The art of the deal

Top sellers of Girl Scout cookies share the secrets to their success

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  • Hannah Libman, 5, of Chester has a big family.

  • Meghan Jezik, 11, of Chester says, "Just ask."

  • The top seller: Alyssa Ann Sarlo of Warwick

  • Courtney Lewis of Goshen knocked on doors and made phone calls to sell her cookies.

By Ginny Privitar

— Think car dealers make the best salespeople? Think again. When it comes to selling, no one beats a Girl Scout in uniform.

“Try your hardest and ask as many people as you can. You have to be really friendly to them even if they don’t buy.”
Courtney Lewis, Goshen Girl Scout

We talked to the four local Girl Scouts who placed the highest initial orders of Girl Scout cookies in their towns. And not only did they deliver tasty treats locally, they also shipped cookies to troops serving overseas and raised money for scouting activities.

Once the cookies arrive at the homes of these top sellers, filling up a room, the whole family pitches in to sort, label, pack, and make deliveries.

The Girl Scout troops get a percentage of the money raised, and individual Scouts are rewarded with gift cards, prizes or badges.

Dina Hamil, the Girl Scouts' regional product sales manager, provided the names of the highest initial cookie sellers.

Courtney Lewis, Goshen
Courtney Lewis of Goshen, 10, belongs to Brownie Troop 598. This year, she sold 527 boxes of cookies. She's a hard worker who knocks on doors and makes phone calls to sell her cookies.

Her mom, Jill, explained that Girl Scouts will encounter people who want to donate but don't want the temptation of cookies sitting in their house. In that case, they’ll be offered the chance to send their cookies to the military instead. Courtney managed to get 25 boxes of cookies donated that way.

Courtney said the best thing about Girl Scouts is meeting a lot of new friends. Like other Girl Scouts, she approached friends and family first and then other people in the neighborhood. Then mom and dad helped out by selling cookies at work.

The girls also do “booth sales” outside stores to raise money for their troop.

Courtney's sales tip: “Try your hardest and ask as many people as you can. You have to be really friendly to them even if they don’t buy.”

Hannah Libman, Chester

Hannah Libman, 5, a first-year member of Daisy Troop 302 in Chester, sold 339 boxes with the help of her mom, Jaclyn Libman, who is a troop leader. Hannah’s grandparents and aunt helped out at work. Her mom says the secret to Hannah's success is her big family and personality.

“Friends and neighbors — everyone knows her," said Jaclyn. "She’s a very sociable little girl.”

She went around to her neighbors in Surrey Meadows pulling behind her a little red wagon filled with cookies.

“Everyone said yes,” said Jaclyn, “No one turns down Girl Scout cookies.”

Hannah said, “A lot of people said, ‘I don’t want the cookies, go ahead and donate them.’” Many of Hannah's boxes also went to our servicemen and -women.

Hannah likes being in the Girl Scouts. “I have a lot of friends and we go on Daisy trips and we have fun,” she said.

Hannah's favorite cookie: Peanut butter.

Meghan Jezik, Monroe

Meghan Jezik, 11, lives in Chester but belongs to Monroe’s Brownie Troop 388. Her initial order this year totalled 278 boxes.

Meghan is a conscientious girl who enjoys the friends she meets in Girl Scouts and the activities they do together. What she likes best, she says, is "just the fact I’m helping people a lot and making a difference.”

Indeed — Meghan’s troop donated cookies to Staff Sergeant Christopher McKaig’s troop in Afghanistan this year.

Her troop also sold 150 boxes at a cookie booth at Fran’s Hallmark.

Meghan's sales tip: “Really just ask because you really never know if the person is interested or not. Whenever you get the opportunity to, just go ahead.”

Alyssa Ann Sarlo, Warwick

Alyssa Ann Sarlo, 6, of Warwick Daisy Troop 292 sold an initial order of 365 boxes this year. Her mom, Tracey, said friends and family were very supportive. Alyssa also made a lot of cookie booth sales outside stores with her mom. Last year, as a top seller, Alyssa won a one-day Girl Scout cruise around New York City and a trip to Mystic Seaport.

All of the girls sold additional boxes as the sale was extended. According to Dina Hamil, the highest number ultimately sold in southern Orange County was 2,055 boxes, sold by Alyssa. Alyssa again earned prizes for surpassing different levels: a day at a Girl Scout carnival, a cruise around New York City, a Kindle Fire and an iPod touch.

Alyssa likes doing good things for the community through Girl Scouts and the chance it gives her to display her special talents.

Alyssa's favorite GS activities: “I like the art stuff and selling cookies."

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