Greetings. It's the middle of January and in neighborhoods all across the U.S. an amazing, untrained, modestly compensated, and giant sales force is working its magic. Carrying a smile and a box of cookies–or, more precisely, pictures of eight different types of cookies–this army of young girls wearing brown and green sashes is knocking on doors, being invited in for a cup of hot chocolate, sharing a conversation, and selling roughly $700,000,000 worth of products. In less than a month.
Yes, it's Girl Scout cookie time! An annual rite of winter that demonstrates the simple power of being open to a world around us filled with ideas, insights, and genius. Because while most companies and organizations struggle to find talented salespeople, then send them to costly training programs, the Girl Scouts have figured out an enviable formula for success. One that's right there for us to see and experience. A formula that looks something like this:
1. Adorable and honest sales reps +
2. A respected organization with staying power +
3. A 75-year tradition +
4. A tasty set of offerings +
5. Plush toy animals as compensation +
6. A conversation that matters!
It's a conversation that customers look forward to. And one that comes with very few strings attached…except for the calories found in a box of semi-addictive Thin Mints. A conversation that takes us back to a much simpler day when neighbors had time for each other, and life was filled with relationships that cut across and bridged generations. A conversation that is about much more than the act of selling something to someone.
We win in business and in life by building lasting relationships based on conversations that matter. So what's the conversation you have with your customers and prospects? And, what will you do in the year ahead to make it as meaningful as possible?
P.S. You can learn more about how to create "Conversations That Matter" in Chapter Six of Surrounded by Geniuses.