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Why Your Business Should be More like The Oak Ridge Boys

By Scott McKain – Dynamic Speaker on Innovation, Sales & Customer Service

Scott McKain, Dynamic Speaker on Innovation, Sales & Customer Service - The Sweeney Agency Speakers BureauWhen I was about 16 years old, the manager of the small-town radio station I worked for told me that we were going to be emceeing the concert of a gospel quartet. As you can imagine, to a teen unfamiliar with the group we were going to hear, it didn’t sound too appealing.

All that changed, however, the first time I heard the Oak Ridge Boys.

I am honored and proud that a friendship that began with them many years ago continues to this day. There are three major points that EVERY business could…and should…learn from them.

1) Be distinctive

Today, many have forgotten that when the Oak Ridge Boys expanded their audience and repertoire to country music, the Statler Brothers were already hugely famous. Some in radio and the music industry presumed that the Oaks were going to be an imitation of the Statlers, hoping to siphon off a bit of that quartet’s established success.

The Oak Ridge Boys understood from the onset that to create enduring success, you have to create distinction. While the Statlers dressed alike, the Oaks each had their own, individual style. The Statlers stage presence was most frequently to sing to a microphone firmly planted on a stand; the Oaks moved dynamically all over the stage. The Statlers were known for their comedy; the Oak Ridge Boys became known for their energy. While the Oaks were respectful and appreciative of others in their field, they weren’t a copy of anyone else. If you want to grow your business, you should do the same.

2) Let each person shine while working as a team

When you think of the Oak Ridge Boys, you probably first think of their amazing harmony. When you hear them, part of what is truly incredible is the level of talent of each member of the group. Consider this point, however: the only way you know that Joe, Duane, William Lee, and Richard are singularly talented is because each of them has a chance to shine as an individual during the performance.

Working as a team is critical — however, you cannot achieve your goals over the long haul unless you provide each member of your team with their individual time in the spotlight.

3) Create an Ultimate Customer Experience ® for your audience

While the pandemic has now changed live performances, as the Oaks hosted “meet and greets” in the past with many fans they were always welcoming. They were happy to spend time with them, have photos taken with them, and they made every person feel as though they were the center of the universe for the Oak Ridge Boys. They would give their all during their concerts, ending with rousing standing ovations.

Why were the Oaks still filling auditoriums — and why do they still have raving fans even when concerts aren’t currently an option — when other groups with just as many hits have disbanded? Simply this: the Oak Ridge Boys create an experience their customers want to repeat… and share with their friends.

As you look at YOUR business, is your performance so compelling that your customers want to repeat the experience…and not only tell their friends, but bring them as they come back for more?

Forty years ago, these four men inspired me by their hard work, talent, dedication, and distinction.

And, guess what? They STILL DO.


    About Scott McKain

    Scott McKain is globally recognized as an authority on how organizations and professionals create the distinction required to attract and retain customers and employees.

    Scott’s presentations benefit from over three decades of experience, combined with his innate talent for articulating successful innovative ideas. McKain has spoken and consulted with leaders of the world’s most influential corporations, presenting his business strategies in all fifty states and twenty-two countries… from Singapore to Sweden; from Mexico to Morocco… from the White House with the President in attendance – to conferences in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

    To Learn more about Scott McKain contact [email protected]

    Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866-727-7555 or [email protected]