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Manufactured Housing and IGA’s Success Lesson

October 25th, 2014 No comments

Imagine America during the Great Depression. There was virtually no federal social safety net then!

Great-depression-credit-common-wikipedia-posted-on-mhpronews-comWhile there has been suffering in the U.S. in what many call our recent "Great Recession" which began circa 2008, let's be honest. The great Depression days were far worse.

This pair of photos from WikiCommons might help someone not familiar with the Great Depression begin to understand how tough it was then, versus now.

Soup lines, rough housing, jobs were hard to find and low paying.

It was in this sad economic environment – far more challenging than what we've had since 2008 – that IGA was formed. Let's see what lessons for manufactured housing professionals in organizations of any and all sizes the IGA story may hold.

Great-depression-credit-common-wikipedia-posted-on-mhpronews-com-2

Wikipedia states the following about IGA, which is short for Independent Grocers Alliance.

iga-logo-posted-on-mhpronews-com"IGA is a brand of grocery stores active in more than 30 countries. Contrasting with the chain store business model, IGA operates as a franchise through stores that are owned separately from the brand. Many of these stores operate in small town markets and belong to families that manage them. It was founded in the United States as the Independent Grocers Alliance. The headquarters are in Chicago, Illinois."

"IGA was started in May 1926 when a group of 100 independent retailers in Poughkeepsie, New York, and Sharon, Connecticut, led by J. Frank Grimes, organized themselves into a single marketing system. This group quickly expanded, and by the end of the year there were more than 150 IGA retailers. In 1930 there were over 8,000 grocery stores using the IGA name. The company uses the "Hometown Proud Supermarkets" slogan. Today, many IGA grocery stores are still located in smaller cities and towns throughout the United States."

IGA is not the powerhouse today that it once was, for a variety of reasons. But for decades, IGA grew rapidly and often dominated the landscape in the huge grocery business. It provided marketing, savings and other benefits to its associated grocers, so it paid to be a member of IGA.

In manufactured housing today, there are several 'buyers groups' that offer its members specific advantages, including lower costs on homes through volume rebates and/or other discounts.

We also have state and national associations, which offer a different range of benefits that include networking, educational and political lobbying.

What we don't have – yet – is a similar, formal alliance for MH akin to what IGA was for grocers. Thanks to the Internet and modern technology, that can now rapidly change in a way that would benefit all involved.

How can this model be applied to the manufactured housing Industry successfully today?

MHRetailers, MHCommunities, MH Associations, factories and service providers – Come to the Louisville Show in 2015 and see!the-road-to-success-mhpronews-louisville-manufactured-home-show-january21-23-2015

Your operation may be soaring, struggling or somewhere in between. You may be starting up in business, or ready to wide down.

Whatever your status, your business is worth more – duh! – when it is profiting more.

Learn how the successful IGA model can be applied to Manufactured and Modular Home sales at the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show. Yours truly will show you how we can grow your business and others, the smart way.

As an MH retailer, community or builder/developer, odds are excellent you can enter the show free.

Please see the Louisville show website for details and to pre-register free. Some 2,500 industry pros came to Louisville in 2014, far more than any other industry event! There are good reasons the crowd keeps growing. We hope you will come and see why the Road to Success starts in Louisville. Free pre-registration link is here. ##

(Great Depression Image Credits: WikiCommons)

l.a.tony_.kovach-publisher-manufacturedhomelivingnews-com-mhpronews-com-mhc-md-com-1by L. A. 'Tony' Kovach

Chicken’s Don’t Fly!

September 20th, 2014 No comments

In the sales training sessions we provide retailers and manufactured home communities, we express in various ways that success begins with the proper mental outlook.

"Your attitude determines your altitude" is a truism. How many sales greats did you know that are negative or believe it can't be done?

By contrast, the positive "can-do!" and "go-giver" professionals run circles around those whose own thoughts chain them to minimal or no results.

The original – and still main URL – for MHProNews is MHMarketingSalesManagement. Marketing, Sales and Management are three pillars for business success. Before someone gets good at these, we see that attitude or a can-do belief is essential.

This is one of many reasons why we have the INspirations blog, or articles by Zig Ziglar, Tim Connors or others geared to lift the mind, and thus sales results.

If you want to rouse yourself – or your management and sales team – with facts that spotlight why manufactured housing is so amazing, watch the first ten minutes of the MH video linked here.

Introduction to Manufactured Housing

It is the kind of powerful back-to-basics that will remind many why they got into this business in the first place.

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If you take the most talented athlete – but discover they have a defeatist or negative mind-set – will they perform as well as the more motivated player sitting next to them?

Zig Ziglar's famous book – See you at the Top! – encourages a "check up from the neck up." Early in his career, Zig sold his personal stuff in order to survive, before he got his own head on straight to understand an excel at presenting the product he offered that lead to his legendary sales career.

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As a youth or teen, when I

> mowed lawns, or

> scrubbed black heel marks off married dorm floors, or

> rang up orders at McDonalds, etc.

I was taught to give my best. It made the work more pleasant to have a good attitude. At that McDonald's, they ended up creating special role for me, 'team motivator.'

Years later, when I started selling manufactured homes, the company I worked for had no training program. I found good reading and listening (audios) resources to help advance my career. But the foundation was and remains the belief that if others could do it, then I could too.

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We help recruit and train new sales talent for MH industry clients. Some rapidly turn into top performers. When I interview candidates, part of what I'm listening for are clues to their attitude, confidence and willingness to learn.

Those with lax motivation or who are unwilling to learn, usually don't. I don't suggest hiring them.

Invest the time daily to get and keep your attitude and that of your team up. Then, feed them good information and "how to Improve" resources and training, and you'll see bottom line results routinely improve.

Invest in you and your teams attitude and knowledge daily. Because:

“Eagles fly high! Chickens don't fly.” – The Elk. ##

latonykovach-com-brushed-cutting-edge-marketing-sales-blog-mhpronews-com75x75-By LATonyKovach.com

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.

if-a-thing-is-worth-doing-it-is-worth-doing-badly-g-k-chesterton-(c)2013-lifestyle-factory-homes-llc-published-mhpronews-com-

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.

sometimes-the-perfect-is-the-enemy-of-the-good-g-k-chesterton-(c)2013-lifestyle-factory-homes-llc-published-mhpronews-com-

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

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 

      “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.

      Whether You Think You Can or Think You Can't You're right.png

      Isn't it Obvious?

      1-dutch-champ-207-mc41-kit2-posted-manufacturedhomelivingnews-com-

      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.”

      5-dutch-champ-207-mc41-foyer-posted-manufacturedhomelivingnews-com

      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. ##