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Posts Tagged ‘seminars’

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 

What’s CRM? How Can it Make Your Location(s) more Money in 2014?

January 12th, 2014 3 comments

The value of CRM is demonstrated by the fact that hundreds of thousands of companies of all sizes in the U.S. use it to grow their business and improve their bottom lines. Our company doesn't sell CRM services, but we recommend it's use to the majority of our client's. So lets's answer a few common questions about CRM, you and your operation.

crm-word-cloud-300x216.jpgWhat is CRM?

Because we promote its use in articles, at live events and in training, a common question we get is what is CRM?

CRM is short for Customer Relationship Management. Briefly, CRM is software that when properly used helps a company's professionals stay in touch with prospects and customers.

Why use CRM?

Bluntly, because using CRM makes you more money! Common statistics are that proper CRM use will increase your business 15%-25% or more. When you consider the modest cost, this is a real no brainer.

CRM also protects your marketing investment! Most sales or leasing people can handle no more than 20-40 prospects using paper or manual notes. If you are getting a volume of leads or walk in customers, CRM use protects the dollars you are investing to bring those customers in.

Respected JD Powers and Associates studies are among those that point out the common sense fact that those who stay in touch with their customers greatly increase the odds of doing business.

I emphasize using CRM properly, because some may have CRM, yet fail to use it. Don't waste your money that way! If you get it, or have it, then use it.free_crm_systems.jpg

And if you have CRM, and don't like your current system, then why not see what else is available?

Why CRM in MH is More Important Now than Previously

In the Dodd-Frank/CFPB regulations era, CRM is arguably even more important now than previously. Why?

Because studies show that cash or good credit customers tend to shop 90-180 days in advance. They have cash or good credit in part precisely because they plan ahead. Those who stay in touch with those prospects are far more likely to close them than those who have a hit or miss approach.

Flash Bulletin!

Enjoy a Free, Special Presentation at the Louisville Show on CRM! We arranged for two industry veterans to do a rapid fire 25 minute session on CRM. Get first hand insights in their respective CRM systems. Learn more about this on the Show's opening day, Wednesday at 9:30 AM in the Seminar Rooms at the Louisville Show. See the map below for the location of the seminar rooms.

By the way, here are the other free, show sanctioned seminars that will take place at the Louisville Show:

http://louisvillemanufacturedhousingshow.com/louisville-2014-show-money-seminars/

Tony Kovach will do a quick introduction to this session on CRM, and the presenters will be:

Scott Stroud of BuilderRadio and Sell More Homes Academy, you can see Scott's current article at this link:

http://www.mhpronews.com/home/featured-articles/january-2014/117-marketing/6873-selling-to-or-against-buyer-perceptions-part-2-10-steps-to-changing-buyer-perceptionsp

Our other presenter will be Jason Brady with ManufacturedHomes.com, you can see his current article on our site, linked here:

http://www.mhpronews.com/home/featured-articles/january-2014/138-general-manufactured-housing-industry-topics/6870-start-the-year-off-right

There are 48 new model homes, 80 exhibitors, receptions/mixers, great networking and now 5 free, show sanctioned and business building seminars as reasons to be in Louisville January 22-24th. If your plans take you to Louisville, please be sure to attend this fast paced, insightful session on CRM and how it can help YOU close more sales in 2014! ##

FYI, we will be in booth #115 at the show, right by the main entrance to the show floor.  Please stop by and say hi!

(Image credits, MHI and MHProNews)

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 

Va Va Va Va Voom! Volumes of Videos!

December 21st, 2013 No comments

Park the Stress. Discover the Lending Available Now for 2014. Prepare for Year 4 of the Manufactured Housing Comeback!

Let's Va Va Va Va Volumes of Video Voom, all about Louisville 2014.

48 Hot New Models! Dozens of Leading Exhibitors! Seminars, Networking, More!

An Adventure Mod!

When is the last time you saw a Dutch!

Finished Drywall Fleetwood! *

Manufactured Home Community Series Giles! *

More Videos to come!

Or check out the Louisville Show, 2014 website for more information or to be one of the thousands who will "go Louisville" where "Show Me The Money!" lives. Our industry colleagues at ManufacturedHomes.com will be in booth #503 – please thank them for these fine videos and check 'em out!

Also, please come see us at MHC-MD.com, ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com will be in booth #115, right by the main entry into the exhibit hall.

We hope to See YOU in Louisville, where you will find plenty of VaVaVaVoom! ## 

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 

Examples of how Cross-Marketing Works!

November 17th, 2013 No comments

As regular readers and most industry pros know, manufactured housing faces unique challenges in marketing. We have a great product that is not well understood or appreciated by most of the population. We will talk another time as to the reasons why that could become a blessing in disguise for those who understand how to attract potentially millions to their offices and sales centers who have cash or good credit. But today we'll focus on how cross-marketing works, by showcasing examples of cross-marketing in action.

This month on MHProNews, we had three 'exclusives' from industry leaders featuring extensive quotes found no where else in the manufactured housing industry. ELS Chairman Sam Zell, CU Factory Built Lending's Barry Noffsinger and Skyline Home's Terry Decio each have such featured articles.

I won't say which of these was in the lead in readership early on this month. But what I will say is that Terry Decio's company did a simple act of cross marketing near the end of the first week of November, and that simple step caused his article to ROAR ahead. All they had to do was take the easy step of a short post and photo to their corporate Facebook page.

skyline-corporation-facebook-page-cup-of-coffee-with-terry-decio-posted-cutting-edge-blog-manufactured-housing-pro-news-_001.pngWe preach cross marketing periodically in Featured Articles here on MHProNews and on the Cutting Edge of Marketing and Sales blog too.

Why? Because done propertly, cross-marketing works!

We promote our featured articles, but in this example, Skyline took the simple extra step of cross-promotion on their Facebook page. Viola! That article was suddenly the #1 read column on MHProNews!

What would happen if ELS or CU Factory Built Lending did the same? Think about it, because the answer is obvious!

 

Beyond Articles, Other Living Examples of how Cross Marketing Works

The upcoming Louisville Show is another example of cross-marketing. Everyone in the mix does some degree of promotion. The show does promotion of its own too, using mailers, along with banner ads on our website that look like the one below.

But what if everyone involved in the show could step up their cross-marketing game? What if everyone would cross post the Louisville Show or a show related article on MHProNews, as Skyline did on the interview with Terry Decio, linked above.

Louisville-Banner-show-me-the-money

Cross-posting links the Louisville Show website or to articles on MHProNews would obviously boost the show! The more pros who attend the show, the more all involved benefit.

It's a no-brainer.

Subtle Cross-Marketing

Most savvy players already send out invites for people to come to their specific booth or display. But why don't more take the extra step of emailing out a link to the FREE Business Building "Show Me the Money!" Seminars? Or emailing out a reminder about the networking mixer that KMHI and MHI are co-hosting at the Show?

Sometimes when you spotlight something on someone else's website, you draw a different and deeper kind of interest in what you do and offer. This is one of many ways that cross-marketing works.

Boosting the Industry Boosts You Too

manufactured-home-living-news-sharp-ipad-.jpgThe rising tide raises all boats. That's the simple yet powerful concept behind ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com. We use that here on MHProNews as well. Because cross-marketing works.

You have scores of tools online (and off…) to advance your career, your location and company.

As Tax Time Looms, Remember This Tip!

Want to lower your taxes for 2013 and boost your business for 2014? Then remember, have your accountant confirm that your advertising dollars are a tax deduction!

Invest in what will grow your business. Make cross-marketing part of that plan. Call or email when you are ready to advance your location or operation to the next level of marketing or sales success. ##

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