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…]

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…]

How To Overcome Negative Stereotypes

“The best way to break a negative stereotype is to shock the stereotype” The Funeral Profession plays to the negative stereotype by the persona they cultivate: Formal, unapproachable, dignified, conventional, guardians of the past and so on. I have found one of the best ways to shock a stereotype is with humor. If I owned… [Read More…]

The Funeral Director Who Invented Social Media

I am glad I don’t have to compete with Frank Dawson. His use of social media for the past 50 years has built a veritable competitive fortress. Ron Hast, the recently deceased owner of Mortuary Management magazine, had a very compelling habit. It was shortly after I started my career at Batesville Casket Company in… [Read More…]

How Funeral Directors Confuse Being Nice With Being Kind

When it comes to customers funeral directors are often the nicest people. But being nice and being kind are two different things. It takes courage to be kind. There is risk to it. You don’t really have to be more than just agreeable to be nice. Smile, never say anything bad about anybody and NEVER,… [Read More…]

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…]