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Marketing Speaker, Jim Ackerman says… "Great Minds Act Alike… And so do non-great minds" | Marketing Wizard's Alliance

Marketing Speaker, Jim Ackerman says… “Great Minds Act Alike… And so do non-great minds”

By Jim Ackerman · Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

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I’m on an airplane returning from an engagement in Orlando, where I addressed the members of the Independent Jewelers Organization. And while they are all independent, they have two things in common. They’re all jewelers, and they all ACT alike.

And in this case that’s good.

As one of the nation’s top Marketing Speakers, I address groups all over North America, and I have noticed a very interesting phenomenon…

All groups act alike.

Every group takes on a personality of its own. And I have to say, seldom is this fact remarkable.

But the IJO crowd is different. The IJO members are a serious group of professionals who are dedicated to growing their individual businesses. They are individually open to, and actively seeking, better answers and better solutions to better their enterprises. And they are collectively finding those answers.

IJO only accepts one member in any given geographic area. This encourages the members to be willing to share their successes, because they don’t fear competitive “poaching.”

How did I get the gig? One of my very best and most successful clients, Ashley Miller, the owner of Green’s Jewelers in Roxoboro, NC, referred me to the group with a strong recommendation, because Ashley grew her business, well over 30% in the first year she worked with me and increased by double-digits again the second year. (Her Valentines sales were up 25% alone this year.) So Ashley wanted to share me with her colleagues. You don’t see that in other groups all that much.

What is even more impressive about IJO members is their propensity to take immediate action.

I’m a good speaker and my addresses are generally well received, by all kinds of audiences. But while every group has its go-getters who embrace and act, what impresses me about the IJO crowd is the shear volume of go-getters.

Within minutes of the conclusion of my first session, all the promotional materials I had brought for all my sessions were almost instantly snatched up. I was deluged by people asking for appointments, more information, and how to directly and immediately benefit from what I had to offer.

Don’t misunderstand. Of course this is flattering to a speaker, but I’m not blowing my horn here, I’m blowing theirs.

Most groups are far more timid. Most groups actually fear following through. I’m not sure whether it’s fear of being “sold” something, or fear of not being able to succeed. But it is fear, and it’s often almost palpable. It’s ironic that they join these various groups, ostensibly to improve their business acumen, but balk at going all the way to actually do it, especially in the most vital area of their business for their long-term success… marketing.

Why this phenomenon of homogeny in groups? Is it simply that birds of a feather flock together? Well, perhaps to a degree.

But I believe that it’s more than that.

I believe that every group is a reflection of its leadership. From a group as small as a couple or family to our national society at large.

And I believe this all happens quite naturally and automatically, regardless of whether the members of the group even think they’re a member of the group or are consciously aware that they are.

For example, do we think of ourselves as part of a collective? Well, on some level. We claim to be “Americans,” for example. But do we realize that we “Americans all act alike?” Don’t believe me? Ask the French. And we all know all the French act alike.

You see, we’re trained by our leadership to believe, think, talk and act certain ways.

For example, perhaps Bill Clinton’s biggest (notice I did not say greatest) legacy to the country — and I have to say congress and his party were complicit in this — is that he made it okay for all of us to cheat on our spouses and lie about it.

I’m dead serious about this. Bill Clinton got caught with his pants down — literally — and we as a society, through our press, congress and political process, decided to look the other way and say, no big deal.

Since then we have had all kinds of scandals, some with consequences, some without, but generally it appears we’ve all said, no big deal.

But what is the marketing lesson for all of this?

You have a group that is affiliated with you. They’re your customers. And for the most part, they all act alike. You’re the leader of this group. They act, toward you, the way you’ve taught them to act.

Are they always asking for discounts? You taught them that. They don’t do that with other merchants, because when they’re doing business with another, they’re part of that group, and the other merchants have taught them not to ask for discounts.

Do they buy from you frequently enough or not? Whichever it is, you’ve programmed them to act that way.

Do they trust you? Do they always have to “think about it?” Is each transaction large enough, and do they say yes when you ask them to add something on, in their own best interest? Whatever your answers to these questions, you’ve taught them to act that way.

Now, if you like the answers to all those questions, this principle is a powerful advantage for you. If you don’t like the answers, you’ve got a problem. Because once a group develops a personality, it’s tough to change it. Like steering an aircraft carrier, group behavior doesn’t turn on a dime. It takes time.

But the good news is, the ship can be steered.

You start by reprogramming yourself; the way you talk to your group, the frequency with which you interact with them, the stories you tell them, the examples you hold up, the messages of expectation you send. In short, the relationship you develop with them.

It will take time, but through a dedicated, consistent effort, you can have the IJO of clientele. A group that will enthusiastically embrace and endorse you; a group that will trust you and buy from you; a group that will love you and each other. And you, and each member of your group, will prosper together.

THE END

EDITOR’S NOTE: Jim Ackerman is a Salt Lake City-based Marketing Speaker, Marketing Coach, author and ad writer. For Jim’s speaking services go to www.marketingspeakerjimackerman.com Subscribe to his VLOGS at www.YouTube.com/MarketingSpeakerJimA, where you get a video marketing tip o’the day, and at www.YouTube.com/GoodBadnUglyAds, where Jim does a weekly ad critique and let’s you do the same.

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