Sunday, January 23, 2011

Girl Scout Cookie Sales Go High Tech

It's that time of year again with the sale of Girl Scout cookies. My daughter always sets up shop in front of our local supermarket. This is a fun activity for her because she loves to sell the cookies ever year. She gets to spend some time with her friends and I like it because she is developing her social skills.

This year the normal door to door sale of cookies is being updated to use the web. The Girl Scouts have announced they would allow the use of online activities to market their cookies, but actually taking of money and delivering of the product would still happen in person. With this announcement, the Girl Scouts inched toward the inevitable and reinforced what probably has been happening already. However, they put very strict guidelines in place.

The Guidelines are:

  • Scouts or their parents should not send emails to parental membership or place of employment lists.
  • Scouts or their parents should not set up online ordering or payment on private Web pages.
  • No taking of orders from customers outside of the council’s zip code.The new activities allowed are sending emails or texts to friends, families and former customers to solicit sales or notify the arrival of the product. Also using social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to market to friends under parent supervision. These activities have already been used but are now officially sanctioned.

I don't allow my daughter to go door to door anyway. We usually just visit the family and friends who really want to buy the cookies. Also setting up shop in front of the supermarket is about as much as we allow her to do.

I am proud of my little Girl Scout cookies seller because she is learning there is no better way to build “business courage” than to talk to someone you do not know and ask for the sale. Interpersonal skills are still best developed in real life and not just over the Web. This is an important skill that all young people need to increasingly learn.

While electronic and social media methods are a very effective means of marketing, we should still teach all young people (Girl Scouts included) the art of the sale. Nothing can replace a prospective buyer standing at their front door being asked by a uniformed Girl Scout if they would like to buy some cookies to help their council. Learning how to hear “no” in business is more important than just hearing “yes” from those people that actually buy.

This year, the Girl Scout Cookies advertising campaign states that every cookie “has a mission.” Important lessons from face-to-face selling are critical to the development of every future business leader. I'm glad my daughter is learning these skills.


  1. Glad they are keeping up with the times! But I do agree, meeting face to face will definitely hone their salesmanship skills.

  2. Your right. It's fascinating how these little life lessons help them develop. While they are there selling, the girls are on there phone tweeting what they are doing. My daughter seems to be the only one without a phone. Yet I think 10 is to young to have one.

  3. I've already contributed to the cause and have 6 boxes of cookies coming my way! (Just wish the boxes didn't get so small...) Both sales were on my doorstep from neighbors I know. I did get one e-mail from a parent telling me that their child was selling. She lives in my zipcode, so no rules broken there. :)!

    Don't forget to mention that donations are always accepted if they don't care to purchase cookies. I understand that very little actually goes to the individual girl scout troop per box.

  4. Sharon, the boxes are getting small but still yummy.

  5. Surprised the food police haven't cracked on these unhealthy goodies that lead to obesity. :-)

  6. This year I am passing on the cookies. I'm trying to cut back financially and calorie wise.

  7. Hi Dave, Thanks for including me on the digest. Very good and detailed article on a yummy subject! I love the mint variety!!!!

  8. I'm abstaining from the cookie purchase this year. My waist can't take one more "berry munch".


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