Inspired By Cookies:
I was a Brownie, Girl Guide, Pathfinder, and a Junior Leader - in total I spent 14 years of my life as an active member of the guiding organization. And during those 14 years I lugged around a fair share of girl guide cookies. Thus, when a couple of adorable girls sporting cute uniforms and enthusiastic smiles showed up on my doorstep toting these boxes of sweet nutritional death - I was compelled to buy two boxes.
While conversing with these brilliant young ladies, I described my experience with selling cookies. I was never very good at selling - I probably only sold 10 - 20 boxes a year. (In my defense my home town only had about 16000 people. Not as many selling opportunities as there are in a city of over a million.) The young lady standing on my door step proudly stated that she sold 17 cases in a year. 17 cases! That's 204 boxes of cookies, $5 a box means that she made a total $1020 in sales - not bad for an 11 year old!
I expressed my surprise and told her that she must be a sales genius, to which she replied that the secret to selling was "hotspots!" She took a couple cases to her dad's work and a few other places where there were going to be numerous people who would be, like me, helpless against the forces of Girl Guides bearing nougat! Smart Girl!
Teach your kids to sell:
I thought about the skills that this young lady had employed and began thinking that selling cookies for guides, or chocolate bars for band, or raffle tickets for sporting events or any other fundraiser where your child needs to sell some product - offers a fantastic opportunity to teach kids the art of sales.
Here are some ideas and activities which will help you teach your kids to sell.
Identify the Target Market:
Sit down with your child and have a discussion, ask your child two questions 1) Who will buy this? 2) Why will they buy this? Write down a list of individuals/groups of people that would be interested in buying what they are selling and why they think that people will make a purchase. Here are some ideas for groups of people and their possible motivations:
|Family Members||Want to be supportive|
|Co-workers||Want to be supportive|
Want to be supportive to your child and want to make a difference in their community.
|ex-members, athletes, etc.||
They identify with your child and want to support an organization to which they once belonged./p>
What defines a "Hotspot"? A hotspot is a location where there will be a high density pocket of motivated buyers. The girl guide I spoke about went to her dad's work. An office full of supportive co-workers + her in uniform looking cuter than pie = cha ching!
The office is a good place to start, but there is also school. Get your child to talk to an administrator and see if it is possible to set up a booth in the cafeteria or if the child would be allowed to sell in the teacher's lounge (the teacher's lounge is a gold mine by the way).
Try to find an event that will bring a large group of ex-members to your child's organization together and set up a booth there. Some of these events could be a sporting event, rally, party, or a meeting.
You could help your child create a sales presentation for his/her product. Take a look at the TrueSmarts Sales Pitch activity for ideas on how to create one. You child could present their pitch at a gathering, or for family members. Chances are the prospective buyers will be impressed with the extra effort he/she has put into selling their product and this might motivate them to make a bigger purchase.
If your child is going door to door or they are selling in a more fast paced situations they may want to create an elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a two to three sentence synopsis of the use and advantages of the product they are selling. See TrueSmarts' Elevator Pitch activity for more complete instructions on how to create this type of sales pitch.
This might be a good way to have the buyers come to your child. Here are some advertising ideas that your child could use:
- Create and distribute flyers: Prospective buyers need to know what the offering is and a date, time and location where they can buy. Kids could put these on school bulletin boards, or in coffee shops (as long as what you are selling is not for profit most coffee shops will let you advertise on a bulletin board or have flyers at the till)
- If your child is selling door to door: Leave "sorry we missed you" flyers on potential customer's doors if they are not home. Detail what is being sold as well as where and when they would be able to make a purchase if they wanted to.
- Your child could create and publish a simple website: Publishing an HTML page with a contact form for customers to place orders could be very effective. Flyer's or brochures should point back to their website.
- Your child could create an e-mail campaign: Email would be an effective means to reach relatives or contacts who are out of you neighborhood or out of town. Your child might also be able to get a contact list with e-mail addresses for past members / athletes etc. from a leader or a coach).
At some point or another your child will have to sell something to someone. Why not use these times as an opportunity to teach your kids to sell.
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