Surely you have heard of the radio station WIIFM. It means “What’s in it for me?”
That is the “station” our minds are tuned to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365.25 days a year. (I had to account for leap year there).
When you are listening to someone, reading something, watching TV, doing ANYTHING and EVERYTHING, in your mind there is a constant pattern of:
“What’s in it for me? What’s the BENEFIT I’ll get from doing this? Why should I do this?”
When you see a commercial on TV, you’re thinking, “What’s in it for me?”
When you read a sales letter, you’re thinking, “What’s in it for me?”
When you’re talking to someone, you’re thinking, “What’s in it for me?”
When you’re daydreaming or thinking about the future, you’re thinking, “What’s in it for me?”
It has been said that humans are unpredictable creatures. But really, WIIFM is the only thing you can count on humans to make with absolute 100% certainty from total titanium.
My first experience with WIIFM
Now you won’t believe it, but my first experience with WIIFM was when I was seven years old. It was then that I first read Dale Carnegie’s classic How to Win Friends and Influence People.
(Yes, I actually read this book when I was 7. I saw it on my dad’s bookshelf and thought it sounded like a good title. If you don’t believe me, ask my mom.)
Anyway, in that book, I read this paragraph from Carnegie:
“Remember that the people you are talking to are a hundred times more interested in themselves and your wants and problems than they are in you and your problems. One person’s toothache means more to that person than a famine in China kills a million people. A boil on the neck is more interesting than forty earthquakes in Africa. Think about that the next time you start a conversation.”
wow! That thought blew my little seven year old mind. I had no idea people were so selfish.
“Selfish.” That was the only word I could think of to describe that behavior. So I made a commitment to be the ONLY person who would NOT talk about themselves.
Now, I have no idea why I decided to do that. Looking back today, of course, the answer is simple: because I wanted to “feel special.” (See? Even that was a WIIFM.)
So I decided to listen to others, never offering my opinion about how I felt or what was important to me.
Needless to say, I became miserable.
It wasn’t until years later that I finally realized I was doing it all wrong. It wasn’t that I had to stop asking for what I wanted or become some kind of martyr.
I just needed to find a balance between WIIFM and WIIFT – what’s in it for me and what’s in it for THEM.
A lot of people ask me, “Noah, how did you get so many endorsements from the biggest names in the business: superstars like Stephen Covey, Harvey Mackay, Jack Canfield, Joe Vitale, John Gray, Harv Eker…and MaryEllen Tribby?”
Simple: framing every sentence I utter on What’s In It For THEM.
When I approach a colleague, particularly a superstar, I only ask one question:
“How can I be of value to you?”
Everyone wants to make more money, grow our business, and share our gifts with more people around the world.
If you are the only person in a million (and this number is pretty accurate) who thinks in terms of SOMEONE else’s benefit, it will be very difficult to deny your application.
On the other hand, if you act like everyone else, only thinking in terms of your OWN benefit, it will be very EASY to turn you down.
Here are 5 ways you can tune in to WIIFT station…
1. Put yourself in their shoes. In fact.
Of course you know what you want. But did you take the time to think about what THEY want?
What you want and what they want do not have to be at odds. 99 times out of 100, there is a way for both of you to get what you want, or something close to it.
2. Do your research.
Visit the site of the person or company you want to do business with. Look what they are doing. Who are your key players, what are they working on, what is important to them.
You’d be surprised how many emails I get that start with “Dear Sir or Madam…”
3. Give honest appreciation.
When I first met Jack Canfield at that award ceremony in 1998, the first words out of my mouth were, “Hello, Mr. Canfield. I’ve been a fan of yours for a long time.”
Sure, it may sound a bit silly. But I was serious.
I went on to tell him how I had been seeing it everywhere online. Remember, this was years before most people had a website!
So he got the message that I wasn’t just another “fan” but someone who had really done his homework. That got his attention.
4. Ask better questions.
You’ve heard me talk about affirmations: powerful questions that help you manifest your desires faster and easier. In addition to Afformations, when you talk to people, ask questions that begin with Who, What, Where, Why, When, or How.
These open questions lead to deeper answers than just “yes” or “no.” But remember: you are asking what is important to THEM, not to you!
5. Propose options.
You’re looking for that wonderful Win Cubed (Win x Win x Win), a win-win situation.
Here are some things you can do for others to help them win:
I only send emails to your list about them
Blog post about the person you’re approaching
Tweet your followers how cool they are
Facebook post with a link to your site
Leave his name at every seminar you do (something I’ve done for Jack Canfield since he “discovered” me)
Once you tune into the WIIFT radio station, you will find that people are much more willing to help you.
So is that something you want to do? Of course it is. Why? By WIIFY (You)!
Noah’s Rule #1:
Things get really easy when you’re always talking about how the other person benefits.