WAIT! Don’t buy that box of cookies yet.
We are in the midst of Girl Scout cookie season. Don’t pretend like you didn’t know. I’ve seen you walking up to that table outside the grocery store acting like you didn’t know what was in those colorful boxes. “oh, whats that you say? cookies? really? I had no idea. Sure, I’d be happy to try a box.” When really on the inside you’ve been counting the days…..It’s ok. I’m with you. Thin mints are the bomb. Side note, I just found out that a row is not a serving.
Here’s the deal though. I never, ever buy Girl Scout cookies from parents. Ever. Not interested in your sign up list in the break room, don’t want your Facebook link, and I will walk right past you as I go in the grocery store.
Now, if you are a bundled up, rosy cheeked, runny nose kid that leaves the safety of that folding table and nervously spits out anything that remotely sounds like ‘wanna buy a cookie’, I will buy as much as I can afford at that moment.
I hold the idea that if a kid asks me to buy something- I do it. I don’t care if its lemonade, candy bars, cookie dough, or GirlScout cookies. In fact, I’ll often ask them- “how many do you have? I’ll take the rest”. I will buy everything they have on them. The shock that happens in that moment is worth every penny. They will never forget that transaction. The shock is immediately replaced by joy, fulfillment, and confidence- and that’s what it’s all really about.
Yes, I know organizations use the revenue generated to do great things so there is a need for high volume sales. I get it. I’m supportive of selling as much as you can. However, these moments where kids have to engage and ask for the sale are character building. They will also create the next generations of sales leaders.
Sales is a profession that needs people who can connect with other people. Even as technology roots itself more and more in the sales process, buyers still want a human connection. The attributes that make up a good salesperson- determination, self confidence, willingness to act, and a competitive spirit are all things that can be taught in these moments when kids are out there fundraising. My profession of sales needs more people with those attributes that can build a human connection.
So, when you see an opportunity to make a kid’s day, to help them believe or realize that the next huge sale is just around the corner, and to help them know what it feels like to hit a target, please take it. But I ask you to please consider cutting out the middle man. Find a way to get mom and dad to step aside and engage that little future sales rockstar directly. Then you can crack open that box of goodness and revel in the idea that you had a hand in shaping the next generation of sales leaders.