LIKE ITS CORPORATE counterparts, the Girl Scouts organization knows that proper training is critical in order for its sales staff to work effectively. For Brownie Girl Scouts, ages six to eight, the Smart Cookie badge equips them with the basic skills and the script they need to get past the first nervous knock on a neighbor's door. In addition to instruction on time management, making change, and safety (adults accompany the girls at all times), the exercises include a role-playing activity called "What Do You Say?" as well as "Making Your Sales Pitch," which challenges the Brownies to come up with descriptions for each cookie that "sound so yummy that your customer can't help but buy at least one box," Victoria says. "You have to know the right thing to say, but it's easy once you get the hang of it and memorize it."

For Junior Girl Scouts, ages eight to 11, the Cookie Biz badge emphasizes career exploration. What kind of suggested sells would a marketer create for cookies that aren't moving well? What steps would an event manager follow for a successful booth sale on a college campus or at a sporting event? How would a project manager attract new customers or increase sales per hour? The Scout presents her ideas to her troop, which then might use them during the sale.

For the Girl Scouts ages 11 to 17, the Cookie Program takes on a different dimension than the traditional door-to-door sales. "It is harder to do outside sales and compete with the cute Brownies; people don't understand there are older Scouts too," says Sarah Cain, 16, a Girl Scout in Arlington, Washington. Enter the CEO in Training program, in which participants tap new markets and strive for bulk sales by making sales presentations directly to local business owners. "As girls get older, they get more sophisticated in their sales plan," Cloninger says. Some create PowerPoint presentations; others might map their sales to identify repeat customers as well as overlooked prospects.

Tiondra Flynn, a 16-year-old Girl Scout in Carpinteria, California, was already a consistent top seller in the Tres Condados Council when she entered the CEO in Training program. Her skills served her well during her pitch to the Pacifica Hotel Company. The company purchased 120 cases - 1,440 boxes - to present to guests checking in at the chain's 18 hotels. "My cookie-selling days were done for the year," she says.