Every marketer and salesperson needs to be intimately aware of WIIFM as it is the principle behind every buying decision.

WIIFM = What Is In It For Me

There is a lot of social science around the human trait of selfishness, as children we are taught that it is a bad thing. Later in life we are constantly bombarded with messages to “give back” or “share your prosperity”. While I am a strong believer in helping others – I have cherished my 10 years in Rotary, I am also a realist recognizing that selfishness is a base human trait and is necessary for survival.

As a devoted Ayn Rand follower, I am proud to be selfish, I acknowledge it and use it to the best advantage of myself and others. Wow, you could say that that sentence is filled with contradiction. I would submit to you, however, that it is my selfishness that allows me to be in a position to both love and help others.

Now, if you use this same concept and apply it to customers, you approach them from a different direction. You figure out what your product or service does for them! If you are selling something a woman would use but recognize that men are good potential buyers of the product, you must recognize that many of the benefits of the product will not entice them to buy because they will not be using the product. However, if you appeal to their selfish nature and tout the benefits that buying this product can have for them, such as: demonstrating their love and affection, showing how they pay attention to needs, want to help the other out, etc., then you are giving them a reason to buy. Your call to action makes sense to them.

Northern Star Bottom Line: Embrace selfishness and use it to help others.