Tuesday, January 13, 2004
One sweet sales strategy
Grand Forks Herald | 01/06/2004 : "Cookie season is only a few weeks away and some Girl Scouts are being trained not to take no for an answer this year.

To prepare for the two-month season, which begins Jan. 17, a few dozen scouts gathered Sunday at a church in Plymouth for the second annual cookie-sale workshop.

Sales, marketing advice

It was a full day of marketing and sales advice for the young salespeople.

'You're going to hear a lot of 'no's,'' warned workshop lecturer Bre-Anna Petrowske. 'I would just keep on truckin'.'

Petrowske, of Forest Lake, is a senior at the Center for Sales Innovation at the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul.

The scouts, mostly teenagers, learned about 'the surly customer,' the one who just won't say yes, and the best response to the customers who say they've already bought.

Cookie sellers were coached to appeal to people's patriotism: You don't have to eat the cookies, you can donate them to troops overseas.

And they covered the easy ones, too, such as those who say they don't have enough money.

The scouts need all the help they can get. Long gone are the days when the cookies sold for 25 cents a box. That was back in the early years of the cookie sale, which has been a mostly annual event since 1917. This year's price bump to $3.50 a box is the first increase in five years."

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