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6 Steps to Handling ‘Know-It-Alls’

Categories: ARTICLE.

The ‘Know-It-All’ is the prospect that calls your business and can’t wait to tell you everything they know about your services, the new products coming on the market, etc. They have done their homework and consider themselves experts in many topics (whether they are is another story…). They can certainly be one of the tougher callers to handle, so be ready. But handled correctly, they can also become one of your best clients.

Many years ago, there were far fewer Know-It-Alls in the world. The Internet didn’t exist, which made it hard to be a Know-It-All; so people relied on the experts to explain things to them during their phone and in-person consultations.

However, now that two-thirds of American adults have smartphones (according to the Pew Research Center) and troves of information are just a few clicks away, there are more Know-It-Alls today than ever before. In fact, according to Harvard Business Review, 60% of people know all about you by the time they contact you!

In reality, Know-It-Alls are actually quite easy to convert to paying customers if you have the right frame of mind when taking their calls. Put yourself in their shoes for a minute: If you had spent the time to research something and wanted to share what you discovered, chances are you really want the person on the other end of the line to listen first, and comment second.

That’s why the golden rule in speaking with a Know-It-All is: Be a great listener.

Know-It-Alls need to be heard, so let them speak first. Then follow these 6 simple steps and you will have a great chance of converting the Know-It-All into a raving fan of your business:

1.  Listen, don’t interrupt. Let the Know-It-All finish telling you what he or she knows before you comment.  Do not interrupt at anytime.

2.  Take notes. Take good notes while the Know-It-All is talking so when you comment on what the Know-It-All has said, your comments are pertinent to the conversation and don’t get off track.  Know-It-Alls don’t want to have their conversations go sideways.

3.  Agree first. Begin by agreeing with the Know-It-All on all of the things he or she said that were correct.  Know-It-Alls love acknowledgment that they are well-versed on the topics they brought up.

4.  Correct second. If the Know-It-All made statements that were incorrect, finish by countering those comments last, and in the most polite way possible. But before countering the comments, acknowledge that others may share the Know-It-All’s opinion. You never want the Know-It-All to feel ignorant at any point during the conversation.

5.  Provide data. If you counter the Know-It-All in any way, provide concrete data to support why you disagree with anything the Know-It-All has said. Know-It-Alls hate to be wrong, but they do respect the fact further evidence may exist, which is why they are having the conversation with you in the first place. So make sure you can back-up your counter-statements.

6.  Allow for a counter. Leave room for the Know-It-All to make comments in response to your comments. You need the Know-It-All to agree with you so he or she is more likely to choose your services. So work to get an agreement on any topics about which you have a difference in opinion. While you may be right to counter the Know-It-All’s opinions, if you counter too hard, you risk losing them all together.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to tell Know-It-Alls they are right about everything. If a Know-It-All makes a statement that is incorrect, it is certainly your job to correct them. However, it’s really the manner in which you correct the Know-It-All that is most important.

The key to handling phone calls from Know-It-Alls is keeping your composure. They will test you at times, so stay calm and just follow the strategy. While some members of your organization may feel the need to flex their intellectual muscle on calls with Know-It-Alls, we strongly recommend against that. If you have team members who don’t take kindly to other people’s strong opinions, train them well to deal with Know-It-Alls, or avoid having them interact with them entirely.

Spencer Peller

About Spencer Peller

Co-founder of YesTrak.com
Founder of MyDoctorCalls.com
Author of 'Own the Phone'

Since 2008, Spencer has helped thousands of clients generate more revenues as a result of improving the way phones are answered. As co-founder of YesTrak (a revolutionary live agent answering service) and MyDoctorCalls (a cloud-based call tracking and recording system), his products and services have changed the way businesses approach their inbound calls. Spencer is also the author of 'Own the Phone'-- a book that helps healthcare practices turn their phones into growth machines.

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Spencer Peller

About Spencer Peller

Co-founder of YesTrak.com
Founder of MyDoctorCalls.com
Author of 'Own the Phone'

Since 2008, Spencer has helped thousands of clients generate more revenues as a result of improving the way phones are answered. As co-founder of YesTrak (a revolutionary live agent answering service) and MyDoctorCalls (a cloud-based call tracking and recording system), his products and services have changed the way businesses approach their inbound calls. Spencer is also the author of 'Own the Phone'-- a book that helps healthcare practices turn their phones into growth machines.

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