What Mom Taught Me About Sales

May 9, 2018

girl scout cookies


I thought I was going to die.

Right there.  On the spot.  I was done for.  That’s it.

She had to be kidding me.

My Mom could kid like that.

I asked again. Same answer.

Not kidding.

She really, really meant it.

So, I was going to die.  At the very least, I would be the embarrassment of the entire Girl Scout Troup 271.

My Mom was NOT…under any circumstances…going to sell my Girl Scout cookies for me.

Say the words “Girl Scout cookies” to people, and they get different images, depending on their age.

Younger folks think of a gaggle of girls sitting in front of the Safeway, Acme, Wegmans, Publix…WITH THEIR MOMS…with boxes of Girl Scout cookies piled on a folding table.

As you walk in and out, a bunch of little voices call out “would you like to buy some girl scout cookies?”

You turn around and buy 6 boxes.

Because you knew the cookies wouldn’t be available for long.

Easy sale.

If you’re a bit older, you probably remember the sales approach and system a little differently.  You went door-to-door or (worse) called for sales.

That was me.

Now you can see (appreciate??) my terror…I had to go door-to-door and TALK TO PEOPLE I DIDN’T KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ring their doorbell.

Say something.


Look them in the eye.




Now my Mom had a job.  She saw and enjoyed chatting with lots of people every day.

I concocted a plan:

  • Step 1—Hand Mom my cookie order sheet
  • Step 2—Mom puts said cookie order sheet on her desk
  • Step 3–Mom asks people to buy as they stop to see her
  • Step 4—Mom sells LOTS of cookies, and I become the top Girl Scout cookie sales person in my Troop

She LIKED talking to people.  Loved it.

Twelve-year-old me.  Hated it.

This was a GREAT plan.

Except she was having none of it.

If they were my cookies, I would have to sell them.

Mom taught me a great lesson that day.  If you want something, it’s your responsibility to go get it.

She taught me I wouldn’t die if I talked to people about what they want (cookies, now, because they wouldn’t be around long).

She taught me I was responsible for my own success.

It’s a lesson I’ll never forget, and one that’s been so important to me in my life I’ve chosen to share it with you.

Go Sell.

Find out the problem your Ideal Customer has and solve it.

We could call it “being of service” because it is.

But that just hides the word “sales” which isn’t a dirty word.

You’re responsible for your success. If it’s your job (at least for right now) to sell for your business, GO SELL.

You’re not going to die.

I didn’t.

Thanks, Mom.

Go forth, do great things…and say THANKS to your Mom,

Martha Hanlon and Chris Williams

P.S.  The Epilogue:  I did go out and sell Girl Scout cookies.  My Mom pointed me towards the “rich people’s neighborhood” and they bought lots of cookies.  I was top sales person in my Troop that year.  Love you, Mom.