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Posts Tagged ‘prospective client’

Sell More Customers by Opening Eyes and Opening Minds

February 12th, 2017 No comments

Sometimes I must remind myself there are times when less is more.  But there are also times when the details are crucial.

Knowing when ‘less is more,’ and when ‘the details will matter’ to a prospective client – those are critical issues.

SellMoreCustomersbyOpeningEyesandOpeningMinds

Several of our clients stopped by our display at the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show to give us in-person updates on their results, but another, had follow up questions.  Some clients were glowing — and in each case, they were the ones who were implementing the strategies they’re being coached on.

SIB-KIS_-_AIM_HighMHProNewsOne was happy, but not glowing.  That one had questions.

I reviewed some of what we had done and discussed previously.  I made a specific statement.

Suddenly, his eyes lit up.

At the end of the conversation, he said ‘Tony, maybe the most important thing I’ve heard during this whole trip to Louisville is what you just told me.  “If pretty pictures, and nice videos was all that was needed to sell more homes, our industry would be selling 500,000 homes a year, not 80,000.”’ (Note: that’s paraphrasing, I didn’t memorize it, so this isn’t word for word, but it’s close.)

After that conversation, when he got home, that client sent me another check.

To understand how to sell the better qualified cash or good credit buyer, you first have to do what the Native American saying recommends.  You have to walk a mile in the home buyer’s moccasins. You have to understand their perspective, because it’s their point of view that will cause them to buy, or not.

Fear of Loss, Desire for Gain

Among the motivators for humans is the fear of loss, and the desire for gain.

We humans don’t want to make a mistake (fear of loss).  We do want to progress (the desire for gain).

Duh! Marketing and Selling Systems MUST work TOGETHER

Marketing and Sales Systems MUST work in concert, or you will not achieve your goals of selling more cash or good credit qualified customers.

Think about this fact.  For every manufactured home sold, there are 99+ conventional housing units (new construction or existing homes) sold last year.

Among new construction – or existing housing buyers – most could easily buy a new upscale, residential style manufactured home.  You and we as professionals know the incredible value of our factory-crafted homes.

So, with well over 6 million housing units changing hands each year – counting new construction and existing house sales – where is the disconnect with millions of prospects?

ExistingHomeSalesNewNAHBSaldes-ManufacturedHomeSales-statistics2016-SlideFromJune7TuesdaysWithTonyPowerPoint-MHProNews-com-768x574-575x430

I was speaking with a colleague and client at MHVillage.  They have impressive website statistics.  The 20+ million visitors on their website a year. 20+ million!  But now ask yourself this question that I asked my friend. If there are so many visitors considering a mobile or manufactured home, why are so few buying new manufactured homes?

Good question…’ right?

Do the Math, and Open YOUR Eyes

80,000+ new homes sold/20 Million visitors to MHVillage alone – remember there are millions of other visits to millions of other websites = so, only about 0.004% of visitors shopping last year bought a new manufactured home. Less than 1%…

Ouch, but odds are, your website is not better than theirs at conversion ratios.

And certainly, you want to be in front of those MHVillage home shoppers.

This question of conversion ratios isn’t just a question for MHVillage, it’s a question for every:

  • Manufacturer
  • Retailer
  • Communities
  • Lenders
  • Suppliers
  • Installer/Transporter
  • Service Provider
  • Association

Yes, the attorney or CPA that serve our industry ought to care about those conversion ratios. Every factory worker who wants more job security, or who wants to see his friend hired at the plant, should care. Everyone involved in manufactured homes and affordable housing has a stake in seeing those tiny numbers, rise.

ManufacturedHousingAnnualShipmentsToothAcheCredits-ManufacturedHousingIndustryMastheadCommentary-MHProNews--575x372

Image is only part of our industry’s “tooth ache.”

The industry has a historic opportunity in 2017. We could be selling more homes than at any time since the mobile home era. Logistics, and your willingness to adapt, change and invest in your own operation is the only things holding you back.

You should care about is YOUR operation, YOUR location.  Take care of your location(s), and you’ll be doing your part to raise the industry’s total numbers.

Pieces of the Marketing Puzzle

So, it isn’t just one piece of the puzzle that will get you there for the vast majority of buyers.

There’s a range of things every home shopper is doing and cares about. Until they check off enough boxes, they won’t buy from you, period.

One more example.  Reputation management is HUGE with buyers.  We don’t do that, but Wayne Coakley at Grenade Marketing does.

Media, Public Relations, and YOU

At the upcoming Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, we will be doing a special seminar on Engaging the Media. Good media is a useful part of the marketing/sales puzzle.

Getting useful, third party media isn’t a snap of the finger, or everyone would be doing it.  But it is doable, and easier than you may think.  For most of our clients, the top end potential is limited only by logistics.  There is that much more business in your market. One client reported over 400% growth, and they’re growing even more this year than last.

LATonyKovachStandingRoomOnlySeminarsMarch28th2017TunicaManufacturedHousingShow

Please plan on attending the March 28th, Engaging the Media presentation – That’s Tuesday afternoon.  The latest Tunica Manufactured Housing Show update is here. Watch for updates.

Remember.  There’s a sea of customers looking for what your retail, community, development, or production center offers.

We as an industry are getting less than 1% of the housing pie.  Odds are you’re doing similar to the industry.

That means you could easily triple or quadruple your sales – just by learning how to attract those better cash and good credit customers.

Come to our seminar, and stop by our display booth at the Tunica Show for a conversation.  Odds are excellent you’ll be glad you did.

Fear of Loss, and the Desire for Gain.  Your prospective customers feel it, you should too. ##

(Image credits, MHProNews or MHLivingNews.)

LATonyKovachPresentingIndustryMembers-MHProNews

Submitted by L. A. ‘Tony” Kovach, connect with me on LinkedIn, see my profile, here.

 

 

Handling Detractors

March 13th, 2013 No comments

Detractors, nay-sayers, back-stabbers and others who'd love to toss you under the bus. First, we all have them! It may be the former employee or colleague, who now wants to make you and/or your business look bad. It might be a competitor. It could be the customer no one could possibly please. It may be the 'ex' whomever, who is an 'ex' for a reason, and now they want to make it look like the only reason is you. In this column, we will do a look at some ways how you can handle the detractor.

Let's begin with this premise, that the kind of detractors we are going to talk about are of the unjust variety. If someone is complaining, first stop and consider the complaint objectively. Is there truth to it? If so, make the personal/professional adjustment needed to turn the complaint into a reason to improve.

Next, look at the types of unjustified complaints. Especially in an Internet, tweet, email age when someone can blast away at you to thousands of people, what can you do?

The options are indeed many, and some companies, attorneys and consultants exist who specialize in 'reputation management.' You and your organization's reputation is important! A good rep will help you profit. A bad rap can cost you a fortune, or even put you out of business. Some types of detraction (examples: libel, slander) may require legal assistance. Let's focus today on those that don't require an attorney.

Modern "Social" Testimonials

Testimonials and social media are key tools needed to contradict the nay sayer! While letters of reference, awards and 'good news' articles or interviews are all helpful, perhaps the key today is to successfully engage in social media.

Let me stress that it is always my goal to practice what is preached, and hopefully to do so with a measure of success about what is being shared. Real life examples help us all. I used to think good ideas were soooo important. They are, but later I learned that Ideas truly are a dime a dozen. Successful implementation and proof is what turns what would have been a day dream into an idea of specific, concrete value!

Having teed that up, let me share some personal experiences.

About two years ago, I listened to a professional friend's advice. He told me to build out my LinkedIn profile and invite people to “connect” with me on LinkedIn. This friend is a LinkedIn Lion, and has done very well due in part to his use of LinkedIn and Twitter. So I listened to what he had to say, and took his advice. Hint, hint. I hope you will listen and do too.

At first it was slow going. But today, my LinkedIn connections number among the largest in factory built housing. Over 900 connections and growing. I'm glad I took my friend's advice!

As important as the number of connections are endorsements and recommendations.

At first, I asked for recommendations. Later, they simply came my way. Exactly when LinkedIn began the endorsement function, I can't say without researching it. But the endorsements started coming in (without my asking) a few months ago and have not stopped!

As the screen capture from my LinkedIn profile page above shows, I have something like 175 endorsements at the time I'm writing this column. Besides those shown in this screen capture, are some pretty finely targeted skills and topics that have also been endorsed, not shown in the graphic above.

We also get other testimonials via email or letters beyond LinkedIn that we may post, here are some testimonial examples. Make sure you showcase testimonials whenever possible. For example, notice how we sprinkled them onto the pages of our MHC-MD.com website. That does make a difference!

Now none of those LinkedIn connections, endorsements or recommendations puts a nickel in my pocket directly. But 7 to as high as 70 people a week check out my LinkedIn profile. Some of those who look my profile turn into clients. Coincidence?

No.

What is really interesting is that some of those clients have been told negative stuff by that handful of souls who seem to make it their mission in life to attempt to toss me under the biggest, baddest bus they can dream up. So having those referrals and testimonials can be crucial to neutralizing the naysayers. That also happens to be the theme of this article!

Weights, Measures and Comparisons

I tell sales pros in my training sessions that most prospective clients (retail or B2B) weigh, measure and compare products and services before acting.

Today, that may mean that before you go to a new restaurant, you read online comments posted by others. Let's say you read a half a dozen comments. 5 are good. 1 is terrible. You read them all with a dash of the skeptical, because you know that people can pat themselves on the back, or the opposite… Does the comment(s) read like it may be legit?

Once you did your quick evaluation, you make a decision. You go eat there. The food, service and atmosphere are as good as most reviewers said. You say to yourself, 'The one who trashed the place may have been a disgruntled ex employee, or someone that is hyper critical, happened to catch someone on a bad day, etc..'

That principle will apply to others who are evaluating you, IF you start, have and improve your professional social networking and testimonial gathering efforts.

More Positives than Negatives

The point is that the way you deal with detractors today is to line up testimonials that showcase your good work! Make it easy for people online to see how well thought of you or your company's product(s) or service(s) may be.

In the case of written testimonials in an article or letter, showcase one or two on your website and then let people know they can ask for and receive others.

While the more the merrier, even a few good words from good people can make the difference as people consider doing business with you.

Let's sum up:

  • Ask for letters or recommendation. If you are working B2B (business to business), the recommendation should be on that company's letterhead.
  • Use social media. Facebook tends to be better for B2C (business to consumer), LinkedIn tends to be better for B2B. Get endorsements and recommendations.
  • Showcase those online, so that prospective customers doing a quick web search can find them easily.

Not just Talking, Doing

Walk the talk. Don't over-promise. Don't under-deliver. Do what you say you will do. If something goes wrong and you are responsible, then do what you can to make it right.

Nothing – short of death – can stop the determined detractor. But you can neutralize their voice(s) by applying the suggestions you see in this column. Be pro-active and build up your positive, online presence. When the detractor comes along, you will be ready for them.

Open minded people who see that you have far more supporters than detractors will be able to see that the detractor's comments as the exception, not the rule. Do you recall the Hollywood maxim, there is no bad publicity. While I don't entirely agree, you can in fact turn a negative into a positive. You may close new business because of the detractor, so long as you have built up the resources noted in this article.

Finally, take the first step. It takes time to do what is described above. Don't let that stop you from starting. Getting the letters, Facebook like's, LinkedIn connections,

endorsements and recommendations, etc. are worth the effort. Once you have the testimonial process started, it picks up speed ever more easily.

Until next time, All the Best! ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for March and see the

other new stories at MHLivingNews.com too.

l-a--tony-kovachL. A. "Tony" Kovach

MHLivingNews.com=Re-Discovering and Spotlighting the MHLifeStyle

MHProNews.comMHMSM.com = Industry News, Tips and Views Pros can Use

Services:B2BandB2CAds, Proven MH Marketing & Sales Systems, Websites other Industry Solutions.

Office –815-270-0500

latonyk@gmail.com or tony@mhmsm.com

www.MHC-MD.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach= connect with me on Linkedin.

http://pinterest.com/latonyk/manufactured-home-lifestyle/

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Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right. – Henry Ford

Advertising 101: Your Attention Please!

May 30th, 2012 No comments

We do all types of articles here on the Cutting Edge blog. From factual to fun. From serious to occasionally a bit whimsical. We may share statistics, proven methods in marketing and sales, and much more. But the common theme is business building, on or off line.

This one is a bit of fun, and maybe just a tad silly. But it underscores one of the most important points about advertising or marketing. You have to get people's attention.

You want your target market to look. Let's see some real examples of what the power of "made you look" can do for you.

 

I Love My Manufactured Home Issue of My Oh My the Sun

 

For companies in manufactured housing who retail and communities who sell, our consulting division's proprietary approaches – serious or silly – have boosted traffic and sales. We tell our clients, "If you follow our system, we don't cost, we pay."

Advertiser's here on MHProNews are discovering the power of 'made you look' too.

National companies and regional events have learned that we can drive more business to their doors. Want proof? Check out some of our client testimonials, at this link here.

Getting the attention of your prospective client is the first job.

When you do so in a fashion that helps them to become interested in the value of your product or service, then marketing or advertising has done its job.

Last year, our client Show Ways Unlimited and the Midwest Manufactured Housing Federation (MMHF) used a man eating shark to get attention. It worked. Next year…

…well, you will see what their next promotion will be.

For 5 more free tips on advertising, send me an email at tim@mhmsm.com. Tell me in your message, what part of the factory built housing industry you are in, your web address and what your target market is. Made you look is the bonus idea we shared above.

Knowing how to get people to look into your product or service is a key for any business. It is how MHMSM.com (MHProNews.com) became #1 in manufactured housing trade media. Let us help you Dominate Your Local Market too. ##

Posted for
Tim Connor
Business Development
MHProNews.com
MHMSM.com
And the new MHLivingNews.com
704-895-1230

tim@mhmsm.com