Month: March 2011

The True Cost of Training

A Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) article cited a 2004 statistic that the average annual training cost per employee was $955.  But what is the true cost of training?  What is the value achieved?   What are the lost opportunity costs?   What does turnover cost because a potentially good employee is lost who was first hired because of their perceived potential?

I’ve listened to the audio files of live calls from real prospects responding to ads for manufactured homes.   I’ve listened while employees:

– rattled off a statement that made an upscale manufactured home community sound like a flashback to Lucy and Desi in the movie The Long, Long Trailer.  The employee routinely began by saying:  “We have paved streets, city water and sewer…” – this was in a major metropolitan area!  Did anyone ever think about ‘first impressions?’   Who did this ‘sales pro’ think was calling?  Did this employee think the caller was looking for a comparison to a campsite in a wilderness area, or for a modern manufactured home residential community?

– a self-identified (and clearly educated, motivated, capable) cash buyer was dissuaded from coming to visit an upscale property, due to a series of questions geared around their qualifications for financing, some of which may have violated Fair Housing guidelines as well as good common business sense.

– a flyer promoting a church group (…the church of the community manager…) was passed out to every resident at a large manufactured home community, and was placed on the front desk.  Recruiting for that church was routinely done by the CM and sales person (a husband and wife team) in a manner that was capable of drawing huge fines from HUD for Fair Housing guideline violations….

Without going into more examples, the point is that your employees and associates can cost you money, or make you money.

Good training, good people, does not ‘cost’ as much as it can pay!  But improperly trained and poorly motivated people can cost you a fortune, $100,000s annually.

Let’s take a simple example:

– 1 sales person closes 1less sale every other week;
– Let’s say each sale is worth $7000 net after all expenses;
– That’s $182,000 per year in lost opportunities;
– Then think about the cost of floor planning on unsold inventory, and all the other costs that result from the lost sales…

Good training and soft skills development pays.

Failure to properly train your associates is what really costs your business.

Let’s look again at the example above of lost sales due to poor training, having improperly motivated or the wrong people on staff.

Imagine if every retail center in the U.S. diminished their performance by 23 new homes a year.   Let’s take an average sales price per new home of $50,000 each.  Let’s consider only the 3500 ‘retail sales centers’ (a.k.a. ‘street dealers,’ not manufactured home communities).   What’s the total?

That’s $4,025,000,000 annually in lost gross sales to American HUD Code manufactured home retailers.   That’s 80,500 lost new home sales a year to HUD Code manufactured housing builders, at a time when total new home shipments have hovered around 50,000± for two years.  That’s insurance policies that are never sold, homes never delivered or installed, products and services never provided, because of sales that never closed.

To improve your team’s performance, go to MH Speaker Resource.

To recruit your ideal team members, post a job at’s Jobs page.

If companies won’t train their people, why don’t:
– insurance companies
– manufacturers
– lenders
– and others who sell through retail distribution, team up to make this potential wave of sales happen?

Fellow manufactured housing industry professionals, these costs estimates are low.  The true costs of failing to train are much, much higher.

The true cost of training?  It is far more than the billions in lost business to our industry when companies fail to continuously train.  It is the countless lost opportunities to millions of potential manufactured home customers.  Dreams are lost when business is lost.

Good, consistent training pays. # #

The Power of One Is Us

The Power of One has been around as a catch phrase for some years. Perhaps we became more aware of it in 1989 through Bryce Courtenay’s novel by the same name, later made into a movie in which Daniel Craig (later known as Bond. James Bond.) made his film debut. A second book applied this concept to business, The Power of One: One Person, One Rule, One Month by John C. Maxwell. Numerous YouTube videos employ gorgeous visuals and stirring music to communicate this message. For instance, the popular:

Of course, there are many variations of this theme, applied to everything from grocery bags to flu shots. For example: “Making your life better one bag at a time.” “Making the community healthier one flu shot at a time.” Perhaps you recognize the companies and organizations that use phrases such as: one dress at a time, one tree at a time, one deposit at a time, one child at a time, one wish at a time, one step at a time. These phrases are usually prefaced with “Making your life – or the world – better….” Truly, the power of one!

How about one phone call, one follow-up, one client, one network, one reader, one new subscriber, one retailer, one manufacturer, one lender, one home, one sale, one team, one company, one community, one association, one trade show, one mentor, one guest speaker/trainer, one website, one contribution, one shout out (“I’m madder than hell…”) … ONE ANYONE or ANYTHING that makes a positive difference in the status quo and moves YOUR participation in the Manufactured Housing Industry forward. Remember, 2011 can be The Great Industry Turn-Around! For YOU. For US. And when enough do this, the Industry turns around, too!

No passing the buck. No waiting for the other guy to do it. No lone giants. There is a difference between knowing and changing. Between deciding and doing.

To paraphrase the friendly, philosophical Pogo: We have seen the Power of One and it is YOU, it is US.

Inspired by Lizz Frenzel, VNA of Porter County, IN # #

INspirations post by Associate Editor Catherine Frenzel

Teamwork Proverbs and Quotation

It is amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.

There is no “I” in “TEAMWORK”.

Teamwork: is less me and more we.

TEAM = Together Everyone Achieves More

The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

~ ~

Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” ~ Andrew Carnegie

Submitted by Soheyla Kovach

A Creed to Live By

Don’t undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others,

It is because we are different that each of us is special.

Don’t set your goals by what other people deem important,

Only you know what is best for you.

Don’t take for granted the things closest to your heart

Cling to that as you would your life, for without them life is meaningless.

Don’t let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or the future.

By living your life one day at a time, you live all the days of your life.

Don’t give up when you still have something to give

Nothing is really over … until the moment you stop trying.

Don’t be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect,

It is the fragile thread that binds us to each other.

Don’t be afraid to encounter risks,

It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.

Don’t shut love out of your life by saying it’s impossible to find.

The quickest way to receive love is to give love.

The fastest way to lose love is to hold on too tightly,

And the best way to keep love is to give it wings.

Don’t dismiss your Dreams. To be without dreams is to be without hope.

To be without hope is to be without purpose.

Don’t run through life so fast that you forget where you’ve been,

But also know where you’re going.

Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored every step of the way.

~ Author Unknown

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