Popcorn

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Each fall, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts kick off their annual popcorn sale. Typically about 1/3 of the sales from this fundraiser are given back to the local unit (Packs and Troops to pay for Basic Expenses.

In addition, Scouts can also earn prizes. Some councils allow units to take about a 5% higher profit if they do not take the prize program. Prize programs often work best with younger Scouts. Some councils also offer gift cards for sales over each $1,000, $1,500, or $2,000 you sell.

Many councils give their Scouts a variety of ways to earn money with popcorn:

  • "Take Orders" are orders taken for later delivery
  • "Show and Sell" - sales are often made in front of grocery or department stores for immediate delivery
  • "Show and Deliver" - like Take Orders except the Scout takes popcorn with him in a van or car for immediate delivery.
  • "Selling Online" - Scouts to email a link to family and friends. Orders go directly from the company to anywhere in the US!
  • "Support the Troops" program where popcorn can be sent directly to our troops around the world!

Popcorn can bring more than fun and adventure. Scouts learn that with hard work they can save enough in their Individual Accounts to reach their goals. Scouts learn personal management. Self-reliance is learned from real life not a lecture.

Contents


How it works

Packs and Troops often set their annual dues at $70 to $120 a year to cover registration, Boy's Life subscription, books, advancements, recharter, and basic unit equipment needs.

A Scout who knows the Basic Take Order Sales Tips below can average $75 to $150 in sales per hour, depending upon area. At a 33% profit, that is $25 to $50 an hour. Many jobs don't pay that well!

In one day, a Scout could sell $600 to $1,000, earning $200 to $300 for his Individual Account. For a Cub Scout, one day might be enough to pay for a year of fun plus have enough in his Individual Account to cover Day Camp and trips. In two days, a Boy Scout can cover his basic expenses plus have enough to cover [[[Summer Camp]] and other camping experiences.


Your Unit's Popcorn Plan

Based on: Trails-end Popcorn, Westchester-Putnam Council,
  1. Plan out your unit calendar for at least the next 12 months and set a unit budget.
  2. Make sure that your Fundraising Chair is trained by your council or distrcit in Popcorn and attends kickoffs, etc.
  3. Ask each Scout to set a goal with his family. From this set goals for your unit.
    • How much do they need for the next year for: Dues? Camp? Trips? Activities?
    • Determine additional amount Webelos need to take with htem when they bridge.
  4. Establish Scout Accounts to help each Scout and his family with his Scouting expenses.
  5. Hold a FUN program kickoff to tell the Scouts and parents about the great year planned.
  6. Sell popcorn by various methods such as TAKE ORDER, SHOW AND SELL, SHOW AND DELIVER, and SELLING AT WORK.
  7. Scouts should continue until their goal was met (usually 3 or 4 afternoons or weekend days).
  8. Recognize top sellers and hold a victory party at sale’s end.


Basic Sales Tips

Target Your Customers - Add up all the easy prospects you can think of:
___ Everyone you have sold anything to in the past. Did you keep their names and numbers? 1 - 50 Sales or more.
___ Family, brothers, sisters: 1 - 2 Sales?
___ Grandparents: 1 - 2 Sales?
___ Aunts, uncles, cousins: 1 - 3 Sales?
___ Family friends (Labor Day parties?) 3 - 10 Sales?
___ 10 closest neighbors: 5 - 8 Sales?
___ Friends at soccer, football, etc.: 3 - 10 Sales?
___ Your mom's friends at work, clubs, PTO, etc. Challenge your family to match your sales! 3 - 10 Sales?
___ Your dad's friends at work, clubs, PTO, etc.: 3 - 10 Sales?
___ Hair salon, insurance office, bank, etc. You give them your business. 3-10 sales?
___ Friends at your religious institution: 3 - 5 Sales?

That's 25 to 70+ easy sales to just people you already know! With a typical sale around $20 (between $18 and $25), that's $500 to over $1,000 in sales! You can make $170 to $300 to pay unit dues with the rest going into your Individual Account.

To go beyond $1,000 in sales, you will probably need to go door-to-door. About half will buy from you so you need to ask about 100 people for each $1,000 in sales. Asking is the key to selling.

Target Your Times

⃞ "Sell early, sell often." - Start selling as soon as the sale begins.
⃞ Once school starts in the fall, everyone will be selling something,. Get to as many people as you can before school starts.
⃞ Saturday morning is often the best time.
⃞ Saturday afternoon is next best.
⃞ Sunday afternoon is very good.
⃞ Sunday evening is good.
⃞ Weekday evenings after 5:30 can be good as well.

Target Your Uniform

⃞ Wear your uniform shirt, hat, and shorts if possible.
⃞ Cubs, wear your vests. They love your patches!

Target Your Territory

⃞ Start with your own friends, family, and neighborhood if it is safe.
⃞ Target safe neighborhoods likely to buy.
⃞ Leave “Sorry I missed you” notes. Some will call you back or remember whn you come back.
⃞ Give Thank You notes asking for additional orders.
⃞ Keep a copy of forms you turn in as a backup.
⃞ Ask them to pay by check when they place the order. It is much harder to get the money the second time.
⃞ Ask if they can pay by check so you don't have to carry much cash.
⃞ Save your stuff for next year so you will know who to ask & who to avoid next year
These and many more great ideas are in the Targeting Popcorn Sales.doc Microsoft Word DOC document It is a doc file that you can customize for your unit.

Overcoming Objections

  1. We can't eat popcorn. Would you like to "Support the Troops" and send popcorn to soldiers overseas?
  2. We already bought. Can I practice my sales pitch with you anyway? (Many will still buy again!)
  3. That seems too expensive. Tell them what you do. Show them your patches!
  4. I don't have any money. No problem. You can pay by check now and it will not be deposited until ___.
  5. Not home. Leave your "Sorry I Missed You" note.

Resources

See also

External links

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