A reader sent me a private email after they read my last post. They included a quote by Tolstoy. I really wished that they had commented publicly, but they're not inclined to do so. So, I added the quote as a comment and credited the collection rather than my reader.
The question that you have to ask yourself when faced with this kind of person is, "Do I want to expend the energy required to open this pompous know-it-all's mind?"
If you re-read Sales and Business Growth Conversations (Oct), you'll be able to hear Tolstoy's words.
Remember Are you listening to yourself? Can you hear his words?
How about Here's Another One! Can you hear his words in She's words?
Sometimes, these smart, experienced people have a high need for approval that is only satisfied when people tell them how smart they are. If they get defensive about their position, they may have difficulty controlling their emotions and staying in the moment.
Unfortunately, the internet may be exacerbating this issue. How many of these know-it-alls reached their conclusion by doing research on the internet? How much mis-information is on the internet? How much valid information is misinterpreted or misapplied by someone that thinks they can do it themselves?
Even worse is when a crappy salesperson comes along and wants to prove to the know-it-all how smart he is. So, he tells the know-it-all what to do. The know-it-all says, Let me think about it. Then does it himself. If it works, great. The know-it-all feels good because he was smarter than the crappy salesperson and the salesperson got what he deserved. Nothing. However, if it's not the right solution or the know-it-all misapplies the solution, the know-it-all won't take any blame. He'll blame the solution, the salesperson and/or the company and they'll deserve it.
How do you handle know-it-alls?
Please let me share one more Tolstoy quote before I tell you.
"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself."
How to handle know-it-alls might be a great role play for the Coaching Camp tomorrow. Queue it up.