Optimist vs. Pessimist

November 20th, 2009 8 comments

A recent magazine article by Dr Ranit Mishori pulls together some interesting health facts about people who are optimistic having better health than those who are pessimistic. Citing numerous studies on groups as large as 100,000 people, optimists suffered 16% lower rates of heart attacks, among other findings. Okay, what does this have to do with the MH industry, your business and you?

Arguably, the optimist is much better positioned in business as well. The ‘doom and gloom’ of pessimism tends to negate the notion that we can influence our own destiny and thus improve our business, image, sales results or what have you. The optimist by definition approaches a challenge with the ‘can do!’ attitude, while the pessimist is waiting for nebulous marketing conditions to ‘improve’ and for people to come rushing to their doors.

Personally, my approach is a blend – I want to deal with realities that I face, but then deal with them from the perspective that this issue can be handled and resolved; so what is the best way for me to approach a specific issue?

So one can be an optimist and still admit that its raining! But the optimist doesn’t deny the rain, he simply looks for an umbrella, rain coat or some other solution.

We can’t deny that our industry is still trending down. All the shipping statistics still point to that direction. What we can do is ask ourselves, what can I do in my market, given my resources to make a difference? Or can I draw on other talents, other resources to help me improve my business and results?

Solution orientation vs. doom and gloom! If you practice looking at the solution, that too will lead to more satisfaction, a better bottom line, and as the doctor might say, fewer heart attacks as well. ##

Let me invite you to connect with me at http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach – industry connections welcome!

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com
tony@mhmsm.com
863-213-4090
 


The Masthead – November issue

November 10th, 2009 No comments

Make More Sales and Money! Have less Stress and more Fun at Work! Have Happier Customers! Fill those Vacancies! Going Greener! Humor, News and More in Store! Change is part of life, and the RIGHT changes can bring YOU and your team mates Better Results! Thank you for the super-kind words shared from our readers via phone, cell, posts and emails! Let me point that back to those who make this publication possible – our writers, supporters and industry pros like YOU!

If everything were going perfectly in your business life, chances are, you wouldn’t be reading this… or maybe you’d have the time to read! But odds are, you want to see improvements and improvements demand positive changes. You’ve seen declining home shipment reports and are ready to do something to CHANGE that for the better for you and your business!

With that in mind, we are showcasing for your insight, benefit and enjoyment an even larger group of authors and topics than in our premier issue! I’d also draw your attention to our growing news department, arguably the largest one stop online resource in our industry, period. Or exclamation point! Start your Manufactured Housing business day here, because our news section features DAILY housing and MH industry news updates!

Since it seems there is always a lot to cover, let me dive in with a word about returning author Tim Connor and his article Twelve Things Every Sales Super Star Knows. There is a reason why Tim is in demand speaking and consulting, he knows what he is talking about and Tim gets results. Good reasons to read his article! Check out Tim’s Words of Wisdom blog too!

We very pleased to welcome Jamie Hammons, the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association’s President this month with her fine article, The Four ACES of MH Trade Association Membership. We know associations are vital, but you’ll get insights, benefits and some humor too in Jamie’s truly enjoyable read.

As fall moves toward winter, the in-depth interview with Capital First Realty’s President Richard J. “Dick” Klarchek – “Time for a Cool Change!” touches on many subjects of interest to not only communities, factories and developers, but to all who care about the manufactured housing industry’s image – which means the entire industry should read this compelling story!

Since we all want to get more calls, walk-ins, clients and sales, Bob Stovall’s Online Marketing by the Numbers will show you the facts on they key subject of local searches and how to get more of that free business for YOUR business! Check out Bob’s The Cutting Edge in Online Marketing blog too!

For those of you who have, use or consider using mystery shopping services, before you spend another dime, read “The Mystery Shopping Mystery” by Doug Chasik. Chasik is one of the top telephone trainers in the United States, with clients from coast to coast. If you want to see your conversion ratios between phone calls and appointments (which means arrivals and sales!), read Doug’s article!

Delightful Linda Beem is back with Let’s Get Dangerous Selling! Be honest, someone in your firm could use a boost in sales, and Linda’s amazing personal sales results are reason enough for you to learn from this pro. The price of her article is right too… like our popular ezine, its free, so check it out!

Partially as a result of our first issue, we encountered high energy Susan Frost. Don’t let the start of her article’s title fool you: “Sea of Despair… ” because this mortgage professional is here to tell you why she passionately believes we are moving towards a “Window of Opportunity!” Welcome aboard, Sue! Enjoy this fine column.

Returning from our premier issue is Retail and Community sales pro, Mike DuPure, with “Coming or Going, You’re All Valuable to Me!” If you need a boost in your enthusiasm level – call Mike on his cell at 574-xxx-xxxx and inside 7 minutes, you’ll need to calm down – DuPure is electric and so are the results he generates.

It is amazing to me how often I hear – or sadly, use! – the wrong words at the wrong time. Have you ever been there, done that and earned the t-shirt? If so, then Greg McClanahan’s The Right Words is for you and your team’s growth and enjoyment!

We all need photos to help us sell our homes. Be it print, brochures, online or wherever, the use of photos are everywhere. Simple photography tips to Sell Homes by Rachael Biermann makes some important points you should keep in mind EVERY time you take out the camera to promote your products, services, location, homes or business!

Okay, here is one I hope everyone will get into the swing of… what we hope will become a periodic series by the “Dear Abby” of Manufactured Housing Communities, Faith Barr’s Keep the Faith! Jump in and enjoy, and as with our other authors, take a few moments to post your comments at the end. Our thanks to Mike DuPure, for giving Faith this nudge.

I specifically asked Greg McClanahan to share some thoughts on the vital subject of Learners are Leaders. Remember, Greg’s worked with 150+ hundreds of industry firms, and he’s seen those who get ahead, and those who don’t. Discover anew why learning is vital to leadership and success. Just as important, see how you and your team can develop your team more effectively for just some dimes a day.

Marketing is so crucial today, and so is controlling our costs. Maximizing your Marketing ROI by Joe Summers will outline a totally common sense way for you to take the guess work out of what is working and what isn’t in your marketing program, so you can make every marketing dime scream dollar!

Speaking of marketing, Brand Consistency by respected industry veteran Beth Monicatti Blank gives you vital keys to making your image in the market place more effective. To put it differently, if you want to look good to the prospects in your marketplace, take heed to what Beth has to say!

The first time I personally called on Jim Talerico for coaching, I realized I made the right call. As “Mr. Congenial” tells us in Why Do I Need a Business Coach? – TV and business media guru – James J. Talerico, Jr. explains the bottom line benefits and more reasons to get a good business coach on your side. Ya wanna make more green… ?

Sometimes my mood leads me to ham it up – just a bit – for a segue, and Green by Any Other Name, by industry pro Tim Saville deserves a better segue! So let me hasten to say, that we all hear a lot about green these days! This article reveals important points to ponder in going green and using green suppliers.

For those retailers and community operators who don’t already realize it, Getting Excellent Manufactured Home Insurance at an Excellent Price by Tom Zagorski tells you how you can save your clients some cool cash on their MH insurance, which can also help you make more sales on clients with tight budgets.

Finally, if you’ve ever noticed the various ways people use (or misuse) time and how that impacts on their job performance, you may enjoy Time Usage and Telephone Observations for Manufactured Home Sales Professionals by moi. Let me be blunt; if you know someone on a sales team that wastes time, give ‘em a BIG hint, and hand them this article! Check out Tony’s The Masthead blog too!

Did I say “Finally?” For those of you who are new to us, part of the beauty of our Ezine is that you can get MH and Housing news updates DAILY! For example, when the Senate passed last week the extension of the federal tax incentive for housing purchases, you could read it here FIRST!

We update our photo gallery routinely as well. Send in your company’s best photos of homes, communities, products, marketing ideas and more and then watch it magically appear – FREE! – here on our ezine’s popular photo gallery pages! Plus, the blogs get routine new posts and you can post any industry subject on the forums 24/7/365! So the next time you want to ‘sound off’ on an industry subject, write us and email an article, or just post on the forums!

Thanks again to our authors and webmaster for making the start of this ezine far more robust than we ever imagined! With your input and participation, the best is yet to come. Check my blog later this month, and you’ll get a good idea what that really means for you and the bottom line for your business.

Good selling and make it a Grrr8 day today!

Tony Kovach, Editor

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com
tony@mhmsm.com
863-213-4090
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The New Wave in MH Trade Journals

October 28th, 2009 No comments

Let me begin with a big, big tip of the hat to the people who are making the difference in this bold project to give a hand up to any and all who venture to these pages!

All of our industry pros are VOLUNTEERS. We all have our ‘day jobs.’ To me, this means that people who are giving their time to the Manufactured Housing industry in this fashion clearly CARE about the business!

So, my thanks to one and all…the October issue – which is unique in all the MH Industry because of virtually real time updates of news and more – is going to wind down soon.

We are already hard at work with Issue 2, planned for November 10th. Hang on to your hats, a whole new crop of good information is coming your way!

People vote with their feet and online, people vote by their browsing habits. We are seeing lots of traffic to articles, to the photo gallery and to the news as well.

With the news in mind…

http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/news-feeds – a BIG tip of the hat to our webmaster – Bob Stovall of www.OrangeCat.com fame – for setting up what is already the most robust one stop shop for Manufactured Housing industry and general housing news!

Consider logging in daily for your news content…and then take in or download an article a day. If you get into that habit, you’ll make a noticable difference for yourself and for others in your firm and industry.

More is coming. So thank YOU for coming, thank you for the kudos by email, cell and calls!

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com
tony@mhmsm.com
863-213-4090
 


The Early Reviews are In…

October 15th, 2009 3 comments

Well, the early reviews are in!  By cell, land line and email, words like “Excellent!” “Unbelievable!”  “Good content.” “Awesome!” “Great Ideas.”  “Impressive!” and those helpful words to a publisher, “How can I advertise?” too.  The spotlight on that “good content” deserves to be shined on those who provided it.

On behalf of all on the masthead of www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com , let me say, thank you, because this publication is by and for professionals like you, pros who care deeply about the Manufactured Housing Industry!

A few brief words about our contributing writers.

Beyond what was shared in the Editor’s Introduction, my mind flashes back years ago to the first time I picked up Tim Connor’s best selling book ‘Soft Sell.’ Reading it once was not enough.  Later hearing Tim live brought out the kid in me, and I had to take that photo op with him.  I confess I walked away with stacks of his other fine books and informative CDs. It is no surprise when I recommend him to others, he does the leg work that makes selling and management in the real world perform. We are all fortunate to have Tim’s blog and feature articles on our ionic pages.

Linda Beem has become a personal friend as well as a professional colleague.  The best way for me to impress upon you why her accomplishments in this challenging time in our industry are impressive is to ask you to go to – http://sunsetglenview.com/page3.htm – seeing is believing! What’s on the left side of the page is how her location looked when she walked in the door at Sunset Village some 6 years ago.  What’s on the right is what has taken place since through her personal sales and of course with the logistical support her company, vendors and team mates provided.  One reason to provide “A Capital Idea!” on our pages was to give readers a better idea of what she accomplished solo by selling! Missing her current or future articles are an invitation to miss out on more sales.

I’d further note that much of what Linda does dove-tails nicely with “Soft Sell.” If Linda can do over 360 closed sales in 6 years in what was once a ‘war zone’ community, selling a vision of a future good lifestyle to good people, then the obstacles you face can be over come too!

Which brings us to the subjects of attitude and enthusiasm – captured brilliantly by the Rocker Man – Mike DuPure!  Mike is more electric than his guitar.  You can feel his juice on the phone when you talk and most certainly in person.  He is genuine, thoughtful, goal oriented and hard working too!  Mike has done land home sales as well as community based sales.  He and two team mates produced 75 closings in 90 days at a property in transition where we were doing some – unique! – marketing.  It was at a team meeting when one of his comrades boldly pointed to him and said to the company’s president, “Mike is the best sales person we have!”

To better underscore both Mike’s and Linda’s accomplishments, keep in mind that they were selling at the highest end of the manufactured housing spectrum.  Higher prices, higher site fees, etc…and they still set records that blew others away. Please read, and re-read columns like theirs – download, print them and take them with you – because until you ‘get it,’ once may not be enough.

The good folks at Manufactured Home Source are part of my own tool chest in day to day marketing work.  They don’t just talk about good SEO (okay, Search Engine Optimization) and the like, they provide it for you!  Even better, they deliver what I call – results based marketing.  Unlike days of yore, where you paid for an ad and hoped it delivered, with Manufactured Home Source, you don’t pay until you have the results in hand.  If you haven’t already, do contact them, I did and it works for me and their clients!

Speaking of Manufactured Home, the words don’t hardly slip onto a page without adding the word Merchandiser.  It is such a pleasure to give Chris Olvera an opportunity to share with us verbal snapshots from inside the Merchandiser’s proud history!  Personally, I owe the Merchandiser a debt of gratitude, because it was the first industry trade journal I picked up and one that I’d be picking up today if I could.  Further, we all owe the Manufactured Home Merchandiser a word of thanks – and yes Chris – a raising of the glass because they provided news and views we could use.  Well done!

I’d tarry a bit on the Merchandiser and trade journal topic, because I believe that leaders are readers.  I don’t just mean the casual picking up of a newspaper or browsing stuff on-line, I mean focused reading that is more like an MD or attorney doing vital research.  If your doctor read an important topic just once, he’d likely end up guilty of malpractice later on, right? I personally read publications like Automated Builder and the Journal. One reason we include their links as well as one to the Allen Letter is because reading industry publications is a key to understanding and thus leading.  The Manufactured Home Industry needs and deserves to lead housing in the days ahead.

Reading – more like studying and applying what we learn – is vital for success.

Which brings me to the topic of Around the Campfire.  Every firm and organization needs to find ways to form and inform their people.  Greg McClanahan and company have incredibly low cost, enhanced results via their ground breaking training system in the bag for you to open and benefit.  For a mom and pop operation to the big national firms, you owe it to yourself to not just read his article to learn more, but to call him and see how doing this sort of training for your team is a total no brainer.  Greg is himself an active industry veteran with dozens of MH firms he’s worked with over the years to improve their business. Greg in a few words can say so much that it will challenge and keep you moving you ahead.  Isn’t that what you want from your team?  To improve and move ahead?  Enough said! J

Call Source’s Sherrie Franklin delivers too!  The legal land minds that are out there are astonishing.  I read just yesterday about a 6 figure settlement in a fair housing dispute.  I believe the exact number was $161,000.  Okay, let’s do the math.  A few dollars in training my team on what NOT to do wrong and HOW to do it RIGHT, invested in a firm with thousands of clients from coast to coast, including some of the MHC world’s biggest REITS.  A few dollars to keep you out of the headache, heart ache and time lost in fighting a fair housing claim.  It’s like an oil change, invest a little now to save a ton of money later!  Besides, as you’ll see in next month’s feature from Call Source, these folks to a whole lot more than just help you avoid the legal land mines.  They help you sell more too!  I personally use Call Source in my marketing efforts daily, and if you do, you’ll love ‘em too.  We are proud to have Sherrie on our Masthead and look forward to more from her and her Call Source colleagues in issues ahead!

When I saw Jim Talerico, Jr. being interviewed on MSNBC, my mind pondered how this talented gent I met years ago quietly finds ways to improve bottom line business performance.  “Congenial” Jim has appeared in places like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.  Just as factories today are doing lean production to improve their bottom lines, Jim has an eye opening process that helps your business do more of what you want it to do!  Remember, the doctor who examines himself is not objective and thus often misses things he’d find in a patient.  Jim brings new eyes, years of experience and real world solutions to the problems that plague business large and small alike.  The reason Congenial – and Jim is that! – has received coast to coast media coverage is because he’s worked for clients large and small from coast to coast; and he delivers.

Having news items from Danny Ghorbani’s MHARR, MHI and other Associations and sources is priceless.  Personally, I love talking to Danny – as busy as he is – Mr. Ghorbani was one of the first to personally pick up the phone and express his good wishes for this project.  Yesterday, he also called to praise the launch of www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com and encourage us to press ahead sharing insights and information for the sake of industry builders and all in this business. Passion and Purpose for the Industry come to mind when I think about Danny, and others, who work tirelessly to promote our industry’s well being in D.C, or in state capitals, or at your local district.  Sure, there are differences in view points between some of these leader’s minds!  Good! It is in the clash of ideas – it is in testing – that a person’s or thought’s true metal is forged!  Bring on the association’s news and view, we welcome them all!  To me, it was one of the many benefits of the Merchandiser, to be able to read such news stories.  We hope those news items and sources grow over time here on our web pages.

Speaking of different being good, I’d love to take a moment to invite those with their field of expertise to share them on these pages in upcoming issues!  In feature articles or on blogs, in forum posts or replies to other’s columns, bring it on! One of the great advantages that an ezine has is that we aren’t limited by space constraints.  We also have the ability to interact rapidly with readers via replies, forums and blogs.

Finally, I want to raise the glass to Bob Stovall.  The greatest content in the world means nothing if it is improperly shared.  It isn’t until you get into a project like doing a magazine – print or online – that you realize how much time and effort go into it.  The ‘behind the scenes’ stuff are what make something go. Let me preface my remarks about Bob by saying that I personally do html and have done dozens of websites for various firm’s and enterprises in recent months alone.  But what I do is basic – for years now, any time I need something special done online, Bob is the first call and the last call that I have to make.  Before Al Gore claimed to invent the Internet, Bob was there. When something goes wrong (and doesn’t it always?), I can turn to Bob, and he either fixes it for me or when I’m using my beaner, I call Bob and he does it right for me the first time around.  In the 3 days before the launch of www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com , I estimated Bob put 51 hours personally into the project.  My point is that Bob knows what to do and he does what it takes.  When I asked him to change something, voila! It was done!  If you like what the others have shared, please, let’s thank God for Bob Stovall for making the webmaster side of this ezine possible.

More important for you and your business, if you haven’t reviewed Bob’s Socialnomics yet, you’d better.  Again, as background for my comments, I’d say, I still do many traditional – as well as novel – forms of marketing, depending on a client’s needs.  It is all about the bottom line results, so you do what works in a given situation.  If we as an industry want to attract a new generation of customers, we’d better be where they are.  Bob…is…there.   This issue is just the start – follow Bob’s column and blog, for your sake and for the sake of the MH industry!

Did I say finally?  Last but not least is YOU.  Thank you for being here. Thanks for caring about our industry!  Thanks for wanting to improve performance, because that is what this is about:  Innovation – Information and Inspiration for Industry Professionals!

Meetings are great, I love to attend them.  I learn from them and appreciate the efforts and information presented.

Here, at www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com industry pros can meet virtually, and as often as you wish, for free!  No need for a big budget, no need for tons of time or money invested.  Here we seek to provide you with a forum that permits the showcasing of tried and true ways to improve performance.  Here you can Discover new ways to protect and enhance your profits.  Sometimes it may be ‘in the basics.’  Some may read a column and say, “I knew that…” – but what about that new sales person in the office down the hall…did they know that?  Or sometimes it may be the cutting edge.  What about the firm or marketing department that hasn’t successfully used YouTube or Facebook to grow their business?

A new day is dawning.  Our industry produces the BEST products we ever have!  We can absolutely rival ‘site built’ features and quality – often out performing them – and at a fraction of the price.  What we need to learn – or re-learn – is how to articulate our message to the home buying public.  If a big budget national image campaign isn’t in the card, we need to reveal the low cost ways of getting big budget results!

Come and see…from job postings – to news – to the photo gallery – to videos – to great feature writers – you’ll find it here, you’ll share it at www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com.  Welcome aboard, sign up for e-alerts and to access back issues.  Keep on coming because you will see…This is a resource and platform you won’t want to be without!###

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com
tony@mhmsm.com
863-213-4090