It’s that time of year again. The annual Girl Scout cookie sales season. I’m not really a fan of most sweets, but Girl Scout cookies are something I just can’t pass on when they’re available.
Recently, I saw some Girl Scouts selling their cookies in a way that almost guaranteed they would have little to no business. They had a serious flaw in the way they were selling, and it got me thinking about business sales processes in general and more specifically, the sales process related to eCommerce websites.
The Wrong Sales Pitch Process
Since this is somewhat difficult to explain in words, I’ve included a (very crude) diagram to help you visualize the problem I experienced.
You’re probably used to seeing the Girl Scouts selling cookies at the entrance to your local grocery store or even at your own front door. These are great locations for them to make their offer, as you just can’t avoid them. Not that you would want to, but you get my point.
The problem I experienced the other day happened while I was driving. There were two Girl Scouts holding a sign that read Girl Scout Cookies right at the entrance to a parking lot. They had a nice tent and table set up with stacks of cookie boxes. They were ready for high volume sales.
The hurdle in their process was their sign this was on a road where the speed limit is 45 mph (most people going faster). Drivers couldn’t see their sign until they were right at the entrance to the parking lot. Another issue was there was no way for people to easily turn around— this was a 4 lane road with a median in the middle.
The Immediate Decision Not to Buy
My first thought when I saw their sign was “Yum. Cookies!” and the next thought a mere second later was “Oh well. I don’t have enough time to slow down and get some. I guess I’ll get some later at the grocery store entrance.”
I was committed enough to take the next available u-turn, then drive in the opposite direction, only to have to turn around once more in order to enter the parking lot to get those damn cookies! And I don’t have any hard data on this (why would I?) but I suspect that other drivers felt the same.
The Sales and User Experience Problem
I felt bad for these girls. They obviously had a problem with their sales and marketing process. It wasn’t convenient and didn’t guide potential customers to their cash box.
This reminded me of the eCommerce process and the need for very clear calls-to-action, limited user choices and a flow to the sale that is easy and clear for users. I almost made the effort to stop and talk with them and their accompanying adults to make a few suggestions for how to correct the issue. But I thought that might be a bit presumptuous and weird. In retrospect, I wish I had.
How They Could Have Gotten My Money
Warning. Another crude diagram is coming.
The one thing that would have prompted me to turn into their parking lot was some advanced warning. If they had only anticipated the user experience, they could have positioned people a block or two before the parking lot entrance with a sign that read “Girl Scout Cookies—One Block Ahead” or something similar.
That simple change in their marketing technique would have allowed me to decide that I wanted cookies and also provided time for me to start slowing down for my turn, thus making an easy sale.
What Are You Doing to Make Your Sales Process Easier?
Give it some thought and try to see your marketing and sales process from your potential customers’ perspective. How can you make it more simple and direct?
If you need help, let us know. We’re happy to jump on a call and discuss how to increase your bottom line.