This blog post contains information about the Girl Scout Cookie Program written prior to COVID-19. Please visit our Coronavirus Updates page for more information on what Girl Scout activities are allowed, and our Cookie Resources page for more information about the 2021 Girl Scout Cookie Program.
Girl Scouts are known for selling some of the tastiest cookies around, because with cookies like Thin Mints, Samoas, and Tagalongs, you really can’t go wrong! Some people assume these infamous cookies simply sell themselves, underestimating the amount of time and effort our Girl Scouts put into the cookie program each and every year. To help your girls make the most of cookie season, we found a local 2,000+ box seller to talk about everything that goes into a stellar cookie program—me!
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For each of the eight cookies your girls will be selling this season, I’m supplying you with a piece of insider information to help your girls meet their goals and sell more Girl Scout Cookies. That’s 8 tried-and-true tips for you to share with your girls to help them be the best cookie sellers they can be!
During my last three years of high school, I sold over 1,000 boxes each year: first 1,000 boxes, then 1,500 boxes, then 2,012 boxes during my final year of Girl Scouts in 2012. So, trust me when I say that these 8 tips will definitely help your girls sell more cookies.
1. Get your head in the game early
Even though the official Girl Scout Cookie Program only last about a month, cookie season for top-sellers starts well before the cookies even arrive. Help your girls plan ahead, so they can avoid scrambling once the program starts.
Provide them with a “Cookies are Coming” to-do list that includes cookie business that they can complete ahead of time, such as:
- Prepare uniform and vest
- Make booth decorations and signs
- Schedule booth sales
Pro Tip: Both the time and place of your booth really make a difference when you’re trying to sell more boxes! Look at the list of council-approved booths and try to pick ones with a lot of foot traffic, such as grocery stores, coffee shops, bus stops, or schools. One of my most successful booths was during after-school hours on the corner of Holloway and 19th Avenue where San Francisco State University students had to pass my booth to catch their bus.
- Contact previous customers and let them know cookies are coming
- Print Care to Share Receipts for customers who might like to donate to food banks or the military
- Review the Product Sales Safety Checkpoints and Booth Sale Etiquette
- Prepare a variety of cheers and sales pitches
Pro Tip: When trying to attract customers to your booth, short and sweet cheers like, “Get your Girl Scout Cookies – right over here” or “Last chance for Girl Scout Cookies” that highlight the convenience of your booth are the best! And like any good marketer, make sure your girls know the products well, so they can provide customers with accurate descriptions and prices as well as helpful recommendations. For example, if a customer who is unfamiliar with the types of Girl Scout Cookies approaches your girls’ booth, but says they love peanut butter, then your girls should be able to recommend both Tagalongs and Do-si-dos. Alternatively, if a customer says they can’t eat cookies or don’t like sweets, have your girls suggest donating cookies through Care to Share.
2. Set goals and share them with your customers
Cookie time is the perfect time to encourage your girls to dream big and aim high! With so many awesome rewards and experiences out there, help your girls set goals that will give them something to work towards all season long. Don’t forget to have your girls work their cookie goals into their sales pitches. Once people hear why your girls are selling cookies, they’ll be more likely to show their support and help them reach their goal.
During my last year of the cookie program, I set a goal of 2,012 boxes. I shared with customers that I wanted to sell 2,012 boxes both to symbolize my last year of Girl Scouts and to fund my troop trip to Washington D.C. for the 100th Anniversary Rock the Mall event. Thanks to the countless considerate customers that bought cookies from me that year, I was able to reach my goal—umbrella hats and all!
3. Treat both new and old customers well
When selling Girl Scout Cookies, it’s important for your girls to be professional, polite and, most importantly, personable. Whether your girls are interacting with past customers or new ones, make sure they practice good customer service skills!
For booth sales, girls only have a short amount of time with each customer, so it’s important to make every second count. Always carry smaller bills for change and extra bags/boxes for customers with larger orders. Also, don’t underestimate the power of common, friendly phrases like “Hello, would you like to buy some Girl Scout Cookies?”, “Thank you for supporting the Girl Scouts”, and “Have a nice day”.
For friend and family deliveries, always be prompt and personal. Treat customers who placed orders ahead of time with a little extra love because these are the people who will be coming back year after year to buy cookies from you. Thoughtful gestures and special treatment, like wrapping their cookies with ribbon and name tags, or remembering their “usual” order, will keep customers happy and loyal.
4. Ask family members and friends if you can tag along
Even though your girls and their parents/guardians will be doing most of the heavy lifting during cookie season, try to recruit other family members and friends to lend a hand as well. As they say, “teamwork makes the dream work”, so have your girls build strong, supportive teams to help them sell more cookies. Have your girls ask parents, siblings, uncles, aunties, cousins, and whoever else they can think of connect them with more customers. Encourage your girls to tag along when family and friends go to work or school, so they can be the ones to take orders and deliver cookies!
Also, cookie season is the perfect time to get the men in your life involved with Girl Scouts, so don’t forget to ask them for help, too! It’s been 5 years since my last cookie program and my uncle’s co-workers still ask him when his niece will be selling Girl Scout cookies again.
For a constant stream of support, have your girls form a #CookieSquad and find a selling buddy for booth sales. The first time I decided to sell 1,000 boxes of cookies, my best friend and I agreed we would do it together. That season, we did every booth sale together and ended up selling over 1,000 boxes each!
5. Carry a few extras when making deliveries
Wherever you go, carry some extra boxes of the most popular flavors. Even if you’re just delivering orders to friends or family members, bring along some extra boxes of Thin Mints and Samoas. Convenience is key and once people see you selling cookies, they’ll likely realize that they want to buy some.
If you like, provide customers with your selling schedule or parent’s contact information—that way they know where to find you when it’s time to restock their cookie stash! When I was in high school, I kept extra boxes in my school locker and shared my schedule with classmates so they could find me during passing periods or lunch breaks to buy Girl Scout Cookies. You never know when someone is going to crave something sweet!
6. Cart cookies around with a walk-about sale
In our fast-paced world, people are always on the move. In addition to traditional cookie booths, have your girls put on a pair of comfy shoes and put their cookies on wheels. Decorate a wagon, cart, or anything with wheels, and take a stroll through a popular neighborhood.
To maximize the power of your mobile booth, do a little research, because similar to a traditional booth, time and place matter! Check your local weather forecast, find a fun event with lots of foot traffic, then grab your cart and go! During my last year of the cookie program, I didn’t have a booth scheduled for the upcoming three-day weekend, so I spent the sunny Monday off walking along the piers at Embarcadero with my mom and my dog. I was surprised that even the people jogging stopped to buy cookies from my cart!
7. Utilize the power of the Internet
The Internet is one of the best tools around for keeping your loyal customers in the loop. Digital Cookie is an awesome resource that allows your girls to organize friends/family contact lists, take cookie orders, and track their goals. Even though Digital Cookie wasn’t around when I was selling cookies, the Internet was still a super helpful resource. From generic “Cookies are here” announcements on personal social media accounts to private emails and messages, the Internet can help you and your girls quickly and conveniently communicate with customers. In our modern age, the Internet is definitely one of the best tools your girls can have if they hope to sell more cookies!
8. Be a Girl Scout with an endless supply of “Courage, Confidence, and Character”
To most, this tip may seem obvious, but it’s definitely the most valuable tip I’ve got! When selling Girl Scout Cookies, your girls are representing the 100+-year strong global Girl Scout sisterhood, so whether they’re working a booth or delivering to classmates, make sure they always embrace their Girl Scout identity.
Remind them to be loud, proud, and persistent, but also to serve every customer with a smile. To be a top-seller, girls have to dedicate a significant amount of time and energy to selling cookies. At cookie booths, make sure your Girl Scouts are actively involved with signs, cheers, and friendly faces. Don’t let them get discouraged when people ignore their booths. Remind them, not every passing person has to buy cookies, so avoid any overly aggressive or pushy sales tactics. Be a Girl Scout, not one of those obnoxious car salespeople you see on TV.
Whether your girls want to sell 100 boxes, 1,000 boxes, 5,000 boxes, or even more, we hope these tips help your girls go above and beyond with their cookie program this year. With some hard work and that go-getter Girl Scout spirit, your girls will be passing up their goals in no time! Good luck and happy selling!
Psst—Looking for more tips on how to sell more cookies? Check out these articles featuring top-selling Girl Scouts across the United States:
- Thin Mints, Fat Sales: Top Girl Scout Cookie Sellers Spill Their Secrets
- Girl Scout Shatters World Record, Selling Over 21,000 Boxes of Cookies
- Oklahoma Girl Scout Claims National Cookie-Selling Record
Leah Takahashi—Leah is the Digital Marketing Specialist for Girl Scouts of Northern California, where she creates content, plans blog posts, and promotes all things Girl Scouts in all formats digital. Leah joined Girl Scouts at the age of 5 and has been a part of the organization ever since (shout out to Troop 31213 – woot woot). During her younger Girl Scout days, Leah did everything from selling thousands of Girl Scout Cookies to serving as a National Delegate at the 2011 Convention and even earning her Gold Award in 2012. She may be young, but she’s got plenty of Girl Scout experience under her belt and is excited to share it with you!