Watching how a grown person deals with a Cub Scout sales pitch outside a grocery store on a Saturday morning makes for some pretty interesting observations.


Last Saturday, I spent a couple of hours with my 8-year-old son outside a busy Yakima grocery store while he and another young man sold popcorn for their Cub Scout pack. It was a bright, sunny, late-spring morning and people were bustling about doing their weekend shopping.

It was interesting to see the reactions that people had to a simple three-second sales pitch that consisted of "Hi, would you like to but some Boy Scout popcorn?"

Some people blew by without a word and no eye contact. Others answered wit a curt "No."  Some people were very polite with a "No thanks, not today," while some went into a lengthy dissertation on their personal financial situation. Still others got a little bit political, wondering how much of their purchase price actually went to the Scouts, concerned about high administrative overhead.

The ones who really stood out to me were the people who got kind of vocal about the price of the product. One gentleman flat-out said the the popcorn was too expensive and didn't want to pay that much when he could buy the same product inside the store for less money. On the other hand, this same guy came back out of the store and gave a  cash donation to the Cub Scouts without buying their popcorn. Go figure.

All of these reactions to a simple question from an 8-year-old in a blue and gold uniform: "Would you like to buy some Boy Scout popcorn?"

In contrast, people who did make a popcorn purchase had just two reactions. They either bought on the spot or said something like "I'll catch you on my way out."

And they did.

It was interesting to see that the boys dealt with rejection and success about the same. I'm sure that they were learning good life lessons in there someplace. It just made me chuckle to watch how grown men and women dealt with a three-second Cub Scout sales pitch.

"Would you like to buy some Boy Scout popcorn?"