The people who say ‘there is no silver bullet’ are sincerely mistaken.
There is proven path that once used, might seem to the less informed to work like magic. But it is actually a matter of common sense, routinely applied.
What are our industry’s greatest outside enemies? They are summed up in two words, prejudice and ignorance. Once you hear or read that, you may find yourself nodding your head. Of course.
Once you understand that Prejudice and Ignorance are the outside enemies, the solution becomes clear. After years and years of fielding testing, the outlined solution routinely works, wherever it is faithfully and diligently put to use.
Thar solution is summed up in the acronym, U-DEEMS.
The U is for Understanding. Again, it may not sound sexy, but this works, and is totally common sense.
To solve any problem – your own or that of any other person – one must first understand.
Understanding requires listening and learning about the details of a circumstance.
Let’s be clear. Understanding must go beyond the superficial. It must go beyond stereotypes or PC (politically correct) notions.
Let’s be brutally honest. Manufactured Housing isn’t politically correct. Once we understand and accept that, no matter how painful it may sound or be, the next steps are clarified.
Because manufactured homes are a true solution for millions, as our new, revised infographic below outlines.
The short video with Frank Rolfe posted below makes the very simple point. People don’t know what manufactured homes today truly are.
Darren Krolewski, Co-President of MHVillage, said in Tunica in front of dozens of industry professionals that when talking to people about the words “manufactured home,” many look blank. They don’t get it. Darren and Frank are right about that sad reality, most Americans don’t get it. For the savvy marketer and trainer, that’s an opportunity in disguise.
Darren also admitted to not knowing why their conversion ratios, or that of giant Clayton Homes, are so low. NOTICE: we are being clinical here not critical. These are facts, not put downs. Don’t misread, which is a way of saying follow the logic, seeking understanding of the point.
Use Darren’s numbers – 25 million unique visitors, about 80,000 sales. That’s a lot of sales, but most were used, and the total conversion rate of website lookers to actual buyers is only about 1/3 of 1 percent. That’s a wake up call for the entire industry.
But hidden in that painful reality, is the opportunity.
Here is the good news in Darren’s troubling MHVillage statistics. When you and your operation learn how to grow that minuscule fraction up to even say 3 percent conversion, or to 4 percent, or 5 percent conversion, that means your location would have 900 percent, 1200 percent, to 1500 percent sales growth.
Odds are very good that achieving that higher conversion ratio would transform your business.
That huge payoff is what’s sexy. That’s the silver bullet, once you grasp reality and what the Return on Investment (ROI) from addressing that reality means.
To get that ROI requires Understanding and the rest of the elements of U-DEEMS.
It is precisely because Manufactured Housing is misunderstood that the opportunity is so great.
Which leads us to the D of Disciplined.
‘One and done’ is for quitters and the lazy. Every athlete trains. Every doctor does too. What you said to your last customer that was effective with them, must still be said anew for the next one that’s not heard the same wisdom. The nailing gun used on the last floor or wall must be used on the next one too. That successful pattern must be repeated on all those that follow, until a better method is discovered and proven to be as cost effective and durable.
Discipline – routines, or systems – are required in any profession. From ditch digging, to equipment operation, teaching, law enforcement, MH marketing or sales, and so on through the list of professions.
Education is paired with Discipline. Education must flow from Understanding, Education must feed Understanding.
Education isn’t a one and done either. Research has proven that information heard once often fades quickly. Part of the reason propaganda works is because of repetition.
Repetition isn’t sexy – or is it? Repetition can be sexy, once Understanding exists. The more you repeat something, the greater your understanding and appreciation of it tends to be.
Without Engagement, the most educated and trained person can do little or nothing effectively. Engagement takes place at what we will call and encounter or a…
Meeting. You can meet with someone in person, by phone, online via chat. You can meet with someone solo, or in a group.
Every real engagement requires some sort of meeting.
All of this requires a system, or to rephrase, is systematic or must be Systemic. Those are the elects of U-DEEMS.
Every system is measurable. In fact, to understand the system, once must routinely measure results.
Costs and Benefits
Compared to the costs of the rest of your operation, the investment to put this Silver Bullet of U-DEEMS to work is reasonable. Think about how much it costs to operate a sales center, or how much is invested in any manufactured home community. Maximizing that investment requires the discipline of marketing and training. Done properly, those aren’t cheap.
But there is a far higher cost to not putting U-DEEMS to work. The high cost of lost sales way outweighs the most investment of sustained training. Do the math of profitably growing your sales even 500 percent, and you’ll quickly understand that investing thousands in marketing and training are a no brainer.
What Darren and Clayton Homes indirectly prove is that they need massive numbers to get a few buyers. Clayton in particular, per sources, spends millions on marketing alone, plus more on training, yet after millions of online encounters a year, only some 49,000 homes – HUD Code, modular, and tiny combined – were sold? Darren’s MHVillage stats suggest their average sale is $37,500, and given that the average new manufactured home is over $70,000 in late 2017, that means far more used homes than new are being sold there.
Again, these are NOT put downs of big and successful operations, like Darren’s MHVillage, or Clayton Homes. Rather, these are clinical reality checks.
Because frankly the same pattern – albeit on a smaller scale – holds for other operations in our industry. I know, because we talk to people who report similarly low conversions rates.
That’s why there must be a long term investment in people and systems, and those must be the right people. If they aren’t the right people, we have a proven, proprietary process to recruit and train winners. But you should always begin with those who you have, because you’ll be surprised how feeding the right information the right way to sales pros often results in great ROI.
The good news is that most people want to be part of something bigger and better than themselves. People want to be part of a winning team. Help your team mates grow, and the odds are proven to be in your favor that they will stay, and make more sales.
With few exceptions, winter weather is almost in the rear view mirror. We are coming into warmer and nicer weather nationally. There is no time like the present. The Silver Bullet is summed up in U-DEEMS. To learn more, click, message or call. ## (Marketing and Sales Coaching, industry reality check, analysis, and commentary.)
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By L. A. “Tony” Kovach. Co-founder of MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com. Ph. 863-213-4090.