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Posts Tagged ‘surprise’

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 

Hard Truths and Dominating Your Local Market

March 8th, 2014 No comments

If a business routinely treats their customers like dirt, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that sooner or later, that business will suffer and likely be forced to sell out to someone more savvy or close.

If a business owner treats its staff with disrespect, it is self evident that even in a tough economy and job market, the staffers will sooner or later find their way to a better place. In the mean time, can the disrespected staffers be expected to perform their best for the owner who maligns them?

If you are an association leader and don't get along well with people who have a differing view point than you do – alienating some, losing some members and creating avoidable adversaries along the way – would it be a surprise if the results of such an association leader would be slim at best?

There are a number of hard truths that every professional person must face. The above are so obvious, that they are shared to make a point. The hard truth is that 4 years into our industry's recovery from the bottom hit in 2009, we are faced with yet another wave of challenges.

But as John F. Kennedy wisely said, “When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.”

written-chinese-crisis-composed-two-characters-one-represents-danger-the-ot ... -opportunity-john-f-kennedy-copyright-2013-lifestyle-factory-homes.jpg

Brutal Winter and CFPB Regulations

The combination of a brutal winter up north and new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regulations represents a genuine crisis for some in our industry. Don't get me wrong, some will come through this profiting more than they did before. Some are doing well in the very areas that others are struggling. But others will fail or will have to hand over the keys to their business to someone else, likely at a distressed price.

marty-lavin-jd-manufactured-home-community-owner-on-board-spy-sea-.jpg

One of the more successful professionals in our industry – Marty Lavin, JD – who has been:

  • in retail with an operation that sold 5,000 homes a year
  • operated a manufactured housing finance firm that originated more loans than some of the chattel lenders we have today
  • survived a big downturn in the land-lease communities business, and still successfully owns and operates to this day
  • is an industry attorney who dealt with some of the biggest names in our industry and the likes of mortgage giants, Fannie and Freddie

said to me in his 6 million dollar list price 72' boat, “Tony, the problem is not the product!” (more from Marty Lavin, linked here).

We have a great home, at an incredible value. We have not done the sales training and marketing needed to grow the business. Who says? The likes of former Fleetwood manager and current state association executive Jay Hamilton:

We are an industry that for years has desired the best for our industry representatives, our customers and our distribution system but for all these years have been hesitant to:

  • invest financially in training our people,
  • marketing our product's image,
  • updating our technology,
  • improving our delivery system, etc..

Manufacturers and Retailers have made some bold attempts at the previously listed task but always fail to follow through because they don’t see immediate profits from marketing or training programs. 

We are an industry that has the need for all of our profits to be immediate. Future growth and maturation always loses out to the need for immediate results and immediate profits. 

jay-hamiltong-executive-director-georgia-manufactured-housing-association-gmha-posted-mhpronews-com(1).jpgUntil we are willing to train our people well, invest in technology, invest in customer service, invest $ in creating a brand image with the understanding that is will cost a percentage of our industry profits and will not necessarily produce immediate results we are doomed to keep repeating our same mistakes over and over.

Thank You,
C. Jay Hamilton
Executive Director
Georgia Manufactured Housing Association

At the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, I'll be presenting on the topic of Dominating Your Local Market, version 2.0. A variation on this topic drew praise and a standing room only attendance at the Louisville Show.

You'll also have the opportunity to get the latest in

  • Manufactured Home financing, including information from lenders not present at Louisville
  • Commercial Land Lease Community Financing, both moderated by Dick Ernst of FinmarkUSA.com
  • Manufactured Home Community Lessons Learned Panel Discussion, moderated by Jenny Hodge
  • The Importance of CRM for your Retail or Community sales operation, a panel discussion

and more!

standing-room-only-2014-louisville-manufactured-housing-show-seminar-room-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-.png

If you're marketing fails to attract enough of the good credit customers who are third party financeable or cash buyers in significant numbers, in the Dodd-Frank/CFPB era, you may not make it.

Learn more about what you need to do differently in today's market, at the free panel discussions and seminars linked above at the rapidly approaching Tunica Show.

You won't find these same topics all in one place at one event anywhere else in the U.S. at this time, so don't miss this opportunity. More information on the free business building seminars at the 2014 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show is linked here. ##

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 often do you Shower?

April 11th, 2013 No comments

How often do you shower or take a bath?  Daily? Every other day? What ever it is, think of the number…

Now, how often do you purposefully read something motivational or inspiring? Daily? Weekly? Monthly?

Some people told Zig Ziglar that motivation is time wasted, because it 'wears off.'  Zig's response was classic.  “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar.

The meaning is clear. You need a regular dose of motivation, the same as you need to wash regularly.  For those who don't, they may stink…

…and I've met people with 'stinking thinking' before, haven't you?  If we are candid, we have all at times been guilty of negative thoughts and thinking. So like bathing, we need a regular dose of motivation and inspiration.

If you don't have a good attitude, you can build one up! It may take longer than a shower does, but regular immersion in inspirational thinking pays off the same as regular doses of negative thinking tears someone down.

Motivation and Achievement

When I am recruiting for a client's company or myself, there are three things I look for, and they are summed up in this acronym: ASK.

> Attitude
> Skills
> Knowledge/Experience

If all three in A.S.K. are present in a candidate for a career role:

  • a good attitude,
  • the right skills and
  • experience,

there is a good chance we have the right person for the job.  When only the second and third traits are there, but a good 'can do!' attitude are missing, that person just might be drag, dangerous or a liability.

The Sage of Omaha said something similar:

“Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it’s true. If you hire somebody without [integrity], you really want them to be dumb and lazy.”

  • Warren Buffett

Think about Buffett's  'energy' quality as being positive or negative, and you see that part of what 'the Sage of Omaha' is talking about in having a good, positive 'energetic' attitude.  Integrity also reflects our attitude or mindset. The bad attitude is the one that is more lazy, lacks discipline and is more likely to be dishonest.

While positive motivation and integrity don't always go hand in hand, when they do, you routinely discover a better work ethic.

In our ground breaking marketing and sales training programs for clients who sell manufactured homes at retail centers or in land lease communities, I'm looking at the attitudes of those in front of me.  Are the pros being trained or coached sporting a good or bad attitude?  Are they embracing the training? Are they giving it their best effort? Or are they resisting it?

We know from experience that those who commit to our marketing and sales process get better results, often dramatically better. We've seen locations increase sales from the low single digits monthly into double digit closings monthly. But I also recall an operation where someone resisted the training, the supervisor didn't require that they buckle down and 'just do it,' so is it a surprise that they didn't change or improve much? Of course not. I've yet to meet someone working for a company that had so little skill, that they couldn't do what we ask. So what makes the difference between the successful team members and those who won't grow?

Clearly it is the motivation of the 'professionals' involved!

We created the free INspiration blog for the expressed purpose of providing a positive place in manufactured housing to come and get that routine boost of motivation!

Many of Tim Connor's or our Zig Ziglar columns are motivational or inspirational as well, as are other thougthful writers, such as periodic contributor and successful MH Retailer Greg McClanahan.

There are some who learn things fast and easy.

For others, change may start out hard, but with practice what is new in time becomes a habit.  Habits by definition become second nature, as normal as breathing.  Cultivate a good 'can do' attitude in yourself and share that with your team mates.  Feed your mind with good, inspirational and motivational thoughts.

It routinely pays off for those who do!

The logic of this is so obvious.  

Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you are right!'”
– Henry Ford.

Be a part of the IN crowd, and see the INspriation blog here. ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for April 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/

+++

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

Filling MHC Vacancies and Retailing More Manufactured Homes

June 13th, 2012 No comments

There is only one who can claim to have every answer to every question and problem. That one has a three letter name, God. Ipso facto, that means the rest of us have to struggle along as best as we can with limited knowledge and limited answers. That's okay. Time, trial and error, learning from others who have already learned are among the paths open to any issue or challenge in need of solutions.

We go to experts for solutions on problems with our vehicles. We go to an attorney or accountant when we need one. Ditto doctors, who may send us to specialists if the issue is over the general practitioners head.

Perhaps the only surprise to me in the factory built housing industry is that there aren't more consultants and contract experts that companies turn to for solutions.

But where are the pros who specialize:

I'll give you the answer in a few moments.

But first, let's acknowledge that there are individuals – some with considerable experience – that carry the label (sometimes self-described, sometimes valid) as “experts.” I ran across an article recently on a consultant's blog, not a blog here at MHProNews.com. The gent is an award winning expert and consultant. Here is what he wrote, in his own words (including his typos; the bold alone is added for emphasis):

Like some – to – many of you reading this blog posting, I’m dealing with declining occupancy in a landlease community I own, located a four hour drive from my office. Success there, is improving – to – max physical and economic occupancy. My present distraction? When arriving in town for a property visit, I too often find myself dealing with peripheral matters (e.g. minor repairs, interpersonal networking), rather than concentrating on what it’ll take to reverse course, and get the property back on course to improved occupancy.”

This is refreshing. Here is a community expert that publicly admits, I'm not getting it done on my own property. We knew this to be true from other reports, but to hear it straight from the owner/expert himself is noteworthy indeed.

The expert above goes on in the same column to outline the plan that he teaches, but has not 'fully' implemented himself. Part of what caught my eye here was that his on-site manager is 'trained,' but that apparently hasn't (yet) yielded the desired results of increasing occupancy. FYI and IMHO, the man's ten point list is a pretty good one.

We could talk about another 'expert' that is out there teaching his method for filling vacant home sites, one apparently created over a decade ago. That expert isn't as self-revealing as the one above. This second gent allegedly watched a partnership he was in blow up in a spectacular bankruptcy. Having disappeared from the communities scene for many years after that failure, he re-appeared about 2 years ago, complete with his training materials, website, self-promotion in online posting sites, etc.

By the way, failure can be a fine way to learn, I don't knock it at all. One can learn from success, and we can learn from failure too.

Now, let me compare and contrast the above with the following:

JAR-letter-excerp

The above is an excerpt from a longer letter signed by the president of a well known land-lease portfolio operator. That president asked that we share the letter in full only upon request, so we've blacked out from the above 'clues' as to who the company is. We also have third party references on this same project that confirmed the dramatic turn-around results described in the letter above.

Tony and his associates created and implemented proven, successful systems. Actions speak louder than words.

While the letter above is from a community operator, these systems work in retail – street dealer – manufactured housing sales as well as in land-lease community operations.

My friend Tony had the notable achievement of hitting the top 1% of all manufactured home retailers in the U.S., from a single location in a small town in a depressed market, where he achieved triple digit deliveries a year. During that same time frame, 80% of the others in the business vanished, closed their doors, many forever. Tony achieved those results with (or because of?) good customer satisfaction. Kovach had no BBB complaints, no lawsuits, no letters from a single attorney representing even one retailer customer. Referrals, as the letter above also shows, were the #2 source for all of his new business.

Do you see how this ties in nicely with my theme about the value of word-of-mouth from last week's blog post?

In the Internet era, word of mouth:

  • Can be testimonial letters.
  • Recommendation on LinkedIn.
  • Being 'liked' on Facebook, especially with positive comments being posted.
  • It can be positive PR in an article, newspaper or magazine.
  • Or it can be one person telling another.

All of these and more can be part of 'word of mouth.'

When I came on board here, Tony graciously provided me with a page to 'introduce Tim Connor' as part of the team. Tony has told me many times that he owns a number of my books and CDs, including Soft Sell which he bought some years ago. Having sat in on some of his live training that Tony delivers online, it is obvious that he has taken lessons from here, there and his personal experience and woven it together into a system that works well for new and pre-owned manufactured housing sales to retail customers.

Selling More Homes at Retail and Filling More Vacant Homesites

Sometimes the truth of a matter is looking right at us, and we fail to see it. Think about how rapidly Tony turned this trade media website – MHProNews.com – into the success that it has become today. If you want to sell more homes and fill more sites, who are you going to call?

Would an extra $500,000 hurt you?

I was chatting with a community owner the other day. They have 3 properties and hundreds of home sites, with about 88% physical occupancy, and 82% economic occupancy. Let's say their average site rents for $300 a month. For discussions sake, let's further say he had 100 vacant sites. That's:

  • $30,000 monthly in lost revenue.
  • $360,000 a year in lost income.
  • Increased costs for mowing and other maintenance on the vacant home site

Plus the lost income from the sales of the homes the could be selling. That's a cool half a million dollars, in round numbers, for the example above.

A relatively modest investment in marketing and sales consulting – from a proven performer like Tony and his team – could yield a handsome Return on Investment. Full capacity would be far more lucrative – and much more predictable! – than almost any stock you could name could yield in the same x months it would take to bring those sites to physical and economic occupancy.

On the LATonyKovach.com website I saw an item about an RV retailer that Tony increased his sales from 50 some odd units a year to over 175 annually; that's a 321% increase, that took 8 months to do. RV's aren't

Tony's specialty, manufactured housing is. Perhaps that makes the point.

Times change. Circumstances change. Challenges change. But the ability to study a set of circumstances, see the best way forward, create a plan, adapt it as needed (all plans need tweaking after they are launched) can make all the difference. You go to a doctor for certain needs, who is your Manufactured Housing Marketing and Sales MD? Are you getting your regular business check up?

Tony has brought together a team:

  • Webtech
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • PR
  • Management

that have proven ability to deliver bottom line results. But let me tell you what really struck me. Tony has turned down working with some companies, often after free initial consultations. His philosophy is win-win. If everyone in the mix benefits, then and only then is it a good deal and one worth pursuing.

The same gent I used in the first example above said to a crowded room filled with Industry professionals, as he introduced Tony and a team member to speak, “These guys are the Future of Manufactured Housing!”

Let us make history together. You very graciously bring us to your laptop, smart phone or PC web-browser today and likely other times too. You know we bring you the most Industry News, Tips and Views You Can Use ©.

We can also bring you:

  • The most cost effective websites or website updates. Not from some who does it on the side, or who make know nothing about factory built housing, but from pros who knows the business inside out.
  • Business to Business or Business to Consumer marketing plans.

Want to grow your results? Who are you going to call? ##

Tim Connor
Business Development
MHProNews.com
MHMSM.com
And the new MHLivingNews.com
704-895-1230
tim@mhmsm.com

Progress, Status Quo and Failure

May 22nd, 2012 No comments

We all say that we want to progress or advance in sales and profits. Certainly some companies are selling more new homes in manufactured housing. That means more loans are being closed, more insurance policies are being written, so the whole range of products and services that go into every new manufactured home sales takes place.

But what makes the difference between progress, status quo and failure?

Let's look at five true-to-life examples to answer the question. While these examples are ours, they could apply to other circumstances too. So use the open mind to success, enjoy and profit.

Example of Progress:

A client not only thanked us for the work done and their significantly enhanced results, but they introduced us to another MH company. Not a 2 minute introduction, this was a 45 minute 3 way conversation.

The client heard Tony sharing an idea at a meeting. That lead to a conversation. The conversation led the firm becoming a client. This owner had an open mind. He was curious. He investigated, he listened, he acted.

He profited.

Like many of you, this man was "busy." But he wasn't too busy to learn more to earn more! He made time for what was important. That is the takeaways from this first true tale.

Examples of status quo:

This is perhaps the most common group.

Professionals all tend to run a similar path every day. You follow the same road to and from work. You do things at work similarly too. Is it any surprise when you do the same things the same way, that you keep getting the same results?

By contrast, another gent sent us a message to say thank you. He confessed he was a status quo guy for a long time. But then it happened…

The thank you was first for the insights they gained from reading at MHProNews.com (MHMSM.com), then later from using a specific program and process. A page long message said in part, that he had been in business for decades. He thought he "knew it all." It wasn't until he stopped to consider something new that he was able to advance.

So if you are satisfied, don't change. That is the status quo. But if you are looking for more, be open minded and ready to do more. Then, do what it takes to make that more a reality. The takeaway here is leaners are better earners.

Not every story has a happy ending.

One business owner wanted to grow. They "wanted" to advertise. They invested serious dollars in their operation. Limited on funds, they felt they had to "protect" their resources by "playing it safe." No ads, no growth. They played it so safe, their doors finally closed.

The takeaway from the above is this: the 'safe' center may look safe, but it is the center lines where you find the dead carcasses on the road.

Example of Going Backwards.

The truth is that you typically are advancing or retreating in business. Tony Kovach shared an experience with me of an owner who spoke to him at a large industry meeting. The man described how he had grown tired of all the "fights." Which fights?

"SAFE Act, Dodd-Frank, state and local regulations! I finally got sick of it all." said the owner. "I stopped trying to figure it all out." He turned, and left the meeting.

While we can sympathize, is it any surprise why the occupancy of that community owner declined after he got "tired" of all the "fights?" Note too that the same meeting produced some very motivated attendees.

This takeaway? "You don't tell the fire place, give me warmth and I'll give you wood!" You get out the heat to the measure that you thoughtfully and purposefully put in.

Some tips:

  • Be open to new ideas. The "Know it all" means you can't learn.
  • Keep the bottom line in mind. It is more important to be ready to change directions in a new, better direction than to keep following the same line day after day.
  • Reach out: to peers; network and don't be afraid to hire a professional to get your job done. You wouldn't hesitate to go to a doctor for a medial worry. Why hesitate to hire a professional to help your business?

Progress, the status quo or failure. The choices are yours.##

Posted by:
Tim Connor
Business Development and Ads Manager
MHProNews.com (MHMSM.com) and
MHLivingNews.com
704-895-1230
tim@MHMSM.com