Teaching sales and marketing with Girl Scout cookies

I was a Cub Scout. Much of it I enjoyed. I enjoyed camping and learning how to use a knife. I liked hanging out with other boys.

But there was something about Cub Scouts that I hated: selling raffle tickets! I’d knock on door after door. I knew people were home because their cars were in the driveways. But they mostly would not answer. Those that didn’t ordinarily say,”No thanks.”

I was a lousy raffle ticket salesperson.

But every winter, I’d see Girl Scouts going door-to-door selling box after box of biscuits.

It was not fair!

I tried to sell a sheet of paper which nobody cared about. Girl Scouts sold delicious biscuits. And even worse, the entire country participated. I’d hear”It’s Girl Scout cookie time” on the radio and watch it on tv. I read references to Girl Scout cookies in newspaper articles.

Nobody wrote about Cub Scouts selling raffle tickets.

Teaching with biscuits

Fast forward to now.

My two brothers are Girl Scouts. And I love Girl Scout cookies for the very same reasons I hated them.

My girls are both in elementary school. I sometimes bring them to my office. I try to educate them a bit about ecommerce, but they’re not terribly interested.

The FringeSport office has a retail shop up front with offices and a warehouse at the back and a fitness center beside it all. Mostly, the women play at the gym, where they do not learn a lot about business or ecommerce.

But when Girl Scout cookie time rolls around, it is our time to shine. I instruct them sales strategies from Sandler Training. Before we approach a doorway, I ask them what they are going to say. They have their script prepared. I educate them about overcoming objections.

“If this individual says they bought Girl Scout cookies, what can you say?”

1 daughter will respond,”These cookies freeze well. That means you ought to buy additional boxes and place them in the freezer. When Girl Scout cookie season is finished, they will taste better understanding you can not buy them any longer.”

Or,”Well, I am positive that you don’t need anymore. But did you know that you could purchase boxes to send to our troops in Afghanistan? I bet they love getting biscuits and understanding that folks at home care about them.”

I also teach them how to deal with rejection, when someone says no. (Even with Girl Scout cookies, most people today say no.) Nonetheless, it’s a numbers game. Proceed to the next home. Knock on more doors.

Digital marketing, also

Finally, I teach them about online marketing. I don’t think we are permitted to sell Girl Scout cookies through ecommerce stations. However, you can take physical orders which then get sent in the Girls Scout distribution centre.

And I teach them how to use social media marketing — Facebook — to broadcast that cookies are available. I tell them how to conduct webinars — utilizing FaceTime to reach family members.

I teach them how to create advertising videos and post them to a Facebook page. Our neighborhood in Austin has a Facebook page. I have the girls put up videos on this page and offer to supply the cookies in the area at no cost.

I love Girl Scout cookies. They let me share my love of advertising and sales with my daughters and teach them a bit about ecommerce.

Come to think of it, Girl Scout cookie season is just a couple of months away. I know two women in Austin, Texas who would like to sell you a box, irrespective of where you live. Email me and we’ll work out the details.

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