Girl Scout Cookie Wars: Creating the Ultimate Value-Added Pitch for Patches!
Since 1917, and every year since around this time in the United States, an army of young girls takes to the streets for one of the toughest and most competitive sales endeavors—yes, I am talking about GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!
Whether you are a fan of Thin Mints, the classic shortbread Trefoils, or coconut-covered Samoas, the only thing that causes more arguments this time of year is who you are going to buy from. Families, friends and parents’ co-workers are all pre-existing and/or high-level prospects. Even then the buyer has to be strategic to not offend anyone, and make an attempt to support as many kids as possible…parents don’t play around when it comes to cookie sales—so saying "no" better come with a very good reason!
The sale of cookies supports the Girl Scouts, but it is also incentivized with a reward-based program starting with a Participation Patch for selling a minimum of 25 boxes, all the way to a reward for 2,000 boxes or more...2,000 BOXES! It seems each local troop can establish their own rewards in conjunction with the other official Girl Scout patches along the way for 70-500 boxes. Cookie season not only gives these young girls their first experience with entrepreneurship, it also causes a fierce competition as a by-product.
So what is a Girl Scouts strategy beyond everyone she knows, everyone your family knows, and everyone your parents work with? There is no other choice than to hit the streets if she is on a patch mission...let’s refer to it as "Cold Cookie Calling!"
Cold Cookie Callers embrace the possibility that every door will be knocked on in the neighborhood, so they take to the streets as soon as they get their order form, and try to get early market share before tapping into family, friends, and their parents’ co-workers. Even if you are first to knock, it’s not uncommon to be told that the resident is holding out to buy from their designated Girl Scout. But with a little ingenuity, and a value-added sales pitch, one little girl has come up with a strategy to make saying NO almost impossible.
Granted she is the daughter of a radio host, but when I heard this cookie pitch from Girl Scout Emma Kelly on the radio, I knew it had to be shared here. The pitch is at 2:27-3:35 in the recording, and you can listen to it here.
Without giving away the spin, I can honestly say it’s GENIUS. Regardless of who came up with it, it was delivered like a pro, and I would buy cookies from this kid for life! She removed the sale from the sale, and created an entirely new way to think about, and experience the cookies.
Now take this lesson from a 10-year old, and apply it to your world. When was the last time your pitch inspired your customers to re-think the possibilities with your products and services? And for fun...which Girl Scout cookie are you craving right now?
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Deborah Corn is the Intergalactic Ambassador to The Printerverse at Print Media Centr, a Print Buyerologist, international speaker and blogger, host of Podcasts From The Printerverse, cultivator of Print Production Professionals the No. 1 print group on LinkedIn, Girl No. 1 at Girls Who Print, host of #PrintChat every Wednesday at 4PM ET on Twitter, the founder of International Print Day and the founder of #ProjectPeacock. She is the recipient of several industry honors and sits on the board of the The Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi, and is an advisor for the Advertising Production Club of NYC.
Deborah has 25+ years of experience working in advertising as a Print Producer and now works behind the scenes with printers, suppliers and industry organizations helping them create meaningful relationships with customers and members, and achieve success with their social media, content marketing, event marketing and sales endeavors.