“Man,” I said, “you really need to work on your sales pitch.” He and his buddies chuckled in agreement. So did their advisor.
So I did some on-the-spot sales training. Why, I asked, did they want the funds? To do community service, they said. Then, I said, open with that. Not, “We’re collecting for…” People don’t care what the person at the door wants—yet. First they want to know what’s in it for themselves. I suggested leading with their specific plan for helping the community, moving on quickly to how those activities will be of worth to me, and only then adding that if there’s any way I could help, with even the smallest amount, it would make a huge difference.
Two of them rehearsed a new pitch then and there. I listened and coached. They had fun with it, and so did I. And, they made progress. By the time they left, I was encouraged. I suspect their odds of raising money had just increased.
I didn’t bill them for the consultation. I suppose that makes this my largest contribution to the scouting program to date.