Casket Merchandising and The Hawthorne Effect

The Hawthorne effect occurs when individuals modify or improve an aspect of their behavior in response to their awareness of being observed.  The concept is more simple than it sounds. People change their behavior when they are being observed. Where this applies to casket merchandising is subtle but important. The profession has come to rely on a… [Read More…]

Confronting Passive Aggressive Behavior at Work.

Most people in the funeral profession are almost pathologically averse to confrontation. As a result, the predominant internal culture in funeral homes is Passive Aggressive. If you have been a subscriber for long you know I have a personal issue with what I call the “Ten Call Tyrant”. He or she is that individual you… [Read More…]

Creedy & McQueen Earn Exit Planning Certification

You’re here…NOW WHAT! There are more ways to transition a business than just selling to a consolidator. You can transition fast and you can transition slow. You can plan to have your kids succeed you or your employees or another funeral home operator. But the one entity you want to protect yourself from is the… [Read More…]

Check Their Math! How The Herd Instinct Works In Funeral Service

WARNING! This is not about caskets! A couple of decades ago I was visiting with 3 funeral home owner friends. They were discussing among themselves that the expensive makeovers of their selection rooms, popular at the time, were not working as advertised. Having heard nothing but glorious praise about these “retail” style showrooms I was… [Read More…]

Lest You Misunderstand

Last week’s post was about casket discounting. I just want to make myself clear. I still meet people who believe their salvation is in the selection room. They even have incorporated their arrangement rooms inside their showrooms. (What kind of message does that send??) What I want my readers to know is that I resent… [Read More…]

The Curse of the 25% Casket Wholesale Discount

So, it’s not my hunt…not even my dog; but I just hate being played. A few weeks ago I was working with a client in the Midwest: 50 to 60 calls 30 – 35 caskets sold a year He was so proud of himself. He had just negotiated a 25% discount from one of the… [Read More…]

You Don’t Need Another Licensee

Lessons From Radar O’Reilly Some years ago there was a nationwide nursing shortage. Then some very wise doctor’s and hospitals realized that there really wasn’t a shortage…there was a problem. Too many nursing duties were non – nursing tasks. Things like paperwork, bathing patients, cleaning rooms etc. Doctors and hospitals were using nurses as glorified… [Read More…]

Families Aren’t Your Typical Consumer

Many consider the advent of the Internet to have ushered in the “Age Of The Consumer.” The balance of power (inherently favoring the holder of information) has clearly shifted in a way that at least provides parity between vendor and customer. In the case of those unfortunate products and services which are considered commodities, the balance… [Read More…]

Ragman: An Allegory of Death and Resurrection

As we prepare to celebrate Easter author Walter Wangerin, Jr. offers us a poignant allegory of Christ’s glorious work for us on the cross. Ragman I saw a strange sight. I stumbled upon a story most strange, like nothing in my life, my street sense, my sly tongue had ever prepared me for. Hush child…. [Read More…]

A New Approach To Price Shoppers

I subscribe to the Harvard Business Review Blog and an interesting article came through today that I wonder might have application to those of you who might be challenged by low price competitors. It is a way to separate those who are truly price shoppers and those who are looking for value. It also might… [Read More…]