A Girl Scout calls her cookies “as flavorless as dirt”…and then sells 7,000 boxes

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

One thing about 11-year-old Charlotte McCourt: She doesn’t mince words.

The Girl Scout has taken a very unorthodox approach towards selling cookies. She’s being honest. She says the Trefoil cookie is “kind of boring,” the Do-Si-Do suffers from “unoriginality and blandness,” and the Toffee-Tastic is “as flavorless as dirt.”

Her reviews were made public in a viral Facebook video by actor and TV host Mike Rowe, according to this Daily Mail article, after a letter she wrote to a prospective customer – a friend of her father. Her dad co-hosts a podcast with Rowe.

McCourt is a 21st century salesperson. After being tipped off by her dad about a “very rich” friend, and although she only met the prospect once before, she wrote him with a strong sales pitch. “I’ve been informed that you might want to purchase a few Girl Scout cookie boxes for our troops fighting overseas. This is good news,” she wrote.  She called her five-person troop “miniscule but mighty” and validated her credentials as always the one selling the most cookies. Her goal was to sell 300 “delectable” boxes from her website.

She then proceeded to give her scathingly, yet refreshingly honest reviews of the cookies. Rowe read the letter on his Facebook video and it went viral, garnering six million views and generating sales of 7,000 boxes.

The lesson for any small business owner (and salesperson)? Today’s customer wants the facts, the truth and the respect to make their own decision. “I love being honest with my clients,” McCourt said and also advised that her ratings were “only my opinion, yours may vary.”

Thin Mint anyone?

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