The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

February 2, 2013

Leader of the Pack: Local girl tops cookie sales

MANKATO — Ashley Coopman may not be able to sell ice to Eskimos, but odds are she can peddle them Girl Scout cookies all day long.

The Mankato West High senior is the community’s top Scout when it comes to annual cookie sales. And unlike the trend toward selling from cookie booths set up in stores, she does it the old-fashioned way — door to door.

“I go out every day I can,” she said as she prepared for today’s “season opener” for sales that run through mid-March.

The top local seller for the past several years, Coopman plans to be house-calling from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. today.

It’s a lot of work to sell 2,000 boxes a year, but it’s a task made easier by repeat customers who seemingly have no intention of letting her quit.

“They say, ‘You’ll be back again next year, right?’ And I say, ‘Of course.’”

Coopman has been selling since first grade. The secret to her success is straight out of Salesmanship 101.

“I’m outgoing. I’m not afraid to talk to people.”

For buyers who might balk at $4 a box and say cookies at the store are cheaper, she comes with this:

“But these are much better — and they only come out once a year.”

Coopman said the average customer purchases three or four boxes with some buying up to three 12-box cases.

Coopman doesn’t just sell to her sizable roster of longtime customers. She’s also driven to knock on new doors and speaks about it like a college marketing major in waiting.

“We try to find new neighborhoods to expand the customer base there.”

Coopman’s sales prowess already has won her two iPads, so she doesn’t need another computer. This year she’s going for a ‘’cookie credits” selling prize that would give her a summer trip to San Francisco, the costs of which are partially underwritten by the Girl Scouts.     

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