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Archive for August, 2014

Manufactured Housing, High Winds and Tornado Video Tops 100,000

August 27th, 2014 No comments

A basic desk-top video production posted last year on ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com anticipated some of the key findings of the recent IBHS hurricane wind study test. Frankly, the NBC News video has certain advantages and was of course done by big time news pros. But the two videos and related articles make a potent 1-2 punch for Manufactured Home sales professionals who are trying to win over someone 'on the fence' about our highly durable homes.

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You can see this video, plus one that shows a
conventional house swept away in less than 10 seconds
by a tornado, both on the page linked here.

The comments back and forth that have come in as a result of this video have also been useful, some from people who thought we were full of it. We incorporated some of those into the video commentary on the NBC News broadcast of the IBHS hurricane wind test, along with facts from other research.

In market and sales, emotions compel, but reason is used to justify a decision. How many times have you had someone 'sold,' application, deposit and purchase order in hand…

…but then they went back to their place, told their friends or family that they were buying a 'mobile home' and all of a sudden, they are ready to back out? When you got them to open up, how often does the myth that 'manufactured homes blow away' in a tornado hit you in the face?

Hey! We train MH Pros and have done/managed MH marketing and sales personally for years, so we know what you experience!

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(Original Image credit: WikiCommons, Poster © 2014 by Lifestyle Factory Homes, LLC)

That's why it is important to stay plugged into what the news reports shared on MHLivingNews can mean for you, your business and sales. The more inside the ranks of MH Professionals to be on MHProNews, and why our pros should read and share articles on and MHLivingNews.com. When you do that, more homes will be sold. It's guaranteed, because facts do matter.

15-minutes-daily-mhpronews

15 minutes a day on MHProNews,
7 minutes a day on MHLivingNews.
Share with your associates and prospects
and Repeat.

Email a link to a story to someone who needs to see it or post it on Facebook. Put up an RSS feed. If you want to sell more homes in your market, this is a no-brainer way to influence people you know to better understand and appreciate MH. That's our saga for today, and I'm are sticking with it. ##

latonykovach-com-brushed-cutting-edge-marketing-sales-blog-mhpronews-com75x75-By L. A. “Tony” Kovach

Does Your Manufactured Housing Marketing have to be Perfect?

August 20th, 2014 No comments

Another true story. We are driving I-4 West into Tampa, FL a few weeks ago. As I glanced at the billboard on the south side of the highway, my eyes caught sight of the sign captured in the photo below. What do you notice about this billboard?

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Photo credit, MHProNews.

Yes, you've spotted it now too! The sign – a single word and phone number – has a typo! “Available” is what they meant to spell, but in fact, it reads “Avalible.” Let's hope the 863-213-8050 phone number is correct…

Typos or errors in marketing or collateral are far from a one time occasion. A government agency hit the news recently, having spent big bucks on an item that had a serious typo in a word that was part of a logo. Everything printed was trashed as a result. The mainstream media also makes errors. Frankly, we get typos too. The hardest thing, professional editors say, is to see your own typos. Perhaps one reason is because you know what you 'meant' to write, and your mind sort of fills in mentally what was intended.

One take away is that it is wise to get someone else to review, whenever possible.

Is Imperfect Marketing better than No Marketing?

Sorry to say this in reply to the question above, but it depends! We had an item that had a typo in it, and (ouch!) it happened to be a prospective client's name. Actually, the name was spelled correctly, but regrettably it wasn't the name for the person the item was about! While it wasn't my error, neither did I catch it until the executive pointed the mistake out to me. The jury is still out on how much damage that error caused. The point is that an error can risk or cost you business with some.

On the other hand, others are far more forgiving and understanding. Someone might see that sign above and actually call it because of the typo. In Hollywood, they say that any publicity is good publicity. While you and I may see that different than those movie star types, you get the idea.

We are big believers in measure twice, and cut once. That said, imperfect messaging is routinely better than no messaging at all.

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G. K. Chesterton's famous quote above was wonderfully paraphrased by Zig Ziglar. Ziglar explained that it is better to start something and do it badly at first, until you learn to do it well. So true! Few of us are experts the first time we tried the ABCs or 123s. It takes repetition! The same is true in marketing, you have to repeat your message over and again, change it up, and say it again.

Another Chesterton quote makes the point that an imperfect start is better than no start at all.

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When we launched MHMSM.com – what we now called MHProNews.com, both of which points to MHMarketingSalesManagement.com – the site was good, but not perfect. We've kept improving it, and it continues to grow!

MHMSM-com-continues-to-grow

Compared to this same time last year, our page views have essentially doubled, from over 1 million page views last summer to over 2 million page views in both June and July of 2014! We were already the runaway #1 in our niche last summer, so we keep growing the gap between us and others. Keep in mind, we've created that traffic from pros like you without buying Google ad words, etc..

We've proven and demonstrated successful SEO and other methods to grow an audience that we teach others to do on their websites or online marketing. As the assistant vice-president of a respected company said in an email this week,

I read your site almost every day…”

If we were hung up on a false notion of perfection or nothing at all, we'd likely have much less content, and far fewer readers and page views too. This is publishing, not brain surgery. We do marketing as opposed to manufacturing some vital part in an aircraft, ship, car, smartphone or computer. The point is, there is room for tolerance in a marketer's efforts that may not be true for other professions!

In marketing, the ideal is to put out the best possible item that you can given your time, talent and budgetary constraints. If you can afford to do better, then do it! If you can't, then do the best you can with what you have to work with.

Video Courtesy of our friends, colleagues and clients at
ManufacturedHomes.com

Teaming Up

Let's make one more point with the video shown above. We all need others! It would be very costly for us to have our own video team. We forged a relationship with ManufacturedHomes.com. No one is a truly a 'one man (or woman) band.' We need professionals to provide us with services here and there. We take our own advice, we team up with others, and you should too.

Of course, when it comes to doing online marketing, websites or modern sales systems that attract more customers with cash or good credit to MHCs and MHRetailers, please call or keep us in mind. You'll see websites that deliver results along with marketing and sales processes that will improve your bottom line.

Call or click below, thanks, and see you again here next week! ##

latonykovach-com-brushed-cutting-edge-marketing-sales-blog-mhpronews-com75x75-By L. A. 'Tony' Kovach

In Marketing, What’s a “Channel?”

August 13th, 2014 No comments

Channel Definition | Investopedia
Definition of 'Channel'

  1. The system of intermediaries between the producers, suppliers, consumers, etcetera, for the movement of a good or service. 

Anyone can set up their own free channel on YouTube in maybe a minute. There are lots of “channels” that have nothing to do with video, when you use the definition supplied above by Investopedia.

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Image credit ambientmediaww.

Cable TV, Satellite TV, Radio, Web, Social Media, etc…

We've seen in the last decade the explosion of media outlets! Cable, satellite, internet, social media are just some of the new ways to 'channel' information between producers, suppliers and sellers of products or services to the public.

In many cases, we see 'product placement' being used on TV, in movies or online videos. A story is told, with the product's name or logo being visible. Marketers have figured out this is a good strategy that subtly tells viewers that the product does all the fun or cool stuff the stars in the show enjoy or benefit from using.

Influencing Media as Media or via Social Media

Some are such good bloggers, tweeters, YouTubers or other forms of social media that the mainstream media begins to pick them up and “follow” them. In some cases, the mainstream media responds in almost real time to a tweet from some public figure's Twitter feed.

Those who try to tell you 'how easy it is' to do social media, blogging, etc. are selling something! Many public figures, corporations or celebrities have one or more dedicated professional doing their blogging or social media for them.

But experts are correct in saying that when done properly, this works. Success requires planning and effort to achieve the kind of following that results in more business for your operation or location. We know, because for almost 5 years, we've built the largest audience of its kind in MH here on MHProNews.com.

Too small to do it all?

If your operation is “too small” for you to do it all, why not:

a) team up with others? For example, explore doing such efforts through your buyers group or association. Or..

b) piggy back with RSS feeds to MHLivingNews.com?

Relevant content – even in the form of links – is one proven way to bring more people back to your site. Since the good cash or credit shoppers often don't call or directly reach out for 6 months to a year (they have good credit because they plan ahead!), your website needs something is is routinely updating and changing.

UMH.com has at the bottom left of their website an RSS feed linked to ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com. At 12:05 PM ET on 8.13.2014, it looked like this:

umh-rss-feed-to-mhlivingnews-com-posted-cutting-edge-blog-mhpronews-com-

Each of those topics could be interesting to someone shopping for a manufactured home, or someone looking for a community they may want to move their MH. Here is how RSS looks on the Welcome Home Ohio website, found at the bottom right-center column footer on their home page.

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A very robust RSS feed is found on the Indiana MH association's http://communitylivingindiana.com/ website.

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Some networks and media own multiple 'channels,' you should use multiple channels to distribute your marketing message too! In the second decade of the 21st Century, tapping into or creating your own channels is easier than ever, but “easier” still requires some time and effort.

If you want to sell more homes, especially to those who are cash or better credit buyers, using more channels is worth it. ##

/l-a-tony-kovach(1).jpBy L. A. “Tony” Kovach

Are you Asking the Right Questions?

August 8th, 2014 No comments

Did you know…

  • that professional selling is more than just 'telling?'
  • that in the right circumstances, your prospect wants to be 'sold?'
  • that good selling is not something you do TO someone, it is something you do WITH and FOR someone?
  • that controlling someone in sales is just an illusion?

Even in a society that lacks freedom, people yearn for ways to express themselves! So imagine that in a free society, of course people don't want to feel manipulated into doing something, even if that 'something' might actually be to their benefit.

So as soon as some 'sales person' starts talking, talking, talking before they've

  • asked and listened,
  • asked and listened and
  • asked and listened some more…

what routinely happens is that good prospective clients tune them out. Odds of doing business with them nose-dive. This often leaves the weaker prospect that stays and gets 'sold,' and of course then the challenge is to see how to 'get their deal done.'

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Image Credit: Ky Olsen

There are organizations in manufactured housing that teach good selling, which is much more than telling.

Good selling is like going to a doctor's office. The doctor – or the MD's staff – has to ask probing questions and then follows those questions up with still more questions, all BEFORE tests are done or a recommendation for treatment is made.

We teach forward thinking professionals to ask the right questions at the right times. Then we suggest the proper marketing that makes the phones ring.

l-a-tony-kovach-2014-louisville-manufactured-housing-show-modern-marketing-mhpronews-com-manufacturedhomelivingnews-com (1)

L. A. “Tony” Kovach presenting to a packed room of MH Professionals.

Change rarely happens over night. But if you are doing the right job – the truly professional way – of marketing and sales in manufactured housing, you will see a steady growth in the number of qualified buyers who will call, come, see, believe and buy from you. Don't worry, you'll still get the credit challenged customers too.

When you learn to engage a cash or good credit customer successfully, you'll realize that selling manufactured homes is a noble profession.

Professionals practice and study, practice and study. Professionals ask questions before making recommendations, correct?

i-do-think-that-a-person-can-adapt-and-change-successfully-into-a-can-do-mindset-provided-he-she-is-willing-to-make-the-commitment-to-learning-jim-clayton(c)2014-life

What would you pay to listen to the industry's self-made billionaire for 45 minutes?
Then would you actively listen – take notes and learn – by
clicking here and watching this two part video?

Shall we close with some OBVIOUS questions?

So where do you go to do your daily reading in MH? And where are you getting your professional training to become a star in manufactured housing? ##

latonykovach-com-brushed-cutting-edge-marketing-sales-blog-mhpronews-com-By L. A. “Tony” Kovach

Three Steps to More Sales Comparisons Help or Harm You in Marketing and Sales

August 1st, 2014 No comments

Let's be really basic and candid. People make comparisons. It is part of what we are and do; we compare people, products, services, entertainment, food, politics, religion. You name it, and people make comparisons on it.

lady-shopping-comparing-cans-grocery-aisle-posted-cutting-edge-blog-mhmsm-com-

Photo Credit – WikiCommons.

We also tend to 'judge' or 'discern.' Labels are not just something on a can or jar. Politicians, actors, workers, companies, sales people, specific news or trade media, consultants, experts, products or services…so much of what we think about gets 'labeled.'

We either define ourselves or we allow others to define us. But if we let others define us, how do we re-label, re-define or re-brand? Vivid comparisons are part of the equation.

site-built-houses-moor-ok-ef5-tornado-did-worse-than-manufactured-home-credit-ok4-posted-cutting-edge-blogmhpronews-com-.png

Moore, OK and nearby area tornado damage 2013.

Tornadoes, hurricanes and high winds are subjects manufactured housing takes it on the chin for daily in the minds of those who consider housing options. 'Gee, I'd love the price-point of a manufactured home, but they are blown away by the first strong wind.'

Really? Who says? Was the right information provided so a more accurate comparison could be made?

Learning how to address the tornado-hurricane-high-winds-topic the correct way is huge. Frankly, a big element is about making the correct comparisons. See the side by side photo above.

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We showed this screen capture from Google Images on the Masthead Blog earlier this week. Every picture but the last one above came from either this MHProNews site or our new public-image-education-focused sister site, MHLivingNews.com.

Notice how we make comparisons?

The far more expensive site built house is losing its roof, while the lowest priced new manufactured home in that market is seeing a bit of skirting flapping.

The site built roof failed because the roof tore away, but on the manufactured home where the roof pulled loose it was because of an improper add on, which tore away first and that pulled the roof off the home like a giant para-sail.

FYI, NBC reported that it's add-ons which – in a post-storm study – where responsible for 80% of the home severely damaged or destroyed. The MH's would have been okay, had the add-on been done properly, or had it not been there at all.

No one wants to be caught in a tornado or hurricane. Look again at the top two photos. If you had to be in one of those flattened houses or the manufactured home which rolled over – and neither one had a basement – which would you rather be in? The decimated site built houses, or the manufactured home that got rolled, but is structurally so durable it's mostly intact?

Enlightened Self Interest! A Voluntary "Mutual Benefit Society"

There are reasons why you should want to send your customers, your shoppers and everyone you know to ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com. There, we are gathering and telling the good news about manufactured homes. We are debunking the myths, or outdated stereotypes. When you and your team know that site backwards and forwards, and then use it at the right time with customers, you will sell more homes. It's a no-brainer.

Three Steps to Your Organization's or Career's Advancement

1) Daily reading. Not just you, but your all of your team mates too. Don't think 'they aren't smart enough,' or 'they aren't motivated enough.' Peopleignorance-costs-knowledge-pays-cutting-edge-blog-mhmsm-com- want to take pride in their work! What they don't know, will cost you money. Period.

A minimum of 15 minutes daily here, and no less than 7 minutes a day on ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com, will at the end of a year be proven to advance your results and profits. Invest more time, if possible!

On our public site, you should read articles and view videos a number of times, once today, again in a week, etc. Why? So that when a topic comes up, you know immediately which story or stories to go to with your prospect or customers.

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RSS feed symbol.

2) RSS and links speed your success. We love links, and you should want to give them! We already have very good search engine positioning, but YOU want us to have the BEST possible, every time. Why? You want ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com to come up in a home shopper search. You want your customers 'pre-sold' or mostly sold. We don't sell houses, we tell stories. We let YOU sell houses!

    An RSS feed to ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com is important to YOUR sales. We are the industry's best public image and education site. See this Masthead for examples of how an RSS feed can boost your site performance too.

    money-bag-wikicommons-cutting-edge-blog-mhmsm-com-

    Unlock the money bag.
    Comparisons and the 3 Steps suggested
    can help.

    3) Invest Your Money Wisely! One and two above are "free." This one is about where you spend or invest your dollars. When you realize that you need:

      • Marketing
      • Sales training
      • Consulting
      • Website upgrades or a new website
      • Research or copy writing
      • Videos
      • Advertising…

      When you have a need, turn to us or to one of our writers or sponsors. When we win, we can do more. When you win, we win too. Think of this as a voluntary Mutual Benefit Society.

      Let's close with a request that you share via your social networking – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. AND by email this link below. It puts idea #1 above in action.

      http://manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/nbc-news-today-show-manufactured-home-performs-better-than-conventional-housing-construction-in-ibhs-hurricane-wind-tests/

      Then go to Reddit, sign in and comment on this link!

      http://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/comments/2c6ey1/todays_manufactured_housing_is_not_your/

      Reddit gets millions of visits. The higher that link goes, the more people will discover the truth about MH and will decide to buy. What goes around, will come around to you.

      So please do your part to make this go viral!

      Speaking of Linkedin, my thanks to all who connect with me on LinkedIn, provide an endorsement and share good words about our work to others.

      When you support our sponsors and support us, we are more able to benefit you. It really is that simple. There are a lot of fine industry sites out there, but the thousand of pros who come here daily make us realize that we compare well to anything else remotely like us. Hey, that's a comparison 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 863-213-4090 Connect on LinkedIN: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach