Charlotte and Eleanor are twins, and their mother signed them up with a local Brownie troop when they turned seven years old. The girls loved all the fun craft activities that were part of the troop’s weekly meetings, and their parents loved to see them make new friends and socializing outside the family. As the year went on the two girls’ personalities became more and more apparent. Charlotte’s outgoing nature and willingness to take on new adventures was very different from Eleanor’s shy and less bold demeanor. Never was it more apparent than when the annual ritual of selling the famous Girl Scout cookies took place. Eleanor was upset and cried when her sister constantly was recognized for the most sales, and well, Eleanor’s reaction was to ask if she could be excused from selling cookies. When her mother told Eleanor she had to either sell or drop out of the troop, Eleanor was devastated. After her first few attempts to sell to people going past their stand at the grocery store failed, Eleanor was ready to head home and quit the troop as well.
The twin sisters are so much alike and yet so different. Eleanor is shy and reserved, always worried about whether other people like her or afraid that if she asks them to be friends the answer will be no. She lives in fear of rejection, and to her the best way to avoid that rejection is to not ask at all. In Eleanor’s mind don’t risk failure by not even attempting. Charlotte on the other hand, has no fear of the word no, and at an early age she figured out that hearing that word is just part of the game of life. Her young ego developed a fearlessness that allows her to not care about the reaction of others. It just isn’t that big a deal to Charlotte, and she knows she has to sell the cookies, so she just asks anyone and everyone if they want to box or three.
Professional selling is no different than the experience Charlotte and Eleanor are dealing with as seven-year-old Brownies. No one has to like cold calling, but at time you just have to do it. Eleanor has tied her self-worth to the reactions of others when she asks them to buy the cookies. For some reason she feels like they are judging her rather than just making a decision to open their wallets. Charlotte decided to make a game out of it, seeing how fast she can empty a carton by asking every single adult to buy a box. She heard lots of No’s, but those failures were accompanied by many yeses, Charlotte won the sales competition by a landslide. Her sister never realized that Charlotte actually had more failures than she did. To all of you adults out there you need to make a choice each day on whether you have the fortitude of a Charlotte or the fear and anxiety of an Eleanor.