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Answering “What’s in It for Me?” Before the Customer Asks

Posted by Tasnim Ahmed

December 17, 2020

Have you ever seen an ad and disregarded it because it doesn’t fill a need of yours? Hopefully it doesn’t surprise you to hear that some customers think the same thing when they see your ads — and if you want to succeed, you’ll need to change that.

“What’s in it for me?” is one of the foundational questions that marketers, advertisers and sellers have tried answering for decades, and if you can deliver a strong answer to that question, you may be on the path to a windfall of sales.

Understand Customer Wants Vs. Needs

For some, WIIFM (What's in it for me?) is a very simple proposition. What does a customer require? And do they even know it? Customers sometimes have to be shown benefits of something before they can take an interest in it. By providing them with this information up front, you’ll answer the question of what’s in it for them.

Whenever you’re crafting a message for your customers, you will have to address what they want and need; and more importance should be given to “need” than “want.” A person might want many things, but their needs will determine their decisions and activities, and can prompt a response from their emotional side.

In a sea of messages that your potential customers might face, you should be as different as you can be from the next advertiser, and this can only be done through addressing the WIIFM question by citing your benefits. Benefits are not just your product features, but rather the impact that your offering will have on your future customers and their lives. Your messaging should talk about the effect the product will have on them and how it will help them solve their problem. It should be simple and clear.

Connect Emotionally With Consumers

As an entrepreneur, how do you make sure a sale is going to happen even before you pitch it to the customer? It’s very simple: You must strive to make an emotional connection with them, and emphasize the fact that what they are going to experience is relevant, attainable and measurable.

Emotion will always win over features or benefits, and you should try to strengthen this by answering the WIIFM question. Use positive words that complement your brand or product, and which might elicit a reaction from them, trigger a story, or lead to a positive conversation. You need to be specific and talk about what matters.

So, before you answer the WIIFM question, you must remember that making an emotional connection is more beneficial for you; refer to the fact that every conversation or sale is an experience, and you are giving the clients a commodity or service that will enhance their lives for better.

Make them imagine or dream about the benefits of your product. They should visualize and connect with it. The conversation or presentation to your target audience should be smooth and include examples that are persuasive and will influence them to react.

Not only will you be connecting with them emotionally, but you’ll also be showcasing the benefits of your product, which is always better than a sales pitch. That way, when the time does come for you to pitch the product, it can be done in a subtle and positive way, and it’s during this moment when you should have concretely answered the WIIFM question.


Tasnim Ahmed
Tasnim Ahmed

Tasnim Ahmed is a content writer at Escalon Business Services who enjoys writing on a multitude of subjects that include finops, peopleops, risk management, entrepreneurship, VC and startup culture. Based in Delhi NCR, she previously contributed to ANI, Qatar Tribune, Marhaba, Havas Worldwide, and curated content for top-notch brands in the PR sphere. On weekends, she loves to explore the city on a motorcycle and binge watch new OTT releases with a plateful of piping hot dumplings!

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