Who knew that Girl Scout cookies were a controversial topic but apparently so due to Girl Scouts going digital with their orders and so many parents doing the selling through Facebook and other social media mediums. I must tell you this one has made me pause, consider and reconsider in terms of whether or not I agree.
Here are my thoughts to all those parents wanting to support their kids without being helicopter moms and dads as you consider launching those online campaigns.
- If you want to sell at work (through the old fashion paper sign up), have your child prepare the marketing materials. Have fun with it through clever marketing phrases and colorful signage. In addition, have them follow up with an email or hand-written thank you note to everyone who supports the cause. This gives them some skin in the game and teaches them the importance of good marketing and customer service.
- If you are posting online, have them do the posting on your page. Get clever and have them record a video. Have them do new videos and posts each week. In addition, have them private message or publicly post notes of thanks to those satisfied customers. You are teaching them great lessons about viral marketing and how to utilize happy customers to drive more business.
- Require that they track and manage all sales. If they can operate an iPad or iPhone, they can operate and track on excel or some other form of spreadsheet accounting. If you want to teach real money management, have them track the $$/time on marketing to help them understand which arenas drive the greatest net profits.
- Make them do SOME selling in person. This could be door-to-door sales or getting a booth in front of the local grocer. There are so many lessons wrapped up in soliciting (and getting rejected) for business.
Bottom line, I don’t think you are an awful parent for supporting your child’s efforts. It only becomes problematic when you remove them from the occasion. Teaching them to manage those they’ve delegated selling to is a lesson in and of itself. I for one will be buying online so let the solicitations begin… Oh if you see a girl selling, throw them a few bucks and support their efforts!