The young entrepreneur sold more than 300 boxes in less than six hours.
Girl Scouts are smart cookies.
Each winter and spring, the troopers go door-to-door (and office to office, and supermarket parking lot to supermarket parking lot) selling boxes of the organization’s iconic treats to support their community projects and to teach the young women entrepreneurial skills such as goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics. More than 1 million Girl Scouts sell about 200 million boxes of cookies each year, earning about $800 million.
And some are thinking outside of the cookie box. One anonymous San Diego scout sold more than 300 boxes of Girl Scout cookies in less than six hours by setting up shop outside of the Urbn Leaf legal marijuana dispensary last weekend. At between $4 to $5 a box, that’s around $1,500 – not bad for a grade-school entrepreneur.
She’s not the first to scout out cannabis users to spark cookie sales. A Portland Girl Scout also went viral in 2016 for selling her baked goods outside of the Foster Buds Marijuana Dispensary to raise money for a summer trip to horse camp. She easily exceeded her 35-box goal.
And in 2014, Danielle Lei and her mom sold 117 boxes in two hours on Presidents’ Day by standing outside of the Green Cross medical marijuana dispensary in San Francisco. “It’s no secret that cannabis is a powerful appetite stimulant, so we knew this would be a very beneficial endeavor for the girls,” a dispensary staff member told Mashable at the time.
Of course, Ross famously pioneered the sales tactic in an episode of “Friends” where he helped a scout sell 517 boxes of cookies to stoners outside of the planetarium after a Pink Floyd laser show, as well as by the New York University dorms around midnight. “The key to my success: The munchies! … I am selling cookies by the case,” he said. “They call me ‘Cookie Duuude!”
All kidding aside, this week’s Best Sales badge goes to the San Diego scout. Here’s what veteran salesman and former marketing manager Kyle Boze told Moneyish that we can all learn from her targeted marketing strategy.
- Find your niche. While many people crave Girl Scout cookies, increased appetite is a common, well-known side effect of marijuana use. So it’s elementary to target customers who either already have – or soon will be suffering – a serious case of the munchies. “One of the biggest challenges for sales reps and marketers is knowing who they are and what they do. This girl found a clever way to go where her target market was,” said Boze.
- Location, location, location. Once you’ve targeted your audience, set up shop where you’re most likely to catch them – such as a dispensary for medical marijuana that enjoys high foot traffic, and that will support your sales efforts on site. “Timing is everything,” added Boze. “One of the biggest challenges sales reps face is hearing the word no. This … is especially prevalent when the consumers are not in the right state of their buying cycle. This girl found a way to get to her consumers when they were ready to make a purchase.”
- Scout out new markets. “The traditional way of selling Girl Scout cookies is trying to go door to door, or utilizing friends and family networks,” said Boze. “This girl used creativity to find a new market that hasn’t been tapped [as much] yet.”
- Look for loopholes. While the Girl Scouts San Diego booth sales aren’t supposed to start for another week, the young women are allowed to sell from wagons if they have a parent or guardian with them – which is how this clever girl got a jump start on sales. Whether Girl Scouts can sell outside of dispensaries is still a gray area; while Girl Scouts of America Colorado has stated they aren’t allowed to sell cookies outside of marijuana shops, liquor stores or bars, Girl Scouts USA’s chief communications officer has also said that each region decides how sales are run.
- Take advantage of free advertising. She lucked out by getting the dispensary to post her position on its Instagram page, snapping a pic of her (with her face covered) hugging boxes of Thin Mints and Tagalongs outside of the store to drive traffic. And she created a mutually beneficial relationship in the process. “This girl did a fantastic job of utilizing Urbn Leaf to use their existing customers to purchase cookies, and was able to create publicity and business for their company,” said Boze.
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