You always will do well by doing good. Your involvement in charitable organizations, if managed correctly, can help you grow your business exponentially. By becoming involved with a charity in which you passionately believe, prospects will see you in a new light. You must, however, avoid the common pitfall of getting involved in a charity solely to generate new business. You should find a charity about which you feel strongly in your gut — one that fulfills a personal goal of yours. If you get involved for the right reasons, business eventually will come. Involvement purely for economic gains will never work out. Philanthropists can tell if someone is there to support the cause or work the crowd.

The charity closest to my heart is the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The organization promotes equality and attempts to end all racism and bigotry. I became involved with ADL shortly after I graduated from college. I moved from New York to Boston and knew only a few people in town. I was looking for a way to help my community and make some new friends at the same time. Today, I sit on the national board and am a regional board member and executive officer co-chairing the endowment and development committee for New England.

Charitable organizations look for wealth, wisdom and work from each lay member. I have found that to be successful within an organization, you must possess at least two of those criteria. If you are a younger agent, you should focus on the work and wisdom pieces — the monetary part will come later. If you are a veteran of the business, you should give until it feels good. It also is critical to get involved and take on a leadership role. When you take on a leadership position and excel at it, people take notice. These same people will want you to work as hard for them with their investments and insurance. The volunteers and philanthropists involved already are disposed to like you as a person. You will begin marketing in the organization from the inside out.

As an example, the New England regional board of the ADL in Boston is made up of 75 active members. Because of my involvement during the past eight years, 26 of them have become clients of mine, and I am working on potential cases with five more of them. There are two other life insurance agents who sit on the board with me. The difference between us is that they are not asking anyone to do business with them, and I am!

Editor’s note: The preceding Million Dollar Sales Idea was originally published in the August 2006 issue of Life Insurance Selling.

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