The Importance of “WIFM” in Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service


 What is WIFM?

WIFM/WIIFM (What’s in it for me?) is the psychological idea that people only care about an action, product, or service if there is some benefit to them individually. This idea is supported by many different scientists, psychologists, philosophers, and sociologists. The idea states that if someone about to perform an action, the person won’t actually perform the action if there is no inherent benefit to them. If there is a benefit (monetary gain, recognition, feeling of self-worth, etc), the person is more likely to perform the action. Sure, there are selfless people in the world, but by-in-large, most of the population can be categorized in the WIFM category.

WIFM in Sales

WIFM is an important concept to know and embrace if you work in sales. People simply will not buy your product or service if there is no perceived benefit to them. If a consumer or a business is going to purchase something with their hard-earned money, they want to be sure that they will be better off after doing so. Think about you individually and the last time you bought something. It doesn’t matter if you bought a piece of candy or a new car – in both scenarios, you weighed the price against the personal benefit and decided the benefit was worth the price.

Next time you try to sell something, make sure you do the proper discovery and ask the right questions so you can discover a need. Use this information and craft your pitch around satisfying this need. Show the prospect what they will gain by purchasing. Illustrate for them in easy-to-understand language and make sure they know the benefits before closing.

WIFM in Marketing

WIFM is also important if you work in marketing. The same basic principles that apply to sales will also apply to marketing. People are more likely to perform the desired marketing action if they understand the benefits to them individually. The difference from sales is that selling is often a one-on-one affair, while marketing teams often interact with thousands of people at the same time. In modern marketing, companies often have social media accounts with millions of followers.

When it comes to marketing to a large number of individuals (by way of billboards, TV advertisements, social media accounts, etc), marketers have to communicate this benefit in a very short amount of time. For example, billboard advertisers often have but a few seconds to get their message across – maybe a sentence or two. Again, use easy-to-understand powerful language that can be quickly processed and digested. To master funnel marketing, include a call-to-action item (Call this number, click on this link, etc) so the prospect can initiate the sales process themselves.

WIFM in Customer Service

Customer service is the backbone of any successful company. Modern customers expect a high level of service and the best customer experience possible. With the sheer number of alternative choices, companies have to be perfect at service to build brand loyalty.

A large part of customer service is conflict resolution. At some point, something with your product/service will go wrong or anger a customer. How well you handle these situations can either be positive or negative PR, so you always have to be on the ball. When handling conflict, customers are usually angry because they are not receiving the benefit that was promised to them. Your job as the customer service agent is to restore that benefit and make the customer happy again. Again, ask questions about the individual/business and craft your service around them specifically.

No matter how you slice it, WIFM is an important concept in sales, marketing, and customer service. Communicate the value of your product/service to them individually and make sure they fully understand it. This idea will help you close more sales, reach people for effectively, and resolve conflicts easier.



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Author: Jason Karaman

Hello! I’m a marketing, sales, and customer service author, blogger and doer. I live in the South Carolina Lowcountry with my wife. I enjoy reading, writing, hiking, kayaking, and all things beach. For media inquiries, send an email to

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