Sunday, January 15, 2012

WIIFM Is the Wrong Question

I took a seminar a few years ago about how to make great newsletters. The instructor said the bottom line is that you have to answer the WIIFM question. What's In It For Me. It's a basic marketing rule.

And why is that the bottom line? Why is it so important to answer the WIIFM question? Because it's what everyone is asking. Every human being in the world naturally asks, all day long, "What's in it for me?" We do this without even realizing it. It's our nature.

Mom and I went to her church this morning, which I loved. The sermon, about the Good Samaritan, hit me straight between the eyes. The preacher said the priest and the Levite saw the man broken and bleeding on the road and asked themselves, "What will happen to me if I help him?"

What's in it for me?

But that's not what the Samaritan asked. He asked a different question entirely. He asked, "What will happen to him if I don't help him?"

What's in it for him?

The preacher said if we could understand this principle, it would change how we relate to every single person we come into contact with. When I walk into a room, do I think about how the people in it are going to make me feel, or do I think about how I want to make them feel? Do I wait for them to talk to me, or do I talk to them? Do I think about what I can get from them, or what I can give to them?

I've always asked WIIFM. But that's the wrong question. Instead, my heart should ask what's in it for them. And at the back of that question is the crux of the matter. What brings glory to God?

The question is not What's In It For Me.

The question is What's In It For Thee?

Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.

~Galatians 6:2