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Posts Tagged ‘failure’

“Whether you Think You Can or Think You Can’t, You’re Right” – Henry Ford

July 30th, 2014 No comments

You know the drill. First, it's “that sounds too good to be true.” Or maybe it's “okay, that might work in XYZ's market, but that would never work here.” When I hear that, pardon me, but I can't help but think about all the similar stuff Henry Ford must have heard about his automobile! Or the Wright Brothers before they made that first, famous airplane flight at Kity Hawk, NC! Any number of things sounded “too good to be true” before someone actually did it.

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Isn't it Obvious?

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To get different results, you have to do things differently. Duh, right? At the same time, it is interesting how often a possible new client – in B2B or B2C marketing, sales, web, advertising, etc. – says something like: “I've tried that before with XYZ sales trainer and it didn't help us.” Or “I tried advertising with ABC, and it did nothing for me.”

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First of all, the failure of one is not the failure of all!

Next, even those who've failed before, may succeed the next time. Sometimes failure leads to success – like Thomas Edison's famous 10,000 failures before he succeeded at making the light bulb – when a sound plan is followed by persistence.

Manufactured Housing is a great product! Communities are a good option for many! Advertising is something that millions of companies do successfully, are you telling me that only Manufactured Housing ads can't work?

A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who

stops a clock to save time.” – Henry Ford.

End Self-Doubts or Self-Limits to Advance

When you first start a new sport, game or job, you may initially get a poor or even a terrible result. It feels uncomfortable and you or an associate may feel awkward, self-conscious or embarrassed. Don't sweat that small stuff. What separates the men from the boys and the women from the girls is maturity! You have to keep doing what you are trying to master, precisely until it IS mastered!

I'm good with selling manufactured homes at almost any price point. I've personally never sold a million dollar MH, but we've successfully marketed and sold many in the 6 figure range, while in the same market someone else might be trying to give away a lower cost house and is having trouble doing it.

Want to sell more entry level manufactured homes? Okay, there is a way to do that well.

Want to sell more upscale, residential style manufactured homes, well, there is a process for that and it means you have to attract and sell the site-built buyer who has cash or good credit. You don't sell the well qualified buyer – let's say shopping for a Mercedes Benz – the same way you do a Yugo or today's lowest cost Chevy, Ford or Dodge.

We've worked with operations in many states and markets, and when the right resources and attitudes are put into place, you will get the right results. That may take some time, just like learning a new sport or game may take some time to master. But it is worth mastering!

When you don't get the right result at first at a doctor, do you quit, go back or find another MD?

We all need partners, mentors, coaches and experts. If you have a financial planner for investments, but don't have an industry marketing and sales pro for your business, something is wrong! Remember, what the can do genius types say…

“Whether you Think You Can or Think You Can't, You're Right” – Henry Ford. ##

Marketing Coca Cola: the Real Story behind the Real Thing and Manufactured Housing 

June 25th, 2014 No comments

It's an iconic brand found in over 200 countries around the world. For its first five years in existence, the formula included tiny amounts of cocaine. It was the original 'energy drink,' no wonder the short name for this product is "Coke."

For decades, Coca Cola held a wide lead over any other 'like' product. But the famous "Pepsi Challenge" gave them such a serious run for their money, that Coke's senior leadership did what was later seen as unthinkable, they changed the formula.

"New Coke" was born.

It was widely seen as one of the most bone-headed moves in corporate history.

In record time, the public clamor brought the return of "Classic Coke." What many forget is that in short order, Coca Cola was #1 again.

In more recent years, sugary drinks are under assault. "It's the Evil Thing" say health critics. What happened?

Coke's CEO said they were; "Slow. Not innovative and we lost our way."

Lessons for Manufactured Housing?

Those words by Coke's president should be etched into every manufactured housing professional's brain. It's a recipe for weakness, even for a world leading product like Coke! Before continuing, let's share CNBC's broadcast on the subject of Coca Cola's marketing and sales success.

Since it is true that a failure to innovate and be in tune with the market can be costly even to a major global brand such as Coca Cola, what does it mean to an owner, executive, manager or sales leader in manufactured housing? Do you see the point?

We can't afford the kind of mistakes that Coke can.

Creating Positive Associations

Coca Cola invests mega bucks not only in marketing their product, but also in understanding consumer psychology. They deliberately want to inspire emotions and establish positive associations in the minds and feelings of their customers.

This Coke commercial originally aired in 1971. Even though it is over 40 years old, it has had about 1.5 million visits on YouTube since it was posted 5 years ago.

Do you see all the 'feel good' that is going on in this promotion? Do you see the emotional connections they are seeking to establish with consumers?

Lessons for Manufactured Housing Pros

First, our industry must invest more in marketing, period. That investment ought to take place at the location, corporate, state and national levels.

Next, consider what Ken Segall of Apple marketing fame told us in his exclusive article for MHProNews,

Marketing and the Power of Love

We tell our clients and the live audiences at corporate or association events that ours is a complex, unique situation. Very few products face the challenges we do, but that is precisely why we have enhanced opportunities!

We must address heart issues as well as mind issues in our marketing and sales presentations.

It isn't enough for us to 'brand' a product, part of our problem is that we HAVE been branded, and negatively so! Therefore, we must UN-Brand and Re-Brand our products!

There are sound reasons why we used in our original logo and tag line these words, “Innovation, Information and Inspiration for Industry Professionals.”

As a unique industry, we need equally unique solutions.

On our MHC-MD.com site, you see dozens of quotes which include the names of the professionals who shared the comments. Each of these highlights certain needs, skills and results we've demonstrated over the years in driving results for clients in communities, retail, finance and other segments of the MH Industry.

So what we preach here isn't theory, it is proven in practice.

Even with all the head winds, Manufactured Housing is rising. But we could be doing so much more!

It begins with belief. An attitude. “Inspiration” if you will!

Then it must proceed to some innovations, because the same methods are sure to achieve the same results. If you want new, better results, then you must be willing to innovate!

Finally, information is needed on both the B2B and B2C levels that ties the inspiration and innovation together.

Think again about what Coke's CEO said a few years back, they were slow, lost their way and failed to innovate. Today, Coca Cola's leaders are responding to the new challenges to their product. When Pepsi challenged them, they tried something new, and even though it 'failed,' that 'failure' actually led to the successful rebirth of “Classic Coke.”

There are plenty of lessons for manufactured housing to be found in the story of the Real Thing. Because we have the Real Thing for Quality Living, and it just happens to be affordable. Good for us…

…when we put those advantages to work!

Go sell something! ##

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 to Sell More Manufactured Homes

March 12th, 2014 No comments

The Cutting Edge of Marketing and Sales blog is not about industry politics, as interesting or important as some find that issue. Rather, as the name implies, it is about selling more homes. That happens when you get and stay focused on Marketing and Sales, without ignoring the political or other matters that impact your business.

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Mid-to-Large Organization Structures

In a number of mid-to-large organizations, you'll find under various titles, marketing and sales management roles.

A common problem in manufactured housing industry retail and community operations is that there is so much reporting and paperwork, that the core functions that produce more sales are often overlooked.

Don't get me wrong, it isn't that paper work, budgeting, pipeline reports etc. aren't needed. They are. But if much of the reporting can't be delegated to an assistant to assemble and collate, then is it a surprise when sales potentials are not being met?

Outside contract experts and consultants can often fill a core needs that compliments that of the salaried staff.

Outside consultants also have the benefit of 'new eyes.' It is common for staff people to simply accept what is, while an outside consultant can come in, ask questions, and reveal missed opportunities, lower costs and also drive more business.

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What many find surprising, is that the consultant may be less costly than hiring an additional salaried staffer and return a solid ROI that can:

  • reduce interest costs on inventory that otherwise ages
  • improve marketing results
  • increase sales
  • improve customer satisfaction
  • advance staff training

and much more.

Even when a consultant is called in for a 'look us over, and give us your thoughts,' that too clearly has value. It can be helpful to get an independent viewpoint on procedures, inventory, CRM and much more.

Separation of Responsibilities

In a large enough organization, in the volume automotive model, you separate duties into specialized areas. At a volume auto retailer, the sales professional is not expected to put the financing together on the deal. That's the F&I person's job. Sometimes even 'closing' the initial deal – before it is written up and goes to F&I – is a tag-team between the sales manager and the sales professional.

While I don't want to push the analogy too much (because there are so many things our manufactured housing industry must do differently than auto dealers do), other aspects of the car dealer model also needs to be considered for these reason.

The:

  • auto-detailing,
  • make-ready,
  • advertising
  • and other aspects of running a volume car center is not the responsibility of the sales pro.

A volume auto dealer may also:

  • have used and new car specialists – and in some auto sales structures – if a client is with a use sales person and ought to be with a new car guy (or vice-versa), you hand that customer off to another specialist, you don't cross those lines yourself.
  • Outside sales trainers are routinely brought in to shake things up, and it routinely yields more sales and thus more income.

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The outside trainer is no 'threat' to the sales manager. If both are true pros, they collaborate!

From time to time, I like to refer to a comment shared by Jay Hamilton, currently the Executive Director of the GMHA, but previously a manager with Fleetwood Homes. Please see his commentary, Investing in the Future of Manufactured Housing.

There are those who say investing in sales training is a waste of time, due to turn over. But some studies indicate that the more trained a person is, they last longer, produce more and tend to be more loyal to the company who trained them.

Let me finish with a question that Tim Connor likes to ask. What do your lost sales opportunities cost you? If you are an MHC operation, what do your vacancies cost you?

When you do the math, good marketing and sales doesn't cost, its an investment that pays.

6 FREE Business Building Seminars LIVE!

http://www.mhpronews.com/component/banners/click/134

For details, please click the link above. ##

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 

Progress, Status Quo and Failure

May 22nd, 2012 No comments

We all say that we want to progress or advance in sales and profits. Certainly some companies are selling more new homes in manufactured housing. That means more loans are being closed, more insurance policies are being written, so the whole range of products and services that go into every new manufactured home sales takes place.

But what makes the difference between progress, status quo and failure?

Let's look at five true-to-life examples to answer the question. While these examples are ours, they could apply to other circumstances too. So use the open mind to success, enjoy and profit.

Example of Progress:

A client not only thanked us for the work done and their significantly enhanced results, but they introduced us to another MH company. Not a 2 minute introduction, this was a 45 minute 3 way conversation.

The client heard Tony sharing an idea at a meeting. That lead to a conversation. The conversation led the firm becoming a client. This owner had an open mind. He was curious. He investigated, he listened, he acted.

He profited.

Like many of you, this man was "busy." But he wasn't too busy to learn more to earn more! He made time for what was important. That is the takeaways from this first true tale.

Examples of status quo:

This is perhaps the most common group.

Professionals all tend to run a similar path every day. You follow the same road to and from work. You do things at work similarly too. Is it any surprise when you do the same things the same way, that you keep getting the same results?

By contrast, another gent sent us a message to say thank you. He confessed he was a status quo guy for a long time. But then it happened…

The thank you was first for the insights they gained from reading at MHProNews.com (MHMSM.com), then later from using a specific program and process. A page long message said in part, that he had been in business for decades. He thought he "knew it all." It wasn't until he stopped to consider something new that he was able to advance.

So if you are satisfied, don't change. That is the status quo. But if you are looking for more, be open minded and ready to do more. Then, do what it takes to make that more a reality. The takeaway here is leaners are better earners.

Not every story has a happy ending.

One business owner wanted to grow. They "wanted" to advertise. They invested serious dollars in their operation. Limited on funds, they felt they had to "protect" their resources by "playing it safe." No ads, no growth. They played it so safe, their doors finally closed.

The takeaway from the above is this: the 'safe' center may look safe, but it is the center lines where you find the dead carcasses on the road.

Example of Going Backwards.

The truth is that you typically are advancing or retreating in business. Tony Kovach shared an experience with me of an owner who spoke to him at a large industry meeting. The man described how he had grown tired of all the "fights." Which fights?

"SAFE Act, Dodd-Frank, state and local regulations! I finally got sick of it all." said the owner. "I stopped trying to figure it all out." He turned, and left the meeting.

While we can sympathize, is it any surprise why the occupancy of that community owner declined after he got "tired" of all the "fights?" Note too that the same meeting produced some very motivated attendees.

This takeaway? "You don't tell the fire place, give me warmth and I'll give you wood!" You get out the heat to the measure that you thoughtfully and purposefully put in.

Some tips:

  • Be open to new ideas. The "Know it all" means you can't learn.
  • Keep the bottom line in mind. It is more important to be ready to change directions in a new, better direction than to keep following the same line day after day.
  • Reach out: to peers; network and don't be afraid to hire a professional to get your job done. You wouldn't hesitate to go to a doctor for a medial worry. Why hesitate to hire a professional to help your business?

Progress, the status quo or failure. The choices are yours.##

Posted by:
Tim Connor
Business Development and Ads Manager
MHProNews.com (MHMSM.com) and
MHLivingNews.com
704-895-1230
tim@MHMSM.com