Girl Scouts Build Sales Skills

A couple of days ago I met someone who I am certain that I will never forget.   This was not a famous person.  This was not someone who was a business leader.  This was not a polished speaker or influential pillar of the community.

This person is one of the best sales professionals I have met in a long time.  The minute she opened her mouth I was captivated.  As I watched her presentation, I re-learned how to approach someone in a non-threatening manner and capture their interest.

Who is this sales genius?

Is it someone who has years of experience?

Is it someone who has years of expensive marketing education?


This sales superstar is a 12-year-old girl in Miami, Florida.

What was the key component to her presentation that had such a profound effect on me?

This little sales prodigy adhered to the primary rule of selling – immediately engage the prospective client.

So here’s how Julie (the little sales superstar) won my business.

Her approach was skillful.   She walked up to me as I entered the supermarket and she said:

“Excuse me sir, can I ask you something?  You look like a successful person.  What is the best way to raise money for a really good cause?”

This approach was brilliant because it immediately engaged me.  It made me think.

I responded that it depended on the cause and I asked her if she had a one in mind.  She then said:

“I am trying to start a new Girl Scout troop here in town and I need some help. This troop is for kids who don’t get to be in after- school groups because they don’t have a lot of money.   Most Girl Scout troops meet at a different person’s home each week and the moms make food and stuff.  These kids can’t do that because their moms work.  Also the kids won’t be able to afford the uniforms and the activities.  I thought that if I raised enough money, we could ask these kids to join and they won’t need to feel bad because their parents couldn’t pay.   Do you have any ideas that could help me do this?”

I said I did but it would take more time than I could spend right now.

She replied with:

“If you don’t mind, please give me your name, email and phone number and my mom will call you. “

I readily agreed.

Finally she said:

“Thank you.  And if you’d like to help right now, I’ll be happy to accept any donations.  You don’t have any money you could spare that could start us off, do you?”

I gladly gave her $5 and I felt great about doing it.  And sure enough, that night her mom called me and asked if I would volunteer to help them.

Maybe I’m just a softie.   But this kid used a couple of good sales tactics that can work to your benefit when you look for new business.

She asked me a question – right off the bat.  This immediately forced me to think of an answer.

Every question people ask us gets answered – either out loud or in our minds.  As a sales tool, this interrupts the usual thought pattern of: “Look out. Somebody is trying to sell us something…”

This approach was the key to Julie’s success and you can make it the key to your success too.  The next time you are waiting in line somewhere, ask a question to start a conversation.  See what reaction you get.   As you practice your approach you will become better and better at engaging people.

Connecting with your prospective client is the first step in building a relationship. Here are some additional articles to help you continue the relationship development process.

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