What’s in it for me?

“Anyone informed that the universe is expanding and contracting in pulsations of eighty billion years has a right to ask, “What’s in it for me?” Peter De Vries

Every human being cares about WIIFM—What’s In It for Me? When you balance business with personal needs, this question becomes very effective because we are holistic human beings and have multifaceted needs beyond just business.

This concept lies at the heart of all effective negotiation as well.The best negotiators are the ones who are able to pinpoint what’s the other party’s inherent need and then help resolve it in the best possible manner. 

I was doing a session with an experienced sales team that had been to innumerable sales seminars. I contemplated what I could add to the seminar that they had not heard before. I decided to speak to them about their personal needs, keeping the sales tips to a minimum in the beginning. The response was amazing. After their issues were discussed, they were very responsive to the sales tips. No one had ever spent time speaking to them about their personal lives because most seminars focused on sales tips.

Another client hired me to do a session with a company where there was a strong learning culture. The client did not want to dictate a topic to me, preferring that I choose one. I decided to engage the audience in terms of their challenges and then respond with my topic, aligning it to their issues. This was well received. During the discussion with the client and the participants, it was clear that the enormous success of the event resulted from this approach. The participants felt the session was entirely geared to their needs. This can only happen if you are wholly present and open when participants are sharing their challenges.

When you address people’s needs (WWIFM) first, they are much more open to what you have to tell them.

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