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Is Your Operation a David vs. a Goliath? 4 Keys to Success, Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Marketing and Sales Meeting

June 18th, 2018 Comments off
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The marketplace can get serious. What do you do?

Is your manufactured housing location or operation a small – or even tiny – David fighting a metaphorical Goliath?

 

The featured image above cuts to the chase of the ancient Biblical drama of David and Goliath. Let’s just say that despite the difference in size, plus long odds, David wins.

We don’t advocate beheading a competitor, even if that other firm has a bullseye aimed at you.

That said, most of the businesses in this industry are smaller businesses ‘battling’ in the marketplace against much larger operations. What to do?

 

How is Sustainable Success Achieved?

There are several questions that every owner, manager or investor ought to be asking themselves on a regular basis.

What are the factors that allow a small firm to outperform, or at least level the planting field, against a giant?  Let’s review some of the elements of success selling against a bigger company.

1) Outmaneuver them. Smaller firms can be more nimble. Why not learn something new that allows you to tap a market they are missing?

2) Be more motivated. I’ve personally spent most of my 25+ year manufactured home (MH) career doing what others thought couldn’t be done. That includes working with smaller firms in a given market competing against larger ones. Working with clients, we routinely dramatically raised sales, often outperforming the local giant’s location. If others can do it successfully, that means you can too.

3) Be better informed. First, let me stress that in under a week, we can take a newcomer to Manufactured Housing, and have them outselling many an MH industry veteran. BTW, being informed doesn’t mean you have to know everything to sell something. It is how you use what you know that can set your career and performance apart. Learn the basics, the fundamentals for success, and build on that from now on. I’ve seen MH industry sales veterans bore a buyer to death, and lose a sale they could have made. Use what you know with precision. Which brings us to the next point.

4) Don’t overkill.  A skilled surgeon may use a laser to make a very precise, and tiny cut. Precise use of the right – even limited – information, can yield success. By the way, a veteran who is open to learning new ways still has the advantage over a newbie.  Both the newcomer, and the veteran have potential advantages. Each has obvious shortfalls.

The foundation of all success are the use of good, proven, basic and honest principles. No one sells everyone. When the correct principles are put properly to work, they yield the desired outcome a good percentage of the time.

For example. If you are currently closing 1 in 25, and you raised that closing ratio to 2, 3 or 4 out of 25, you have the jet fuel needed for sustained success.

The bonus for today is point #5.  The right marketing and sales plan, plus honorable discipline.  The other guys must not be doing this, or they’d be selling up a storm, with loads of happy customers.

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Got a budget? Click here or the image above to learn more.

Can you outperform, or at least level the playing field against Goliath? In Wisconsin, those who know would give a one-word answer.

Youbetcha. ## (Coaching tips, marketing, sales, management, commentary, and analysis.)

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FactoryBuiltCarsClothingAppliancesElectronicsCellsSmartPhonesHomesItJustFollowsLATonyKovachC2017MHproNewsBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

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Self-Eval, Team Performance Evaluation – Manufactured Housing’s Monday Morning Sales Meeting

January 29th, 2018 Comments off

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There are some retail and community locations that are a true ‘one-man band,’ where manufactured home sales (and/or leases) are performed by a single person, and everything else is contacted out.

Then there are the more common locations where a team of professionals are at work.

 

Both types of locations – single person, or a multi-person team – have a need for objective assessments; otherwise known as performance evaluations.

One of the most common complaints heard from sales professionals in our industry nationally is this.  “We need more good leads.”

The emphasis is on the word, “good.”  It’s one way of saying, yeah, we get internet leads, call-ins and walk-ins all right.  But there are not enough good prospects.’

When you dig deeper, probing those statements with questions, one discovers that the sales professional:

  • may not be doing a great job on following up on most leads,
  • may not be doing a great job on qualifying those leads that he or she gets,
  • may be spending a lot of time (often, most time on the job) doing non-productive activities with respect to sales – meaning time wasters that fail to develop more sales,
  • CRM is not present, or is used hit-and-miss,
  • that the professional’s candid definition for “a good lead” amounts to someone that walks in the door, and is begging to be written up, and just happens to have good credit and the down payment or cash,

and the list could go on.

There are many elements to having a successful sales professional. Periodic evaluations are an important tool to making sure that the standards that your firm has are being met.

Beginning with having the proper motivation and attitude, are questions that an owner, executive, or manager must answer about every team, and each location.  These must be ‘the cold, hard, sometimes brutal facts,’ not a white wash or a feel good.

There are numerous evaluation systems and services (including those services performed by our own factory-built home industry’s services firm).

If you are in do-it-yourself mode, begin with this.

1)    Look at your market.  See how what population base you have within your targeted trade area.

2)    How good a job are you/your team doing at generating leads from qualified housing seekers?

3)    Do you/your team have the ability or a system to take a housing shopper, who may not yet be considering a manufactured home (MH), and create interest in the MH product?

4)    Are you depending on luck, or do you have a plan that is being measured, analyzed and truly adhered to, including performance evaluations?

An ongoing problem in the factory-built home industry at large is that expectations are often too low. Those expectations are based upon How many leads or walk-ins occur, rather than setting a higher standard that asks – how do we get more of the residential housing market to consider doing business with us, here?

Reality Checks

Numerous industry pros agree that 500,000 or more new home sales a year are possible.  Accepting that premise, if the industry finished 2017 with 92,000 (+/-) new home sales, that means that the average sales location could grow by over 500 percent.

What Zillow and other third-party research reveals is that only a tiny fraction of those looking for housing even consider a manufactured home.

A Look at Today’s Home Buyer, Analyzing Zillow’s Consumer Housing Trends Report

What MHVillage statistics reveal is that only a tiny fraction of those who consider a manufactured home are buying.

Facts Matter! Improving Your Manufactured Home Location(s) Conversion Ratios, Monday Morning Sales Meeting

Then, what an honest evaluation of many locations reveals is that there is a:

  • lack of standards,
  • discipline, and
  • education/training,
  • motivation,
  • in short – systems that routinely result in sales to customers who end up very satisfied and will refer other customers.

Opportunities in Disguise

All of the above are wake-up calls.

All of these are problems that are actually opportunities in disguise.

A recent caller asked about opening a new location.  After a few minutes of discussion, it was easily determined that their current location was far from being as productive as it could be.  Why not save a bundle, and improve your current performance?  Once the current location is humming, then and only then consider adding an additional office/sales center.

Assessments

Your:

  • office,
  • model homes,
  • if you are a community or development – the curb appeal,
  • website,
  • other marketing efforts,
  • and most important of all – your people and yourself – are all among the what needs to be evaluated routinely and their performance needs to be assessed.

You can only manage what you measure.

CoachingAdvisingTrainingSkillsMotivationDevelopmentWordCloudHandMarkingSalesManageemntConsultingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsIf you aren’t objectively assessing all of the above, including your people, the odds are excellent that you’re missing out on dozens of possible sold customers monthly in a typical market area.

It is almost certain, based upon national numbers and experience, that your location could increase sales by several hundred percent in a profitable, sustainable fashion.  Again, if the industry could do 500,000 vs. 92k annually, that implies growth potential that is over 5x the current level.

When you realize that over 8 million new housing units are needed nationally, that means that dozens to thousands of new housing units are needed in the market area.

Those who are exceeding the industry’s average growth rate are doing exactly that – they’re taking a new look with fresh eyes at what’s possible.

Have the wisdom and courage to take that new look at what’s wrong and what right, and then allow the facts to guide you into making the needed adjustments that better allows you to meet those housing needs in your market(s).

Do the Math

You do the math on what X number of more home sales monthly can mean for your bottom line.

When you realize what is being lost, it often becomes easy to justify the investment in having a third party evaluate, and then coach, recruit and train as needed. To learn more, click here. ## (Business and professional development, marketing, sales, and management.)

NOTICE: for professional business development, training, coaching and other consulting services tailored for manufactured home retailers, communities, investors, producers…click here.

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Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.