Tuesday, April 12, 2011


It's tough enough finding builders that have people that want modular homes, so why do modular factories lose them after they get on board.  Here are a couple of the biggest mistakes modular factory owners make which drives business to another factory.

1.   Inconsistent Pricing.  A few years back I worked for a factory that priced custom homes for their sales people.  I guess they thought we weren't bright enough to do it ourselves.  But the irony of it was that if you got a price and the builder thought it was too high or something smelled fishy, just go back and get a new price.  It only took a couple of times for a builder to realize that the factory was playing games with the builder's money.  Result:  Adios  Amigo.

2.   Terrible Customer Service.  We've discussed this in previous articles but what we didn't discuss is the impact it has on the builder's customer.  The old saying that a happy customer tells 5 people and an unhappy one tells everyone, will kill the factory's sales just as quick as it can be posted on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

3.   Poor Management Attitude.  Modular home factories are managed by people that care deeply for the builder, the builder's customers and the quality of the home they send out the door.  But all it takes is one person with authority to have a bad day before answering the builder's phone call and all the good will the factory built up over the years quickly goes down the drain.  One person can hurt the builder's feeling and drive them to a competitor.

4.   Not Knowing the Competition.  Every factory Sales Manager I've ever worked for has asked all the sales reps to get as many of their competitor's quotes and price books as they can find.  But what happens after they are given to the Sales Manager is disgusting.  They gather dust on the shelf without anyone looking at them and tearing them apart to see where the competitor's strengths and weakness' lie.  Without this knowledge, the sales rep will lose their builder and not have a clue why.

5.   Poor Product Selection.  It doesn't matter if it's the lack of floorplans, the miniscule number of options or that every product a builder's customer wants is "special order", it all boils down to making the builder responsible for improving the factory's product selection.  WalMart just announced that they are adding 8,500 new items to their stores because sales started to slip when they failed to keep up with what the customers wanted.  If WalMart, with all their research, was losing business because of  poor product selection, what does that mean for the modular factory and their builders.


Anonymous said...

Amen Coach. You've hit this one out of the park. Just correct these 5 problems and things should start to improve.
The one I really like is the not knowing the competition. All the factories think that the world revolves around them.

modular home place said...

Number Five is my favorite. The sad thing is that most of the factories only show a fraction of what they offer as standard option in their "product" guides. It is imperative for a manufacturer to show every option that is included in the pricing programs.

Nathan George said...

Excel and Pennwest have been great for us! thanks guys!!

Nathan George, Traba Homes

Anonymous said...

Why Johnny or Jane can't SELL. Every place that I have ever worked there were traveling sales managers, matrixs, reports, and opportunity. Today our SM travels, our GM travels. We can tell you how long it takes by builder or sales rep for a porject to be built from day one, how long it sat in the yard, and what the projected sales are for the compnay and each sales rep as of that day. The thing that can not do without an inspired desire is to dedicate our sales activities to acheive daily improvement from yesterday. Sales training is not an event it is a personal every day activity. Why Johnny and Jane can't sell, they have lost the a personal need to be greater that what they were yesterday. My opinion. You qualify for five things in each transaction: Where, When, Why, What, and Budget. If one is missing so is the transaction. Tom Hetherington