Scout popcorn sales tips for when you’re no longer a little Cub Scout

scoutcast-logo1Try as you might, you cannot stop the hands of time.

Wrinkles form. Hair grays. Precious little Cub Scouts become sometimes-awkward Boy Scouts. There’s nothing to do but deal with it.

For Cub Scouts, selling Scout popcorn is so easy it’s almost unfair. They wear those crisp blue uniforms and bright neckerchiefs. They stumble through sales pitches in the most endearing way. Nobody could possibly say no.

But once these Cub Scouts become Boy Scouts, many of those precious traits have given way to puberty, making selling popcorn a lot tougher.

Fortunately, the September 2015 ScoutCast has you covered with some Scout popcorn sales tips you shouldn’t miss.

In the latest episode of the monthly podcast for Boy Scout leaders, the Popcorn Scout himself, Donovan Fisher, and his dad, Scott, share their secrets.

Donovan, 15, has sold more than $95,000 in popcorn in his life. (I blogged about him and his fellow super salesmen last week.)

You should listen to the whole episode, but I wanted to share Donovan’s four big tips:

Be mentally and physically prepared

Be sure your mind and body are ready. Stay hydrated. Eat something you like (for Donovan, that’s chicken nuggets from Chick-fil-A). Before beginning the sales day, do something that makes you feel energized and happy, Donovan says.

Make a great first impression

Donovan ensures his uniform is in tiptop shape when making a sale. He’s also extremely observant.

“The best thing that I love to do is, if somebody’s wearing a team sport [jersey or T-shirt], I will talk about that first. Any conversations that you can have with somebody is a great start. It’s going to be really hard to say no to [buying] popcorn after that,” he says.

He also likes to wear brightly colored shoes, which are surprisingly good at sparking conversations.

Make a great second impression

“First impressions only get you so far,” Donovan says. “Since I’m not cute anymore, I need to practice my sales skill.”

He’s ready to answer any objections. If someone says popcorn has too many calories, he reminds them that a half-bag is only around 160 calories.

To demonstrate the size, bring an empty popcorn bag with you.

“The customer’s like, ‘Oh, that’s a pretty good-sized bag,'” Donovan says. Then you ask for the sale again.

Remember your customers from last year

Donovan keeps his customer data on what is basically an Excel spreadsheet — nothing fancy, just the name, contact info, sales history and some notes.

“I remember what they’ve gotten last year,” he says. “And so when I knocked on the door, I can remember, maybe if it’s kettle corn, you know that they like some sweet stuff, so you can always say, ‘Oh, this caramel corn’s also sweet.’ And then, they’re like, ‘Ooh, that sounds delicious,’ and they buy it.”

Listen to the September 2015 ScoutCast

To hear (or read a transcript of) the complete podcast, with even more tips, click here.