It’s that time of year again, Iowa City—the time when legions of Girl Scouts appear, ranging from adorable Daisies in their blue tunics to entrepreneurial Cadettes in their tan sashes. The best six weeks of your year: it’s Girl Scout cookie time.
Did you know that the first Girl Scouts to sell cookies were actually just taking orders for cookies that they would then go home and make? Their first cookies were the Shortbread variety, still sold by girls today (called “Trefoils” today). Can you imagine if you had to go home and help your girl bake 48 boxes of Thin Mints? Today, there are two bakers that make Girl Scout Cookies, Little Brownie Bakers (the baker our Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois council uses) and ABC Bakers. So often I’ve encountered, “Oh, they used to call those Samoas…” Here’s a little breakdown for customers:
Samoas (LBB) = Caramel deLites (ABC)
Do-si-Dos (LBB) = Peanut Butter Sandwiches (ABC)
Tagalongs (LBB) = Peanut Butter Patties (ABC)
The Girl Scout Cookie Sale Program is the largest girl-led business in the world, and it’s a great way for young girls to learn budgeting, goal-setting, entrepreneurship, and customer service. I have three daughters, ranging in age from 17 to 10, so I’ve been helping Girl Scouts start their very own cookie businesses for more than a decade. Here are a few things I’ve learned over my years as mother, co-leader, and occasionally “Cookie Mom”—excuse me, “Troop Product Manager.”
4 Tips from a Girl Scout Cookie Mom
1. Presentation counts.
Have her wear her vest or sash with its badges. Make sure she’s prepared to be asked about those badges. What did you do to earn them? Did you ever go to summer camp? Does your troop have a service project? When people see a girl approaching them in that vest, the sale is halfway made—Girl Scout Cookies sell themselves!
Girls need to speak politely and loudly. Have her introduce herself to customers: “Hi, my name is Piper! I have Girl Scout Cookies, would you like some?” (I admit my kids have often been more mumbly than I would like in their approach. This is a good time for girls to work on their communication skills.)
3. Know your product.
Do you have cookies that are vegan? Yes. Gluten-free? You might; Girl Scouts started offering gluten-free cookies a few years ago, although not all troops carry them. What kind of cookie would you recommend? She can tell the customers her favorite, but ask what they’re looking for! Observation: older people tend to like shortbread cookies. Younger people prefer Samoas. Almost everyone loves Thin Mints.
4. Thank the customer, even if they don’t buy.
She’s thanking them for their time, or, in the case of someone who says, “Oh, I’m sorry, I already bought from my niece,” she can say, “Thank you for supporting Girl Scouts!”
My daughters have had some amazing opportunities with Girl Scouts. One of them “slept under sharks” at the Mall of America aquarium. They have all gone horseback riding. They have all attended sleepover camp. I’m grateful for this organization that gives girls these opportunities.
And everyone is grateful for cookies!
If you are looking to purchase cookies from a Girl Scout, visit www.GirlScoutCookies.org to find a cookie booth near you. If you would like to get your girl involved in Scouts, visit www.GirlScoutsToday.org or call 800-798-0833.
This is a sponsored post. ICMB was compensated for sharing this piece. However, we love connecting our readers with people and organizations that are doing good in our community, and we think you will find this information helpful and informative!