Katie Francis, 13, is a Girl Scout from Oklahoma City who is already speaking at universities and seminars to educate and inspire the future salespeople of the world.
Francis sold 22,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies this year alone, breaking the world record she set last year at 18,000.
While her age hints at immaturity, her sales tactics are far from adolescent. Francis is one of the most professional saleswomen in the world, and she enjoys giving advice to people who want to become the sales forerunners of the future. She advises those looking to be successful in sales to:
- Wear a uniform and pass out business cards.
- Look and act like a professional; age is just a number.
- Don’t waste time convincing the naysayers; move on and find the yesses.
- Secure the attention of the customer.
- Create ways to draw attention to yourself in a positive and stimulating way.
- Appeal to your audience.
- Know your product front to back.
Most of these sales tactics can be read about in business textbooks, but Francis says it takes more than just tactics — above all else, it takes resilience.
Francis says that she goes door to door even in snowstorms to get her product to her customers. She says that 12- to 13-hour days are a must on the weekends, and singing songs with adjusted lyrics is a personal tactic she uses to draw attention.
While there is certainly no one specific way to sell cookies, Francis says an irresistible Girl Scout pitch appeals to the customer’s hunger, inner philanthropist, impulsiveness, pity and sweet tooth all at the same time.
Francis is also not shy in giving credit where credit is due; she is young and does not have the resources necessary to sell cookies at a high volume without a little help. Her mother allows her to use the garage to store cookies, as much as 10,000 boxes during the two-month cookie-selling season.
Although snacking on cookies in between houses may seem like a trivial problem, Francis advises against it, saying:
“It’s better not to eat your product.”
The work ethic and professional mindset Francis has demonstrated when selling Girl Scout cookies has already led to multiple job offers. On July 15, Francis will be speak in front of the Oklahoma Professional Sales Association, where she will be presenting “Setting Goals, Breaking Records – Sales Success Tips from a Girl Scout.”