Aw. Isn’t she cute with her little pigtails, diminutive stance, and eyes filled with hope? Yes, the young lady at your front door is the perfect picture of childhood innocence, but you should be warned–never underestimate the power of a Girl Scout.
Yes, beneath that freckle-faced facade lurks a budding young entrepreneur. And she can teach you a thing or two about sales.
Play Well With Others
Functioning as a cohesive unit or “troop” involves learning the art of teamwork–dealing with different personality types, playing to one another’s strengths, and resolving conflicts in a positive way. Furthermore, engaging in door-to-door cold-calling forces even the shyest Girl Guide to develop excellent people skills–a key ingredient in the making of a top-notch sales professional.
As Inc.’s “5 Bite-Sized Business Lessons from the Girl Scouts” states, “business is all about people, and building strong and positive relationships with coworkers, vendors, customers, and members of the community in which you do business.” This little Girl Scout is learning these lessons at a very early age.
Set Your Eye on the Prize
The adult realm of professional sales revolves around setting targets and devising small and manageable goals that will result in reaching them. Likewise, Girl Scout teams across the nation set sales goals and develop action plans designed to achieve these goals.
In April of 2014, Katie Francis broke the national Girl Scout cookie record by selling 21,477 boxes. As Entrepreneur writes, Katie embarked on the cookie season armed with the concrete goal of beating the previous record of 18,000 and doable steps to accomplish this goal including the smaller goal of selling between 30 and 46 boxes per hour. By following her plan, she not only met her target, but she exceeded it by a huge amount.
Recruit Friends and Family
Word of mouth is one of the best marketing tools a salesperson can generate–and the Girl Scouts know this. Recruiting friends and relatives to spread the word about your upcoming Cookie Drive is not “cheating”–it’s smart business. The business world looks to positive word of mouth to generate referrals, boost one’s reputation, and ensure that your company and/or product becomes a household name. And sell cookies.
Stake Your Territory
Girl Scouts know the value of a high-traffic area when it comes to hawking their wares. As “How to Sell a Ton of Girl Scout Cookies” points out, in order to sell a sizeable amount of cookies, Girl Scouts target customers that need and can afford their cookies in locations where they are likely to get hungry like sporting events, office building lobbies, subway entrances, and outside supermarkets. The more people you encounter, the more sales you can make.
Cookies Taste Good
An important aspect of selling is being able to identify the benefits and special features of your product. When it comes to Girl Scout cookies, this equates to more than simply knowing how they taste. It also means sampling the competition to learn why yours are better, sharing the story behind the cookie, appealing to your customer’s sense of tradition, and uncovering other positive characteristics of your wares.
The next time your doorbell rings, you may want to prepare yourself for what lurks on the other side–a munchkin-sized cookie salesgirl whose smooth-talking business prowess will soon have you opening your wallet.
What lessons in selling did you learn as a Girl Scout?