Make the Sales Call (Presentation)
Select two or three people to make the sales call. One is not enough, and more than three may be intimidating. Choose the presentation team from the following:
- New-unit organizer
- District executive
- Scouter who is a member of the prospective chartered organization
- Influential community leader who is a Scouter
Before the sales call, determine who will take the lead role and who will fill supporting roles.
If the head of the organization does not invite you to stay longer, the sales call should not last longer than 45 minutes. Try to stay on track, unless the person you are calling on decides to tell stories about their Scouting experiences.
Three Parts of the Presentation
Initiate the Opening
Establish a comfort level by getting everyone into a circle or around a large table. Try to get the head of the prospective organization out from behind a desk.
The opening should include introductions of the presenters and their roles in Scouting. Be sure to distinguish between professional Scouters and volunteer Scouters. Help put those from the prospective chartered organization at ease by asking about their hobbies and interests or community service efforts.
Make the Sale
Be sure to address the goals, needs, and priorities of the organization uncovered through the initial visit (inquiry) and your research. Cover the following concerns and details:
- The organization's priorities, particularly its youth programs
- The organization's concerns about the youth in the community
- The needs of youth in the neighborhood (Present facts about the number of potential Scouts in the area.)
- The membership needs of the organization, as well as its goals and purposes
- The purposes of Scouting—character development, citizenship training, and fitness—and how these complement the goals and purposes of the organization
- The benefits of using Scouting as its youth program or as an addition to current youth programs
- The organization of the unit
- The program of Scouting—leadership, activities, meetings, planning, and resources
- Local council and district support—training, commissioner service, staff and volunteer assistance, literature, advancement program, camps, facilities, and activities
- General liability insurance provided by the Boy Scouts of America for volunteer leaders and chartered organizations
- The role of the chartered organization in Scouting
- The next steps—appointing an organizing committee, selecting and recruiting leaders, recruiting youth, and following the registration process
Establish Deadlines. Use key upcoming events to establish deadlines. For example, you may encourage the starting of a Boy Scout troop in time for the spring camporee, or of a Cub Scout pack in time for the boys to attend day camp, or of a Venturing crew to participate in a high-adventure opportunity.
You might begin to use steps in closing the sale here as well. Try to establish when the organization might be able to hold an organizing committee meeting by asking about its upcoming schedule of meetings or events. Determine when selection of leadership could take place and/or when and where the unit might meet.
Be Prepared to Handle Objections. In advance, develop your own list of potential questions and answers. Write out answers and, before the presentation, practice answering these questions.
Take time to answer any questions the head of the organization (or others) may have.
- "It costs too much." Any worthwhile program will incur some costs. Consider the return on expenses in relation to the positive effect Scouting will have on the youth of the community.
- "We tried it once and it didn't work." That's unfortunate. Tell me what went wrong. (Most likely the leadership was not in place or fully trained.) Offer a solution to prevent that from happening again.
- "Who will be the leader?" That will be the job of the organizing committee members. They should make a list of the best prospects for your approval, and then recruit these individuals.
- "We don't have many Scout-age boys in our organization." Scouting can serve the entire community. What better way to bring more youths into your organization than through Scouting?
- "What would be our liability exposure?" The Boy Scouts of America provides general liability insurance coverage to all chartered organizations for any liability that might stem from operating a Scouting unit.
Be sure to listen for additional needs of the chartered organization.
Close the Sale
Use carefully worded questions to close the sale. Use questions to which the prospect will answer "yes."
- Do you feel Scouting would be an answer to some of your goals?
- Would you lend your personal support to using Scouting as a part of your youth program?
- Would you be willing to ask three or four people to serve on an organizing committee that will explore the possibility of adopting Scouting to serve your youth members?
Review Responsibilities. Give the head of the organization a copy of "Chartered Organization and Council Responsibilities" and briefly discuss it. Try to set a date to meet with the organizing committee. Leave with a specific plan of who does what and deadlines for each step of the plan.
End On Time. Thank the head of the organization for the organization's commitment to youth. It is important to conclude the presentation and leave in a timely manner. When the prospect has said yes and the next steps are established, say thank you and leave.
Follow Up or Service the Sale. Send a thank-you note to those involved in the sales presentation. Use this opportunity to restate the next plan of action: "I appreciated the opportunity to talk with you this morning. Your organization's youth program is a fine example of your commitment to young people. I will call you on Monday to confirm the three people to assist in organizing your new Scouting unit.