SEATTLE -- I've walked by the stands many times, but it's been
many years a short while since I had to sell them myself: Girl Scout Cookies.
The Girl Scouts of Western Washington were nice enough to allow us to sit in with two local scouts as they sold cookies in downtown Seattle. We learned a lot about the best skills for selling the treats; but more importantly, they taught us how cookie selling is giving them lifelong skills.
Alina and Grace are 9th graders at Holy Names Academy, and this is their 7th year selling cookies. They told us the selling skills they've learned in that time are skills they can apply in any business setting as they grow up. Among their tips? Talk to everyone and establish a connection. Never take "no" personally. And add energy and information to every sales pitch!
Something else we learned: many of these booths also offer a chance to help others in the community, even if you aren't in the market for cookies. Alina and Grace were offering a cookie drop for people in the military; they also accepted donations to YouthCare for homeless and at-risk youth.
Some people ask where money from the sales goes: a portion goes to the cost of making/packaging the cookies, but over 75% of the sales go right back to help the girls and their troop, as well as the Girl Scouts council, to pay for things like community projects, summer camp, and other adventures that present life-changing opportunities. From last year's sales, Alina and Grace's troop was able to organize summer trips.
Alina's mom also gave us some insight as to the role a parent can play in the process. She tells us the goal should be to help empower the girls, rather than to do the selling entirely for them (although helping is of course encouraged!).
Click HERE for more information on the Girl Scouts of Western Washington. Big thank you to Alina, Grace, Sheryl, and the rest of Troop 40766 in West Seattle!
Cookies are on sale through March 20th.