Marketing Lessons Everyone Can Learn From A Girl Scout
by Josh Amidon
Superman has Kryptonite and I have Somoas Girl Scout Cookies (or Carmel Delites depending on what Troop you buy them from). They are my weakness. If I could forgo my paycheck every week and get paid in the coconutty, caramelly, chocolatey discs of heaven – I would. But no, the American Labor Board has to stick their nose in where it doesn’t belong. If you really want an experience, enjoy Somoas with a glass (or three) of Hosmer Winery’s Raspberry Bounce. You’re welcome in advance.
Anyway, these Girl Scouts hustle every year and treat their cookie sales like their own little business. and Here’s a list of what you can learn from the Girl Scouts about Marketing/Sales:
Talk to everyone you know. When the order forms come out, the girls hit the streets to visit friends and neighbors and ask them to order a couple boxes of cookies. Business owners can do this too by getting out of the office and talking to people wherever they go about their business.
Go to where the most customers are. The girls visit area businesses and ask the business owner and employees to buy cookies. One of their marketing tips: Business owners buy more cookies. I think it is an act of solidarity as small business sales teams have to stick together. Business owners can benefit from this strategy by doing the same thing, going to networking events and attending chamber of commerce events.
Build A List. Did you know Girl Scouts keep their order forms from the previous years so they already have a built-in clientele? You as a small business owner should be constantly updating your contact list and checking in with them regularly.
Boost sales by bundling. The girls tie three boxes of cookies together, wrap them in a bow, and sell them as a unit. Even without a reduction in price, this increases the total number of boxes they sell. Business owners can use similar tactics to bundle products and services in complimentary packages and increase their sales. Our minds as customers are programed to read “buy more, save more” even if it’s not true.
Support a charity. When you’re buying cookies from the Girl Scouts, you aren’t just buying amazing cookies – you’re helping a charity. The girls will be the first ones to tell you that. As a company, connect with a charity and watch your sales rise.
Think out of the box. Last year, a girl scout table setup outside a legal pot dispensary in Colorado. Regardless of the controversy and where you are on the opinion of legalized pot – you have to admit, that was pretty genius and some out of the box thinking.
Have a contest. The girls set up drawings for a free box of cookies at their booth which helps pull people over to the table where they can talk to them and make the sale. PLUS, as part of the drawing, they collect email addresses so they can contact them if they won (but they also add this email to their potential customer list for future sales).
I’m always up for a lively debate about what’s the best Girl Scout Cookie – so don’t be afraid to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 315.258.8780. Just be warned, my love for Somoas runs deep – so don’t think I’m going to give up easily. My fiancé once made me a giant Somoa cake for my birthday because love them so much.