Everything we do in life could be looked at as a "deal". We have to communicate with people and that means that we are trying to push our ideas, needs, desires, or something tangible. Successful communication can be measured by the results and usually begins with clear, well formulated words. Try taking a look at successful communication beyond the surface.
In the world of sales, there is an acronym used- WIIFM which stands for "What's In It For Me". This is used as a guiding principle for sales people. It is a reminder that when trying to sell something, you need to keep in mind the needs of the potential customer. As the customer is listening to you, they are thinking "what's in it for me"?
Everything in job search is sales and we hate it- unless we are either an ego-maniac or really tough skinned, because what we are selling is ourselves. If we can switch our thinking patterns to "how can I solve a problem for this company"? it might just enable us to communicate more effectively.
If you take time to think about how you would answer the WIIFM question for each person you interact with, it might also help you identify some gaps in the information you have. If you can't answer the WIIFM, then why are you talking to them?
For example, when asking for a networking meeting, tell the person what's in it for them to meet with you. It could be that you heard they are short handed and you have specific skills that can help them meet their goals. This would be nice, but oh so difficult. The better you address their WIIFM, the more likely you are to get the meeting.
In an interview, the interviewer is wondering WIIFM? Why would you be someone that could save them money or make them money? Pre-plan your interview answers to address this question.
I wish that Sales 101 was a part of every high school and college curriculum. It is the foundation for success. It might take the dirtiness out of the feelings we get when we have to sell ourselves. Maybe the used car salesman had it right all along (if he used WIIFM).
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.