Do you buy Girl Scout Cookies every year? For most folks it is an annual tradition. It’s also way to support a fantastic organization. The cookie drive is a big part of fundraising for the Girl Scouts. Not only have they gone digital with their sales but they also have gone mass market by making the cookies available in grocery stores. Not only are these some consistently tasty treats, but there is a lot we can learn about running a successful business from Girl Scouts Cookie sales. Consider these four important lessons:
Always Be Selling
The current record holder of “most cookies sold in a single year” goes to Oklahoma native Katie Francis. She sold a whopping 21,477 boxes. As she recently told the local news station, “There are three ingredients to the cookie sale,” she said. “It takes lots of time, commitment and asking everybody I see.” Does this mean she met 21,477 hungry folks? Not necessarily but if you sell one box (or something) why not sell two? Or a dozen? Always be selling.
Know Your Customer
It’s hard to imagine anyone getting through life without at least one taste of a Girl Scout Cookie. That means everyone is familiar with the brand. It also evokes some positive memories of childhood. Of course, none of that really mattered to the customers who were leaving a medical marijuana dispensary. One smart seller set up a table there and sold 117 boxes in two hours. The lesson here is to know your customer base. In other words, if you’re going to sell cookies, go where the hungry people are. Standing outside a grocery store might not be the best spot. Lots of traffic but not a lot of hungry people.
Expand Your Network
Any Girl Scout can sell a couple of dozen boxes within her immediate family and on the block where she lives. Throw in a little help from mom and/or dad’s coworkers and those numbers inch up. However, the real way to make a splash with sales is when the girls expand their network. That means taking their sign-up sheets with them everywhere they go. Once the cookies come in, they need to go where the crowds are beyond the grocery store. Find a parade, sporting event, amusement park or some other gathering of crowds to make your pitch. That would also work for handing out business cards or flyers for your company. You can’t wait for the customers to come to you; you have to go to the customers.
And the most important lesson?
Don’t Take Rejection Personally
Are you aware that when you say, “no” to a Girl Scout selling cookies that she cries herself to sleep? Actually, that’s not true. The Girl Scouts are tough cookies. They know all the excuses: “On a diet,” “don’t have cash,” “already ordered.” It’s nothing personal. That’s the same approach to take to your sales pitch. Don’t land a new customer? Fine. Move onto the next one.