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What’s Poppin?

popcorn2015Popcorn sales run primarily September and October and is traditionally a major fundraiser for Cub Scouts. The product is delivered in early November (precise dates TBA). Why do we sell popcorn?  In short, it raises more money to fund programs!

Here are more SCOUT reasons.

  1. Scouts experience adult interaction (a Scouting method).
  2. Character building.
  3. Scouts are responsible for their own program.
  4. Incentives (prizes, money, trips, etc.)
  5. Scholarship Fund.
  6. Easy and profitable compared to other fundraisers for both the council and the unit.

Sales Pitch

Focus on Scouting instead of the product. “Will you support Scouting by purchasing popcorn today?” “Will you help us go to camp by purchasing popcorn today?” Avoid asking if they would like to “buy popcorn,” if they just wanted to buy popcorn, they could get it cheaper in a store. People buy popcorn to support Scouting and the Scout in front of them. They can’t buy the Scouting experience for a young person through store-bought popcorn.

Be specific on how the money will be used. People are more willing to purchase if they know where the money is going. (70% of the money directly supports Scouts in the Circle Ten Council to provide needed funds for camping, leadership development and staffing).

Maintain eye contact. If the customer is not looking at you or you are not looking at them, somebody is not paying attention.

Be polite. Use “Sir” and “Ma’am” when addressing potential donors.

Don’t ask people IF they will buy – ask at which level they would like to support your Scouting program with the various popcorn products and prices representing the various levels.

Offer higher-priced products first to generate more program revenue.

Dietary restrictions? Suggest a Military Donation or holiday gifts for teachers or coworkers.

Have the Scouts practice the pitch until they don’t have to think about what they are going to say.

Most people do not buy because they were not asked … 80%+ will buy popcorn when asked. Over 90% of people who buy popcorn from a Scout have made up their mind to support Scouting before they have even seen what the Scout is selling!

Say THANK YOU – even if only for their time.

Note: Adults should be prepared to deal with people who espouse a political agenda. Our Scouts don’t need to be exposed to this, so consider how to quietly diffuse a situation. Do not get into an argument with the individual, simply affirm their right to hold an opinion and thank them for their thoughts.

Sample Script

Hi, my name is __________ (say first name only).

I’m a Cub Scout with Pack 112. We are raising money for our pack by selling popcorn. By buying popcorn today, you’ll be helping me earn my way to camp next summer and do fun things with my pack all year long. More than 70% of your purchase directly supports Scouting in the Circle Ten Council.

(Hand the customer the take order form and a pen, or at a Show & Sell point out a high cost product.)

Which product would you like to buy or would you rather send popcorn to our military?

You’ll help us, won’t you? Thank you for your support of Scouting!

Selling Do’s and Don’ts

DO wear your uniform. Everybody loves to support a Scout in uniform.

DO sell in pairs or with a parent. Per BSA’s Youth Protection Policies, be sure to maintain two-deep leadership at all Show & Sell events and while walking door-to-door.

DON’T sell after dark.

DO act like a Scout – be polite and courteous, wear a smile and introduce yourself. You are the face of Scouting.

DO tell your customers why you are selling popcorn and how the money will be used. Remember that you are asking for help supporting your Scout program, not “selling popcorn.”

DO walk on the sidewalk and driveway, not through the yard. Watch for traffic.

DON’T carry large amounts of cash with you.

DON’T EVER enter anyone’s house.

DO take 2 pens with you and make sure you keep your take order form as neat as possible.

DO know your product – all of the different types of popcorn products you are selling … be prepared to answer “Which is your favorite?” If asked for your favorite, choose a higher priced item.

DO know the date when you will be delivering the popcorn to your customers.

DO put popcorn sale articles in your school, place of worship, and community bulletins and newsletters.

DO remind your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and neighbors what a great gift Trail’s End popcorn makes for teachers, friends, co-workers, etc. Also, let them know how quickly it runs out and to buy enough from you to last them until next year.

DO ask your friends at your place of worship if they would like to support Scouting.

DO ask your parents if you can go to their office or club (Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, bowling league, hockey league, etc.) to sell. Many business leaders give holiday gifts to clients and employees – the Chocolate Lover’s Collection makes a great gift.

DO write a thank you note and place a copy of it on all of the popcorn you deliver. This will benefit you next year when you call on them. Inform people about where they can buy popcorn year-round to support you and your Scouting unit.

DO keep a copy of your take order form so you can call on these people again next year. People will remember how polite and courteous you were, the nice thank you note they received, and the popcorn that they did not buy enough of.

DO say “Thank You” whether or not someone buys popcorn! National statistics show three out of five houses buy Trail’s End popcorn when asked. Not every house will buy so do not become discouraged. The more people you ask = the more people will buy.

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