Understanding the order form
First, have your girls fill in the areas of the form they can complete before heading out to sell. For example, on the top there is an area where they can enter their personal goals, plus their Hometown Hero/Gift of Caring recipient, if you participate in those. They should also fill out the costs for 1-12 packages to make their math easier when they are shivering on a doorstep.
In a meeting, go over how the form is to be filled out. This is especially important with new scouts and Brownie/Daisy-aged girls.
If the customer is able to fill out all the fields, that's even better. It's helpful to have the email, telephone and address fields to allow the scout to contact them by all means possible if they're not available in other ways. Also, often phone numbers get transposed, and if the customer is available by email, it makes delivery much more probable.
There is a little script on the order form that the girls can memorize or read if they'd like. My own girls usually use a modified version of that script that they've memorized. It's vital that the girls tell the customer why the profits from the cookie activity are important. Is the troop going to do a service project? Are they going to use the money to further their own education somehow with a troop educational experience? Most customers really like to help the girls, and they like to know how their money will contribute toward that end.
The order form also has nutrition information on the back. This is important if someone has a food sensitivity or allergy and wants to know, "Does _________ have ____________ in it?? Of course, if the question still isn't answered, you may get calls from the girls asking you specific questions. In that case, get ahold of your SUCM or check the websites for the bakers. Either source should be a good answer to these questions.
Selling Tips from Other Girl Scouts
What’s the key to selling cookies? Finding people to buy them. One of the primary reasons people buy Girl Scout Cookies® is to support Girl Scouting. Here are some tips from girls like yours who used their powerful imaginations to change the world
- "Try your best and keep track of your goals. Don't look at your goal as a specific number of packages - but as one package at a time getting you closer to your goal. ALWAYS share your troop goals with your customers!"
--- Michelle, Junior Girl Scout, Girl Scouts® of Western Reserve Council
- "NEVER leave home without your order card and always thank your customers."
--- Jessica, Junior Girl Scout, Girl Scouts® of Western Reserve Council
- "Save your order card from year to year and ask those customers to buy from you again."
--- Crystal, Junior Girl Scout, Girl Scouts® of Colonial Coast Council
- "Go to businesses and ask them to buy cookies as gifts for their employees or customers."
--- E'lon, Senior Girl Scout, Girl Scouts® of the Greater New York Council
- "Choose a local charity and ask customers to buy extra packages to be donated to it. It's a great way to reach your cookie goals, and learn about community service."
--- Kathy, Cadette Girl Scout, Girl Scouts® of the Greater New York Council
- "Smile, be polite and know your cookies!"
--- Tiandria, Cadette Girl Scout, Girl Scout Council of Tropical Florida
"Wear your Girl Scout pin, or uniform to attract attention and show that you're proud to be a Girl Scout."
--- Megan, Junior Girl Scout, Girl Scouts® of Colonial Coast Council
Tell customers which flavors you like, and how great they taste. Sample the cookies, so that you can describe them better."
--- Chelsea, Cadette Girl Scout, Girl Scouts® of Kentuckiana Council
- "If you tell your customers why you're selling cookies and how hard you're working, then they'll understand and want to buy more cookies from you to help you out."
--- Nicole, Senior Girl Scout, Girl Scout Council of Tropical Florida
Other Preorder Tips
- Go over the safety information on the order card, and in the cookie materials. Customers love to buy cookies in their own homes, but girls must sell with an adult or in teams depending on their ages.
- Hold an "idea jam" at a meeting with ways to sell more cookies. You'll be surprised what the girls can come up with.
- Ask the girls to turn in money at each meeting. It's risky for them to carry around cash. Make sure their parents know that the family is responsible for the money owed for cookies delivered to them.
- All orders should be paid for at the time of delivery except for Hometown Heroes/Gift of Caring orders. If the customer insists, he/she can pay at the time of order, but check with your local council on this. The scout should turn in the money as soon as they can.
- If the customer says they are dieting or cannot eat cookies, have the girls suggest they buy some and donate it to Gift of Caring.
- Have the girls devise a form that says what they ordered, the cost, and when the cookies will be in. This form, on a half-sheet of paper, is left with each customer who places a door-to-door pre-order. That way customers don't forget what they ordered, and many will already have a check ready to go when you're delivering.
- Have the girls carry their order forms everywhere they go. You never know who you will run into that might want to order some cookies.
- Emphasize the importance of not selling cookies before the "go" date given to you at the meeting. The girls are "on my honor" for this.
Cookie Club or CookiEZone
Depending on your baker, you will have access to Cookie Club (Little Brownie Bakers) or CookiEZone (ABC). Using these sites allows the girls to log in and learn about cookie sales and also to collect pledges online from family and friends.
Look in your training materials to find out how to get everyone logged in to these sites. They're fun for the girls and most older girls love anything computer-oriented. Also, if the girls put their preorders onto the site, you can log in and then fill in your eBudde information and avoid the hassles of transcription from order forms and missed deadlines.
Some councils (including the one I'm in) are going to Cookies Now in 2013, which simply means the pre-order period is going away. You place an initial order large enough to cover your troop's needs for friends, family and door-to-door selling PLUS the cookie booths you think you're going to schedule, and then if you need to return cookies or order more, you can do that before booths start. These rules may vary by council so please check with yours to see their specific policies.
Our council recommended that you order 80% of what your troop sold last year, including booth sales, and then you can make adjustments from there. For more information, contact your Service Unit Cookie Manager or Area Cookie Manager.