Archive

Posts Tagged ‘About’

Who Kicked Your Cat?

July 24th, 2014 No comments

Zig Ziglar continues to teach and inspire me, even after passing onto his eternal reward. We all encounter people, personally and professionally, whose attitude is clearly off. At such times, it is wise to be patient and to ask or reflect on Zig's question, “Who kicked your cat?”

The person doesn't even have to be a pet owner for this to apply. The cat is a metaphor for something someone cares about, and that something has been “kicked” or injured, and so the person with 'the kicked cat' isn't in a good mood! The possible causes are many, and often may have nothing to do with you.

Image-credit = biggsuccess-posted-on-mhpronews-com

Image credit = biggsuccess.

On the consulting and training sides of our operation, we are big believers in positive attitude, but also for tuning in to what the prospect is thinking or feeling. Selling isn't manipulation! At its best, selling is the noble process allowing your or a colleague to successfully engage a person to best determine the prospects needs and abilities, and then professionally guide them to the best options that fit. If you've done your job well, the customer isn't so much 'sold,' as they buy.

If the prospect or the person you are meeting or talking with is in a foul mood, think, what is the cause?

To do that professionally, you have to be focused more on them than on you. When you note that someone is in a foul or off mood, it's best to think HALTS. HALTS describes the routine causes for someone being 'off.'

  • Hungry
  • Angry
  • Lonely
  • Tired
  • Sick/Stressed

Once you discover which of these HALTS factors may be upsetting the balance for yourself or another, it is easier to address and thus get on with the tasks at hand.

people often say that motivation doesnt last well neither does bathing, which is why we recommend it daily - zig ziglar-posted-cuttingedgeblog-mhpronews-com

Photo credit, ZigZiglar.com – graphic  © 2014 by MHProNews.com.

Professionals need daily motivation. Who says? Zig Ziglar, who inspired tens of thousands to do more, including our industry's legend, Jim Clayton! We provide that motivation in articles by Ziglar himself, by thoughtful, successful professionals such as Tim Connor, or by submissions by myself or a number of others to our industry leading motivational module, our free INspirations blog.

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-lifestylefactoryhomesllc.

Still by ManufacturedHomes.com – poster © 2014 by MHProNews.com.

I've said it before, and will do so again. Let me recommend that you keep your team informed daily on their industry and on better ways to present the great stories about manufactured and modular homes! 15 minutes a day is the minimum you and your team should be on this site, and 7 minutes daily on MHLivingNews.com. At the end of a year, don't be surprised when you find that your team is doing so much more than they ever did before; and have a better 'can-do' mindset too.

FYI, when you need a corporate or association speaker, marketing, a sales coach or trainer, you can contact me at the phone or email below. If I can't help you, I'll point you to others if needed.

Your-Business-Sign

What's your best investment?
If you don't answer your career or your business, think again.
Which do you have more influence over, your business, or someone else's?

Growth happens because you invest time and resources in yourself and your people. Who says? Ask the legends, almost all of them would agree that applied knowledge is powerful and profitable. ##

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 

7 Steps to Success

November 10th, 2013 No comments

Want to advance your performance, or that of your team? Then you've come to the right place today!

All success is a matter of systems that are grounded in a set of principles. The proper principles are thus a foundation for any success system you may opt to pursue.

We have a number of secret and less than secret 'weapons' we use in our marketing, sales, management consulting work. There is nothing particularly new about the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People since Stephen Covey first published it, save the fact that it needs to be more broadly understood and applied. This is particularly true for organizations in our industry.

3d_man_with_check_mark-free-digital-photos-net--posted-mhpronews-.jpgLet's take a quick tour, in part courtesy of a summary from Wikipedia  – with some added emphasis of the 7 Habits – and you will see why these principles truly are 7 Steps to Success.

The 7 Habits

The book first introduces the concept of Paradigm Shiftand prepares the reader for a change in mindset. It helps the reader understand that there exists a different perspective, a viewpoint that may be different from his or her own and asserts that two people can see the same thing and yet differ with each other. Once the reader is prepared for this, it introduces the seven habits, in a proper order.

Each chapter is dedicated to one of the habits, which are represented by the following imperatives:brain-success-free-digital-photos-net--posted-mhpronews-.jpg

Independence.

The First Three Habits surround moving from dependence to independence(i.e., self-mastery):

  • Habit 1: Be Proactive

Take initiative in life by realizing that your decisions (and how they align with life's principles) are the primary determining factor for effectiveness in your life. Take responsibility for your choices and the consequences that follow.

  • Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

Self-discover and clarify your deeply important character values and life goals. Envision the ideal characteristics for each of your various roles and relationships in life.

  • Habit 3: Put First Things First

A manager must manage his own person. Personally. And managers should implement activities that aim to reach the second habit. Covey says that rule two is the mental creation; rule three is the physical creation.Business_man_climbing_stairs._3d_rendered_illustration-free-digital-photos-net--posted-mhpronews-.jpg

Interdependence.

The next three have to do with Interdependence (i.e., working with others):

  • Habit 4: Think Win-Win

Genuinely strive for mutually beneficial solutions or agreements in your relationships. Value and respect people by understanding a "win" for all is ultimately a better long-term resolution than if only one person in the situation had got his way.

  • Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

Use empathic listening to be genuinely influenced by a person, which compels them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you. This creates an atmosphere of caring, and positive problem solving.

  • Habit 6: Synergize

Combine the strengths of people through positive teamwork, so as to achieve goals no one person could have done alone.

Continuous Improvement.

The final habit is that of continuous improvement in both the personal and interpersonal spheres of influence.

  • Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle. It primarily emphasizes exercise for physical renewal, prayer (meditation, yoga, etc.) and good reading for mental renewal. It also mentions service to society for spiritual renewal.

cash-bag-wikicommons--posted-mhpronews-.jpgCovey explains the "Upward Spiral" model in the sharpening the saw section.

Through our conscience, along with meaningful and consistent progress, the spiral will result in growth, change, and constant improvement. In essence, one is always attempting to integrate and master the principles outlined in The 7 Habits at progressively higher levels at each iteration. Subsequent development on any habit will render a different experience and you will learn the principles with a deeper understanding.

The Upward Spiral model consists of three parts: learn, commit, do. According to Covey, one must be increasingly educating the conscience in order to grow and develop on the upward spiral. The idea of renewal by education will propel one along the path of personal freedom, security, wisdom, and power.

Applications for Manufactured Housing Professionals and Organizations

Let's start with the three parts of the Upward Spiral. Learn. Commit. Do.

In our exclusive interview with Barry Noffsinger from CU Factory Built Lending, Barry said the following, quoting verbatim:

In my view, we have a mainstream product being promoted by an extremely beautiful industry that sometimes suffers from low self-esteem.

With our quality and affordability we should be at the first thought of every stakeholder when it comes to affordable housing options. Instead, sometimes we say yes to the first person to ask us to the prom.

For example, I hear all the time that we need financial institutions to return “to the ‘90’s” and buy deeper. My question is why? Shouldn’t we learn from history?

According to Fair Isaac, 73% of the US population has a credit score over 650. Let’s all be innovative and creative in our own little corner to move our industry from “Boutique” to “Supercenter.””

> Take the first of the 7 Habits. Be pro-active! Take responsibility for whatever your current situation is professionally and as an organization.

> Next, Begin with the End in Mind, and – for example, in the case of financing – we think sustainable lending that benefits borrower, seller and lender then…

> …we are putting First Things First and are Thinking Win-Win. I had top people from three industry lenders at a lunch table at a recent event. The big round table had perhaps 8 others beside myself seated. I asked the lenders for the benefit of all about their losses on repossessions. All agreed that they are at 50% or higher and that this was one of the factors that caused higher rates for a personal property loans. That is not win-win, that is win-lose. It is one of the factors that limits lending in our industry.

Mutual Victories will Advance MH Lending

The takeaway for the above true story is that MH Communities and MH Retailers MUST become part of the profitable solution for lenders and consumers to exit successfully without taking a big hit. That exit has to be similar to the effectiveness of Realtors in the real estate market.

Mutual Victories will reward and attract more MH Homeowners

Once we synergize with lenders, we will attract more good credit and cash customers. Rates for chattel lending will be lower and will be more sustainable. That in turn will attract more lenders to our industry.

This is how 'think win-win' and 'beginning with the end in mind' results in huge mutual victory!

This isn't just a pious idea, it is a practical, profitable and proven principle. By Seeking first to Understand, and then to be Understood, along with Synergizing with lenders, we professionally enjoyed some remarkable successes in our industry during difficult times, and the lenders involved where thrilled too. Had that pattern caught fire then, let me flatly assert we would be selling many times more homes as an industry and would do so with more consumer satisfaction and acceptance than we currently have today.

Weaving Principles into Practice

Once a person understand the basic principles of success, it is time to weave those principles into practice. The best ideas that go in-implemented are like that great recipe that never gets used in the kitchen.

dartboard-success-free-digital-photos-net-posted-mhpronews-.jpgDuring my days owning/managing a Top 100 in the U.S. retail center, now as a publisher and industry consultant, applying such principles have been keys to all that we do. No baseball player bats 1000! But if you bat .300, you are already a star, so long as solid win-win principles underscore all that you do.

Get and read the book 7 Habits of Highly Successful People. Learn the principles. Line up the talent and expertise you need, because it is often required to advance.

You may find this weekend's Masthead blog post that shares an incredible success story worth your time too.

The reason for success stories is that real life success stories remind us that if they did it, you can too. And the reason for 7 Steps to Success is to give you one of the tools that will take you from where you are to where you are could be! Think Big! Day by day, by applying proven principles, you can do it. ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for November 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 863-213-4090

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

Amway and Autos – Lessons in Branding, UnBranding and ReBranding for Manufactured Housing

October 13th, 2013 No comments

Perhaps the best time to write a column on branding, unbranding and rebranding is prior to the Fall Leadership forum of the National Community Council (NCC) at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). Their workshop on that topic will be one of the items yours truly plans to take in with keen interest, as it is something we deal with routinely in our marketing, sales training, website building and consulting.

The Business Dictionary defines branding like this:

“The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers' mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.”

Let's begin with a fundamental principle to rapidly drive home the point for today's topic.

The value of branding a product or service is dependent in part on the perception and demand of the product or service in question.

For example, autos are in demand. Branding your car company or dealership makes sense, because Ask reports that in 2011, 12,778,885 cars, trucks, SUV and other automotive types were sold in the U.S. alone. Branding your product and/or service to grow your piece of the automotive pie in such a huge market makes perfect sense.

The Free Dictionary defines rebrand as follows:

rebrand [riːˈbrænd] – (Business / Marketing) (tr) to change or update the image of (an organization or product).

As an example, if your company's brand in automotive is suffering, you'd want to consider rebranding.

Let's imagine for a moment that an import auto company like Yugo wanted to change their image, rebranding combined with improved quality controls, marketing, service and sales training could have made the kind of sense that could have saved that automaker from 'crashing and burning' in the U.S. car market.

Almost no one in our industry (besides us and some of our select clients) grasp and use the powerful concept of parallel paths and unbranding, along with when it makes sense to use this principle.

Macmillan defines unbranding as:

Unbranded goods are not marked with a name of the company that makes them.

light-bult-with-trapped-man-credit-flickrcc-swarno-kamal-posted-cutting-edge-blog-manufactured-home-pro-news-mhpronews-.png

What if your dealership, community – or the industry at large – has an image issue? Does rebranding make the most sense? Or would a possible combination of unbranding and/or rebranding make more sense?

Before you answer, consider this fact. Manufactured housing has tumbled from having 21% of the new home starts in the last 20 years to some 8-12% in more recent years.

So rebranding in a shrinking market is like deciding to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond. Wouldn't you rather go after the large housing marketing place, by whatever strategies are necessary to get you there profitably?

Lessons from Amway and Unbranding

As an example to drive home the point, think about Amway. How many people do you know that have run out to sign up to sell or buy vitamins, home cleaning products etc. from a multi-level marketing (MLM) distributor or company?

The image of MLM in general isn't that hot and hasn't been for many years! So what does a savvy MLM distributor or company do? Answer: they teach their marketing minded distributors to avoid the company name and the marketing method in their initial contact.

In no small measure due to their dual campaign of unbranding and branding, Amway became a multi-billion dollar empire for its founders and made millions for key 'direct distributors.'

At MHC-MD.com and in part via our LATonyKovach.com – websites, marketing, training and coaching platforms – we have garnered dozens of recommendations and hundreds of endorsements by using a proper combination of branding, unbranding and rebranding, along with other proven strategies.

Which of these – branding, unbranding and re-branding – does your operation need? The answer to that question can be worth millions to you and billions to our industry. ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for October 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 863-213-4090 

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

How Do You Really Rank for Manufactured Housing Keywords?

May 11th, 2011 No comments

SE Rank Checker logoThe other day I overheard a person talking with their paid “web expert” about their ranking in the search engines (SEs). It wasn’t specific to Manufactured Housing, but I’ve noticed similar comments in this industry as well. The “web expert” was explaining how well he had done his job by noting that the client ranked #1 on Google when they typed his company name into a Google search.

Well, glory be!!! Ranking #1 for one’s own name? That must have required a ton of work and some long, hard hours at the keyboard for the “expert…” NOT!

I’ve seen the same kind of claims made for searches conducted using the website’s URL. WOW! A #1 ranking for your own domain name! If you don;t rank #1 for your company name and domain name, there are some serious issues that need immediate attention. Here’s the kind of results you should get using a domain-based search.

Domain Search results for 'yourkentuckyhome.com'

This result is for a website I run with news about local businesses.

I have had potential clients come to me who didn’t rank at all for their own company name. That’s a problem. Usually this occurs when a business doesn’t have a website and hasn’t been indexed online by a directory or other service. Fortunately, it is becoming a rare occurrence.

What you really want to know is how well you rank for a keyword that your current or potential customers will type into Google, Bing, Yahoo, About, etc.

For instance, my business specializes in web marketing and is based in Danville, KY. When I typed “web marketing Danville KY” into Google on one day, the following was the result on the Search Engines Results Page (SERP):

Keyword search for 'web marketing danville ky'

As you can see, OrangeCat.com captured the first four results for the keyword AND there is a more results link that gives several more. In addition, my website at KentuckyWebExperts.com ranked number five for an article that’s only been up for a week and after a domain name change to the site two weeks ago.

That’s the kind of result I like to see.

I posted a version of this article to my blog at BobStovall.com on Tuesday and now that article has taken the 5th position in a search of those keywords – in less than two days!

And it’s the kind of result you can get for your keywords if you use WordPress, add the proper plugins and post content that the SEs can easily index and categorize.

Word of caution: If you keep typing the same keyword into a search and then click on the same page over and over, you will notice it rising in the rankings. But only for you.

To get a true picture of how you rank for certain keywords, you need to use a tool like the SE Rank Checker and know how to interpret the results.

As you can see here, when we used the SE Rank Checker, the results for Google were almost identical to our web search except that my second site picked up another listing, giving me 6 of 10 page one results.

Search Engine Rank Checker result for 'web marketing danville ky' at OrangeCat.com

Looking up your own rankings by doing a web search will give you a good idea of how you rank, but to achieve the best results, use a SE Rank Checker search as your base results and compare the results of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) work in the future to determine how you are improving and how fast.