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Posts Tagged ‘attitudes’

The Thing Needed

September 6th, 2013 No comments

It can be very helpful to go back in time, and compare 'then with now.' The downloadable attachment below has many relevant points, and it was written years before I got into consulting. The points in sharing this are many, and can benefit all with an open mind. One of the points are that the basics – the fundamentals – are among the keys to success, and this article has a number of those fundamentals!

The article attached was first published in the November 1988 issue of what was then call the Mobile/Manufactured Home Merchandiser, later re-named, Manufactured Home Merchandiser magazine. While much has changed in technology, terminology, attitudes and styles, it is surprising how some of the basics then are just as true today as when the attached downloadable article was written.

At the time, yours truly was the proud owner of a manufactured home retail center that was growing rapidly, in spite of the economic collapse that had taken place in oil-boom-to-oil-bust Oklahoma. My personal part of the business was marketing and sales – sound familiar? – while others at our center did a very fine job of other necessary functions like bookkeeping and lender relations, service and delivery coordination.

During a time when 80% of the retailers folded then in Oklahoma (sound familiar to the MHIndustry post 1998? Or the MHIndustry post 2008?), humble S&L Homes (we sold repos for S&L's, new and other pre-loved homes) was growing, growing, growing. We hit the top 1% of all retailers in the U.S. our third year in operation, all during a down market when other dealers that were far better established vanished.

Why? How?

Please read the article, because many of the basics then are the same basics today.

Are there differences? Sure – like change “mailers” for “email” or social networking. Change print for the Web. Change TV and radio for YouTube!

The reality is that we can market better today for less, for those who are willing to learn and do it. We can also sell better then than now, for those who are willing to dig in, learn and do.

My road to business ownership was not easy. There was no rich relative, no SBA loan and most of the 'training' came from reading and a handful of seminars, but also boat loads books and audios personally invested in to advance myself.

A tag line came across a public service announcement the other day that applies to all of us.

Learn to read. Read to learn.

That same issue of the Merchandiser had articles from people like Guy Laird (remember him?) and Bill Carr (still active!) that were among the many that I devoured every month. I would have proverbially killed to have had access to all that we share on MHProNews.com monthly, because reading was the path to learning more and earning more.

In my career run up to opening S&L, yours truly managed at 3 retail centers and assisted at a 4th before jumping into ownership.

If you are an owner, encourage your people to learn more. Yes, someday, they may leave you. But in the mean time, you will be earning more and so will they! The good performance of some tends to lift the performance of others.

So the rising tide tends to raise all ships.

If you are an employee or contractor, absolutely make it your business to learn all you can. Read daily (yes, every business day). Go to meetings, attend seminars.

Learn not just from the present, but from the past.

Learn from every mistake. Learn from every success.

Keep a good attitude!

Sure, a smile came when my eyes revealed how much younger I looked in the picture on the last page of the attached article! I wonder what happened to the others in that photo, after the business was profitably sold, we eventually lost track of each other (no email or Facebook then).

What we did as signage then, would not be what I would do as signage today. We'd be talking social networking and lots more online stuff in such an article.

But much of it applies – attire, attitude, training, marketing, sales basics – so much that you may want to read and re-read this, because it covers the fundamentals – the basics of success – quite well. But you can decide that for yourself!

Near the end of the attached article, there is a phrase yours truly typed 25 years ago. Doing what is needed. Doing the things needed is the only pathway to success.

No one will hand it to you. Everyone has to earn it in some form or fashion! Do what is needed, whatever that 'thing' is. It will pave the way to your future. ##

Download the article

Increasing Sales in a Down Market –
Mobile/Manufactured Home Merchandiser, November 1988 – by L. A. Kovach.

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

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach
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How often do you Shower?

April 11th, 2013 No comments

How often do you shower or take a bath?  Daily? Every other day? What ever it is, think of the number…

Now, how often do you purposefully read something motivational or inspiring? Daily? Weekly? Monthly?

Some people told Zig Ziglar that motivation is time wasted, because it 'wears off.'  Zig's response was classic.  “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar.

The meaning is clear. You need a regular dose of motivation, the same as you need to wash regularly.  For those who don't, they may stink…

…and I've met people with 'stinking thinking' before, haven't you?  If we are candid, we have all at times been guilty of negative thoughts and thinking. So like bathing, we need a regular dose of motivation and inspiration.

If you don't have a good attitude, you can build one up! It may take longer than a shower does, but regular immersion in inspirational thinking pays off the same as regular doses of negative thinking tears someone down.

Motivation and Achievement

When I am recruiting for a client's company or myself, there are three things I look for, and they are summed up in this acronym: ASK.

> Attitude
> Skills
> Knowledge/Experience

If all three in A.S.K. are present in a candidate for a career role:

  • a good attitude,
  • the right skills and
  • experience,

there is a good chance we have the right person for the job.  When only the second and third traits are there, but a good 'can do!' attitude are missing, that person just might be drag, dangerous or a liability.

The Sage of Omaha said something similar:

“Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it’s true. If you hire somebody without [integrity], you really want them to be dumb and lazy.”

  • Warren Buffett

Think about Buffett's  'energy' quality as being positive or negative, and you see that part of what 'the Sage of Omaha' is talking about in having a good, positive 'energetic' attitude.  Integrity also reflects our attitude or mindset. The bad attitude is the one that is more lazy, lacks discipline and is more likely to be dishonest.

While positive motivation and integrity don't always go hand in hand, when they do, you routinely discover a better work ethic.

In our ground breaking marketing and sales training programs for clients who sell manufactured homes at retail centers or in land lease communities, I'm looking at the attitudes of those in front of me.  Are the pros being trained or coached sporting a good or bad attitude?  Are they embracing the training? Are they giving it their best effort? Or are they resisting it?

We know from experience that those who commit to our marketing and sales process get better results, often dramatically better. We've seen locations increase sales from the low single digits monthly into double digit closings monthly. But I also recall an operation where someone resisted the training, the supervisor didn't require that they buckle down and 'just do it,' so is it a surprise that they didn't change or improve much? Of course not. I've yet to meet someone working for a company that had so little skill, that they couldn't do what we ask. So what makes the difference between the successful team members and those who won't grow?

Clearly it is the motivation of the 'professionals' involved!

We created the free INspiration blog for the expressed purpose of providing a positive place in manufactured housing to come and get that routine boost of motivation!

Many of Tim Connor's or our Zig Ziglar columns are motivational or inspirational as well, as are other thougthful writers, such as periodic contributor and successful MH Retailer Greg McClanahan.

There are some who learn things fast and easy.

For others, change may start out hard, but with practice what is new in time becomes a habit.  Habits by definition become second nature, as normal as breathing.  Cultivate a good 'can do' attitude in yourself and share that with your team mates.  Feed your mind with good, inspirational and motivational thoughts.

It routinely pays off for those who do!

The logic of this is so obvious.  

Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you are right!'”
– Henry Ford.

Be a part of the IN crowd, and see the INspriation blog here. ##

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

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

What comes before marketing and selling?

December 10th, 2011 No comments
Before marketing, before selling, comes planning and something that is so important that it can't be over-emphasized. It is "The Attitude Check."
I've seen great systems messed up by someone with a lousy attitude. I've seen mediocre systems soar due to good attitudes. I'll bet if you think about it, you have too.

There are good reasons why we have:


And other writers and resources like that on our MHProNews.com. "Attitudes determine your altitudes."

Get the attitude right, and you see opportunities. Get the vision for the opportunities, and you we will solutions your competitors (who don't have good attitudes) will miss.

Our author Mike Moore (the other Mike Moore! 😉 talks about checking your intentions, to make sure they are good. The right intentions can set the tone for all that follows.

Our writer Greg McClanahan has long shared stories that inspire and touch the heart. They tell us what good intentions look like, or what the consequences of bad or poor intentions can be. Keep in mind, Greg sells factory built homes! Think about it.

Zig Ziglar talks about attitudes too, and giving yourself a "check up from the neck up."

Start with your attitude. I used to have a card on my desk that said, "smile." It was a reminder to smile before I answered the phone. Over the years, it became a habit.

Smile. Check your attitude. Check the attitude of your team.

Feed your team good attitude building information, and everything else in marketing and sales that you do will prosper. ##

post by
L. A. "Tony" Kovach, MHM

www.MHProNews.com  
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com  or www.MHMSM.com 
Innovation – Information – Inspiration for Industry Professionals 

Office – 815-270-0500
latonyk@gmail.com or tony@mhmsm.com
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