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Archive for August, 2013

Golfing and Manufactured Housing Sales

August 30th, 2013 No comments

I was listening one Sunday to a motivated golfer. He was maybe 30ish and clearly wanted to be good at the game. So he took lessons. Afterward all the lessons, he went out for a round and began by thinking about all of the things he was supposed to do.

He thought about:

  • his stance,
  • his grip on the club,
  • how high the ball was supposed to be on the tee,
  • his hip rotation during the stroke,
  • his follow through,
  • and all the other things the golfing coach was trying to teach him.

He stood there with his ball on the tee, thinking about all of these things he was supposed to do.

Then he brought his club back up, went for the swing and connected with the ball. It soared up into the air! It went about 200 yards, and landed in the middle of the fairway! But…

…it was the neighboring fairway that it landed in.

He went after the ball. You can imagine his thoughts.

When he got to the ball on the 'wrong' fairway, he looked back towards the hole that was his goal and, lo! There was a break in the trees just where he needed to hit the ball in order to go back towards the hole that was his goal.

Let's cut to the chase. 8 shots later, his ball dropped into the right cup.

Now, when I first shared this story with someone who golfs, what I heard in reply was laughter. It is an amusing story.

But when you apply this to the principles of selling manufactured homes, there are a number of potential lessons to be learned. Before continuing with the sales lessons, let's finish the true golfing story.

The young player approached the next hole differently. Instead of thinking about all of the rules, all of the things he was supposed to do, he simply relaxed.

Then, he began his swing, the follow through and the ball sailed 200 yards down the fairway. And it was the right fairway! This time, he shot par!

Now let's look at the take aways from this and how it applies to sales.

First, the player never gave up. He did finally sink the shot, even on the errant first drive. He kept aiming for his goal and finally achieved it.

Second, the player didn't let his love for the game be harmed or negatively impacted. He kept his attitude. He wanted to learn and did so.

Third, all of the rules that he was taught WERE in fact very IMPORTANT. Those rules and tips DID make him a better golfer! But he first had to relax himself, then the young player had to focus on the ball and his goal. Then the player simply had to “just do it.”

We've commented before about similarities between fishing and selling. If you pull back on the line before you have the hook in the fish's mouth, what happens? You scare the fish away, right? The same thing often happens in sales. I've see sales people who try a take away or other 'strategy,' but they don't even have their prospect hooked yet! Is it any wonder that they lose the customer?

Of course not.

golf_professional_pat_diaz_gives_young_golfer_pointers_chula_vista_municipal_golf_course-wikicommons-posted-cutting-edge-blog--manufactured-home-marketing-sales-mhpronews-.jpg

The rules of good golf are as important to the
pro as to the student of the game.
The rules of good salesmanship
are as important to the newbie as to a veteran.

The focus of selling is first the customer, but then you and what you say or do! The rules of professional sales engagement are there to guide you to be a better you in serving the customer. Good salesmanship is not about tricking or manipulating a customer.

It is about learning how to engage the customer in a professional fashion that will routinely produce the right outcomes when followed.

Doctor's don't save every patient. That in itself doesn't make them a bad doctor, so long as they are saving the patients that can be saved.

Sales begins with your mind set. You have to have the right attitude about the customer, and you have to want to serve them in a professional fashion.

The reason on our MHProNews.com website that we have an Inspiration blog, plus featured articles by Zig Ziglar, Tim Connor or Greg McClanahan is precisely to refresh and inspire the right motivations in all those who serve the public and who serve their peers too.

The young golfer had to learn how to internalize the rules he learned, but also to keep his focus on the ball.

The focus in student of sales is the customer and their needs, wants and desires. But the rules help both the golfer and the sales pro to advance and improve.

Even professional golfers want to improve their game. A pro still has a coach.

The same is true for the professional sales person, they still have a coach.

The doctor who tries to 'heal himself' is often guilty of malpractice! It is a common principle of good medicine that you don't treat yourself. The doctor who does may not have enough perspective to do so effectively.

The same is true in sales. Jim Carpenter said it well in a recent guest column. When the only 'training' that is going on is in house, it is often 'old stuff' that is being re-hashed, instead of a truly professional blend of the tried and true along with the good and new!

When you learn the rules of good sales engagement and then make them a part of what you say and what you do – naturally! – then you too will see shots soar down the fairway, and you will see them land on the right fairway! Having an outside sales trainer or sales coach can be as critical for your location, career or business as the golf coach is for a pro – or new comer! – who wants to improve his game. ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red HotFeatured Articles for August and see the other new stories at MHLivingNews.com too.

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach
ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com |
Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C
Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking:

MHC-MD.com | LATonyKovach.com | Office 815-270-0500 |

Connect on LinkedIN:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach 

What is Sales? What does it mean to Sell?

August 24th, 2013 No comments

This may seem to be a rather odd question at first for a marketing and sales blog. But for many sales pros, you will get the importance, value – and even fun – of this question right away.

What is Sales?

There are a number of definitions possible to the word “selling” or “sales.” What is the one you use?

This may be more important than you think. We aren't going to say there are any 'wrong answers.'

My fellow MH friends, peers and colleagues, let's be honest! MH is different than cars, boats, RVs, conventional houses, townhouses, condos or apartments! 

That difference CAN be a POSITIVE. But if we don't understand sales (or before selling takes place, pre-sales marketing), you or your team will never reach your potential in this industry.

Here is an example of a googled definition:

definition-of-sell-posted-on-mhpronews-com.png

 

Seeing with New Eyes

Image Credit: mbrewergroup

There are many definitions, but the last one suggests something that is critical for manufactured housing pros to realize. One of many that I like is:

“Sales is a transference of emotions.”

There are hundreds if not thousands of professionals in our industry who are not 'true believers.' If the person behind the reception desk, the sales pro, manager or others in the industry don't believe in the amazing value of manufactured housing, certainly that attitude may be picked up by a prospective customer. Almost as bad, is when an employee goes home, and disrespects our industry to family or friends.

Are you or your team mates transferring positive emotions, neutral or negative ones about manufactured homes?

This is why attitude is so important. Need a check up, from the neck up? Please visit our Inspiration blog, you could do it right now, today. Because when the emotions being subtly transferred are off, sales will suffer. But the opposite is also true!

Get your team on board with a better attitude and more professionalism regarding sales starting today. ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red HotFeatured Articles for August and see the other new stories at MHLivingNews.com too.

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach
ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com |
Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C
Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking:

MHC-MD.com | LATonyKovach.com | Office 815-270-0500 |

Connect on LinkedIN:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach 

“Hi-Tech Business Cards”

August 18th, 2013 No comments

What's in a name? Plenty! What you label or 'name' an item can often make or break a product or service. Or as a friend of mine bounces back and forth with me, 'the truth well told is powerful.'

Let me share a specific example.

As one of several tests for 'spreading the word' about the new ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com website with the public and industry, we printed up two new cards. These we named or labeled “hi-tech business cards” as they were handed out to someone.

The one below with 3 QR Codes on it is designed to be given to Industry professionals. The one that says “Improved LifeStyles!” is for the public at large.

hi-tech-business-cards-.jpg

Both are standard business card size. As I hand them out, and say words like “You might find this hi-tech business card of interest,” a wide array of replies comes, but so far, all of them positive.

Wow, this looks cool.”

This is my first hi-tech business card.”

Or…

The person who said, “I like it,” and promptly pulled out his smart phone and used his QR ap scanner to read the card.

Want to do something different? Consider your own hi-tech business card. Combine it with a sharp looking website, and voila! You can make an instant impression that can lead you to more business. ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red HotFeatured Articles for August and see the other new stories at MHLivingNews.com too.

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach
ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com |
Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C
Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking:

MHC-MD.com | LATonyKovach.com | Office 815-270-0500 |

Connect on LinkedIN:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach 

Seeing is believing!

August 11th, 2013 No comments

As of this writing, visitors have over 10,000 views of our dramatic video of a manufactured home hit by a tornado and high winds. You can find it at this link:

http://ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com/dramatic-video-of-a-manufactured-home-hit-by-a-tornado-and-high-winds/

Self-described industry newcomer Kendal Guzman just posted the following comment on the video:

This is so cool. I had no idea they were so well built.
I just started working for a large dealership of manufactured home.
I will show this to all my customers!”

Naturally, it would be better if the video had 10,000,000 views instead of 10,000 in about 14 months. That said, not too many manufactured home videos hit 10,000 views! You can ‘like’ and comment on the video at this link

Please notice the comments from skeptics, but also the replies we provided! You won’t convince everyone, certainly not every time, but if you sway some, that’s a victory for all involved.

We’ve had clients and others who have used this video in a way similar to what Kendal says he plans to do. What we recommend is not to raise the tornado issue, but when it does come up, that is the time to take the right prospect to the page on MHLivingNews.com linked.

manufactured-home-garage-credit-aia-insurance-posted-manufactured-home-living-news-

Too many people are using ‘seeing is believing’ in reverse. They see or hear something negative about manufactured homes from others. That’s why it is CRITICAL with certain buyers and shoppers that there be a positive, pro-industry resource geared for the public. That’s what ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com is for – positive image building that can drive sales.

factory-building-manufactured-home-living-news-com- (1)

Hi-Tech looking MOD posted on MHLivingNews

Stop Being STATIC

A static website is proven to be less of a draw for return visitors than one that is routinely adding new info.

With that in mind, while we appreciate it when your webmaster provides a link to MHLivingNews.com from your site, far better is to end the static nature of your site by adding a visible RSS feed! Here is the link:

http://manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/feed/

Articles on factory building will help your visitors get past the negativity that is out there, due to a lack of balanced facts.

Speaking of hot videos, why not help people get past their hang ups about single section manufactured homes? The video linked on this page has been HOT since we’ve posted it, at the link below:

http://manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/whats-in-a-name-the-cube-home/

Like us!

Besides liking our video linked above, please don’t forget to like us on FB; scroll to the bottom right of the MHLivingNews.com page to find our Facebook link.

The more that you and others ‘like,’ share and promote MHLivingNews, the better it will be for the industry. We will be planning live and web based events to show you how this site is being used TODAY to sell more homes in local markets. You too can be a part of what will increasingly become over time a game-changing, image enhancing effort.

factory-building-manufactured-home-living-news-com- (1)

Factory building on display every day!
Click the link above…
…and have others you know see to believe too.

Remember, seeing is believing. ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red HotFeatured Articles for August and see the

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com |
Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C
Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking:

MHC-MD.com | LATonyKovach.com | Office 815-270-0500 |

Connect on LinkedIN:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach 

Concerns on Home Buyers’ Minds

August 4th, 2013 No comments

Trulia published a report recently that summarized the 6 concerns on home-buyers minds. The report has implications for manufactured home sellers as well as the broader housing market Trulia was addressing. Let's dive in and see what we can learn from even a brief analysis of their report.

Quoting:

Worry:  Mortgage rates and prices will rise before I buy.  Trulia’s Economist Jed Kolko reports that “the top worry among all survey respondents who might buy a home someday is that mortgage rates will rise further before they buy (41%), followed by rising prices (37%).”  The worry is valid, given the fact that the market was depressed for so long and has a long recovery road ahead of it.  It’s compounded by the fact that buying a home has gone from something that used to take a month or two and now routinely takes 6 months, 9 months, a year or even longer!”

Wow! Every one of these can be turned into a positive for the savvy seller of manufactured homes.

  • Rising mortgage rates has often been seen as good for our industry. My own take is more nuanced, but that's a discussion for another time.

  • Rising prices – this is another positive for our industry, as housing shortages and even some markets that have bidding wars. When conventional home resale prices rise, the price differential for our new product grows, to our benefit.

  • Length of time to purchase. In most cases, we can even order a customized manufactured or modular home and have it done much faster than 6 months, vs. the 6-12 months it may take some to get a mortgage for an existing house.

Quoting Trulia:

“Will:  Be aggressive. B. E. Aggressive. Economist Kolko explained, “among survey respondents who plan to buy a home someday, 2 in 3 (66%)  would use aggressive tactics such as bidding above asking, writing personal letters to the seller, or removing contingencies, to name a few.”  What buyers do and don’t do in the name of aggressively pursuing their dream homes (and, consequently, what sellers expect) is slightly different in every town.”

north_water_street,_new_bedford,_ma-posted-mhlivingnews-com-2.png

You could buy about six of the homes at the right for the price of 1 house at the left, size for size.
The one at the right has a double car garage, is more energy efficient and has lower taxes too.
Hello? Anyone's light bulb going off?

Egad and Zoikes MH Pros. Think about this.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) are running radio spots that underscore this reality of homes selling like hot-cakes in many markets, where some buyers will 'bid higher' (offer more) than the listed asking price.

Here our industry routinely pushes 'affordability,' but look – when people like what they see, buyers are often willing to pay MORE to get what they want.

IMHO, way too many MH retailers and communities are afraid to offer anything but the cheapest home they can get their hands upon. Meanwhile, in the 85% of the housing market where billions upon billions of houses are sold, people will pay more than the asking price, to get a house/location they want.

One of the most popular reads on our ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com website is the article entitled:

Who wants to be known as the most expensive factory home builder in a market? Us!

Clearly, people want to know what the upper end of MH is capable of doing! But another hot read is this one:

A Factory Built Home means you can pick your location and your home.

This last point is something a realtor can't touch. The house is where it is. You may love a home, but hate the location. With factory built homes, you can find a location AND a home that fits your lifestyle, taste and budget.

Ladies and gents, we routinely stress that we don't believe that we need to abandon the roots of affordability that manufactured homes represent. The U.S. Census Bureau tells us that of the 52,100 new manufactured homes placed in 2012, some 23,100 where single sectionals, American's most affordable permanent housing option.

But that means that the other 28,300 placed in 2012 were multi-sectionals. Consider what the U.S. Census Bureau said in a July 24 2013 press release, quoting:

NEW RESIDENTIAL SALES IN JUNE 2013

“Sales of new single-family houses in June 2013 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 497,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 8.3 percent (±20.5%)* above the revised May rate of 459,000 and is 38.1 percent (±22.0%) above the June 2012 estimate of 360,000.

The median sales price of new houses sold in June 2013 was $249,700; the average sales price was $295,000. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of June was 161,000. This represents a supply of 3.9 months at the current sales rate.”

Let's compare this to the U.S. Census Bureau's May 2013 stats for manufactured housing, which said that the average sales price of our homes was $61,100. So at the current pace, the stick builders have 8.33 homes built for each of our homes built.

There is a reason why we are promoting our more 'residential' homes on ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com – one being that we need to break past the stereotypes held by most people. But the other is that we have the most opportunity to grow in that residential side of the HUD Code industry!

A careful reading of market facts and reports like this one by Trulia ought to be telling us how we need to adjust, because we have the opportunities and are all-too-often passing them by. We will pick the next part of this Trulia survey soon.

Until then, Open Your Mind to the real potential of our market. Forget what you 'think' you know. Look at the market in broad terms. Think “we can too” – not “limited to.” Think marketing and selling to the more qualified buyers vs. the 'get me done' customers.

Let's not abandon the affordable housing side, but let's expand our reach to where the action in the U.S. is the hottest! This works for our clients, so logic suggests that it can work for you too. ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red HotFeatured Articles for August and see the

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach
ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com |
Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C
Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking:

MHC-MD.com | LATonyKovach.com | Office 815-270-0500 |

Connect on LinkedIN:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach