It’s All In The Attitude

My friend, Howard Beckham, responded to last week’s video on customer service at Starbucks with the following comment. I feel if all of us would adopt his attitude we would see much happier customers.  Thank you Howard. “Many years ago as an 18 year old working at J.C. Penney Co. I began to understand the… [Read More...]

Customer Service: What Does It Look Like

Here is a great video that you should watch with your staff and talk about. QUESTION: How do you mentally prepare yourself to wholeheartedly serve people each day?

Wanna Know What Your Brand Stands For? Write Its Obituary.

Nothing brings greater clarity than an impending death. You have spent a career writing obituaries for others. Now it turns out that if you AND your staff take the time to write your firm’s obituary it will reveal some interesting insights that will help you establish your brand better…or…learn you don’t have a brand after… [Read More...]

What do you think the pre-need business will look like in 10 years?

In response to last week’s Commentary my friend Graham Cook shared the following comments. Fair warning! I am often asked to comment on the future of the pre-need business, and my response is simply: “I could better answer if you can tell me what the funeral business will look like in 10 years.” In my… [Read More...]

Signs Your Preneed Program is Underperforming

With almost 30 year’s experience I think I can safely say I know something about Preneed selling and marketing.  Sadly, it has been my experience that most independent funeral homes practice a form of benign mediocrity in which everyone fails to reach their potential but they all love working together.  “Happy Failures” is what we… [Read More...]

Empathy / Sympathy A Very Important Difference

Unlike most other professions funeral practitioners must operate within an often sensitive emotional environment. Let’s call it emotionally charged. We know too well that sympathy can often backfire but empathy is never lost. Sympathy can often take someone lower but empathy often lifts up. God was angry with Job’s friends but I have always been… [Read More...]

The Wind Is Changing – The Conversation Project

For months now I have been telling DeathCare that the wind is changing in our favor.  The public attitude toward death and dying is changing at the GLOBAL level.  For the present those involved in this are all “grass roots” initiatives springing up independent of each other wherever I look.  I have examples in Singapore… [Read More...]

The Non Question: Why Are Funerals So Expensive?

This question and its brother: “How much does a funeral cost?”  Are non questions.  When we attempt to answer them directly with rational logical explanations we only end up annoying most people.  Especially if we weigh them down with a litany of hours, cost of having a building and the time we waste being ready… [Read More...]

Lessons On Leadership: Peak Performance From Adequate People

Peter Drucker was the first to draw a parallel between Leadership and Orchestra Conductors when he observed: “A great orchestra is not composed of great musicians but of adequate ones who produce at their peak. [A great conductor] has to make productive what he has…the players are nearly unchangeable.  So it is the conductor’s people… [Read More...]

Are You Tired of Burying Your Local Treasure?

My friend, Ed Mazur of Kapinos-Mazur Funeral Home, ran a very successful PR / Public Service program in his local community.  The campaign featured this poster and newspaper ads.  Weekends were set aside to encourage parents to clean out unused medication from their medicine cabinets and bring them to the funeral home.  On the first… [Read More...]

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