Lessons from a 10 Year Old

By Frank Kenna

Yesterday I went to our local Stop & Shop supermarket to pick up a few items for dinner.  As I entered one of the two main entrances, there was a table set up with three Girl Scouts selling cookies.  They had a big pile of them… it was looking to be a long afternoon and they seemed a bit glum.  I’m not big on cookies, so I walked by and into the store to get my stuff.

I left the store via the other side where there was another table set up, again with three Girl Scouts, about age 10 or so.  But these girls were very different.  As they saw me exiting the store, the first Scout popped up and yelled – very sweetly – “Do you want…”.  Then the second one popped up and said, “to buy some…”, and then the third: “Girl Scout cookies!!!???”  Then they continued bouncing up and down laughing and smiling.  Irresistible.

So a few minutes later, and $20 poorer, I sat in my car and thought about what had just happened.  The same day, same location, same product and same setup.  Only one difference… enthusiasm for their presentation and product.  Wow, what a complete difference.  I was happy to spend the 20 bucks… actually felt great about it because of their enthusiastic approach. 

It also made me think about how we can improve workplace communication within our organizations.  What can we managers do to generate that kind of enthusiasm that will “sell” innovative ideas and customer service?  We can ALL learn something from a 10 year old I think.

And by the way; in comparison to the other girls’ table that was overloaded with cookies, the Scouts I bought from were almost sold out.  After I walked away they had 2 or 3 boxes left, with another customer right behind me about to clean ‘em out. 

Sharon Toelle
March 15, 2011

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