Don’t be a smarty-pants.

“Check out Brad with the big brain.”

Have you ever been talked at by an overly “helpful” friend (or worse, a stranger), know-it-all colleague, or persistent salesperson? There’s no room for inserting even a solitary syllable into their whirlwind of words. Facts, figures, minutiae, and unasked-for details abound. 

It may be true: The person is an expert and has a deep well of wisdom to draw from. Yet, despite all good intentions, it’s done with such vigor that you feel left out of the conversation—and even a bit stupid. 

Have you ever been a smarty-pants? 

Are we conscious of how others perceive us? When brands (salespeople included) focus solely on pushing their expertise, they might be seen as self-absorbed, disconnected from their clients’ fundamental challenges, and even uncaring. 

There’s a delicate boundary separating a smarty-pants from a nurturing advisor. 

This distinction doesn’t hinge on the extent of one’s knowledge! As the saying goes, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” A brand that 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗲𝘀℠ aims to understand before being understood. 

When it comes to marketing and sales interactions, a focus on the prospect’s individual preferences and tangible challenges, handled with acute sensitivity and expert attention (notice I did not say expert advice), establishes an emotional connection with a potential customer. Initiating a conversation to explore and tackle the emotional aspect of a problem marks the starting point of effective advisory engagement.

Avoid well-scripted monologues and smarty-pants deliveries. They turn people off. Instead, try these pointers for trust-building interactions:

  • Use language that can be understood; no industry jargon or buzzwords.
  • Ask open-ended questions and actively listen to their challenges. 
  • Tell a relatable, emotional story that illustrates your problem-solving value. 
  • Don’t overwhelm; break down complicated concepts into smaller, more coherent pieces.
  • Stay empathetic and put yourself in the prospect’s shoes.

It’s great to know it all. It’s not so great to share it all. 

Remember, the goal is not to “dumb down” your prospects but to effectively communicate complex ideas in a way that resonates with them. Clarity and simplicity are key to building trust and understanding.

A conversation that starts with “?” is the beginning of Communicreation℠. 

Know who Brad is? Let’s chat. 


Did you learn something new, or perhaps you have a question? We’d love to hear from you!

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