I've written a lot of deep, insightful posts about money and life on this site. I think this one may be the most important of them all.
Girl Scout cookies are back everyone. This is a magical time of the year for us all. Also, wave goodbye to your 2017 fitness resolution.
In all seriousness, I'm a big fan of the cookie sale. Very few people know this about me, but I'm actually an Eagle Scout, so I have a lot of respect for kids that I see out there hustling cookies and popcorn. I've also been trying to give back a little more lately since my income has risen pretty sharply, and supporting the kids in both organizations is a cool way to do it!
I want to share a quick (and awesome) Girl Scout entrepreneurial/hustle story
My wife and I were going to the grocery store the other day, and as we were pulling in to the parking lot I noticed that the Girl Scouts were posted up right outside of the entrance to the store.
Coral had previously bought a couple boxes of cookies for us, but when her mom found out that we had them and she didn't, she wasn't happy. My wife and her mom LOVE sweets. I'm not really into them as much, but I have to admit that the cookies are freakishly good.
So we told my mother-in-law that we would pick up a box the next time we saw them.
Unfortunately, I realized as we were walking up to the store that I didn't have any cash. Womp womp.
Time is wasting…
I can tell you from the interaction I'm about to describe, this trio of girls were experienced money hustlers. Before I started this site, I didn't really know how to sell jack. These three could sell circles around me.
The young ladies hit me and Coral with multiple sales tactics in less than a minute. It was freaking nuts. It was also awesome haha.
As we were walking up to the door, I had already mentioned to Coral that we should grab some cash after we were done shopping. Just as we were discussing, we heard the famous line:
“Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?”
As I was trying to explain that we needed to pull cash after we were done shopping, one of the girls (the second in command from what I could tell), said: “We'll be GONE by the time you get cash.”
So I immediately started thinking: “Holy crap I need to go figure out how to get cash right NOW.” I honestly wasn't sure if they were actually going to leave soon, but that girl was putting on a clinic in creating urgency to make a sale.
“We take credit cards.”
Boom. That was it. Put a fork in us.
The lead hustler (and also the girl that handled the transactions) delivered the devastating sales blow as we were just walking into the store.
There are a few things I need to note here:
- They seriously had a freaking credit card reader attached to an iphone. I did not see that coming at all. I know it's 2017, but that was next level.
- The third girl never said a word during the entire deal. Maybe she was learning, or maybe she was there as the muscle…I couldn't tell.
- Their inventory was laid out masterfully on the table. There was no “let me see if we have any Thin Mints in stock” nonsense. Presentation and preparation = everything.
The up sell (this was brilliant)
We had picked up one box of cookies, and just as I was handing my credit card over to the leader, the second in command went to work on us.
This is verbatim what she said to us:
“Oh, I thought you were grabbing a second box so I could package them up really nicely for you in this bag!”
A few more things to note:
- Neither of us had even come close to reaching for a second box. Again, this was brilliant.
- As she was hitting us with the up sell, she was already reaching for the bag she had mentioned.
- I folded like a cheap lawn chair and picked up another box. I didn't even know how much they were charging, which is rare for me.
I've got to admit, I was pretty shocked about how well they did the whole thing. I made sure to give them props for the up sell, to which second in command said: “Well, I learned from the best.”
I don't know who “the best” is, but I hope they aren't selling more expensive stuff.
The lesson? Support young entrepreneurs.
After running my own successful-ish business for the past year and a half, I really respect any program that teaches young people entrepreneurial skills. It's something they can always fall back on if they need to, and it just builds so much confidence for kids.
Even if you're crazy and don't like cookies, take some time to support the Girl Scouts in your area by gabbing a box or 7.