The Bad News

April 3rd, 2013 No comments

Bad news often travels faster than good news. For the media, “If it bleeds, it leads!” Your team mates may be the first ones to toss you under the bus, even if you've done good things (sometimes, especially because you've done good things).

People talk about CYA for a reason, because they know the 'bad news' drill.

Perhaps it is just part of our human nature, but the reality is that you can't please everyone and thus have to work harder to make a good reputation for your business. In the internet age, you can get torched by anonymous emails, or websites placed online for the very purpose of torching another. Online ratings (1 to 4 stars, etc.) also make it easy for people to dish out less than kind (or fair…) feedback.

So dealing with “Bad News” means you have to supply your residents, your customers and others with a steady supply of Good News!

In the age of micro-blogging – which includes, but is not limited to Twitter or Facebook – it is interesting to note that some say the trend in marketing may be back towards longer content, especially if it sports graphic images and the message is focused on your target market's interests. The Dan Kennedy marketing crowd would not be surprised by this trend.

If you have a website, but don't have a blog, the short answer is 'start one!' Blogging done correctly enhances your website's SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Blogs are a handy way of getting and sharing 'good news' with your target audience.

Sharing Good News

For those who already have a website, there are lots of blogging plug ins available (just Google blogs, blog software, blog plug ins), along with third party hosted blogs, etc. If you want to hire installing a blog onto your website or need a new or updated website, there are companies like our webtech division that do that for others.

Not a writer?

If you aren't a writer, consider hiring one part time or by the article.

Another approach is to invite guest articles by knowledgeable or respected people in the field. Our Industry Voices Guest blog has had some 200 articles submitted, which is more than one a week on average since we launched it.

A third approach can be to use more photos or videos – that you can post on YouTube – as a primary or major means of communication for your blog posts.

When you share news – good news – to your readers/visitors, you can do so in short messages, long or in between. Some of the keys for successful blogging include, but are not limited to:

  • Consistency. If you set out to blog once or twice a week, stick with it! Don't start out great guns, and then falter.
  • It takes time to build your audience. Again, persistence and consistency are keys for long term success.
  • Use the SEO and Tag functions build into your blog, see below.
  • Accuracy in SEO and Tags. Don't put keywords or tags into the SEO portions of your blog post that don't apply. Below you will see an example of the keywords/tags used in an article on Industry Voices. Everyone of those key words were used in the article it was associated with. That makes the article's keywords/tags relevant. Relevance over time will enhance your blog – and website's – SEO and 'authority' with the search engines.

tags_for_Marty_Lavin_interview-posted-mhpronews-com-cutting-edge-blog

If Bad News Hits You

What if truly bad news hits you and your business? If you've established a blog, you now have the ability to respond to it. You can say what the 'bad news' is and then give it your side of the story in a way that doesn't cross any boundaries.

Today, blogging has become part of the 'alternative media.' Some reporters and writers have 'made it big' by blogging. As a rule, those success stories focused on putting out quality work and doing so consistently.

For the success stories where blogging was used to help build a business, there are thousands of examples of businesses using blogging to grow. MHProNews.com is in these both of these groups, so we are living proof that blogging can and does pay off when you do it properly.

But don't take my word for it. When it comes to blogging, take Nike's advice: “Just do it.” ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for April 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

 

No Guts, no Glory

March 24th, 2013 No comments

I recall the first time I heard an industry pro tell me 'no guts, no glory,' back in the early 80s.  In marketing and sales that statement still rings true today.

Too many sales people in our industry are going after the low hanging fruit that falls in their laps.  We see credit scores in the 500s for a reason!  Until we market and sell in a way that attracts more of those 700 credit score buyers – and they are out there by the millions – we will stay stuck with low sales results because those low credit score customers are the main group that walk through doors, like yours…  

Believe it or not, the good credit customers are statistically in the majority in every state! 

This Wednesday in Tunica, MS at their big annual manufactured housing trade show, I'll be doing version 2.0 of our popular seminar, Attracting More Customers with Cash or Good Credit.  I say version 2.0, because we have refocused the presentation to hone in on concepts so amazing, the "Aha!" light bulb will be going off over dozens of heads in the seminar room in our free presentation Wednesday afternoon.

Here is the link:

http://www.MHProNews.com/events/attracting-more-customers-with-good-credit

Here is the link to the show, and all of the business and profit building seminars.

Maybe you are a manufactured home community owner looking to fill dozens or hundreds of vacant homes and sites with customers that have a better payment history.

Perhaps you are a manufactured home retailer, looking to grow your closed sales. You want more happy home owners!

Maybe you are a manufacturer, association, lender or other provider that wants to help your customer/members grow their business, so you organization can grow more too.

Pros in all of these groups who attend this free presentation will see facts, figures and some real world examples of how sales can rise from poor or fair to good or even great. You will see how this can be done profitably, with measurable, proven results.

Even if you've seen an earlier version of this presentation, be there and you will be fascinated and moved by what you see AND hear for the very first time! You will see examples of how to Attract and Sell More Customers with Cash or Good Credit.

Remember, no guts, no glory. ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for March 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

 

Profiting from QR Codes

March 20th, 2013 No comments

We spend significant time on this blog focusing on the basics, because manufactured housing – as do all other businesses or professions – need the fundamentals for sustained success. But today in the Cutting Edge we will look at the rapid growth of QR Codes. Are you using them? If so, are you getting the most out of your QR Code use?

QR is short for Quick Response. Here is an example of a QR Code.

You download a free ap through your provider's ap store onto your smartphone or camera equipped tablet to access a QR Code.

Along with the explosion of smartphone use, so has the use of QR Codes in marketing.

ComScore reports:

"129.4 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones (55 percent mobile market penetration) during the three months ending in January, up 7 percent since October."

According to ScanLife:

"In 2012 research by Accenture on the effectiveness of consumer engagement triggers concluded that among 1,000 television viewers, 28% had interacted with a QR Code, vs. 18% with a Twitter hashtag. Similarly, during the 2012 London Olympics, we found that the proportion of individuals interacting with QR Codes was 36% higher than with Foursquare. Last but not least, our own research shows that the average engagement post scan to click was 62%.

Like social media in the early days, marketers who learn to harness the power of mobile engagement will have a significant head start in the market place -whether it’s QR Codes today, or combined with NFC or augmented reality tomorrow."

Using QR Codes to Save and Make Money

While brochures may not go out of style right away, QR Codes have the ability to turn a business card sized document into a robust multi-media platform. Those seeking to save money on handouts could consider using a small document with a QR Code on it instead. We've seen a company that did this at the Tunica Show. Our MHMSM.com team has done this since the 2012 Louisville Show. Here is my card's front cover for 2013.

QR Codes appeal to the young, which our industry can't afford to ignore.

QR Codes also appeals to the upscale 50+ shopper. As smartphone totals and camera-equipped tablets continues to rise rapidly, the size of the QR market will steadily expand too.

Here are some charts and graphs from eMarketer and ComScore that underscore the size, breakdown and growth of this market.

 

Don't forget that Backside!

As a footnote, the next time you do a business card, consider using both sides of your card! Why let that back side real estate go to waste? The back side is also another great place to place a QR Code.

Here is the reverse side of my business card, as another example.

If you aren't using QR Codes, start! If you are using them, consider how you can expand their use. Those who do should profit more because they did. ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for March 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

 

Handling Detractors

March 13th, 2013 No comments

Detractors, nay-sayers, back-stabbers and others who'd love to toss you under the bus. First, we all have them! It may be the former employee or colleague, who now wants to make you and/or your business look bad. It might be a competitor. It could be the customer no one could possibly please. It may be the 'ex' whomever, who is an 'ex' for a reason, and now they want to make it look like the only reason is you. In this column, we will do a look at some ways how you can handle the detractor.

Let's begin with this premise, that the kind of detractors we are going to talk about are of the unjust variety. If someone is complaining, first stop and consider the complaint objectively. Is there truth to it? If so, make the personal/professional adjustment needed to turn the complaint into a reason to improve.

Next, look at the types of unjustified complaints. Especially in an Internet, tweet, email age when someone can blast away at you to thousands of people, what can you do?

The options are indeed many, and some companies, attorneys and consultants exist who specialize in 'reputation management.' You and your organization's reputation is important! A good rep will help you profit. A bad rap can cost you a fortune, or even put you out of business. Some types of detraction (examples: libel, slander) may require legal assistance. Let's focus today on those that don't require an attorney.

Modern "Social" Testimonials

Testimonials and social media are key tools needed to contradict the nay sayer! While letters of reference, awards and 'good news' articles or interviews are all helpful, perhaps the key today is to successfully engage in social media.

Let me stress that it is always my goal to practice what is preached, and hopefully to do so with a measure of success about what is being shared. Real life examples help us all. I used to think good ideas were soooo important. They are, but later I learned that Ideas truly are a dime a dozen. Successful implementation and proof is what turns what would have been a day dream into an idea of specific, concrete value!

Having teed that up, let me share some personal experiences.

About two years ago, I listened to a professional friend's advice. He told me to build out my LinkedIn profile and invite people to “connect” with me on LinkedIn. This friend is a LinkedIn Lion, and has done very well due in part to his use of LinkedIn and Twitter. So I listened to what he had to say, and took his advice. Hint, hint. I hope you will listen and do too.

At first it was slow going. But today, my LinkedIn connections number among the largest in factory built housing. Over 900 connections and growing. I'm glad I took my friend's advice!

As important as the number of connections are endorsements and recommendations.

At first, I asked for recommendations. Later, they simply came my way. Exactly when LinkedIn began the endorsement function, I can't say without researching it. But the endorsements started coming in (without my asking) a few months ago and have not stopped!

As the screen capture from my LinkedIn profile page above shows, I have something like 175 endorsements at the time I'm writing this column. Besides those shown in this screen capture, are some pretty finely targeted skills and topics that have also been endorsed, not shown in the graphic above.

We also get other testimonials via email or letters beyond LinkedIn that we may post, here are some testimonial examples. Make sure you showcase testimonials whenever possible. For example, notice how we sprinkled them onto the pages of our MHC-MD.com website. That does make a difference!

Now none of those LinkedIn connections, endorsements or recommendations puts a nickel in my pocket directly. But 7 to as high as 70 people a week check out my LinkedIn profile. Some of those who look my profile turn into clients. Coincidence?

No.

What is really interesting is that some of those clients have been told negative stuff by that handful of souls who seem to make it their mission in life to attempt to toss me under the biggest, baddest bus they can dream up. So having those referrals and testimonials can be crucial to neutralizing the naysayers. That also happens to be the theme of this article!

Weights, Measures and Comparisons

I tell sales pros in my training sessions that most prospective clients (retail or B2B) weigh, measure and compare products and services before acting.

Today, that may mean that before you go to a new restaurant, you read online comments posted by others. Let's say you read a half a dozen comments. 5 are good. 1 is terrible. You read them all with a dash of the skeptical, because you know that people can pat themselves on the back, or the opposite… Does the comment(s) read like it may be legit?

Once you did your quick evaluation, you make a decision. You go eat there. The food, service and atmosphere are as good as most reviewers said. You say to yourself, 'The one who trashed the place may have been a disgruntled ex employee, or someone that is hyper critical, happened to catch someone on a bad day, etc..'

That principle will apply to others who are evaluating you, IF you start, have and improve your professional social networking and testimonial gathering efforts.

More Positives than Negatives

The point is that the way you deal with detractors today is to line up testimonials that showcase your good work! Make it easy for people online to see how well thought of you or your company's product(s) or service(s) may be.

In the case of written testimonials in an article or letter, showcase one or two on your website and then let people know they can ask for and receive others.

While the more the merrier, even a few good words from good people can make the difference as people consider doing business with you.

Let's sum up:

  • Ask for letters or recommendation. If you are working B2B (business to business), the recommendation should be on that company's letterhead.
  • Use social media. Facebook tends to be better for B2C (business to consumer), LinkedIn tends to be better for B2B. Get endorsements and recommendations.
  • Showcase those online, so that prospective customers doing a quick web search can find them easily.

Not just Talking, Doing

Walk the talk. Don't over-promise. Don't under-deliver. Do what you say you will do. If something goes wrong and you are responsible, then do what you can to make it right.

Nothing – short of death – can stop the determined detractor. But you can neutralize their voice(s) by applying the suggestions you see in this column. Be pro-active and build up your positive, online presence. When the detractor comes along, you will be ready for them.

Open minded people who see that you have far more supporters than detractors will be able to see that the detractor's comments as the exception, not the rule. Do you recall the Hollywood maxim, there is no bad publicity. While I don't entirely agree, you can in fact turn a negative into a positive. You may close new business because of the detractor, so long as you have built up the resources noted in this article.

Finally, take the first step. It takes time to do what is described above. Don't let that stop you from starting. Getting the letters, Facebook like's, LinkedIn connections,

endorsements and recommendations, etc. are worth the effort. Once you have the testimonial process started, it picks up speed ever more easily.

Until next time, All the Best! ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for March 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

 

…Not a Strategy

March 6th, 2013 No comments

We get lots of marketing related messages, videos, invites to connect; just as you do. As a marketer, they hold more interest for me than they might for others. One outreach had a great one-liner we've heard before and bears repeating. "Hope is not a strategy."

Tim Connor, our Featured Writer, shared a new article:

http://www.MHProNews.com/home/featured-articles/march-2013/139-management/5046-expecting-different-results-

that reminds us that the popular definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things, and yet expect a different result.

Is your Manufactured Housing related business or location growing, shrinking or treading water?

This is a straightforward question that requires a solid degree of candor to yourself and your firm.

The odds are that any given businesses is sliding down or trending up. If yours is stuck in the past instead of evolving, it could go the way of the buggy whip.

Marketing today is different than 5, 10 or 15 years ago. While some sales fundamentals are always sound, sales is evolving too. For example, businesses that fail to realize the impact of online ratings and comments carried via social networking or search engines could fall into the traps that can sink a business by harming a firm's reputation.

The old Golden Rule vs. the New?

Some assert that the new golden rule is that he who has the gold makes the rules.

But given the online world of consumer commentary via social media and other websites, the old golden rule is uniquely well positioned. 'Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself.'

Hope is not a strategy, but modern marketing, good customer service, training and professionalism in sales are valid strategies. To learn more about a specific way professionals can advance, see this new Industry In Focus report, called Cornered. ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for March 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/

+++

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