If you are in the Northern Virginia area, good news! Girl Scout cookies are on sale this weekend! To find out where you can purchase them, go to the Girl Scout website and on the top of the page under “Find Cookies,” enter your zip code.
Other than sparking my desire for Thin Mints, this news got me thinking about my own sales success as a Girl Scout, and how we all can learn a little bit about marketing from these junior saleswomen.
Set goals, but be willing to adapt.
Cookie season lasts 11 weeks. If you are not reaching your lofty goal within that time, break it down into smaller goals. Set sales goals, territory goals, or network partner goals.
Track your successes.
Track your sales and see when the best time of day to sell is. Ramp up your sales during those hours. For one Girl Scout who tracked her sales, cookies sold best between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Think about setting up various locations or multiple options to sell your cookies during your “sweet hours.”
Create a marketing plan.
What are all the ways you can sell your cookies? Here’s how the Girl Scouts do it: door to door to strangers (make them future customers), repeat clientele, booth sales, flyers with contact information as leave-behinds, dedicated email address, hotline telephone number, on-site sales outside grocery and book stores, Walgreens and Walmart, and by enlisting helpers such as relatives and friends to sell to their networks.
Personalize your pitch.
Introduce yourself, tell people about your company and why you’re selling cookies, tell them how many cookies you sold last year and what your goal for this year is, and don’t forget to ask them if they’d like to buy your cookies.
Nurture client relationships.
In addition to tracking sales, record your customers’ contact information, and get their email address if possible. At the end of the season, report back to customers how many boxes you sold and thank them for their help. Next season, announce that you’ll be selling cookies again, and promote pre-orders or “first delivery” options.
The next time you see a Girl Scout selling cookies, think about how you can create sweet success of your own…and don’t forget to buy a box or two.
–Inspired by “Sales Secrets From a Top-Selling Girl Scout,” by Lindsay Lavine.