It’s Girl Scout cookie time! Have you bought or received your cookies? 2017 represents the 100th year of the tradition as the first Girl Scout cookie sale was held in Oklahoma in 1917.
Today, about 1.9 million Girl Scouts sell cookies, and there are approximately 2 million real estate agents, of which 62 percent are women. All I ever needed to know about selling homes I — and many others — learned from selling Girl Scout cookies.
3 sweet lessons
Here are three treats real estate agents can take from those persistent cookie pushers:
1. Pledge to get customers
One’s sphere of influence is often the best source of clientele.
The scout and the agent alike drum up business from friends and family, their neighborhoods, schools and community organizations — such as the rotary, places of worship and local businesses and chambers.
Repeat customers and referrals are a secret of success in all sales endeavors.
“Go where the customers are” applies equally well to cookie and home sales. Many Scout troops set up tables to sell at high-traffic locations, such as outside grocery stores and at community events.
The idea is to attract buyers at logical points of purchase. The agent meets potential buyers of real estate at open houses and by door-knocking in neighborhoods he or she wants to sell in. The point in selling is to make and keep connections.
2. Be prepared
Many think the motto is exclusive to the Boy Scouts. And yet, it is universally applicable. Confidence is gained with preparation. Take the steps necessary to increase one’s knowledge, skills and abilities about the market and industry best practices.
The Scout and the professional agent know their product, be it cookies or homes. Consider the customer and do what it takes to win the order and sale by doing the work.
3. Be persistent
Sylvia Acevedo, the interim CEO of the Girl Scouts, recalls her first year selling cookies. The advice from her troop leader sounds just like something a broker or seasoned agent would share with someone new to the business: “Never walk away from a sale until you’ve been told ‘no’ three times.”
Successful real estate agents exhibit persistence and resilience in the face of rejection.
Top Girl Scout cookie super-salesperson Markita Andrews proclaims in her book How to Sell More: “It’s up to you whether you’ll concentrate on the things that have gone right or the things that have gone wrong. One blessing is you can control the conversation you have with yourself.”
Achieve the sweet spot of success in cookie and home sales by pledging to get customers, being prepared and remaining persistent through rejection and challenging markets and situations.
Karen Briscoe is the author of Real Estate Success in 5 Minutes a Day: Secrets of a Top Agent Revealed, a top-seller on Amazon Books. She is the principal of HBC Group at Keller Williams located in Northern Virginia.