Comparisons and analogies are useful methods of sharing ideas.
God rest Grayson Schwepfinger’s soul; while he and I did some things similarly, others were quite different.
“Schwep” believed in telling “the company story” using a “pitch book,” a presentation book. In his method, that was to be done in the sales professionals office, prior to showing the first home.
Think of the “company story” as a part of Schwep’s sales narrative.
Then, think about how your location(s), as well as the “manufactured home industry” – as requiring their own narrative. NOT from a presentation book sitting in a sales office with customers that are getting antsy. That’s another topic, for another time.
But the need for a narrative in modern society is a prudent step for a marketer, and for the sales pro too.
The Importance of Narratives, Examples
Before MHI glommed onto our ‘story telling’ phrase for their 4 member-company promoting videos, we were already telling the industry’s story for years to consumers and those researching the manufactured housing industry on MHLivingNews and MHProNews.
But who did what, when, and how aside, narratives are a vital to understand. They are a key part of communications strategies in society today. Some spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to create the right narrative.
A non-industry analogy – example – that will make the point clear is politics. To over-simplify, there are competing political narratives – talking points – out there about an alleged ‘collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.’
The political left and their anti-Trump allies have for over a year pounded away at their narrative. They are repeating it over and over again. Several voices are saying much the same thing, establishing an ‘echo chamber.’
Yet, in a city (Washington, DC) that leaks like a sieve, there is no smoking gun evidence that has leaked out about any “collusion?”
Beyond a given narrative, are realities.
If the POTUS Trump opposition – which includes Democrats, but also others – even if all that they said about collusion with Russia were true, it’s not a crime. Who says? Democratic supporter, and famed Harvard Law professor, Alan Dershowitz has explained that time and again. The allegations may be made to sound bad, says Dershowitz, but collusion isn’t illegal, as the Daily Business News first reported about a year ago.
The charges filed to date in the case are not directly related to the collusion allegations. CNN has a producer on video admitting its a nothing burger to hype ratings and ad revenues. Ouch. The anti-Trump collusion narrative falls apart when examined by the facts.
But repeating the false narratives over-and-over has millions believing something that has no factual basis, no evidence, no crime.
The point of the example is that a narrative can be created that is contrary to reality, and contrary to facts.
Just repeating a narrative often enough, and millions of our fellow Americans will believe it to be so.
It’s a powerful lesson in narratives, which we will next tie into the marketing and sale of homes in the manufactured home industry, below.
The takeaway of the above for MH? There are several, but for today, we will focus on only one.
The MH Industry Narrative, & Your Narrative
There is an “echo chamber” effect that can take place with a false narrative, when others repeat the same talking points. Because something is commonly held, it is believed to be true.
Why does manufactured housing (MH) fail to meet its potential? It’s a question raised at the heart of the recent Urban Institute (UI) research. The question is valid. While there are numerous reasons, a key one that they glossed over is that much of the mainstream media – for whatever reasons you want to consider – repeats the same mistakes about manufactured housing, over-and-over. The result? A false narrative about manufactured homes has been created that is believed by millions of Americans.
That false narrative is tough. But to a savvy marketer, and sales manager, it can be like taking lemons and making lemonade. But that can occur if you have the proper understanding of how false narratives work, and then create a strategy that establishes your own, positive, fact-based marketing narrative.
FYI – we strongly believe that a narrative ought to be based solely upon the truth.
What You Can Do
You must first educate yourself and your team. Education is at the core of what the industry ought to be doing, at the store or community level.
Facts – the truth properly told – ought to be at the heart of all that you do, at each of your locations. That becomes the foundation for your narrative.
There is no need to exaggerate. Quite the opposite. The truth about our industry and homes is so powerful, understatement at times may be useful.
Educate you and your team.
Then, frame a narrative for your local market(s).
Your job isn’t to change the world. Your job is focused in YOUR market.
All manufactured home marketing ideally should be local, and all sales are local.
What your job is to grab the thinking and attract enough well qualified people every month to fill your sales pipeline to capacity.
Do a great job for every customer. Set realistic expectations for each and every one, every single time.
Narratives are in part a discipline, a habit. So, while Schewp’s way was vastly different than our methods, there are some similar principles.
The right marketing and sales narratives, disciplines, and related systems will do the following for you. See the KYPs, linked below.
KYPs, and the $64 Billion Dollar Question-Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sale$ Meeting
They will create customers so happy, that they will become evangelist for your company and for the industry.
Customer satisfaction. It’s a beautiful thing.
The correct narrative strategy will help get you there.
Need help? Give me a call. Tell us your budgets. We can show you how the correct narrative will be jet fuel for long term sustainable success. ## (Sales and marketing tips, and commentaries.)
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Kovach is the award-winning managing-member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC,
parent to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.
Both are #1 in their categories.
Kovach is one of the most endorsed and recommended MH industry professionals in all of manufactured housing.