It’s a little disconcerting, but true: A prospective buyer doesn’t care about you until he or she understands how you can be of help addressing his or her needs, challenges, opportunities or problems.I learned this lesson (again) recently when meeting a new prospect. One of the three people at the meeting on the prospect’s side knew of my organization and me through someone we both knew. I assumed, incorrectly it turns out, that she had told her colleagues a little about the work my organization did. My contact, started the meeting and introduced me by saying something like, “Reggie is from Organization Learning Group. His organization offers sales training and coaching. He comes highly recommended by a mutual acquaintance.”

I thanked her, confirmed the agenda and time contract for out meeting, and then asked her colleagues to introduce themselves and say what they would like to get from this initial meeting. There was a momentary pause, and then one of the two Vice Presidents from the private equity firm said back to me in a somewhat caustic tone “First you need to tell us why we should be meeting with YOU.” Realizing my mistaken assumption,  I wasted no time and said, “Of course I need to tell you why you should be meeting with me” and I launched, a little late, into my WIIFY introduction… “You know how when you’re trying to close a deal and you have all the facts and data available to demonstrate why you are the right choice, but sometimes notice that by the time you get to the really important content your audiences’ eyes are glazed over?  Well, what I do is help presenters create and deliver compelling and persuasive presentations using stories to make meaning of complex data to inspire the buying audience to decide in their favor.  I’m kinda like a cross between a piano tuner and piano teacher in that I help presenters create the right notes and deliver them in a way that has intellectual and emotional resonance.”

Your WIIFY should do three things:

  • Identify a need (broad or specific) your prospect has. This captures their attention because it makes your introduction about them.
  • Address how you/your team/your organization can help address that need. This speaks to the value you/your team/your organization offers.
  • Use a metaphor. A metaphor adds vibrancy and color. It also requires the listener to engage their own imagination.

See if you can do your WIIFY in sixty seconds. It is intended as an attention grabber and not your deal clinching presentation! And don’t forget to say it with passion and belief.