What's your frequency?

You're searching for your favorite radio station--the slightest frequency shift can make the difference between crooning to Frank Sinatra or hip-pulsing to the Black Eyed Peas.

In sales & marketing, it's also important to fine-tune our frequency. In our last article, we discussed the knee-jerk reaction of the herd mentality. Here I will provide a specific example of the herd at work to demonstrate how tried-and-true sales tactics aren't as impervious as we think.

Let's delve into one of the more popular "top-of-the-charts" sales concepts adopted by leaders, trainers, and coaches.

Those experienced in sales may be familiar with the acronym, WIIFM - similar to call letters on a radio station, which stands for What's in it for me?

It's a reminder for the salesperson, when sitting across the table with a client, the alluring motive for WIIFM from the advisor seeps through. Even when there's the slightest sense the professional is going through the motions to fill her own pockets, the purity of the relationship is compromised.

The salesperson might be saying all the right things, going through features, benefits, and adding a full competitive analysis, but once a client starts feeling like just a transaction, it's curtains. The frequency of your actions are highly sensitive to a variety of signals, including your clients. Most times they can subconsiously detect the slightest desparation in the sale.

A number of successful leaders have described a business relationship in a different way. In the late Stephen Covey's The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People, he devotes an entire chapter on Habit 4: Think Win-Win.

WIIFM sets the stage for lose-win instead of win-win. Even if an aggressive salesperson gets the deal, it doesn't happen without long term negative consequences. The whole concept of a relationship is in the relation itself, and a genuine relationship is built on integrity. Hence, a suggestion might be to change the frequency setting to WIIFW - What's in it for "we".

It's much more gratifying to deal with clients when we're totally and completely objective. We have the flexibility to set aside our ambitions for the benefit of an authentic communication where interests are merged- connecting with another human being without expectation one way or another. Then any potential differences can be made more fluid and approached as "we". A truly symbiotic relationship. This is far more effective than a cruder business model that attempts to equalize what each party has to offer- as in, "I do this for you if you do this for me," like something out of a Godfather scene.

Also, In the WIIFW model the customer is not "always right" and we don't have to necessarily do "whatever it takes" (Two other popular urban myths that are hard to shake off, I know). We just do it because it's authentically wanting to help the other. We're placing our own agenda in periphery range for a more authentic communication where interests merge; it becomes more objective, more human. Then any potential differences are more seamless and approached as "we".

WIIFW boosts business relationships to a higher frequency- a great example of the win-win philosophy.

 It's all about "we".

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