There’s a box of Girl Scout cookies in my office kitchen. Normally, I avoid sweets, but I couldn’t resist the hard-sales tactics of the Girl Scout who had a table set up Saturday night inside a restaurant.
She was ruthless.
While waiting for my husband to park the car, I followed my curiosity to the folding table across the lobby, piled with a variety of cookie treats.
Normally, I like to tease the young girls about how easy they have it.
Girl Scout Cookie sales are much different than when I was a girl.
We didn’t set up shop outside retail stores, restaurants or, as one clever scout did a few years ago, marijuana dispensaries.
We marched up and down our streets in the freezing cold of January – returning several freezing weeks later to deliver the cookies to customers.
Usually, the boxes were piled high on a sled that was dragged through late February snow. As I remember it, my delivery route was uphill both ways.
We were lucky if Mom or Dad would take the order sheet into work and sell to co-workers. That might get us a handful of sales. Grandparents were usually good for a box or two, but most of our sales came from burning the old shoe leather – or snow boot rubber – to go out and find sales.
Before I could begin my annual teasing at the restaurant, a large, linebacker of a guy bellied up to the table.
A big smile grew on his face as he drew an inquisitive thumb and forefinger to his chin.
“Now tell me, miss, which of these cookies are the most popular?” he asked, awaiting her sales pitch.
The young bespectacled girl didn’t miss a beat, flying right into her routine.
“Well, my favorite are the Caramel deLites, and they’re usually the most popular,” she said. “But, this year we have something new, S’mores. They’re just like campfire s’mores, but they’re coated in nice thick chocolate,” she said motioning to the box. “People really seem to be liking them this year, too.”
The man smiled down at her, charmed by her enthusiastic response.
“Well,” he asked. “Which cookies are selling the least?”
The girl sighed and let her head lilt to the side as she tapped a box of Lemonades.
“I’ve only sold one of the Lemonades. I don’t know why. They’re really good. I like them,” she said.
Suddenly, I felt sorry for the cookies. Poor Lemonades weren’t getting any love. I wanted to buy them.
I wasn’t alone, or first.
The man smiled, pulling out a wad of money.
“Well then, I think I’ll take a box of Lemonades,” he said.
“Me too!” I piped in.
By now, my husband had caught up with me.
“Honey! Give this girl $4,” I said. “We’re buying Lemonades.”
The girl picked up two boxes and handed them out.
“Now I’ve sold three. Maybe they’ll be good sellers after all,” she beamed.
At this point, her mother, standing by her side, finally left out the little giggle she had been stifling. We couldn’t help being charmed by the girl’s enthusiasm, but for Mom it was probably a hoot.
That girl definitely has a career in sales, which of course is one of the main points of Girl Scout Cookie sales.
The girls aren’t just raising money for field trips, they’re learning real world business skills.
I bet any marketer in the business would kill to have the secret for turning around the numbers on their lowest selling product as fast as that girl did.
But if you’re ever in the market for a used car, you might want to avoid the saleswoman with the sash full of cookie sales badges. She might just sell you a “Lemon”ades.
If you haven’t gotten the cookie sales pitch yet, fear not. Girl Scout Cookie sales continue through March 13.
For more information, click HERE.