The Kansas State University National Strategic Selling Institute, along with the local chapter of national sales and marketing business fraternity Pi Sigma Epsilon, recently teamed up to donate more than $5,000 to the Manhattan Special Olympics.
“We are very appreciative of the support for Special Olympics by the NSSI and Pi Sigma Epsilon,” said Luke Schulte, vice president of development for Special Olympics Kansas. “Without donations like this, Special Olympics wouldn’t be able to put on our programs. We will use it locally to support our Manhattan area events, and buy things like medals and meals for the athletes.”
The funds were raised through last semester’s National Strategic Selling Institute, NSSI, auction, an annual event that is organized by students in the institute’s advanced sales class, in conjunction with Pi Sigma Epsilon. The students work together to find items for the auction and sell the tickets to the event.
“A lot of organizing and planning went into making this event possible,” said Theodore Brittan, president of Pi Sigma Epsilon from Abilene. “We spent of lot of time making cold calls on local companies, friends and family members for donations. It made us step out of our comfort zones, and allowed us the opportunity to apply what we are learning in the classroom into practical sales experiences.”
Half of the net proceeds from the auction were donated to Manhattan Special Olympics, with the other half going toward the institute’s Sales Cup Merit Awards, which go to students who have earned performance points through their classes and participation in sales competitions, networking events, workshops and other institute events.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our students to develop their selling skills, and at the same time give back to the community,” said Dawn Deeter, director of the National Strategic Selling Institute. “Although the class is difficult — it is never easy making cold calls — it is ‘real-life’ difficult rather than book difficult. Students appreciate the difference and the responses they are getting from employers.”