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Posts Tagged ‘mhm’

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.

successful-people-are-simply-those-with-successful-habits-brian-tracy-wikicommons-poster-(c)2014-mhpronews-com-

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.

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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

In Marketing, What’s a “Channel?”

August 13th, 2014 No comments

Channel Definition | Investopedia
Definition of 'Channel'

  1. The system of intermediaries between the producers, suppliers, consumers, etcetera, for the movement of a good or service. 

Anyone can set up their own free channel on YouTube in maybe a minute. There are lots of “channels” that have nothing to do with video, when you use the definition supplied above by Investopedia.

ambientmediaww=image=credit-posted=cuttingedgeblog-mhpronews-com0

Image credit ambientmediaww.

Cable TV, Satellite TV, Radio, Web, Social Media, etc…

We've seen in the last decade the explosion of media outlets! Cable, satellite, internet, social media are just some of the new ways to 'channel' information between producers, suppliers and sellers of products or services to the public.

In many cases, we see 'product placement' being used on TV, in movies or online videos. A story is told, with the product's name or logo being visible. Marketers have figured out this is a good strategy that subtly tells viewers that the product does all the fun or cool stuff the stars in the show enjoy or benefit from using.

Influencing Media as Media or via Social Media

Some are such good bloggers, tweeters, YouTubers or other forms of social media that the mainstream media begins to pick them up and “follow” them. In some cases, the mainstream media responds in almost real time to a tweet from some public figure's Twitter feed.

Those who try to tell you 'how easy it is' to do social media, blogging, etc. are selling something! Many public figures, corporations or celebrities have one or more dedicated professional doing their blogging or social media for them.

But experts are correct in saying that when done properly, this works. Success requires planning and effort to achieve the kind of following that results in more business for your operation or location. We know, because for almost 5 years, we've built the largest audience of its kind in MH here on MHProNews.com.

Too small to do it all?

If your operation is “too small” for you to do it all, why not:

a) team up with others? For example, explore doing such efforts through your buyers group or association. Or..

b) piggy back with RSS feeds to MHLivingNews.com?

Relevant content – even in the form of links – is one proven way to bring more people back to your site. Since the good cash or credit shoppers often don't call or directly reach out for 6 months to a year (they have good credit because they plan ahead!), your website needs something is is routinely updating and changing.

UMH.com has at the bottom left of their website an RSS feed linked to ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com. At 12:05 PM ET on 8.13.2014, it looked like this:

umh-rss-feed-to-mhlivingnews-com-posted-cutting-edge-blog-mhpronews-com-

Each of those topics could be interesting to someone shopping for a manufactured home, or someone looking for a community they may want to move their MH. Here is how RSS looks on the Welcome Home Ohio website, found at the bottom right-center column footer on their home page.

welcome=home=ohio-rss-feed-posted-cutting-edge-blog-mhpronews-com-

A very robust RSS feed is found on the Indiana MH association's http://communitylivingindiana.com/ website.

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Some networks and media own multiple 'channels,' you should use multiple channels to distribute your marketing message too! In the second decade of the 21st Century, tapping into or creating your own channels is easier than ever, but “easier” still requires some time and effort.

If you want to sell more homes, especially to those who are cash or better credit buyers, using more channels is worth it. ##

/l-a-tony-kovach(1).jpBy L. A. “Tony” Kovach

Are you Asking the Right Questions?

August 8th, 2014 No comments

Did you know…

  • that professional selling is more than just 'telling?'
  • that in the right circumstances, your prospect wants to be 'sold?'
  • that good selling is not something you do TO someone, it is something you do WITH and FOR someone?
  • that controlling someone in sales is just an illusion?

Even in a society that lacks freedom, people yearn for ways to express themselves! So imagine that in a free society, of course people don't want to feel manipulated into doing something, even if that 'something' might actually be to their benefit.

So as soon as some 'sales person' starts talking, talking, talking before they've

  • asked and listened,
  • asked and listened and
  • asked and listened some more…

what routinely happens is that good prospective clients tune them out. Odds of doing business with them nose-dive. This often leaves the weaker prospect that stays and gets 'sold,' and of course then the challenge is to see how to 'get their deal done.'

listen-credit-ky-olsen-posted-cutting-edge=blog-mhpronews-com-

Image Credit: Ky Olsen

There are organizations in manufactured housing that teach good selling, which is much more than telling.

Good selling is like going to a doctor's office. The doctor – or the MD's staff – has to ask probing questions and then follows those questions up with still more questions, all BEFORE tests are done or a recommendation for treatment is made.

We teach forward thinking professionals to ask the right questions at the right times. Then we suggest the proper marketing that makes the phones ring.

l-a-tony-kovach-2014-louisville-manufactured-housing-show-modern-marketing-mhpronews-com-manufacturedhomelivingnews-com (1)

L. A. “Tony” Kovach presenting to a packed room of MH Professionals.

Change rarely happens over night. But if you are doing the right job – the truly professional way – of marketing and sales in manufactured housing, you will see a steady growth in the number of qualified buyers who will call, come, see, believe and buy from you. Don't worry, you'll still get the credit challenged customers too.

When you learn to engage a cash or good credit customer successfully, you'll realize that selling manufactured homes is a noble profession.

Professionals practice and study, practice and study. Professionals ask questions before making recommendations, correct?

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-life

What would you pay to listen to the industry's self-made billionaire for 45 minutes?
Then would you actively listen – take notes and learn – by
clicking here and watching this two part video?

Shall we close with some OBVIOUS questions?

So where do you go to do your daily reading in MH? And where are you getting your professional training to become a star in manufactured housing? ##

latonykovach-com-brushed-cutting-edge-marketing-sales-blog-mhpronews-com-By L. A. “Tony” Kovach