Sales, Persuasion & Mission

Even though there is an extra course on sales and persuasion, it is worth tackling this topic here shortly. You might find it odd to ask someone to support you for your project without getting paid, but in reality this happens all the time. Especially extracurricular activities at university are built on forms of motivation beyond money. When an individual decides to start working with a group of people, the four drivers are usually:

  1. Vision/mission alignment: Do we believe in the same version of the future? Do we all want to make this vision come true?
  2. Fun & values: Do I enjoy working with this group of people? Do I share their values? Do I feel well when spending time with the team?
  3. Learning: Do I learn a lot from the people I’ll be working with? Do I learn a lot from the tasks I’ll be working on? Is this an opportunity for me to grow personally?
  4. Money: Does this venture have great potential? Will I become rich when working with these people?

Note that the first three points are usually enough for a new team member to join your group. Point four might be necessary for some extremely talented individuals who are confronted with heaps of opportunities, but point four should never be the sole reason for someone joining your team. 

Moreover, if point one and two are not fulfilled, your team might function short-term, but will surely break in its structure after latest one year of working together. Being aligned in your vision, mission and values is crucially important and sacrificing this alignment for speed in the early phases of your venture will not pay off.

You will likely have to start with your personal network, small events and warm recommendations. The next section of Lesson will explain how.

After having read the topics of this lesson, please reflect on the following:

  • What is my mission? 
  • Which team members would I like to attract?
  • Which incentive structures will I use to motivate my team? What promises can I make in terms of the four key motivators: vision/mission alignment, fun & values, learning and money? 
  • What will my sources of recruitment be?
  • What are red lines that I will not cross when onboarding a new team member?
  • What are my company’s values?

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