How To Stop Customers From Fixating On Price

Equalize Price Points to Crystallize Personal Relevance. This is the first recession to show a measurable impact on DeathCare.  Most surprising have been the many reports from rural and “rustbelt” funeral directors that cremation has recently spiked, not because people in their markets want cremation but BECAUSE THEY CAN’T AFFORD BURIAL.   YIKES!!!! A recent article… [Read More...]

Burials down 4%…Cremations up 2.5%…Calculate Your Funeral Cliff

With all the hype about our nation’s pending FISCAL CLIFF, I was recently asked when we could expect funeral service to reach it’s fiscal cliff. For a number of years now it seems that if it weren’t for bad news we wouldn’t have any news at all.  Rumor has it that Batesville was reporting last… [Read More...]

REINVENTION: PROFIT CLINICS

There is a level of neglect in our profession that will (and is) causing too many to approach the end of their careers facing great disappointment, forcing the postponement of retirement or spending retirement much more humbly than anticipated.  It is too dangerous to be considered benign.  Dangerous, certainly, at the individual firm level.  … [Read More...]

Licensing Laws: Barrier To Survival

I feel like maybe I have backed myself into a corner. Price-Led-Costing A simple concept; but for an industry steeped in generations of pricing from exactly the opposite perspective and whose most respected financial advisors continue to advocate cost-led-pricing this is bound to be a real challenge.  To enable you, dear reader, to flip the… [Read More...]

Building A Competitive Fortress Through Your Pricing Strategy

Last week I addressed our broken pricing model referred to as Cost-Led-Pricing.  Apropos of everything this article came to my attention Tough times add hardship to heartache: More families ask for help paying for funerals underscoring the problem created by our outdated pricing strategy and causing me to wonder if maybe we won’t need to eventually… [Read More...]

A Broken Business Model: Wringing More Money Out of Your Best Customers Is Not Sustainable

This image illustrates so well the folly of our more than century old pricing model.   All was good until the market changed about 30 years  ago.  Because we didn’t know anything else (and neither did our advisors)  our response to the growth in cremation has been to beef up our burial prices and focus… [Read More...]

EXPERT OPINION: HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR SHARE-OF-WALLET

A few years ago we came to the realization that there was a real necessity to review our system.  Not all calls are equal in service type, in merchandise and in revenue.  The old system indicated that direct cremation had the same market share value as a traditional burial.  In a sense that is true. … [Read More...]

Why Your Business Will Be Worth As Much As 8.8% less in 2013

Remember that bill congress needed to pass to see what was in it?  Well, surprise!!  The Medicare Tax has been expanded to include almost ALL income (active and passive) over $200k for singles and $250k for couples.  This even includes the gain on the sale of a personal residence over the exclusion amount.  If the… [Read More...]

EXPERT OPINION: How to Be Exceptional in the “New Normal”

When asked what it was that made him so exceptional a hockey player, Wayne Gretzky is said to have responded, “I see my job a little different from most other hockey players.”  Pressed for details, he said, “my job is to skate to where the puck is going to be.” The question that all of… [Read More...]

How Insurance Companies Make Money: Wisdom From Warren Buffett

When I first began negotiating with insurance companies some 25 years ago I made the same mistake now common in the funeral profession: I assumed they made their money the way all “normal” businesses do.  In other words we generate revenue through sales we pay for our merchandise at wholesale prices generating a cost-of-sales and… [Read More...]

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