What I Learned About Sales from Girl Scout Cookies

November 5, 2015

~by Haley Lynn Gray~

Everything I know about sales I learned from Girl Scout Cookies. Almost. Every January, the Girl Scout Cookie sale starts. But planning begins months before. We have to secure cookie booths, plan our initial orders, make signs, check our cash boxes, donation buckets and more. 

In December, we place our initial order, which requires figuring out how many boxes of cookies to order based on the numbers of boxes my girls say they plan to sell. We also have to guess how many of each kind of cookie to order. Some flavors, like Thin Mints and Caramel Delites, sell better than others, so we can’t just order the same number of each kind of cookie.   

Then we start making our signs. We’ve learned the signs that work the best are the ones where the letters and the price are big and clear. We also like to use foam core because they have some stiffness to them and the girls can hold them up. That means they get more visibility and are seen from further away. We also use Sharpie markers and then wrap each of the posters in packing tape to make them last a little bit longer. (We can go through multiple rounds of signs in a cookie sale. We tend to do about 150 cookie booths as a collective bunch of troops.) 

During the sale, we’ve learned persistence pays. We have to ask almost 20 people for every customer who eventually buys Girl Scout Cookies. This just shows that even if you’re selling a $4 box of cookies, sales are still about getting the numbers. (Of course, it doesn’t hurt if you have a large stock of Thin Mints.)

The girls are masters of the up-sell. When someone buys four boxes of cookies, we ask them if they’d like to buy a fifth so they qualify for the Buy Five promotion, where they can win a year’s worth of Girl Scout Cookies. We also ask if they’d like to donate their change to buy cookies for soldiers overseas – Operation Cookie Drop. The donated boxes can add up to 3-4 cases in a single booth, just because we asked. 

We learned about overcoming objections. If someone says they’ve already bought? Well, the cookies freeze well. (And frozen Thin Mints crumbled over ice cream on a hot day are heavenly.)

The girls also learned a lot of other valuable business lessons, like budgeting and goal setting. Xena sets her goals each year based on what she’s trying to do. Since she is now trying to get to lifetime 30,000 boxes sold, her goal for this year is just over 3,100 boxes of cookies. If she sells 3,100 and a few boxes each year for the next year, she will reach her goal.

Planning is the best way to reach a goal, an important part of sales as well.

Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray


Headshot of Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


More Posts:

Nyago Michael Emmanuel

We invite many people who can invest in our Akiba Ya umoja community benefit savings and investment group of Uganda to enable us expand our operations in Uganda

How to Make Your Social Media Campaigns More Relevant

Social media is a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes. It allows you to connect with customers and followers in a way that was never possible before. However, it's important to make sure your social media campaigns are relevant to your target audience. Here are...

SEO Basics for Small Business Owners

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is essential for small businesses looking to grow their online presence. SEO is the process of optimizing your website so that it will appear higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). It can help you increase site visibility...

Marketing Moves to Make in 2023

As 2022 comes to a close it is time to begin setting goals and making plans for the new year. One area of particular import is your marketing strategy. It is vital to follow the current trends in marketing to keep ahead and stay competitive. Here are three marketing...

Explaining the What, Why, and How of Strategic Alliance

A strategic alliance is a business arrangement in which two or more companies come together to form a partnership to pursue a common goal. By teaming up, these companies can leverage each other's strengths and resources to achieve their objectives more quickly and...

How to Prepare For a FISMA Audit: 5 Steps

The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), which was initially passed in 2002, mandates that all federal agencies implement, manage, and monitor policies to protect sensitive and confidential data.  Since then, the National Institute of Standards and...

What exactly is EDDM, and is it suitable for your marketing needs?

Every business, large or small, wants something to promote: a new product, an upcoming event, or perhaps changes to its services. Traditionally, marketing campaigns have relied upon methods like television commercials, print ads in newspapers and magazines, or online...

8 Video Marketing Tips for Startups

Video marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach your audience, especially when you are a startup. It is a cost-effective and compelling way to create content that you can use and repurpose on multiple platforms. Making the most out of your video marketing...

11 Technology Trends to Improve Your Marketing Strategies

In 2020, many industries were at a standstill due to the Covid-19 pandemic. To help keep businesses afloat and their brands relevant despite these uncertain times, marketers were forced to embrace technology. Since there were lockdowns and safety measures, companies...

How To Conduct An Instagram Competitor Analysis

As an entrepreneur, it’s best to keep in mind the following: in a world where brands and businesses compete for attention, you must have the right strategies to stay on top of your game. Analyzing competitors is one of the few proven ways of replicating the success of...
Nyago Michael Emmanuel

Nyago Michael Emmanuel

We invite many people who can invest in our Akiba Ya umoja community benefit savings and investment group of Uganda to enable us expand our operations in Uganda

All Categories

Business Operations

Entrepreneur Interviews

Marketing, Networking, & Social Media

Self Care & Personal Development

Working Moms

Business Software and Technology

Entrepreneurship & Small Business

Organizing Tips


Career Building

Family Businesses


Starting Your Own Business

Work-Life Balance


Hiring Help

Management & Leadership

Time Management & Priorities

Women in Leadership

Recent Posts

Overdue Financial Moves You Need to Make Now

Overdue Financial Moves You Need to Make Now

If you've been procrastinating on tackling some essential financial actions, now is the time to take action. Today's article will emphasize three crucial financial moves that are long overdue: jumpstarting your retirement investing plan, formulating an estate plan,...

Ideas for Setting Up a Non-Profit Organization

Ideas for Setting Up a Non-Profit Organization

Have you always had the desire to make a bigger impact on others, particularly on underrepresented and underserved communities? One great way to do this is to set up a successful non-profit organization.  Here are a few ideas for setting up a non-profit organization. ...

Why Your Business Should Offer HSA-Compatible Health Plans

Why Your Business Should Offer HSA-Compatible Health Plans

As a business owner, you have a lot of responsibilities when it comes to taking care of your employees. If you offer good benefits, such as healthcare, you’ll be more likely to hire and maintain the best employees.  Here are a few reasons why your business should...

When it’s Time to Hire an HR Professional for Your Company

When it’s Time to Hire an HR Professional for Your Company

As your business continues to expand, it might be a wise decision to employ an HR specialist who can help you manage and optimize your workforce. An HR expert brings with them essential services that will streamline the operations of your company while keeping your...

Why Your Office Needs High-Quality Chairs

Why Your Office Needs High-Quality Chairs

For any business or organization, the right office furniture is vital. Quality chairs are essential and can help bolster productivity, decrease employee health issues, and remain operable longer than budget substitutes. Investing in quality office chairs provides...

How to Quickly Capture Attention on Social Media

How to Quickly Capture Attention on Social Media

Social media is invaluable for marketers and business owners, especially those working with small businesses. It’s a great way to get the company in front of more people, allowing you to attract more customers. Of course, it’s not enough to just get seen on social...