4 Ways Your Organization Can Give Back

“Stop selling. Start helping!” proclaimed Zig Ziglar.

I have always interpreted the quote to mean that as sales professionals, we should stop worrying about trying to “close the sale” (and inevitably about our commissions) and concentrate on understanding and helping our customers and prospects with their core issues and problems.

It makes a ton of sense, but rarely do sales professionals live by this mantra, too worried about quotas and commissions.

Through my career I have frequently referred back to this quote, which has helped me focus on the client or prospect’s needs first and foremost. The crazy thing is that every time I focus on clients’ needs, the sales and commission typically come shortly after. Recently, I’ve taken a more holistic approach to this idea and realized it also applies outside the world of sales.

Ever since we built Acquirent more than nine years ago, we have strived to create not only a highly energized and motivated sales culture but also a philanthropic one. Our philanthropic roots run deep, starting at the top with CEO Joe Flanagan and his involvement in Access to Care, which provides affordable diagnosis and treatment to individuals and families for a small co-payment per visit, procedure or prescription medication. This dedication to giving back is represented throughout the organization. We never want to lose sight of the fact that if we feel like we are having a bad day, their our many others who are much less fortunate then ourselves.


Like the team at Acquirent, here’s a few ways companies can contribute to organizations and philanthropic causes while building a strong sales culture:

1. Participate in a charity runs. Charity runs (such as the Color Run 5k pictured above) are a great way to raise money for an organization, build comradery and get a good work out in all at the same time. The great thing about a 5k (which is 3.1 miles) is that people of all fitness levels can participate and have a great time. Last year, some of the Acquirent team participated in the Color Run, which celebrates healthiness, happiness, individuality, and giving back to the community. The event raised donations for more than 60 local and national charities in 2012.

2. Organize a clothes and food drives. Changes in the seasons are great opportunities to organize a clothing drive, because many people have items they no longer need. And although food drives often are common around the holidays, they can be held at any time. At our office, we have bins available year-round to encourage ongoing contributions.

3. Partner with a local food or homeless shelter. Acquirent partners with local organization Connections (Evanston, IL) and it has been a mutually beneficial relationship. Many organizations and their employees find great satisfaction in working year-round with a local shelter such as this. These shelters benefit from your organization buying, cooking and serving meals or by being the recipients of your ongoing food and clothing drives.

4. Start a “dollar jar.” Do you have a habit that you are trying to change in your organization? How about eliminating the phrase “I can’t” or perhaps increasing the level of promptness of a teammate? Try the “Dollar Jar.” Anytime anyone says “I can’t” or an individual is late, they have to contribute a dollar to the jar. At the end of the month, the proceeds are donated to a charity of the company’s choice.

As the late Zig Ziglar would say, “Stop selling and start helping!” This applies to both your clients/prospects and your community!

Happy Selling!