How to avoid the repeating the ‘WIIFM’ broadcast
By Leanne Hoagland-Smith February 15, 2013 9:40AM
Leanne Hoagland-Smith. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 18, 2013 12:10AM
Radio station WIIFM is known as “What’s In It For Me.” Listen to many small business owners and sales professionals at any business-to-business networking event and you will hear numerous broadcasts all on this same frequency.
If you have employees, the emotional desire of WIIFM is always present. Your goal, whether you are selling to others or selling to your employees, is to connect WIIFM to “WIIFU” (What’s In It For Us).
When WIIFM is present, especially if you need to increase sales, the desperation factor creeps into the broadcasting of your marketing message. Your behaviors start manifesting themselves in ways that may not be conducive to building relationships or actually increasing sales.
If most business people are seeking WIIFM, then maybe it is time to re-evaluate the situation between you and your external and internal customers?
To gain the competitive edge may mean to take radio station WIIFM off the air for a while. It is hard to focus on others when you are thinking subconsciously (internally) and consciously (externally) about yourself.
Additionally, have you clearly communicated the WIIFU? From my experience so many small businesses lack a cohesive and well thought out strategic thinking business plan that there is truly no one central bridge between the small business owner and the other employees. This lack of clarity only reinforces the individual WIIFM and weakens the WIIFU.
From this lack of clarity individual emotions become even stronger. The shared purpose of being a part of a larger collaborative community is put to the wayside. Now, individual self-preservation takes over as evidenced by the many negative emotions, such as dislike, distrust and fear.
Business is about developing and maintain strong positive relationships where emotions are acknowledged, understood and managed. Possibly this is why there is so much more emphasis on emotional intelligence and leadership than in the past decades?
With what appears to a movement in our national culture toward “it’s all about me,” building that bridge between WIIFM and WIIFU is probably more difficult than ever before. However some firms both large and small have accomplished this goal by looking to build internal customer (employee) satisfaction.
To achieve internal customer satisfaction begins by identifying and uniting people (management development) with processes (quality leadership) and strategy (strategic planning). This approach when well-executed leads to those moments of truth (WIIFM) that then reach out to loyal external customers. Once strategy, processes and people are united and aligned, the WIIFU has been achieved. The SMB grows and more importantly so do the people inside the organization.
If you are having some of those negative emotional currents flowing through your organization and there is way too much WIIFM and not enough WIIFU, maybe now is the time to step back and begin to rethink how you are communicating your overall plan and goals.
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