Have we? You know – the “What’s in it for me?”
The first rule of adult learning is telling participants what’s in it for them. If you want people to buy into your idea, you have to tell them the reason on their terms. Customers will buy your product or service if it fixes one of their problems or makes their life easier. Perhaps Elmer Wheeler, the “World’s Greatest Salesman”, put it best with his often quoted “Don’t sell the steak, sell the sizzle.”
I’m all for individuality but the best messaging is both authentic and geared to the audience. Today’s audiences expect messaging to appeal to them. They don’t want to search for the uniqueness that applies to them.
We talk about “noise” on the internet. How there’s so much information it’s hard to filter through all of it. It seems like the purpose of curating information is to find the WIIFM. The information that helps me fix a problem or educates me on a subject that I’m interested in or maybe just makes me laugh or smile. But I’m connected to it in some way.
I’ve had more than a few conversations recently where people don’t know what WIIFM is. They don’t understand why they have to tailor their messaging to their audience. The mere fact that they’ve built a product or service means it must be valuable and everyone should buy it.
We have to tell people what’s in it for them. It’s not realistic to think that everyone will figure it out on their own. Or that they’ll even want to.
If you’re saying to yourself, I get it – communicate to others on their channel – but how? Honestly, it’s not hard.
- If you’re conducting training on time management, you can ask participants “What would you do with an extra hour in your day?” After hearing responses, you can reply with “Let me show you how.”
- Want someone to buy into your new meeting format? Next time you’re having coffee together say, “I have an idea that will reduce the time we spend in meetings. I’d love your feedback. Got a moment to discuss?”
- A prospective customer tells you they are losing millions of dollars because the engineering department isn’t diagnosing problems correctly. Your reply? “We’ve got a problem solving training session that can help with that.”
The WIIFM isn’t being selfish. It’s a legitimate question. It’s your business case. What will I get for listening, participating, buying, etc.? Value must be present. Customers and employees will not give their time and money to something with no value.
P.S. Next Tuesday, July 30 at 2p Eastern, I’m partnering with our friends at SilkRoad for a webinar on the “Top 6 Business Trends Every HR Pro Should Know”. The session is free and has been approved for strategic business recertification credit by the HR Certification Institute – that (and some great information) is what’s in it for you. Hope you can join us!