Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Girl Scouts

On Saturday, June 9th, over 250,000 Girl Scouts, friends, family and alumnae gathered on the National Mall in Washington DC to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Girl Scouts!  And I think almost all of them then came to Alexandria on Sunday, June 10th!

Although tour buses are a regular sight around Alexandria, the area was flooded with them on that Sunday.  Lots of women and girls were taking in the sites, dining and shopping in our great town!  I got to meet so many of them at Zoe that day and one thing I noticed is how happy all of them were to be here!  Despite the very hot weather that weekend, the crowded streets, and the knowledge they would be going home soon, they all had fantastic attitudes and smiles!  It definitely made for a fun day at the store.

It brought back lots of memories of my Girl Scout days.  "Back in the day" they had 4 levels of Girl Scouts - Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, and Seniors.  Now they have an additional younger level, called Daisy.  I participated in Girl Scouts as a Brownie and a Junior.  And there I had my first experience with sales.  The infamous (and highly addictive) Girl Scout cookie sales.  Fortunately (for me) this did not start until I was at the Junior Scout level.

One of the things I realized is that I am not a pure saleswoman by any sense of the word.  The success that I had in Girl Scout Cookie Sales was mainly from the fact that people liked my parents and could not say no when they took my order form to work.  They did insist that I take care of the sales in our neighborhood and, even though I knew these people (and most had known my father his entire life), it was still hard to ask them to buy cookies!  It was obvious what was NOT in my future.

And yet, here I am.  In my own version of sales.  I've found I prefer to take a consultative approach to sales - it is so much more fun (and easy) for me to help someone meet a want or need than to think of it as "selling" something to them.  I think it is easier, also, when you feel passionate about your product and are able to talk about the pluses (and even minuses) of each piece.

I value my time and experiences in Girl Scouts even if it wasn't a good predictor of my future!  It is nice to be able to look back on my cookie sales and smile!

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