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Archive for July, 2012

What Super Stars Have in Common

July 25th, 2012 No comments

Increasing bottom line results is something that brings you and other manufactured housing professionals here by the tens of thousands every month. In fact 3,000 to 4,000 like you log on to MHProNews and departments like the Cutting Edge in Marketing and Sales blog during a typical day to learn more to earn more.

Before continuing our series on the 5 Motivators, let me share a thought captured from industry veteran Chad Carr in a recent webinar. Two key thoughts are summarized well in the motivational poster you see below.

What Super Star Athletes Have in Common inspirational poster on MHProNews

If you like or need motivational posters and messages, please visit the Inspirations blog

I was comparing notes recently with a factory built housing pro who hangs his hat West of the Rockies. We spoke about the state of training, marketing and promotion in our Industry. We agreed that it needs improvement. During the conversation, the following points where raised:

  • Holiday Inn
  • Best Buy

What do these two very different but successful businesses have in common? They both invest two weeks minimum on training for each new team member, before they go to the counter or hit the sales floor and talk with their first customer. They also invest more time after initial training on training updates, plus do routine huddles with their management too.

So why do so many manufactured home marketing and sales organizations fail to do what is proven to work in other industries and professions?

Every super star athlete does two things: they practice routinely and they get coached.

The winning teams don't march out onto the field or court and just do their own thing. They have a plan, a process that works for them. What doesn't work, they strive to improve until it does perform.

Proper planning plus preparation plus practice prevents poor performance.

When you don't have a company coach, use a personal one. Buy books, attend sales seminars, read articles, yes. But to be a super star, experience proves you must practice and be coached.

Check back soon for our next article in the 5 Motivators series.##

L. A. "Tony" Kovach
MHLivingNews.com=Re-Discovering and Spotlighting the MHLifeStyle
MHProNews.com =MHMSM.com= Industry News, Tips and Views Pros can Use

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Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right. – Henry Ford

Needs

July 21st, 2012 No comments

The basic needs of all human life are food, clothing and shelter. In modern times, the need for transportation is often tossed into that mix. In marketing and selling, Needs are one of the Five Motivators. We will take a brief look below at how needs can be used by marketers and sales professionals in this column.

basics-mhmsm

When we work with manufactured and modular housing clients in marketing and sales, part of what we teach is our proprietary method of a process first developed by corporate giant AT&T and others called the SPIN. SPIN is an acronym that stands for Situation Positioning Implications Needs/Benefit.

Once you identify a client's situation, probe to understand the implications of that situation and understand their needs, you are now in able to professionally POSITION your recommendations based on those variables.

The SPIN system is seller and client friendly, so it works.

We all 'need' shelter. It can be as basic as a cave, a tent or metal covering. Most of us want and need a home or more substantial roof over our heads. When wants and needs divide is another topic, but the fact that we offer one of the essentials of life with factory built housing ought to make every professional in our Industry properly proud and motivated to excel.

An ad, website, text, image or video of a home should include a focus on a need. When a message related to a need resonates, the odds of doing business rises sharply.

I've met sales professionals who essentially sold out of desperation. This is the wrong way to do business. First, desperation is often sensed and is a turn-off. The fact that you 'need' to close a deal puts no additional motivation on the prospect. It is the PROSPECT'S NEEDs that must be your focus!

Those needs must be placed in the context of a total vision, one that advocates something truly in the prospects interests. When you demonstrate in your marketing and sales that you understand their NEEDS, then you are going to connect more often.

Books have been written on related topics, so we can't cover it all in one sitting. Check out more of our columns on sales and marketing in our monthly featured articles. Marketing and sales professionals NEED routineInspiration, linked here. If you missed our Five Motivators column on Fear, find it here.

Send your team to read more, please drop by again soon. ##

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motivate or improved your team's performance and profits?

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Posted for

Tim Connor
Marketing & Sales, Website, Advertising and MHSpeakerTrainer-Manager
MHProNews.com= The MHIndustry's#1 News, Tips and Views you can Use.
MHLivingNews.com= Re-Discovering and Spotlighting the MHLifeStyle

See some of our client Testimonials here

Connect with me on LinkedIn, send an invite to connect to:

Tim@MHMSM.com
704-895-1230

You can read some of myfree business building articles on:
The 
Cutting Edge of Marketing and Sales Blog
Words of Wisdom Blog

Management, Sales and Inspirational columns on the MHProNews.com home page, featured articles.

To join our next Free Webinar on enhancing your
Internet and other Marketing, please hit reply send me a message.
Limit 12 per webinar,
so questions and answers are available at the end of the session.

 

 

Images and content copyright 2012 © by Lifestyle Factory Homes, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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Fear

July 18th, 2012 1 comment

Fear is in the name of a rock band. Fear is at the heart of the horror movie genre. Fear is the name of a Cape and a River in North Carolina. But for the purposes of this column, fear is a human emotion and is one of the Five Motivators; one that savvy marketers should carefully and thoughtfully use.

Fear possed in MHMSM

Books could be written about the use of fear in marketing and sales. Fear can be used as a bold attempt at manipulation. But fear can also identify something real that can benefit the target audience; an example might be that you teach a child to be cautious around the fire of that gas stove, because failure to do so is dangerous.

Fear can be used by itself, or it can also be used in tandem with the other 5 Motivators.

Fear can paralyze, so as a marketer, caution is warranted. Fear can be used with humor, an example will follow at the end of this column. Fear can also be used to scare someone into action.

Fear may be morally neutral. It can also be bad or good. So fear can be used properly or it may be abused or misused. For the record, we do not advocate an abuse of the Fear motivator for our clients. At the same time, one would be foolish to overlook a reality of human nature, right? If you have doubts where the lines are or how to use fear properly, please, call a professional.

The more you know, the more you can use what you know, the more you can grow.

There are different levels of fear. You can be scared to death by some thing or some one. There is also the insightful maxim that:

"The fear of loss can be greater than the desire for gain."

Let's look at that maxim for a moment.

Fear is used routinely by lenders and loan brokers, as an example. What, you may say? Absolutely, let me prove it to you.

When you tell your audience – via advertising or one-on-one in person – that "rates are at historic lows, hurry and get those rates locked in or you could miss out." Guess what? That is an example of the use of fear in communication. “Don't pay more for your loan, hurry in while rates are low, because you can pay less now and for years to come.”

Let me segue for just a moment to another obvious but all-too-often-overlooked fact.

Politicians de facto use marketers. When we see a candidate's campaign say, "If you elect that person, horrible things are going to happen," that's an attempt at the use of fear in politics. Don't get me wrong. The threat – and thus the motive for fear – may be real! Or the effort to create fear may be a mirage or fantasy. So it is up to us to use our God-given reason to discern and apply the defense to irrational fear; to see if there is 'logic' behind the fear, or not.

As someone who has taught management as well as worked with sales professionals for decades, let me say that fear can be a good thing. There are times when we should 'be afraid' of a consequence. WWII is a historic example. When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, having watched the Japanese roll across parts of the Pacific and the Nazis roll across much of Europe, we needed a healthy fear in America to push us into action. What other option did we as a nation have? Surrender? Never!

So fear can goad us to act when it is in our best interest to do so.

I will invite you back another time for another look at the five motivators. We may dabble more with the fear topic from time to time too.

Don't be afraid to call or email Tony or myself. Don't be the last community, retailer, builder, lender, supplier, service provider or developer in your market to use the powerful tools we have to offer…

…remember my promise above to use fear with humor? 😉 Are you scared yet? ##

Posted for

Tim Connor
Marketing & Sales,Website,AdvertisingMHSpeakerTrainer-Manager
MHProNews.com= The MHIndustry's#1 News, Tips and Views you can Use.
MHLivingNews.com= Free resource to enhance MH HomeOwner Satisfaction and MH Image Building

See some of our client Testimonials here

Connect with me on LinkedIn, send an invite to connect to:

Tim@MHMSM.com
704-895-1230

You can read some of myfree business building articles on:
The Cutting Edge of Marketing and Sales Blog
Words of Wisdom Blog

Management, Sales and Inspirational columns on the MHProNews.com home page, featured articles.

To join our next Free Webinar on enhancing your Internet and other Marketing, please hit reply send me a message. Limit 12 per webinar, so questions and answers are available at the end of the session.

Problem Solving, MH Marketing and Selling

July 13th, 2012 No comments

I was recently reminded of this saying by Albert Einstein:

Albert Einstein

See more free inspirational posts and posters at this link here.
 

I was also reminded that some us of over the age of 40 or so may not be completely sold on the idea that the Internet is here to stay. Let me share some statistics below on Internet usage, but first let me make a simple observation.

There was a time when radio and TV where young and new. Not everyone bought a radio or TV right away. In fact, there are still millions in the world without either one. But if you would suddenly lose all of your TVs or radios, life would be quiet different, right? Do you think the fact that some don't have TV or radio keeps advertisers from using them? Of course not, you market to reach as many of those as profitably as you can!

For those "mom and pop" business owners who have no website or internet presence, and who don't use email, guess what? Odds are good that over 3/4 of your employees, customers and suppliers do. So even those who are not web savvy have customers or residents posting about you online. Odds are good that even if someone is literally blind, someone has talked to them about something they saw or read online.

Every business has an image, just as industries have an image. The smart business owner or executive wants to at least help shape the image of his/her own business.

I promised you some statistics, the first bakers dozen are courtesy of hub spot bloggers…here you go, enjoy:

1) In 2012, the audience of internet users in the U.S. will expand by 3.1% to 239 million, representing 75.6% of the total population. (Note, keep in mind that infants and some toddlers don't surf…yet).

In other words…

2) More than 3/4 of the total U.S. population will be online in 2012.

Mobile in 2012

3) Mobile internet users will reach 113.9 million in 2012, up 17.1% from 97.3 million in 2011.

4) Smartphone users will reach 106.7 million in 2012, up 18.4% from 2011.

5) In 2012, 94% of smartphones users will be mobile internet users.

6) All mobile phone users will reach 242.6 million in 2012, up 2.3% from 2011.

7) Mobile shoppers will reach 72.8 million in 2012.

8) Mobile buyers will reach 37.5 million in 2012.

9) Smartphone shoppers will reach 68.6 million in 2012.

10) Smartphone buyers will reach 36.4 million in 2012.

11) Tablet users will reach 54.8 million in 2012, up 62.8% from 33.7 million in 2011.

12) iPad users will reach 41.9 million in 2012.

13) In 2012, 76.4% of tablet users will be iPad users.

Now, looks can be deceiving. Even if someone doesn't (yet) own a computer or smart phone, some go to the library or a neighbor's home, or use one at their workplace.

A 2011 study by the National Association or Realtors said this:

Information sources used in home search:

  • Internet: 88%
  • Real estate agent: 87%
  • Yard sign: 55%
  • Open house: 45%
  • Newspaper ad: 30%
  • Home book or magazine: 19%

Actions taken as result of Internet home search:

  • Walked through a home viewed online: 63%
  • Found agent used to search/buy home: 10%
  • Drove by/viewed a home: 63%

NAR says that most people shop for a home for an average of 12 weeks and see inside an average of a dozen homes before buying.

Rainmaker says that many shoppers start 6 to 12 months in advance of their purchase.

I've seen another report that suggests that this 2011 number hunting their home online may be low, that it is now actually 94%.

What do such facts mean to you?

Well, it depends of course on what part of the Industry you are in. But let's say you are Business to Business (B2B). It would be hard to find a business person these days who isn't online every day at their work, emailing, surfing the web doing research, etc.

For those who are doing Business to Consumer (B2C) out reaches, you better have a good website. Perhaps you should be more than one place online, for reasons we can cover in another column. It also means that if you are marketing or advertising to home shoppers (or should be) the person who is buying from your competitor who has great web presence shopped them online an average of 3 months ago, before they purchased their home today.

Many websites have 'myth busters' or FAQs as part of their manufactured home website. There is only so much you can do in a print ad, radio or TV spot, but you can provide tons of information on your website. When someone comes to our site here, they view many pages before leaving. When your website appeals to your audience, your visitors will do the same thing too.

If you aren't using a blog, don't have a social networking strategy, have never even considered why successful realtors will have dozens of websites and hundreds – or thousands – of pages online, chances are, you are missing more business than you can possibly imagine.

The popular definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things the same way and expect a different result. Or to rephrase what Einstein said, You can't solve a problem by thinking and doing the same things the same way as before.

We've seen proper marketing and sales results climb dramatically for companies that have used the smart, cutting edge approaches we teach. that every smart business guy would say, if I could invest a dollar to make a buck fifty, they would find the dollar. Well, what if you discovered a way to make 2 or 3 dollars or more for every dollar you invested?

Why not call me for a private conversation about your marketing and sales problems, interests and needs? ##

Posted for

Tim Connor
Marketing & Sales,Website,AdvertisingMHSpeakerTrainer-Manager
MHProNews.com= The MHIndustry's#1 News, Tips and Views you can Use.
MHLivingNews.com= Free resource to enhance MH HomeOwner Satisfaction and MH Image Building

See some of our client Testimonials here

Connect with me on LinkedIn, send an invite to connect to:

Tim@MHMSM.com
704-895-1230

You can read some of myfree business building articles on:
The Cutting Edge of Marketing and Sales Blog
Words of Wisdom Blog

Management, Sales and Inspirational columns on the MHProNews.com home page, featured articles.

To join our next Free Webinar on enhancing your Internet and other Marketing, please hit reply send me a message. Limit 12 per webinar, so questions and answers are available at the end of the session.

TANSTAFL, Manufactured Housing and Your Company

July 8th, 2012 No comments

A powerful, profitable lesson is coming for those with the wisdom and patience to get it. There ain't no such thing as a free lunch = TANSTAFL. That's true, but unfortunately millions no longer realize the truth of the statement. The school lunches that are "free" to millions of kids are paid for by tax payers and/or by borrowed money. That borrowed money will have interest and repayment, guess who will pay that? Some of those same kids who got that "free" lunch. Ouch, but true.

Broadcast radio or TV isn't free, it is paid for by advertisers. A listener of any radio personality's show, will often as an act of loyalty – knowingly or not – reward the sponsors for the broadcast by buying their products or services. If you own a business and love Rush, Hannity, Savage, Kim, Levin, Medved, Delilah, Tesh or hundreds of others, you may advertise on their shows.

In marketing, one does "free giveaways" with the idea of attracting enough people to one's product or service to make it profitable in the end. Costco or Sam's Clubs routinely have free samples during peak weekend traffic hours. Other stores and companies team up to do 'free' samples too.

knowledge-pays

Education isn't free. Someone always, always pays. But the cost of education is lower than the cost of ignorance!

If you aren't an owner or executive with a company that has a sales component to it, get with someone who knows and ask these questions:

  • 'Do you lose sales with a new hire that would have been made by a seasoned professional?' Here's another: '
  • Would a more educated, motivated sales professional sell more of your product or service?' Or
  • 'Is a trained professional worth more to you than an untrained person?'

HINT: the only honest answer to these is "yes."

Education is an investment in time and/or money. When I learned selling, some of it was paid for by a company I worked for, but much of it was paid for by myself. I wanted to be the best, so I went to seminars, bought books, listened to audios. I invested. I still do. Every year, I buy 50-100 books, not to mention trade publications and online reading.

Was there a payoff?

A million copies of my book, Soft Sell, have sold in over 20 countries. It is the result of years of time and money testing ideas in the market place of the real world. Because of that book and dozens of others that I've written, companies and associations from coast to coast have asked me to speak at their conventions or do in house training. One of the over 4000 such live events I've done was in Singapore.

Singapore is one of the busiest, go-getter business places on the planet today. So it was an honor to be there, please see what attendees of that conference thought (yes, they all spoke English! ;-).

knowledge-is-the-time

When an organization or company like yours brings in someone like myself, Tony Kovach or another expert from MHSpeakerTrainer.org, you are getting years of real world experience.

It isn't free, it is better, because you are buying wisdom and buying time. You are investing in compressing time. There is no time machine, but if you learn something from someone who knows, you've shortened the learning curve, saved time and accelerated your profits.

When you or your sales team learn in days or weeks what might take months, years – or never – to learn, you are investing in your enterprise in the most enlightened way.

Long before Tony Kovach brought me on board here at MHMSM in business development, I was writing for MHProNews.com on topics of sales, management and personal development. Why does any writer "give away" free content and share their experiences? Because they know that what goes around, comes around. It is an investment in time and money.

It is an investment that pays off.

A company like Clayton Homes has a training manual. They do training because it pays.

Palm Harbor has long used a decades old sales process taught by Grayson Schwepfinger. Okay, big companies have trainers and marketing and sales management staff.

But where can the thousands of small to mid size manufactured housing retailers, communities and developers turn to for marketing and sales systems that work today?

mhmsm-com-on-laptop

The answer is literally in front of your eyes.

There is no free lunch. Someone always pays. But when the payment in time and money is made, your company profits and grows as a result.

By all means, get all the free content here at MHProNews that you can. Make sure your team does too. Please do thank our sponsors by calling them for their products and services.

When you are ready for the "Aha! Moment" of accelerating your profits and compressing time, call me. Tell me your head aches, goals, resources and objectives. Let our team huddle with and support your team. You'll see why others do and have benefited too. ##

Posted for
Tim Connor
Marketing & Sales, Website, Advertising and MHSpeakerTrainer.org Manager
MHProNews.com = The MHIndustry's #1 News, Tips and View you can Use © resource.
MHLivingNews.com = Free resource to enhance MH HomeOwner Satisfaction and MH Image Building

See some of our client Testimonials here
Connect with me on LinkedIn, send an invite to connect to:
Tim@MHMSM.com
704-895-1230

You can read more of Tim's free business building articles on:

To Join our next Free Webinar on enhancing your Internet and other Marketing, please hit reply send me a message. Limit 12 per webinar, so questions and answers are available at the end of the session.

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