Why I Have Selective Deafness

23 May 2019

One of my clients shared with me a story to describe a condition he has. When I heard it, I realised it’s such a great tool for him, and all business owners, to stay focused on achieving their goals.

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I love the way Moses cannot hear or see it when someone tells him, “No.”

Persist. Have grit. Keep working at it. If the thing you are aiming for is something you truly desire, you won’t stop until you get it – and if you don’t stop working at it, you can achieve the satisfaction you deserve.

Prefer to read rather than listen and watch? Here’s everything I said as text:

I had a very interesting conversation with a client yesterday.

Is There Anything I Need To Know?

There is a system that we have in our business called “on-boarding call”. When a client starts working with us we have a call where I take them through what’s expected of them and what they can expect from us. You know, all the support and systems that we have to make sure they have everything that they need to move the business forward at an even better rate.

So, I was having this conversation and right towards the end of the discussion I said, “So, Moses do you have any questions? Or is there something I need to know about how you work? Or you know something that you’ve not shared?”

With a very serious look on his face he said, “Shweta you need to know that I have got selective deafness and selective blindness.”

Can You Tell Me More About This Selective Deafness?

Obviously, I was like, “Okay, well thanks for sharing that with me that’s really important and could you tell me a little bit more about that, like what exactly?”

So he said, “Let me share with you an example, a story It’s a real incident so you understand what I’m saying.”

I said, “Okay.”

He went on, “As a business owner, obviously you know that we are doing very well. We are growing and, you know, I was trying to reach out to a very big corporation to bring them on board as our client.

“We were trying different ways – LinkedIn, phone call, email – trying to have a meeting and everything. So, this person, Patrick, actually knew about me very well because he had heard from me quite a few times.

“We had got a chance to tender for the business that we wanted so I was really delighted. I went through the whole process and followed up and made sure that they have everything that they need.

“After a few days he actually dropped me a note:

‘Moses let me tell you one thing we have discussed. The answer is no. We have reviewed. The answer is no. Please don’t hear it as, ‘come back later’ – answer is no.

– Patrick’

How Would You Have Responded?

“I read that email and somehow I didn’t read it. I heard the message but somehow I didn’t hear it.”

Moses slept over it he thought about it and he asked a question to me, and that’s the question I’m asking to you right now.

He said, “I don’t know Shweta, how would you have responded or reacted?”

And I want you to think about it how you would have responded or reacted. After following up so much with someone knowing that this is a big potential account which can really deliver big growth for your business and then someone being so curt, and to some extent rude, writing a two liner and with a signature. How would you have reacted or responded?”

Did You Say No?

He said, “I went back to him with the one-line email saying, “Hi Patrick, did you say no?”

Things happened normally, he got back to his business and didn’t get a response from Patrick. It was like, fine, business as usual.

He said, “After three months, exactly, I heard back from Patrick saying,

‘Moses would you be happy to come to our place? We want to discuss an opportunity with you.’”

This time obviously he said, “Look I’ve spent quite a few of hours travelling to your office, following up with you, talking to you, doing proposals for you, doing all kinds of things. I’m really keen on doing business with you but this time it would really make sense if you were to come to my office, we can sit down together I can show you my setup my, infrastructure, and why I’m so confident that I can actually service your account so well. And it’ll be great to meet the team as well here.”

And obviously, as I tell you this story, Moses has got that account and they are working together.

That’s Why I Have Selective Deafness

And that’s when he stopped, looked at me and said, “Shweta, that’s how I have got the selective deafness and selective blindness. I choose not to read certain things; I choose not to hear certain things. Because I believe in my dream, I believe in my goal, I believe in what we can achieve and what we are trying to offer to the marketplace.

“I don’t hear, ‘No.’ I don’t hear ‘Can’t do business with you.’ I just hear, ‘Not yet.’ or ‘Come back later.’”

And that’s exactly what I tell my team as well. Persist with it. Have grit. It’s a matter of time.

Don’t worry if you’re not getting short-term results but your efforts will give you the results till the time you believe in them and you persist.

I found that story very interesting and I told Moses, “I love your selective deafness. I love your selective blindness. I really hope you stay like that because that will keep you focused. That will get the ego out of the way. That will help you respond and not react. That will make you an even better and even more successful business person.”

I hope you found the story interesting and you have some takeaways from it.

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