is something that many of us tend to give no thought to, and this is a big mistake...

WIIFM (pronounced: whi-phem) stands for What's In It For Me and it's what's on the other person's mind while you jabber away. When you are trying to sell your new startup, the other person is thinking: "What's in it for me?". When you're trying to pitch an idea to someone in an attempt to get them to join your movement, all he/she is thinking is: "What's in it for me?". When you're interviewing for a job, talking about this skill and that skill, all your hirer is thinking about is... you guessed it!—"What's in it for me?".

There is no avoiding it. People want to know what's in it for them if they in turn give you that break you're looking for. You can have the most amazing/great/awesome technology in your hand, or the most advanced/crazy/best idea, or the best looking 1-page résumé, but at the end of the day the person in front of you will make the decision based on WIIFM, on how he/she stands to gain.

Sure, there are some people that don't do it for self-gain: your mother, for example. But the cold, hard truth is that most do. Luckily for us, though, there is a simple solution to this quandary, and that is... generosity.

Generosity is a state of mind, and if you are a generous person then WIIFM won't matter to you, you've beaten it at it's own game. If you are a generous person then you've already thought about how the other person can benefit, and if that's what you thought about before walking into the room, then your pitch will sell itself. You need to build your presentation around benefiting the other person. You need to care about them first, giving them what they need before looking for your own benefit.

If you are not a generous person then I beg you to become one. Start small: take a minute to say good morning to people, offer someone coffee. Eventually you will become generous and you will see for yourself that the rewards are far greater. You should be as generous as you can with intangibles: time, skill, knowledge, patience—they are far more valuable. And always remember that you have to give in order to get back.

No comments:

Post a Comment