Basic sales training instructs us to use what are called WIIFM’s, “What’s In It For Me?” statements. WIIFM’s focus our sales efforts on how our product or service benefits the customer. They are meant to shift our mindset from our own agenda to what the customer wants and needs.

It has been my experience that using this benefit language is often the missing piece in elevator pitches as well as the communication of personal brand messages. As a result, many of our pitches fall flat. The use of benefit language makes an impact on our audience.

If you are an entrepreneur, think about your own elevator pitch. Do you make this important connection from your product or service to your customer’s wants and needs? A simple way to do use benefit language in your pitch is to state clearly what you do and then add, “what this means to you is”…

Here is an example. I could say, “My name is Bonnie Marcus and I coach women entrepreneurs to promote themselves effectively.” OR, I could say, “My name is Bonnie Marcus and as a professional coach, I help women entrepreneurs overcome their negative beliefs about self promotion, feel more confident and comfortable selling, so they can grow a successful thriving business.”

The same principle holds true for personal branding. Perhaps you have identified your value proposition, but do you use benefit language to state the business impact?

For instance, maybe I’ve identified that my value proposition is building strong teams. That statement alone does not have as much impact as when I tie it to business results. Find out what matters to your contact and make the connection for them.

Here’s how you could tailor your message.

” I build strong teams. What that means to my organization is that I help create more loyal, happy, and productive employees. Increased employee satisfaction means less turnover, lower employee acquisition and training costs. Also more productive employees means faster turn around on projects that results in more satisfied and loyal customers.”

Get the idea?

Don’t assume that people automatically connect the dots and bridge the gap between what you offer and how they can benefit. Don’t leave it to chance. Everyone wants to know what’s in it for them. Clearly communicate the benefit and the business impact to make your pitch or brand statement more powerful.