Lead the Way
As I've pointed out, raising money is the most important job of an entrepreneur. Selling to customers and investors is second nature. But there is a group you might easily overlook when selling: your employees. They ultimately affect not only your customers and your investors, but also your bottom line.
Your employees are the voices and drivers of your business. Directly or indirectly, everyone on your team sells. But what are they selling? Is it your vision and passion for your brand or mission? Or something less powerful and, consequently, less appealing? If what they're selling isn't 110 percent aligned with your commitment and vision, then they are selling your company--and customers--short.
To sell to your employees, you must share your vision and passion. Focus on the company mission, and tie initiatives and campaigns to it.
Many companies struggle because their employees don't like selling or don't believe they really play a role in the sales effort. If that's the case, you'll see sales drop and have trouble raising money. Your problem is not the lack of money, but the lack of sales ability.
The strongest advocates are those who are already sold on the brand and what it represents. As founder, you must fuel the fire of passion within every employee. It's what turns an employee into an advocate--and advocates sell without even realizing it.
Leadership is key in building a spirit of cooperation. For me, that means interacting frequently, driving employees to reach for higher standards and inspiring them with the idea of a bright future. Painting a future that your employees want to be a part of will inspire them to new levels of communication and--yes!--sales. Show them how their attitudes shape the future. They'll be sold on the vision and exude confidence in all they do. They'll mirror your passion and energy.
When you believe that everyone sells and must sell, you have both set the standard and raised the bar. This must be a 24/7 priority for every entrepreneur--your business's future depends on it.
Robert Kiyosaki, author of the Rich Dad series of books, is an investor, entrepreneur and educator whose perspectives have changed the way people think about money and investing.