I decided to journey to the Institute of Management Consultants Conference held over last weekend in Dallas, Texas.
At the airport I bought a paper back to read on the flight. The title was “The Crucible” which sucked me in with, in part, this jacket copy:
“…a frantic quest for answers that are connected to mysteries reaching back to the Spanish Inquisition … What they uncover hidden deep in the past will reveal a frightening truth in the present and a future on the brink of annihilation, and force them to confront the ultimate question: What does it mean to have a soul?”
Within the book, James Rollins connects witch hunts to the wonders of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and where it is headed. Little did I know that I was getting an in-depth preview of one of the keynotes!
I missed the opening keynote delivered by Alan Weiss as I decided not to go to the airport at early dark thirty. I chose a 9:45 departure which got me in town about the time Alan started speaking. Apparently, he said some of the things I’ve heard before so it wasn’t a great loss for me.
Why did I go?
- To renew some old acquaintances and make some new ones.
- To learn what’s new
- To gather new contacts for my annual Consultant Marketing Survey
That piece of art at the top of this missive came from Mark Haas. Years ago when the IMC web site was in development, I was the Marketing chair in Portland. Mark was volunteering to get the site up and working from his home office near Washington DC. Many a night we would be on the phone, me at Midnight and he at 3:00 AM. The only time we see each other in person is at these gatherings.
Ken Lizotte was speaking at this conference. We tried to figure out how we know each other and gave up after about ten minutes. Ken is the conference chair for next year. We chatted about me speaking next year and he asked me to be his sidekick in putting together the 2020 Conference in Boston. I think I dodged that bullet!
AI, AGI and ASI
AI is, of course, Artificial Intelligence. The Saturday morning keynote was delivered by David Copps, a futurist, technologist and visionary as well as a member of the Aspen Roundtable on AI among other things you might expect. He spoke of where AI is today noting things I’d read about in The Crucible including how AI will morph to AGI or Artificial General Intelligence (like Asimov’s Robots) and then to ASI, Artificial Sentient Intelligence when the AI takes on a life of its own. Mr. Copps made it clear, with specific examples that it is happening a lot faster than you think!
Serendipity is a strange thing.
Saturday, after that serendipitous keynote I joined an experiment where conference attendees could suggest topics for a series of breakouts on subjects of interest to them and then see if other also wanted to discuss. I suggested “How is Consultant Marketing Changing?”
Six people signed up and we did a roundtable on the subject. The participants ranged from a start-up to a couple of us with 20+ years of experience. I heard a lot of current and future possibilities but only one current approach I had not heard put so simply before:
“Don’t try to build a huge list. Keep track of folks that provide referrals, no more than 100 if you get that many and touch them at least once a month personally with a phone call or in person meeting. Let them know the kinds of engagements you are currently working on. Send them a monthly newsletter. Do something special just for them at least quarterly. Things like lunch or dinner, tickets to an event or sending them a book or article especially selected for them.”
I will, of course be sending all of the round table members along with a score of others that agreed the Annual Consultant Marketing Survey.
The attention span of a gold fish
Yoram Solomon, another of the keynoters cited Microsoft research that said that the human attention span had dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2013. The study noted that the attention span of a goldfish was 9 seconds. So if you’ve read this far, you have the attention span of at least a school of goldfish!
Yoram spoke on trust. Here are his 7 Laws of Trust:
- Trust is not binary. It is continuous.
- Trust is contextual
- Trust develops between every two people independently.
- Trust is asymmetrical.
- Trust is transferable.
- Trust is reciprocal.
- Trust needs two sides.
Yoram has done the research, that is why he has a PhD. I’ll leave you with this fact from his investigations:
can sell the same product or service for 29.6% higher price.”
And so it goes.
Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc.
His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing and Brand development advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.