How to use WIIFM to stop being beaten down on price

Buyers are always pushing sales people on price

You can’t blame them. After all, that is their job as a buyer. They are tasked with getting the best possible results for their companies. That includes making sure their suppliers give them a good price.

As a buyer, I always noticed two types of print sales people when I pushed on price. Many sales people simply lowered their price. They were worried they would lose the business to the competition. So they reduced their quotes as soon as I asked. They made my life very easy. If I kept asking for lower prices, they kept giving them to me.

However, some sales people made my life more difficult. They were the ones that used WIIFM.

What is WIIFM?

Talking about price with a buyer doesn't have to feel like this!

Talking about price with a buyer doesn’t have to feel like this!

WIIFM stands for “what’s in it for me”. It’s a very useful phrase to bear in mind if you are being pushed on price. It’s also a phrase that you can use with buyers. It’s is a good way to remember (and to remind buyers) that you shouldn’t give away something for nothing. If you are going to reduce your price, you should demand something in return.

Sales people that use WIIFM are likely to create better relationships with their prospects and customers. These sales people are more likely to gain respect from the people that they deal with. They will also find it easier to control the sales people. Naturally, that means they are more likely to meet their sales targets.

Sales people that give way on price without using WIIFM will find usually it harder to achieve their targets. The buyer will control the sales conversation. They will not be treating the sales person with respect. It will be a purely price-driven relationship.

Here are three ways to get the most of using WIIFM.

Create a list of what you want

It is easy to get caught on the hop if you are pushed on price. What should you ask for in return? Have a mental checklist of things that you can ask for.

Here are some of the things you might have on your checklist:

  • Easier schedule
  • More work
  • Name in brochure
  • Referrals
  • Testimonial
  • Swift or upfront payment

You will also have plenty of things that are specific to your company.

There’s one other thing you think about when you create your list.

Know the value of what you want

WIIFM is a good way to make a deal more palatable to both sides. This is because many of the things on your list have a different value to you and the buyer. For instance, an easier schedule may have no impact to the customer. However, it can mean that you can schedule when you want and avoid quiet spots on your machines, or the risk of having to use overtime.

However, a buyer may struggle with knowing what to offer you. That’s where the third tip comes in.

Be creative

Use your list to give a buyer ideas on how they can help you. Put a proposal to the buyer of what you want in return for a reduction in price.

This is a simple system to apply. However, some people are afraid to try it. Remember that if a buyer is negotiating with you about price it means that they want to work with you. They may have a price they want to get to but they are often happy to work with you to achieve this. In addition, if you use WIIFM, they are less likely to push as hard on price.

Here’s how to put WIIFM into practice

  1. Create a WIIFM list of your needs
  2. Make sure you ask “what’s in it for me” if you are pushed on price
  3. Measure the results: what do you actually get when you apply this?

Start using WIIFM today. Make sure you don’t make the buyer’s life too easy!
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