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Money Motivations

June 13th, 2014 No comments

There are many motivators in life. In sales, some pros speak of the five motivators of pride, profit, love, need and fear. A certain consultant you may know routinely uses fear tactics as a motivator, why? Because it can work. So too the other motivators, in the case of today's column, money or 'profit.'

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The 2008 Financial Meltdown, a Gift in Disguise for Manufactured Housing?

Please don't get me wrong. In an ideal world, we would have had no meltdown in 2008. But our world isn't perfect, so given that reality, the crash of the conventional housing market offers numerous prime opportunities for manufactured housing pros.

Among them is the fact that millions no longer believe that a site built house is a good 'investment.'

That said, a savvy marketer or sales guru can position a message that effectively says… "The money saved by buying our home can be used to invest, for travel, cars, charity, education, you name it!"

Profit is the common motive for why:

  • people invest,
  • or why they try to save, or why
  • they open a business and
  • they may opt for this career over another.

Even in government, money is a motivator. Bureaucratic programs often have a de facto incentive to spend all the money allocated, or they may get less funding the next year. The VA scandal reminded us that bonuses exist at the federal level, and that if staff can't earn the bonus honestly, they may "game the system" to get the money by stealth.

Quality Pays

When someone's budget is tight, there is no point in trying to push a solution the buyer can't afford. But when discretionary spending is an option, a savvy sales pro can justify a higher price through the message that "quality pays."

Resonating not Manipulating

Speaking of the customer, be it this or any sales and marketing methods, let's restate a basic premise. We are not about manipulating the customer. For some 25 years, I've preached that a deal is only a good deal if all involved benefit from it.

So why learn sales and marketing methods at all? Because some customers need to be guided in their decision, and when you see what motivates them, you are in a better position to advise and serve them.

You can get everything out of life you want, when you help enough other people get out of life what they want.” – Zig Ziglar.

The Five Motivators

In all of your sales and marketing, think about how money motivates. And think about how all of the 5 Motivators, pride, profit, love, need and fear. As you ask questions, listen and do your discovery with a customer, you will often pick up the clues that tell you which of the motivators is the best one with the prospect in front of you. ##

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 

Video and Social Media Statistics for 2014 for Manufactured Housing Marketers

May 14th, 2014 No comments

Ladies and gents, this post will be short and sweet, but not as short as a Tweet.

When you watch this video, don't jump to the conclusion that all that you should be doing is social media and video. IMHO, that would be a huge mistake.

But it would be an equally huge mistake not to invest some of your time and marketing resources into these areas. We do!

You should too.

When we say 'we do,' keep in mind that for all the limits on us in budget, time, etc. we dominate with our two main sites – MHProNews.com and ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com – in their respective niches.

We help our clients dominate in their local markets too. Watch the video above, see our own video report on this topic, see the video report by our colleagues at ManufacturedHomes and call us with any questions. ##

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 

Marketing Lessons for Manufactured Housing? Forbes Reports Online Ad Revenue vs. Broadcast TV

April 13th, 2014 No comments

On 4.10.2014, Robert Hof writing in Forbes colorfully reported that, Perhaps the iconic pose of our era is someone squinting at a smartphone screen–replacing another iconic pose, the couch potato pointing a remote at the TV screen.” Hof says that's due in part to the use of hand-held devices, such as tablets and smartphones, which led online ad revenue to now exceed that of broadcast TV.

This is a first, but not an unexpected outcome!

Citing the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) as his source, Hof points out that cable TV still exceeds broadcast and online ad revenues, but the gap is shrinking. The IAB report lays out these facts:

  • U.S. interactive advertising revenues for 2013 hit an all-time high of $42.8 billion
  • 17 percent growth in online revenue, from 2012’s landmark revenues of $36.6 billion. 
  • Broadcast television advertising revenues ($40.1 billion)
  • Digital video, a component of display-related advertising, brought in $2.8 billion in full year 2013, up 19 percent over revenues of $2.3 billion in 2012. As a result, it also increased its share to become the fourth largest format, directly behind mobile.

  • Search revenues totaled $18.4 billion in 2013, up 9 percent from 2012, when search totaled $16.9 billion.
  • Display-related advertising revenues in 2013 totaled $12.8 billion or 30 percent of the year’s revenues, a rise of 7 percent over $12 billion in 2012.
  • Retail advertisers continue to represent the largest category of internet ad spending, responsible for 21 percent in 2013, followed by financial services and closely trailed by automotive which account for 13 and 12 percent of the year’s revenues respectively.

Here are some gems from the IAB report in a graphic format.

credit-iab-report-posted-cutting-edge-marketing-sales-blog-mhpronews-com

When you see “search,” realize that this is one of many reasons Google is getting megabucks.

Think about resources such as Google Ad words, but don't forget to check out our Joe Karn's report – Get your Business on the Top of Google…Guaranteed? – on this hot subject! Joe lays out a potential solution for those who want to use Ad Words, but don't have a huge budget for it. Don't miss it!

Are you Doing the Right Online Marketing?

Note the next highest percentage of revenue in the online report that goes to banner ads.

Banner ads have been a key part of what The Louisville Manufactured Housing Show and the Manufactured Housing Institute have used on MHProNews.com to drive traffic to their events. MHI reported recently that they are up 39% over the same time frame last year, and what else can you point to that is new in their promotion besides exposure on MHProNews.com?

Dennis Hill has laid out facts about the trends on the Louisville Show, which previously had been canceled in 2010, and was brought back in 2011. The big change for the show was again the use of banner ads and articles on MHProNews.

Don't Blow Your Budget! One Size does NOT fit All!

Let's be clear, there are a range of resources online that can yield success, which is part of what this IAB report that Forbes has covered showcases.

A web marketing pro outside of manufactured housing, and not familiar with our industry, might suggest a google ad words campaign to boost the turnout at an industry trade show. We'd say, 'waste of money.' Why? Because adwords generally targets the public at large, and the trade show audience is laser focused. The most viable tool to reach them are the ones we are currently using!

Could there be others? Sure, but that would take a different report than this one. The point is that one size does NOT fit all.

Are You Online? Do You Have an Updated Website?

A prominent state association executive reported that in his state, well over half of the communities had no internet website. Ouch!

Contrast that with the major MHC players, who usually have a serious investments in websites and other online marketing dollars. Or or most MH street retailers, who normally have a website, even if it is 4 to 10 years old (and if so, then it shows…).

Having a modern website, that is mobile friendly, is necessary for modern marking.

As important as websites, social media and other internet based resources are, you can't overlook the rapidly rising role of digital video and its role in marketing.

Digital Video

We are spending more time doing digital interviews, which have been very popular. No surprise! Video is dominating online usage, and is bound to grow in its revenues, as the IAB report and Forbes suggest.

We've reported before in posted columns such as…

More Videos for Manufactured Housing Success!

…vivid, real-life examples of how videos can be used to make points and tell a tale. A key part of what the mainstream media does is interviews. Where are the interviews being done in our industry? Right here!

As an example, if you've not seen the just-added 10 minute interview with Chet Murphree of Deer Valley homes, please check it out. We now have two versions posted; one is about 3 and a half minutes, the other right at 10, both are found at the link below.

http://www.mhpronews.com/home/featured-articles/april-2014/138-general-manufactured-housing-industry-topics/7312-a-cup-of-coffee-withchet-murphree

So Many Tools! Which One is For You?

Imagine the many ways how video and online marketing could be used to impact housing professionals, investors, public officials and the home buying public.

The tools and resources – including modern marketing – needed to grow a for-profit or non-profit enterprise like yours are all in our grasp. If you need a hand in reviewing your budget and marketing program, feel free to give me a call at the number below to set up a time for a discussion. ##

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 

Hungry for growth and more knowledge?

February 9th, 2014 No comments

Knowledge you can apply is a key to making more money. As I go through these examples, let me strongly suggest, that if you take two giant steps back for perspective, these could apply to YOU and YOUR location(s)!

Let's start by sharing the words of Ross Kinzler, from the Wisconsin Housing Alliance.

credit-linkedin-ross-kinzler-wha-manufactured-housing-posted-cutting-edge-blog-mhpronews-com-.jp.jpg

Then, lets layer in the following quote from Andy Gallagher, WVHI.

"This year’s event was a dynamic performance with a pantheon of excellent speakers, covering topics critical to the industry; an expanded floor showa-v-gallagher-executive-director with the latest models on display; and a handsome group of service and supply representatives on hand with their banter, wit and stockpile of knowledge."

– See Andy's full article at : http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/industryvoices/#sthash.NluqUOIq.dpuf

continental-communities-logoThen think about these thoughts from an MHC operations manager, Ted Gross:

"Tony, Just wanted to leave a quick note about the educational seminar you spoke at regarding “Modern Marketing.” I brought a few community managers along for your presentation…it was a real eye opener for them and me."

– See more at: http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/industryvoices/#sthash.NluqUOIq.dpuf

Are you beginning to see a pattern developing here?

If not, let's try another quote on why going to a trade show or educational event is a great idea for your business! This from a fellow who admits he missed a few years of going to a show:

"…I was wrong! It was not only interesting it was incredibly inspiring and eye-opening. At this time, our industry is undergoing tremendous tumult andjames-cook-mhc-manager-ma-posted-industry-voices-mhpronews.com-75x75pxl- change. Change does not have to mean impending disaster. Sometimes it takes rubbing elbows with our industry’s leaders – those on the front line – to better understand the opportunities that exist, the places where we need soldiers in the gaps (Washington DC,) and how to not just survive but thrive in the coming decades.

I probably received more education at Louisville in two days than I did in my first six months in my current position."

– See more at: http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/home/featured-articles/february-2014/138-general-manufactured-housing-industry-topics/6979-louisville-2014-from-the-eyes-of-an-industry-newbie#sthash.h30j7u54.dpuf

tamas-kovach-right-handing-chet-kearny-business-card-soheyla-kovach-c-mhpronews-com-latonykovach-com-mhc-md-com-2014-louisville-show-booth-.pngThis one is near and dear to us, some of you at Tunica last year or Louisville this year saw this first hand; and yes, this IS an educational and inspiring example!

The photo and comments are courtesy of Gina Beasley, Tennessee Regional Manager and Ast. VP of Sales for UMH Properties.

Gina wrote in part: “Wow Tony, gotta to tell you how much I enjoyed seeing your son, he is absolutely adorable! Check out the picture of him handing out your business card to Chet Kearney, Chris Lindsey's assistant. So sweet and the fruit don't fall far from the tree!!!”

– See more at: http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/bobstovall/#sthash.1VA1XLrK.dpuf

No one knows trade shows in manufactured housing better than Dennis Hill! Here is what he wrote, and these comments were being shared with permission. Dennis began by talking about the growth in attendance, thanks us and then shares this chart.

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"…In addition, we would like to complement you on the phenomenal job you did in managing the seminar programming. The seminarswere well attended and well received by everyone who attended the show and went to the seminars."

– See more at: http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/industryvoices/#sthash.hUjCKiFN.dpufdennis-hill-l-a-kovach-show-ways=unlimited-tunica-show-2012-mhpronews-com-.png

Now, let me wrap up all these comments, and many, many more we have had like them, and say that without a doubt, the lessons these and other pros learned apply to YOU.

  1. An upbeat attitude can be both taught and caught. A good Attitude will boost performance, especially when combined with facts and processes that support success.
  2. Be it the rapidly approaching Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, or April's MHI/NCC Congress and Expo, you will find that the modest investment and time and cost will reward you greatly!
  3. Do whatever good steps that it takes NOW to be at BOTH of these upcoming events! Why? Look at what the folks above and so many more had to say!

ignorance-costs-knowledge-pays-cuttingedge-ofmarketing-sales-manufactured-housing-mhpronews-com-.jpgJoe Kelly said this a couple of years ago, shared with permission:

“Tony,If we're going to talk special, you're it.  Your unabashed enthusiasm was really contagious.  Your belief in and knowledge of the industry is profound.  You have a unique manner of bringing people together.

You were responsible for most of our programming this year.  We've had great meetings in the past.  However, this meeting will be hard to beat in that the perfect speakers were found for the precise topics we needed to hear…”

Joe Kelly

Iowa Manufactured Housing Association

– See more at: http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/home/featured-articles/october-2013/6336-kudos-coffee-linkedin-growth-and-four-more-years-four-more-years#sthash.KkGU1mMd.dpuf

Want the secret? Want to know how to grow? Let me tell you my secret. We read! We go to meetings! Yes, I present and share at many of these events, but not all. I go to learn, and every single time I do learn, and you and your team can too!

Want to grow in 2014, in spite of the hurdles? Sure you do. Then make the time and treasure investment in yourself, your team and your location(s) to attend these two spring events, Tunica and Congress and Expo. I go to both every year, along with others, about 8 events a year in all.

I never regret a single trip to go to a trade show, educational meeting or event. When Joe Kelly says, "Your belief in and knowledge of the industry is profound." keep in mind, we can all learn when we make the DECISION to do so.

When we decide to turn lemons into lemonade, of course you too will find what Joe said could apply to YOU: "Your unabashed enthusiasm was really contagious." Then YOU can be the spark plug for YOUR organization or location.

Please come to these events. For your sake, for the sake of your team and operation. If you do, please swing by and say hi. ##

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