A while back I had the opportunity to work for nearly two days with the best-of-the-best sales pros in a client company. We spent our time together focused on taking their game up another notch with a workshop titled “Powerful Presentations.” One thing I noted is that really successful people generally are very open to new ideas and skills that will allow them to be even more successful!

A key idea I shared in this workshop was that our sales presentations are more powerful when we focus on WIIFT – What’s in it for Them – from the open of the presentation through the close.

To engage your audience, it’s incredibly important to tie the message about YOU into what it means to THEM. Who wants to listen to 10 or 15 minutes of background on the speaker and their company? Do you really care if they have been in business for over 75 years? About three minutes into the “background” about you, they have disengaged – you can see it in their body language. Instead, focus on WHY it is beneficial to them that your company has been in business so long. Will it mean a better product? Or more expertise that will solve a problem for them?

Initially there were some skeptics in the group who weren’t sure the WIIFT was THAT important. Until the first practice presentations began and each professional had to sit through all the other presentations. Being on the other side allowed them to feel what its’ like to have a lot of information shared AT them and not tied specifically TO them.

As we ended the workshop, these successful sales professionals commented that it IS powerful to make our message not about us – but that it is hard to do! The more successful and experienced we are, the harder it may be to do something different. To send a message adapted to our audience, with only enough detail that is important to them and then to link WHAT we do into WIIFT statements is not easy. But it is worth the effort for an engaged audience!

How much effort does it take to link the WHAT of your message to the WIIFT? Post your comments and let the rest us know we are not alone!


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