I'm a big fan of the show Jeopardy!. My husband and I watch most nights.
If you watch Jeopardy! at all regularly and maybe even if you don't you've probably heard of Arthur Chu. For several months, he took Jeopardy! by storm, using an unconventional strategy to play the game. If aren't familiar with Arthur Chu, you should take a minute to look him up.
On Jeopardy!, the questions get harder in each category as the dollar prize per correct answer rises. Arthur Chu liked to go for the toughest question with the highest reward. This strategy really threw off his competition, and he could quickly determine their strengths and weaknesses in different categories. When he used this strategy well, and knew his subject matter, he was unbeatable. He won big as a result.
How can we learn from Arthur's strategy to put our competition off balance? Is there a way to flip the game board so that we're addressing the toughest questions first? Do your research - know the tough questions before they're asked. We need to be confident that we are experts in all subject matter of our required professional categories. Don't shy away from the tough questions. Being evasive is one sure way to lose the respect of a potential client or referral partner.
How do we play differently to get stronger results while neutralizing the competition? I don't have the answers, but every time I watch Jeopardy! I ask myself those same questions.