Can Being Like Columbo Give You a Competitive Edge?

Image by kalhh from Pixabay

Is being the smartest person in the room, the image you want to project to your clients?
We all know someone whos got an answer for everything. Interacting with these people doesn’t leave us feeling good.
How do we show confidence without appearing to be a know-it-all?
I say I’m putting on my Columbo. Columbo was the seemingly bumbling, disheveled-looking TV detective who always got his man or woman. 

What made this detective so good at his job, and what can we learn from him? 

  1. He disarmed people when he entered the room, acting like he didn’t know anything. He came to each case like a blank canvas.
  2. He was forever the student. 
  3. He knew how to get people talking about themselves. He put people at ease by asking questions and gathering the facts before he revealed what he knew.
  4. He treated everyone with honor.  He valued everyone equally. The maid, gardener, and the wealthy, were all the same in his mind. This allowed him access to the places he needed to go to track down all the clues. 
  5. He often praised others for their accomplishments and even expressed regret when he ultimately proved the wealthy suspect was the killer. He genuinely cared about people.
  6.  He didn’t let others’ opinions distract him. When someone disregarded him, he used it to his advantage. He was persistent. He just kept coming, regardless of threats from his suspects and He rarely lost his cool
  7.  He had the team mentality. He was quick to acknowledge the help he received along the way. He knew how to play to the strengths of others and used the eyes and ears of the people who knew the victim and the perpetrator to gather information.
  8.  He was relentless at tracking down the details not to show how smart he was, but to solve the crime.

All of these principles can translate into your business or life in general. Using them will set you apart from those around you.

  • When we’re confident, it shows. We don’t have to impress everyone with our vast knowledge.
  • Asking clarifying questions lets your clients know you care about their needs.
  • Listening has become a lost art. Most people listen to respond. You will stand out among your peers if you listen to understand.
  • Waiting to reveal your knowledge until the appropriate time helps your clients or colleagues feel comfortable asking for your help. 

When our clients understand we care and will be relentless for their business, it makes us both winners.

How do you feel when you realize someone is truly listening and understanding you?

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