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Posts Tagged ‘profession’

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

Who Kicked Your Cat?

July 24th, 2014 No comments

Zig Ziglar continues to teach and inspire me, even after passing onto his eternal reward. We all encounter people, personally and professionally, whose attitude is clearly off. At such times, it is wise to be patient and to ask or reflect on Zig's question, “Who kicked your cat?”

The person doesn't even have to be a pet owner for this to apply. The cat is a metaphor for something someone cares about, and that something has been “kicked” or injured, and so the person with 'the kicked cat' isn't in a good mood! The possible causes are many, and often may have nothing to do with you.

Image-credit = biggsuccess-posted-on-mhpronews-com

Image credit = biggsuccess.

On the consulting and training sides of our operation, we are big believers in positive attitude, but also for tuning in to what the prospect is thinking or feeling. Selling isn't manipulation! At its best, selling is the noble process allowing your or a colleague to successfully engage a person to best determine the prospects needs and abilities, and then professionally guide them to the best options that fit. If you've done your job well, the customer isn't so much 'sold,' as they buy.

If the prospect or the person you are meeting or talking with is in a foul mood, think, what is the cause?

To do that professionally, you have to be focused more on them than on you. When you note that someone is in a foul or off mood, it's best to think HALTS. HALTS describes the routine causes for someone being 'off.'

  • Hungry
  • Angry
  • Lonely
  • Tired
  • Sick/Stressed

Once you discover which of these HALTS factors may be upsetting the balance for yourself or another, it is easier to address and thus get on with the tasks at hand.

people often say that motivation doesnt last well neither does bathing, which is why we recommend it daily - zig ziglar-posted-cuttingedgeblog-mhpronews-com

Photo credit, ZigZiglar.com – graphic  © 2014 by MHProNews.com.

Professionals need daily motivation. Who says? Zig Ziglar, who inspired tens of thousands to do more, including our industry's legend, Jim Clayton! We provide that motivation in articles by Ziglar himself, by thoughtful, successful professionals such as Tim Connor, or by submissions by myself or a number of others to our industry leading motivational module, our free INspirations blog.

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-lifestylefactoryhomesllc.

Still by ManufacturedHomes.com – poster © 2014 by MHProNews.com.

I've said it before, and will do so again. Let me recommend that you keep your team informed daily on their industry and on better ways to present the great stories about manufactured and modular homes! 15 minutes a day is the minimum you and your team should be on this site, and 7 minutes daily on MHLivingNews.com. At the end of a year, don't be surprised when you find that your team is doing so much more than they ever did before; and have a better 'can-do' mindset too.

FYI, when you need a corporate or association speaker, marketing, a sales coach or trainer, you can contact me at the phone or email below. If I can't help you, I'll point you to others if needed.

Your-Business-Sign

What's your best investment?
If you don't answer your career or your business, think again.
Which do you have more influence over, your business, or someone else's?

Growth happens because you invest time and resources in yourself and your people. Who says? Ask the legends, almost all of them would agree that applied knowledge is powerful and profitable. ##

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 

7 Steps to Success

November 10th, 2013 No comments

Want to advance your performance, or that of your team? Then you've come to the right place today!

All success is a matter of systems that are grounded in a set of principles. The proper principles are thus a foundation for any success system you may opt to pursue.

We have a number of secret and less than secret 'weapons' we use in our marketing, sales, management consulting work. There is nothing particularly new about the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People since Stephen Covey first published it, save the fact that it needs to be more broadly understood and applied. This is particularly true for organizations in our industry.

3d_man_with_check_mark-free-digital-photos-net--posted-mhpronews-.jpgLet's take a quick tour, in part courtesy of a summary from Wikipedia  – with some added emphasis of the 7 Habits – and you will see why these principles truly are 7 Steps to Success.

The 7 Habits

The book first introduces the concept of Paradigm Shiftand prepares the reader for a change in mindset. It helps the reader understand that there exists a different perspective, a viewpoint that may be different from his or her own and asserts that two people can see the same thing and yet differ with each other. Once the reader is prepared for this, it introduces the seven habits, in a proper order.

Each chapter is dedicated to one of the habits, which are represented by the following imperatives:brain-success-free-digital-photos-net--posted-mhpronews-.jpg

Independence.

The First Three Habits surround moving from dependence to independence(i.e., self-mastery):

  • Habit 1: Be Proactive

Take initiative in life by realizing that your decisions (and how they align with life's principles) are the primary determining factor for effectiveness in your life. Take responsibility for your choices and the consequences that follow.

  • Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

Self-discover and clarify your deeply important character values and life goals. Envision the ideal characteristics for each of your various roles and relationships in life.

  • Habit 3: Put First Things First

A manager must manage his own person. Personally. And managers should implement activities that aim to reach the second habit. Covey says that rule two is the mental creation; rule three is the physical creation.Business_man_climbing_stairs._3d_rendered_illustration-free-digital-photos-net--posted-mhpronews-.jpg

Interdependence.

The next three have to do with Interdependence (i.e., working with others):

  • Habit 4: Think Win-Win

Genuinely strive for mutually beneficial solutions or agreements in your relationships. Value and respect people by understanding a "win" for all is ultimately a better long-term resolution than if only one person in the situation had got his way.

  • Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

Use empathic listening to be genuinely influenced by a person, which compels them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you. This creates an atmosphere of caring, and positive problem solving.

  • Habit 6: Synergize

Combine the strengths of people through positive teamwork, so as to achieve goals no one person could have done alone.

Continuous Improvement.

The final habit is that of continuous improvement in both the personal and interpersonal spheres of influence.

  • Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle. It primarily emphasizes exercise for physical renewal, prayer (meditation, yoga, etc.) and good reading for mental renewal. It also mentions service to society for spiritual renewal.

cash-bag-wikicommons--posted-mhpronews-.jpgCovey explains the "Upward Spiral" model in the sharpening the saw section.

Through our conscience, along with meaningful and consistent progress, the spiral will result in growth, change, and constant improvement. In essence, one is always attempting to integrate and master the principles outlined in The 7 Habits at progressively higher levels at each iteration. Subsequent development on any habit will render a different experience and you will learn the principles with a deeper understanding.

The Upward Spiral model consists of three parts: learn, commit, do. According to Covey, one must be increasingly educating the conscience in order to grow and develop on the upward spiral. The idea of renewal by education will propel one along the path of personal freedom, security, wisdom, and power.

Applications for Manufactured Housing Professionals and Organizations

Let's start with the three parts of the Upward Spiral. Learn. Commit. Do.

In our exclusive interview with Barry Noffsinger from CU Factory Built Lending, Barry said the following, quoting verbatim:

In my view, we have a mainstream product being promoted by an extremely beautiful industry that sometimes suffers from low self-esteem.

With our quality and affordability we should be at the first thought of every stakeholder when it comes to affordable housing options. Instead, sometimes we say yes to the first person to ask us to the prom.

For example, I hear all the time that we need financial institutions to return “to the ‘90’s” and buy deeper. My question is why? Shouldn’t we learn from history?

According to Fair Isaac, 73% of the US population has a credit score over 650. Let’s all be innovative and creative in our own little corner to move our industry from “Boutique” to “Supercenter.””

> Take the first of the 7 Habits. Be pro-active! Take responsibility for whatever your current situation is professionally and as an organization.

> Next, Begin with the End in Mind, and – for example, in the case of financing – we think sustainable lending that benefits borrower, seller and lender then…

> …we are putting First Things First and are Thinking Win-Win. I had top people from three industry lenders at a lunch table at a recent event. The big round table had perhaps 8 others beside myself seated. I asked the lenders for the benefit of all about their losses on repossessions. All agreed that they are at 50% or higher and that this was one of the factors that caused higher rates for a personal property loans. That is not win-win, that is win-lose. It is one of the factors that limits lending in our industry.

Mutual Victories will Advance MH Lending

The takeaway for the above true story is that MH Communities and MH Retailers MUST become part of the profitable solution for lenders and consumers to exit successfully without taking a big hit. That exit has to be similar to the effectiveness of Realtors in the real estate market.

Mutual Victories will reward and attract more MH Homeowners

Once we synergize with lenders, we will attract more good credit and cash customers. Rates for chattel lending will be lower and will be more sustainable. That in turn will attract more lenders to our industry.

This is how 'think win-win' and 'beginning with the end in mind' results in huge mutual victory!

This isn't just a pious idea, it is a practical, profitable and proven principle. By Seeking first to Understand, and then to be Understood, along with Synergizing with lenders, we professionally enjoyed some remarkable successes in our industry during difficult times, and the lenders involved where thrilled too. Had that pattern caught fire then, let me flatly assert we would be selling many times more homes as an industry and would do so with more consumer satisfaction and acceptance than we currently have today.

Weaving Principles into Practice

Once a person understand the basic principles of success, it is time to weave those principles into practice. The best ideas that go in-implemented are like that great recipe that never gets used in the kitchen.

dartboard-success-free-digital-photos-net-posted-mhpronews-.jpgDuring my days owning/managing a Top 100 in the U.S. retail center, now as a publisher and industry consultant, applying such principles have been keys to all that we do. No baseball player bats 1000! But if you bat .300, you are already a star, so long as solid win-win principles underscore all that you do.

Get and read the book 7 Habits of Highly Successful People. Learn the principles. Line up the talent and expertise you need, because it is often required to advance.

You may find this weekend's Masthead blog post that shares an incredible success story worth your time too.

The reason for success stories is that real life success stories remind us that if they did it, you can too. And the reason for 7 Steps to Success is to give you one of the tools that will take you from where you are to where you are could be! Think Big! Day by day, by applying proven principles, you can do it. ##

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

Sparks Wrap up the Discussion of the Future of the Land Lease Business Model, National Communities Council 2013 Fall Leadership Forum

October 20th, 2013 No comments

Each of the panels and presenters at the 2013 National Communities Council (NCC) inaugural 2013 Fall Leadership Forum offered multiple take-aways which properly applied could have been worth more than the price of admission.

/randy-rowe-r-green-courte-partners-chairman-gary-mcdaniels-yes-communities-joe-stegmayer-cavco-stephen-bruan-hometown-america-mhpronews-cutting-edge-blog- (1).jpg

Randy Rowe (l), Gary McDaniel, Joe Stegmayer, Stephen Braun (r)

For this column, we will focus on a very focused segment of the final panel discussion – The Future of the Land Lease Business Model – which featured Randy Rowe, Green Courte Partners (GCP), Gary McDaniel of Yes! Communities, Joe Stegmayer, Cavco Industries and Stephen Braun of Hometown America.

Don Westphal commented during the discussion that manufactured housing is “….the only industry that succeeded in spite of itself.”

Joe Stegmayer commented on the importance of sales training and product knowledge.

Since marketing, image and branding where among the topics at the NCC Fall Forum, certainly Don's and Joe's comments could have easily been applied to what is often the lack of a proper implementation of marketing and sales training in our industry. Does this cost our industry and land lease communities business?

A number of Industry Voices guest blog posts last month answered that question with a strong “yes.”

The subject of national MH Industry image campaign came up near the end of the panel discussion. Cavco Chairman and CEO Joe Stegmayer stated that “We would be willing to support” such a campaign.

Randy Rowe is a long time proponent of an image building and other professionalism enhancing efforts, as is showcased in this exclusive interview, linked here.

Green Courte's Chairman underscored that ½ of a percent or somewhat more of industry new home shipment revenues could fund a campaign that would rival the size of the highly successful GoRVing campaign, which is about $18 million a year.

Gary McDaniel said he disagreed.

Such a campaign, he argued, “Won't do much for us.”

McDaniel's offered up a common argument made by those who oppose such an effort, by saying that local, community level marketing and good business practices would do more for our industry than an image building effort would do.

Yes! Communities McDaniel's went on to say that if someone wants to call our homes a “mobile home,” then “God bless them.”

“A clean, affordable and safe place to live,” said McDaniel, “rather than respectability,” is what our industry's traditional home buyers seek.

To this comment Randy Rowe dove in with the comment, that while respecting McDaniel's, “I strongly disagree.”

Rowe pointed out that just getting around the “trailer moniker is huge.” “These are great homes,” Rowe said, built in a “temperature controlled environment.”

GCP's Chairman Rowe clearly expressed his conviction that we as an industry would attract more customers including those who are financially more affluent customers by improving our industry's image.

Beyond the NCC Fall Forum thinking

MHProNews has long supported the need for enhanced professionalism, including image building. This includes sales training which GMHA's Jay Hamilton said in this guest column was crucial, combined with image building.

Drew Chairman Leigh Abrams took a position very much akin to that of Randy Rowe in his interview, linked on his name above.

While we would whole heatedly agree with Randy Rowe's position – that a full fledged image campaign has strong merit and value to build the future of land lease communities and the industry at large – the nuance noted above has an echo in Gary McDaniel's call for sound professional performance at the local level.

We'd also take the editorial view that manufactured housing doesn't have to invest 10 million or more to get some benefit from image building. Image can be improved subtly but surely and at a low cost via online efforts, which other presenters at the NCC forum pointed out.

It is precisely with that thought which motivated the launch last summer of ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com. We are already generating leads for pros via that platform that attract customers who may not have considered the manufactured housing option otherwise.

The Industry In Focus Report on the study by NAR and Google on Why You Should Target Home Shoppers Online clearly underscores the value of doing such online image building efforts.

Sam Landy of UMH Properties fame stated in his interview linked on his name that he sees how the industry could rise to 300,000 to 400,000 shipments again. Image building is part of the key!

UMH and CU Factory Built Lending are among those early supporters for this online image building effort.

Until the industry is willing to invest millions, a small fraction of that and the 3 easy steps found on the download linked at the end of the article here would turn ManufacturedHomeLivingNews into a significant force fueling more sales, could improve our political clout and improve the image for communities and our industry at large.

It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness. Those interested in “lighting candles” are encouraged to sound off or contact us at the number or email below. We are better off when we advance our image and professionalism together. ##

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

Golfing and Manufactured Housing Sales

August 30th, 2013 No comments

I was listening one Sunday to a motivated golfer. He was maybe 30ish and clearly wanted to be good at the game. So he took lessons. Afterward all the lessons, he went out for a round and began by thinking about all of the things he was supposed to do.

He thought about:

  • his stance,
  • his grip on the club,
  • how high the ball was supposed to be on the tee,
  • his hip rotation during the stroke,
  • his follow through,
  • and all the other things the golfing coach was trying to teach him.

He stood there with his ball on the tee, thinking about all of these things he was supposed to do.

Then he brought his club back up, went for the swing and connected with the ball. It soared up into the air! It went about 200 yards, and landed in the middle of the fairway! But…

…it was the neighboring fairway that it landed in.

He went after the ball. You can imagine his thoughts.

When he got to the ball on the 'wrong' fairway, he looked back towards the hole that was his goal and, lo! There was a break in the trees just where he needed to hit the ball in order to go back towards the hole that was his goal.

Let's cut to the chase. 8 shots later, his ball dropped into the right cup.

Now, when I first shared this story with someone who golfs, what I heard in reply was laughter. It is an amusing story.

But when you apply this to the principles of selling manufactured homes, there are a number of potential lessons to be learned. Before continuing with the sales lessons, let's finish the true golfing story.

The young player approached the next hole differently. Instead of thinking about all of the rules, all of the things he was supposed to do, he simply relaxed.

Then, he began his swing, the follow through and the ball sailed 200 yards down the fairway. And it was the right fairway! This time, he shot par!

Now let's look at the take aways from this and how it applies to sales.

First, the player never gave up. He did finally sink the shot, even on the errant first drive. He kept aiming for his goal and finally achieved it.

Second, the player didn't let his love for the game be harmed or negatively impacted. He kept his attitude. He wanted to learn and did so.

Third, all of the rules that he was taught WERE in fact very IMPORTANT. Those rules and tips DID make him a better golfer! But he first had to relax himself, then the young player had to focus on the ball and his goal. Then the player simply had to “just do it.”

We've commented before about similarities between fishing and selling. If you pull back on the line before you have the hook in the fish's mouth, what happens? You scare the fish away, right? The same thing often happens in sales. I've see sales people who try a take away or other 'strategy,' but they don't even have their prospect hooked yet! Is it any wonder that they lose the customer?

Of course not.

golf_professional_pat_diaz_gives_young_golfer_pointers_chula_vista_municipal_golf_course-wikicommons-posted-cutting-edge-blog--manufactured-home-marketing-sales-mhpronews-.jpg

The rules of good golf are as important to the
pro as to the student of the game.
The rules of good salesmanship
are as important to the newbie as to a veteran.

The focus of selling is first the customer, but then you and what you say or do! The rules of professional sales engagement are there to guide you to be a better you in serving the customer. Good salesmanship is not about tricking or manipulating a customer.

It is about learning how to engage the customer in a professional fashion that will routinely produce the right outcomes when followed.

Doctor's don't save every patient. That in itself doesn't make them a bad doctor, so long as they are saving the patients that can be saved.

Sales begins with your mind set. You have to have the right attitude about the customer, and you have to want to serve them in a professional fashion.

The reason on our MHProNews.com website that we have an Inspiration blog, plus featured articles by Zig Ziglar, Tim Connor or Greg McClanahan is precisely to refresh and inspire the right motivations in all those who serve the public and who serve their peers too.

The young golfer had to learn how to internalize the rules he learned, but also to keep his focus on the ball.

The focus in student of sales is the customer and their needs, wants and desires. But the rules help both the golfer and the sales pro to advance and improve.

Even professional golfers want to improve their game. A pro still has a coach.

The same is true for the professional sales person, they still have a coach.

The doctor who tries to 'heal himself' is often guilty of malpractice! It is a common principle of good medicine that you don't treat yourself. The doctor who does may not have enough perspective to do so effectively.

The same is true in sales. Jim Carpenter said it well in a recent guest column. When the only 'training' that is going on is in house, it is often 'old stuff' that is being re-hashed, instead of a truly professional blend of the tried and true along with the good and new!

When you learn the rules of good sales engagement and then make them a part of what you say and what you do – naturally! – then you too will see shots soar down the fairway, and you will see them land on the right fairway! Having an outside sales trainer or sales coach can be as critical for your location, career or business as the golf coach is for a pro – or new comer! – who wants to improve his game. ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red HotFeatured Articles for August and see the other new stories at MHLivingNews.com 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 815-270-0500 |

Connect on LinkedIN:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach