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The REAL “18,000 Girls Scout Cookies” Katie Francis Story

I can’t believe how hard it was to write this post about Katie Francis. I ended up searching through dozens of sources to dig out the real story. No small part of the challenge was determining the facts amid an avalanche of posters who used Katie Francis to publicize their own viewpoints.

Here is one of those classic small business success stories, via quotes from Katie Francis herself, and hard numbers to add context. With references.

Past Performance

Her first year as a Girl Scout, Katie moved a respectable 2,004 boxes, but in her second season, she set her sights on earning the top-seller’s prize: $1,529 toward an Oklahoma College Savings Plan. She sold 7,482 boxes, secured the college money and broke the state sales record.  Last year, she set out to smash her own mark, selling 12,428 boxes and earning an iPad and another $1,700 toward college.

“Because she’s broken these state records two years in the row, it’s the next thing on the list,” her mom says. “She’s very goal-driven.”

Goal Setting… and Resetting

When she took aim at the national record, Katie looked up and even called up its holder, Elizabeth Brinton, who in the 1980s became known as the “Cookie Queen” by selling 100,000 boxes over her Girl Scout career, including the record-setting more than 18,000 in a single year.

“Once I hit 18,000, I decided, ‘OK, I’ll keep on selling and see how much further I can go,’ and then I raised up my goal to 20,000. And then when I got that, I upped it up to 21,000,” she said.

Tactics

She told The Oklahoman “there were only three ingredients needed to rack up large sales: a lot of time, a lot of commitment and asking everyone she met to buy.”

“Because I have to be unique with my goal, before the cookie sale, I called a bunch of places like hotels, restaurants, spas … so we got a bunch of things for drawings. Like if you buy six boxes, you get a chance to win one of many, many prizes. If you buy 12 boxes, you can get a chance to win my grand prize,” she says, pitching a “weekend package” that includes concert tickets, a night’s stay at a hotel and gift certificates.

Since the start of the cookie-selling season this winter, Katie’s schedule has included selling, selling and more selling — from when she gets out of school until about 9:30 p.m. on weeknights and 12-13 hours on weekends, she said.

Katie said she managed to break the record through hard work, dedication, and “asking everyone she met to buy” a box of Girl Scout cookies. She said she eventually learned not to take “no” personally.

She also had a secret ingredient — her mother, DeLee Francis, who accompanied the scout as she pulled her wagon of wares across metropolitan Oklahoma City and kept the family SUV stocked with cookies so her child could make a sale wherever she went.

Tidily dressed in her badge-covered vest, with her long brown hair neatly held back with a white flower, she quietly yet confidently presented her laminated cookie menu to potential customers. She assured them she can take credit cards, encouraged them to try microwaving Samoas and urged them to consider donating a box to the troops overseas or her charity of choice, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.  (The Girl Scout cookie drives are small business success stories on a grand scale.)

Our Sources

1. NewsOK
2. Heavy
3. Syracuse.com
4. Inquisitr

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One Comment

  1. Great article! The site looks awesome.

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