Archive

Archive for January, 2013

Turn Mistakes into Fans

January 27th, 2013 No comments

We all make mistakes. Unexpected stuff happens. But when it does happen, what do you – as a professional, manager or owner – do? Because a well handled problem is an opportunity in disguise.

Let me share a pair of examples that both revolved around the Louisville Show.

I contacted the Crown Plaza about using their conference room and hospitality services to host our recent INTRO to MH Opportunities Day event. They came recommended. That said, a series of unfortunate events took place. The Crown staff apologized…sort of…the manager in charge was the nicest, but at the end of the day, they failed to fix what went wrong on their end.

As those who attended know, the event was held instead at the Hilton Garden Inn near the KEC and Louisville's airport.

The front end of the planning was handled well. We booked. Both immediately prior to the event and at the event itself, some things went awry. What did the Hilton's staff do?

In each and every case, they responded immediately, professionally and fixed it.

It would have been nice to have had a list of all the names of all the people who at every turn made good customer service a reality. But I did grab a photo with three of the many, as showmen above.

They will be my first call next year as a result. I'm their fan now.

In my work with MH Retailers, Communities and others in our industry, we see mistakes happen. We advocate doing right by the client, because it routinely pays to do so. Do what's right. When things go wrong, admit the glitch and then make it right. When you do, it often comes back to you. ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for January and see the

other new stories at MHLivingNews.com too.

l-a--tony-kovachL. A. "Tony" Kovach

MHLivingNews.com=Re-Discovering and Spotlighting the MHLifeStyle

MHProNews.comMHMSM.com = Industry News, Tips and Views Pros can Use

Services:B2BandB2CAds, Proven MH Marketing & Sales Systems, Websites other Industry Solutions.

Office –815-270-0500

latonyk@gmail.com or tony@mhmsm.com

www.MHC-MD.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach= connect with me on Linkedin.

http://pinterest.com/latonyk/manufactured-home-lifestyle/

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

Price Cutting? Not!

January 19th, 2013 No comments

Since my early days in Manufactured Home (MH) sales, first at retail centers and later with in MH Communities, the issue of price cutting has been a perennially hot topic for MH professionals. Many are willing to close a deal by cutting the price. My personal take is; not!

Let's see why offering a price and holding to it makes good sense.

  • The problem with price cutting is that once you cut the first time, it is hard for the other person who is 'haggling' with you to know when they have 'hit rock bottom.'
  • If you cut prices for the person in front of you, how about the next customer, and then what about their cousins?
  • How do they know that they “deal” you are giving them is the same deal you give to others?

The point is that once you start down the slippery slope of price cutting, the other party has many questions, some they may ask, some they may never express but are still very much on their minds.

So my basic policy is simple. We offer a fair price, we make a profit at what we do (we are not the federal government with their deficits). We give good service and stand behind what we promise!

One of the many ways you can express that is as follows:

“Mr. Jones, I've often asked for discounts in my life too, so I respect the fact that you want to get the best possible deal. There are other companies out there that will haggle with you. We give you a fair, honest value, it is the same kind of great value that the person before or after you gets, unless some of our costs happen to fluctuate up or down. We do what we say we will do, not more, but not less!

So when we do business you don't have to wonder if someone else is getting special treatment and you are paying for their special treatment. We are fair to everyone, does that make sense? Great, then let's do some business.”

Learn to justify, stand by and hold your price. Your company's bottom line and your customers will be glad that you did. ##

Want powerful powerful proven marketing and sales insights and financing plans that will help you sell more homes? Click on this Get the Edge in 2013 link or the banner below! We will be in Louisville booth #115.


PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for January and see the

other new stories at MHLivingNews.com too.

l-a--tony-kovachL. A. "Tony" Kovach

MHLivingNews.com=Re-Discovering and Spotlighting the MHLifeStyle

MHProNews.comMHMSM.com = Industry News, Tips and Views Pros can Use

Services:B2BandB2CAds, Proven MH Marketing & Sales Systems, Websites other Industry Solutions.

Office –815-270-0500

latonyk@gmail.com or tony@mhmsm.com

www.MHC-MD.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach= connect with me on Linkedin.

http://pinterest.com/latonyk/manufactured-home-lifestyle/

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

Go To Meeting

January 16th, 2013 No comments

I was chatting with a man who had called from West of the Rockies. He was interested in marketing and sales training for his retailing manufactured home communities. With my being based not far from Chicagoland, he asked a natural and common question. "How are you going to do this cost-effectively?" My reply was that we do it via GoToMeeting? Be it websites or MHC-MD.com results deliverables, we deliver the bulk such training and services online and by phone, often using GoToMeeting.

We use technology daily here. I'd be the first to say that it is great when you can sit down, have a coffee, soda or other beverage and talk, coaching or do training face to face. We do live training and seminars at associations and for companies.

But when geography and time don't make that possible, then a service such as GotoMeeting makes perfect sense. Certainly there are scenarios when something like Skype or other services can be useful too.

With GoToMeeting, we can have multiple people on the line from various locations all at the same time with ease. The sessions can be recorded. You can do power points. You can look at each other if you opt to use the webcam feature.

Millions have used GoToMeeting (GTM), which we are not advertising here! It is simply a great tool that we use routinely and have for years. It doesn't have to be for a training session either. There are times when you want to discuss and show something to a prospect simultaneously and remotely. GTM makes it possible.

So if you happen to be in some remote part of the country and wonder how sales training, coaching or marketing services can be delivered cost effectively, part of the three letter answer is GTM. The Internet and phones make doing remote business in the digital age fast, secure and cost effective. Try it! ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for January and see the

other new stories at MHLivingNews.com too.

l-a--tony-kovachL. A. "Tony" Kovach

MHLivingNews.com=Re-Discovering and Spotlighting the MHLifeStyle

MHProNews.comMHMSM.com = Industry News, Tips and Views Pros can Use

Services:B2BandB2CAds, Proven MH Marketing & Sales Systems, Websites other Industry Solutions.

Office –815-270-0500

latonyk@gmail.com or tony@mhmsm.com

www.MHC-MD.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach= connect with me on Linkedin.

http://pinterest.com/latonyk/manufactured-home-lifestyle/

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

It Pays!

January 13th, 2013 No comments

There are arguably only a limited number of reasons to advertise. At or near the top ought to be that it pays! Sound marketing yields healthy ROI. Poor or no marketing costs you money.

There are many reasons why people – notably during challenging economic times – think they should stop or cut back on advertising or marketing efforts.

But according to By the Way:

"Here’s the thing: More than 48 percent of U.S. adults believe a lack of advertising by a retail store, bank or auto dealership during a recession indicates the business must be struggling."

Long before they shared that statistic, wise Henry Ford said this:

A man who stops advertising to save money

is like a man who stops a clock to save time.”

Take another automotive example from History's website:

"Although automobile sales collapsed during the Great Depression, Sloan could boast of GM that “in no year did the corporation fail to earn a profit.” (GM retained industry leadership until 1986 when Ford surpassed it in profits.)"

Independents failed, but GM created a strategy during the toughest of economic times that combined ads and innovations that kept buyers and profits coming.

An Example from Manufactured Housing

While something unforeseen could still occur, the 2013 LouisvilleShow.com appears to be headed towards a new record turnout, post 2010. There are a host of reasons why this is so, some of them covered in this linked Industry in Focus report.

But certainly, the show sponsors and organizers believe that internet marketing is one of those reasons for the successful return of a show that many thought died forever in 2010.

Let's see what others (disclosure: who happen to be our clients) say:

"Tony, there is no question that your internet approach (advertising on MHProNews.com and their new website) helped make the strong come back of the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show…a success." –

Dennis J. Hill

Louisville Show Coordinator

Great job with the (LouisvilleShow.com) website, Tony!  It’s easy to follow and with the great pictures and information you provide about the Show as well as the city of Louisville, everyone will want to attend the 2013 Louisville Show.” –

Betty Whitaker

Executive Director

Kentucky Manufactured Housing Institute (KMHI)

A member of the Midwest Manufactured Housing Federation (MMHF)

The parent organization to the Louisville Show

Today marketing may mean a classified for some companies, banner ads, jump pages and email marketing for others. Marketing may mean using some targeted print, mailed or other media. But be it business to business (B2B) or Business to Consumer (B2C), it must include Internet marketing – websites, email and online ads – in order to get the most bang for your bucks.

The other thing businesses need is pro-growth education and information! Be at the LouisvilleShow.com to get more tools for success. The downloadable Louisville Show Brochure is linked here.

We will be there at booth #115. kindly stop by and say hi while you are at the show. You might find a fun surprise or two if you do! Check back to see what that fun surprise is, and how you might benefit in YOUR marketing by stopping by, and it will be free! ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for January and see the

other new stories at MHLivingNews.com too.

l-a--tony-kovachL. A. "Tony" Kovach

MHLivingNews.com=Re-Discovering and Spotlighting the MHLifeStyle

MHProNews.comMHMSM.com = Industry News, Tips and Views Pros can Use

Services:B2BandB2CAds, Proven MH Marketing & Sales Systems, Websites other Industry Solutions.

Office –815-270-0500

latonyk@gmail.com or tony@mhmsm.com

www.MHC-MD.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach= connect with me on Linkedin.

http://pinterest.com/latonyk/manufactured-home-lifestyle/

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

Categories: Internet Marketing Tags:

Food Network: Kitchen Impossible

January 6th, 2013 No comments

For those of you who know the show, the actual title is Restaurant Impossible. Chef "Robert" comes in and takes a losing location and its staff, evaluates, takes charge, bosses people around and in 2 days has a money losing dump turned into a money making gem. Anytime I've walked in and my bride is watching the show, I confess it has drawn me in, because it's fascinating. But in my mind, what I see are not restaurants, but community or retail locations in our industry that need a turn-around.

I watched one man whose restaurant was a disaster call Robert's process, "tough love." $10,000 and two days (I'm guessing travel expenses are on top of that cost) transforms a failing restaurant's decor. "The buzz and excitement" from the customers who are wow'd at the transformation, improved food and service make it all worth while.

"If you own a failing restaurant, call us at…" Restaurant Impossible at Food Network, they proclaim. Some do, and they watch profits for owners and tips for staff shoot up.

Robert (left) photo credit Food Network

MH Community Impossible?

How many know (or have…) an "impossible" MHCommunity (or MH Retail Center)? Sales are flat or down. Vacancies are growing and residents are unhappy. Plus the location looks (bow wow) ruff, ruff?

Restaurant Stakeout?

Food Network's (FN) Restaurant Stakeout with Willie Degel is a similar concept to what Robert does. Degel sets hidden cameras and finds who has been doing (or not doing) what at a restaurant. But you may wonder, can you do similarly in an MH Community or retail center? Yes.

It is no joy to say that in working with some locations, I've found employee theft, fraud and abuse. It can happen anywhere, but seems more common when refurb work is being done. We've found invoices that had ballooned to three times the value of the refurb job. Do you want somebody pocketing your money?

I've also listened to staff say the most outrageous things, even knowing (because they were told up front) they might be recorded for later playback. The bane (and beauty) of habits are that if you have a bad habit, it reveals itself. If you have – or form – a good habit, that reveals itself too as you create the processes for lasting success.

48 hours?

We can't do turn-arounds in an MH location in 48 hours, because MHCs and MHRCs are far more challenging than a quick restaurant makeover. Often, you have to clean house and start over with an MH location's staff if they are unwilling to change (they don't do that in the broadcast TV shows above). But we have seen MHC and MHRC locations start the turn around in 48 hours; and we've seen in 48 days money losing locations start turning or growing profits.

Fear, Rules, Regulations

FN's Willie Degel says you don't run a charity, you run a business. You are giving people a job and opportunities. They have to be trained to follow the rules and regulations. Degel says staff have to 'fear' losing their job, or they will take over and run wild. His under cover cameras prove the points. He uses stop watches to time service. He has stealth customers test the staff. "An untrained and undisciplined staff" can put you out of business. But the reverse is true, a well trained staff usually feels better about themselves and their work, and they will make their owners money!

When MHCs have 250,000 – 500,000 vacancies…

In most MHC cases, there are no good reason for 250,000-500,000 vacancies in U.S., when the quality affordable housing is what Americans need! In a matter of days, you can start a location turnaround and in a matter of weeks, you can be making more money. Sales and satisfaction rises and those vexing vacancies vanish.

Got a failing location?

Have the resources and commitment to make the change? Showcasing actual results from border to border, we have done presentations at state associations that aren't reality TV, but that do show real life turn-around stories. Event attendees are busy making notes at those popular sessions.

Beyond profits, another real reward is that a good turn-around story often draws positive local media that is itself can be worth more that the turn-around investment.

Unlike some reality shows, we are not about embarrassing you on TV, but by working together – team work – you can go to the next level, see MHC-MD.com. ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for January and see the

other new stories at MHLivingNews.com too.

l-a--tony-kovachL. A. "Tony" Kovach

MHLivingNews.com=Re-Discovering and Spotlighting the MHLifeStyle

MHProNews.comMHMSM.com = Industry News, Tips and Views Pros can Use

Services:B2BandB2CAds, Proven MH Marketing & Sales Systems, Websites other Industry Solutions.

Office –815-270-0500

latonyk@gmail.com or tony@mhmsm.com

www.MHC-MD.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach= connect with me on Linkedin.

http://pinterest.com/latonyk/manufactured-home-lifestyle/

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