Peter was terrified to make the call.
You’d never guess that he would be scared to make the call. He was a good looking guy in his 30s. He had a lot going for him. He was engaged to Jill. They had met in college and fell in love and decided to make a life together. He had a great sales job with huge up side if he just made a few sales. Peter had made big promises of taking care of her and their soon to be family. But yet, there he was, sitting in his sales office staring at the phone. Horrifed.
What was it that made so cold calling so horrible. The recipients where strangers. Why did it matter to him that he would possibly be rejected by a stranger? If he would have gotten a call from someone he had never heard of before that went something like, “Hey, Peter, I found your name online, and I don’t want you to ever call me. I don’t want you to be in my life in any way,” and then that stranger hang up, would that be a big deal? No. Peter would have thought it was strange, maybe amusing and go on with his day. He might even tell the story of the funny thing that happened to him that day. “Some stranger that I’ve never heard of asked me to never call them. Isn’t that crazy?” But there he was, making up a story about that same stranger, and how he can’t go on with life if that person he doesn’t know has the chance to say no to him. Now it was a big deal. That really was crazy.
Peter had a flash of insight. He remembered how rude his fiance, Jill was to him the first time he met her. They were at a party with some common friends. Peter saw her and said something stupid like, “Red wine huh. I like red wine too.” His horror of saying something so stupid to a pretty girl he wanted to impressed was only made worse when this same pretty girl just smirked, and without a word turned her back to him to talk to her group of friends. Peter thought for sure that this pretty stranger hated him with all her heart. He would have left the party and run for safety if he hadn’t been stuck there, because he got a ride with a friend that was not about to leave. Peter spent the next few forced to stay in the small quarters of the party which kept him in eyesight of this girl that had now become a forbidden goddess in his mind. He kept himself in agony from going over again and again in his mind what he should have said instead of the Dumb and Dumber line he mumbled.
Then the story he made up in his mind about his world crumbled. This same goddess came up to him as he sat on the sofa in the corner and spoke. “Sorry I was so weird. I felt so self-conscious I couldn’t say anything. I have had two glasses of that red wine. I think I have some liquid courage. Anyway, my friends say you’re really nice so I just wanted to say sorry for being weird.”And with that opening, Peter ran with it. Three years later, there they were engaged.
Peter was sure Jill hated him, but it was just her own fears he was feeling, not him at all. Just as Peter was only thinking about himself in that interaction, Jill was only thinking about herself too. When that happens both people miss each other. Peter was started to see a pattern. The more he paid attention the more he realized people were not thinking about him at all. They were too busy thinking about themselves. This was reliving though, because so much of Peter’s energy was worried about what people thought of him. If they didn’t think of him at all it freed him to pursue his goals and make good his promises, or in this case, make some cold calls.
Could cold calling be the same scenario as the first encounter with Jill that could end just as well? Peter thought yes. With the new found story in his mind that served him much better he picked up that phone and called the first number. He got hung up on. With a smirk he said out loud, “No problem, with a few glasses of wine you’ll be back.” And he picked up the phone and called again.