The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the biggest girl-led entrepreneurship program in the country. By running their own business, girls learn valuable life skills like goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. Every year, we are amazed with the girls in our Council and their record-setting accomplishments. We talked to some of the top sellers from the 2018 Cookie season and asked them for tips for their sister Girl Scouts. Whether this is your troop’s first year doing Cookie or you’re an entrepreneurial pro, we think you’ll find these useful for maximizing your success this year!

Start with a Script

Do you have a Girl Scout who’s intimidated about talking to strangers? Girl Scout Eliza recommends creating a sales pitch before girls begin selling.

“A great sales pitch includes how much the cookies cost, what your goals are, and what you plan to do with the money. It’s a great conversation starter with your customers,” she said. Each component gives your customer important information they need to know before they buy something, and highlights the goal-setting and decision making you’re doing. It’s a win-win!

Help girls practice their pitches in front of a mirror, at troop meetings, and with other friends and family. Encourage girls to memorize their pitch and deliver it with confidence and enthusiasm. “If you’re really nervous about selling Girl Scout Cookies, just know people get really excited because Girl Scout Cookie season only comes around once a year,” Junior Zoe said, “have a good attitude, be really nice, and have fun!”

Angelina sold over 5,000 boxes in the 2018 Cookie season. “Be excited about cookies! Get excited about selling with other girls, selling Care to Share, reaching your goals. Find something that you’re really excited about in the cookie season,” she said. “Because it really shows when you’re motivated, and it’ll make your booth or Digital Cookie platform a much happier place.”

It’s a Team Effort

The Girl Scout Cookie program, like all of Girl Scouts, is girl-led. But girl leaders need people on their teams to help them achieve their goals. Troop leaders, parents, volunteers, council staff, and other adults are all there for the girls to help them set goals, manage money, practice pitches, give them advice, and, of course, buy cookies!

“Make sure your family has your back no matter what your goal is. You should have at least one person in your family who will help you sell after school, on weekends, and at booths,” Cadette Josie said. Before the program begins, it’s a good idea to review the Family Guide and the Parent-Girl Agreement with your girl. These conversations about expectations will help Girl Scouts set realistic goals, and know they have adults and family cheering them on.

Cookie season is the perfect opportunity for troops to bond and encourage each other too! Girl Scouts Zoe and Carmelle are best friends. Last year, Zoe helped Carmelle reach her goal of selling over 4,000 boxes and becoming one of the top sellers in the Council. This time, it’s Carmelle’s turn to support Zoe’s goals! Zoe wants to sell enough boxes so the two girls can go on a trip to Disneyland—for the first time in forever!

“Sell cookies with sister Girl Scouts because it’s fun to work together and cheer each other on. It’s great to know that your sisters believe in you,” Zoe explained. “Then when you hit your goals, you can celebrate together!”

Ask Everyone

As Carmelle says, “Everyone loves Girl Scout cookies!”

With Digital Cookie, promoting cookie businesses is easier than ever. Girls over 13 can share their Digital Cookie profile on personal social media pages, like a friends-only Facebook page, and email the link to friends and family. Girls can send the link to loved ones all over the country, who can either order from the girl and have the cookies shipped or purchase cookies as part of Care to Share. Using the sales pitch and marketing skills, girls should politely ask everyone they know if they would like to buy cookies—friends, family, classmates, and neighbors. Many workplaces even let Girl Scouts visit and deliver their sales pitch!

It’s also fun to sell with the troop at traditional cookie booths. “You’d be surprised to see just how many people stop to buy just by being asked,” Angelina said. When setting up booths, always follow the safety guidelines set up by Council and your service unit. Girls should never sell by themselves!

Care to Share

Customers can purchase cookies for themselves, or donate cookies through the Care to Share program to local food banks and the military overseas. Many Girl Scouts are passionate about supporting the military and their local communities, and highlight the program in their sales pitch.

“Have you ever had a customer that wants to support Girl Scouts, but doesn’t want the Girl Scout cookies? Well, you can always offer for them to participate in Care to Share,” Eliza said. Carmelle agreed, and recommended that if a customer says they already purchased Girl Scout cookies, girls should ask them to donate through Care to Share.

“Ask everyone, whether they buy or not, if they want to donate to the military overseas or the food bank. For me, this has increased my sales by 15%!” Angelina exclaimed.

Donations through Care to Share help Girl Scouts reach their goals, are tax deductible, and are cherished by the people they help. “The military misses their families and it means so much to them to get cookies because they know someone is thinking of them. Cookie season is a great time for you and your customers to give our troops a sweet taste of home,” Carmelle said. “My troop also packaged cookies and wrote thank you notes at the Operation Care and Comfort event. Every time I see someone in uniform I feel proud knowing I helped Girl Scouts donate to our troops.”

The Cookie program takes a lot of work, but it’s also very fun and rewarding—especially when girls are selling delicious cookies with their friends and earning money to achieve their goals and help others. We hope your troops exceed their goals this year and have the most fun and rewarding season yet!

What to do next:

  • Want even more tips from top sellers? Never fear, Allura and Leah are here!
  • We have all the resources to make this cookie season as smooth as the peanut butter on a Tagalong.
  • Before you start your program, meet the cookies. Tasting and researching the cookies is important, so girls can be familiar with their products and answer customers’ questions. It helps that all the cookies are delicious!
  • Share your own cookie goals and tips on our social media. GSNorCal has a Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram, and we love hearing from Girl Scouts and volunteers.

Christiana Oatman—Christiana is the Communications Specialist for the Girl Scouts of Northern California. She is responsible for a wide array of marketing materials, with a focus on The Trailhead, the GSNorCal website, and emails. Christiana is excited to work for an organization that is women-led, and builds girls of courage, confidence, and character. She majored in history with a minor in gender studies at the University of the Pacific. When not working hard or dreaming of all the delicious cookies she’ll eat during cookie season, Christiana enjoys exploring everything the Bay Area has to offer, attending plays and musicals, and reading. She is working on her annual goal to read 100 books in a year.