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What’s In It For Me?

We are all basically selfish. Our first thoughts when someone approaches us with an idea or proposal is ‘What’s in it for me?’

That’s natural and understandable. So why are you surprised when your LinkedIn connection request or email fails to deliver any result?

You may have a great idea for a product or service. Or you may already have it and you’re convinced it’s the best thing since sliced bread.

But you don’t count because no-one cares about you. 

I’m not being harsh or rude, but it’s true. We only care about ‘what’s in it for me’.

So unless you describe your wonder product in a way that gets noticed, it’ll be invisible. That’s why it’s so important that your messages attract attention, arouse interest and motivate some action from your audience.

Think about what makes you respond and then use that experience to create better messages.

Here are 7 things to think about when you next write that email or piece of content you want to use to make a connection or grab attention.

1. Why should I care?

This is the number one thing, because if I don’t care I’ll ignore you. Find out what I’m interested in and talk about that.

Don’t tell me how wonderful your company is, who you’ve just hired or how many awards you’ve won. Generally I don’t care about any of this stuff. I only care about what’s in it for me.

2. Talk to Me

Make your messages personal to me. This makes it more likely that I’ll listen. Because when I do listen to you, I may pay attention and even do business with you.

3. It’s Me, Me, Me

When you talk to me you should use ‘You’ far more than ‘I’ or ‘We’. Lead with me because you’ve contacted me. Your aim is to attract my attention, and you’ll do that when you focus on what I really care about.

4. Keep it Simple

Get to the point fast. Only use words that get your message across. Don’t overload me with too much information either, because you’ll confuse me and lose me. Then I’ll ignore you.

5. No Buzzwords

Most people hate jargon, buzz words and corporate speak. That’s because they don’t add anything. They don’t show you’re smart. They actually do the opposite. And they divert attention from the true message you should be getting across. What’s in it for me!

6. Be real

Being upbeat and optimistic is great. Making outrageous and unsubstantiated claims of your amazing achievements is not. That’s boastful and brash and I probably won’t believe you. And if I don’t believe you, how can I trust you?

7. Stand Out

You have to be different to grab my attention. But being different without delivering any value is meaningless. So also tell me how my life will be better after I’ve listened to you. Maybe you can save me money, give me a career boost, make me more efficient, look better, go faster or last longer.

How do you stack up?

Are you guilty of caring only about yourself and what you want to achieve? Or do you care more about me and what I want?

Remember, when you tell me what’s in it for me, I’ll be far more interested in what you have to say. And isn’t that a great way to start to build a relationship?

So what do you think?