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Selling pre-Need Cemetery services as a Newb?

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This past April I had decided to make a career change. I had just lost my mother, 2 grandmothers, an Aunt, a Grandfather, and a close friend I served in the Marines with. All of this occurred during a 6 month time frame. Now I have been working in the sales industry for over 15 years but while driving back up to Indianapolis I kept coming back to this thought of getting into the Cemetery industry so that way I can attempt to help families just like mine and be there for them when they needed me.

WHY??? Is what everybody kept asking. " Your successful already, and why would you leave a established database that you spent 15 years making?" My answer was simple, because I don't want other families to go through what mine did. I am sure some of you understand what I mean. Its that family that just suddenly lost a family member. They walk in the cemetery office, sit down with the counselor and plan out the burial service. That's when they get blindsided, $4300 is the amount due! They had no idea how this industry worked, nor did they ever think about preparing for this prior to something drastically happening to force them to do something. I know in my situation, my parents were not together and it fell on the oldest child over the age of 18.

So, How do we get out and educate the public that buying pre-need is the best thing financially?

Well to this green, no experience, Newb.....that's the million dollar question?

datadale's picture

Small Data

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 I’ve just so tired of the expression Big Data. We’ve been hearing it for the last few years and it has become over-used and kind of obnoxious.

It’s definition has morphed into so many places…but it appears to me that the on-line folks really grabbed onto it with their collection of large quantities of information that are analyzed (and analyzed again) to reveal trends, behaviors and patterns  as it relates to performance – whether it be to determine lifestyle behaviors or buying propensity.

Even though I tried to boil it down to the basics, it still feels too big to grasp. And, as someone who spends her day working with small to medium-sized businesses, I’ve been wondering how to make it work for me.

So, I began to think about Small Data and whether that could become an option for my customers in the Funeral & Cemetery Industry. So, I went on-line to find a definition for Small Data. Most of the definitions I found on-line were pretty old….(BTW - nothing was newer than 2013 and our world changes much too rapidly for that) so I am giving you my own definition of the term.

Here you go:  Small data takes the insights from big data and moves it to a local framework, providing meaningful, understandable intelligence that can be used every day to market products & services efficiently and cost-effectively.

It kind of feels like this is what we direct marketing veterans in the Funeral & Cemetery industry have been doing for years – targeting pre-need prospects with our mailings and testing different variable in an effort to create a direct marketing campaign that delivers top ROI for our facilities.

Small Data – the way to go!

 

Rick Platter's picture

Industry News 6.29.2015

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Serve Everyone. Learn How at ICCFA University! 
Globalization is making the world a much smaller place to live in. Are you sure that you know how to serve families of all nationalities and religious backgrounds in your community? Learn how at www.iccfa.com/university.

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Company Shares of Service Corporation International Drops by -0.44% (U.S.)

 

 

Rick Platter's picture

Industry News 6.26.2015

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College of International Studies Debuts at ICCFA University 
Learn about the funeral customs of all major religions and population groups from around the world in the
College of International Studies at this year's session of ICCFA University, July 17-22 at the University of Memphis. Learn more at www.iccfa.com/university.

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Delco funeral director elected as president of the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association (U.S.)

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Tips for making pre-funeral arrangements (U.S.)

 

 

How to Claim Your Business on Google & Why it is a Must for Your Online Reputation! - See more at: http://connectingdirectors.com/articles/46533-how-to-claim-your-business-on-google-why-it-is-a-must-for-your-online-reputation#sthash.EQbPIVvb.dpuf

 

How to Claim Your Business on Google & Why it is a Must for Your Online Reputation! - See more at: http://connectingdirectors.com/articles/46533-how-to-claim-your-business-on-google-why-it-is-a-must-for-your-online-reputation#sthash.EQbPIVvb.dp
Rick Platter's picture

Industry News 6.24.2015

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College of International Studies Debuts at ICCFA University 
Learn about the funeral customs of all major religions and population groups from around the world in the
College of International Studies at this year's session of ICCFA University, July 17-22 at the University of Memphis. Learn more at www.iccfa.com/university.

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Casket Company Suing Joliet Funeral Director (U.S.)

 

Rick Platter's picture

Industry News 6.22.2015

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College of International Studies Debuts at ICCFA University 
Learn about the funeral customs of all major religions and population groups from around the world in the
College of International Studies at this year's session of ICCFA University, July 17-22 at the University of Memphis. Learn more at www.iccfa.com/university.

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Make green burials mandatory, urges funeral home operator (Jamaica)

Lane Family Funeral Homes in Boardman says it wants to be known as an all-purpose event center - See more at: http://www.vindy.com/news/2015/jun/22/funeral-home-finds-new-life-by-hosting-o/#sthash.8anhtdQT.dpuf
Lane Family Funeral Homes in Boardman says it wants to be known as an all-purpose event center - See more at: http://www.vindy.com/news/2015/jun/22/funeral-home-finds-new-life-by-hosting-o/#sthash.8anhtdQT.dpu
Bob Fells's picture

Hot Alaska

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Why We Vote

[Note: This essay is one in a continuing series by ICCFA executive director Bob Fells focusing on various issues in our federal government. Although the subjects are political in nature, the approach is bipartisan in outlook, at least so far as that is humanly possible. The goal of each essay is not to persuade the reader to adopt a particular political viewpoint or party, but to illustrate why a knowledge of the system is important to protect our businesses, our homes, and our families.]

Hot Alaska

 

I recently returned from ten days exploring our 50th state. Most of the time was spent cruising up the “inner passage” route and then three days of land excursions after the cruise was completed. Maureen and I are arriving a bit late at traveling but we had the matter of raising our young, paying for braces, etc., that left little funding for cruises until recently. Now the youngest of our three is 30 and self-sufficient, so before we move into assisted living it seemed like a good idea to see a little more of the world. 

Think of Alaska and we think of freezing cold and snow, lots of snow. But visiting in late May and early June revealed a land with moderate temperatures that got into the 70s and lots of warm sunshine – for about 20 hours each day. We had no complaints with these circumstances because in the winter – and Alaskans have a long one – it’s dark for about 20 hours each day with sub-freezing temperatures. But clearly, Alaskans are not used to being warm. Our tour buses were equipped with air-conditioning but it is rarely used. So infrequently is it switched on that the first bus we were on got very toasty between an air-conditioning system that didn’t work and hermetically-sealed windows that didn’t open. The driver explained that cooling is rarely needed so the systems are rarely checked. Our second bus had a properly functioning air conditioner but the driver wasn’t sure how to switch it on. Some helpful fellow travelers suggested how to regulate the system and eventually all was well inside the bus.

The unexpected heat wave not only prompted the title of this little essay but begged the larger question of global climate change. When our ship cruised up Glacier Bay, which is like entering a gigantic freezer, one of our fellow passengers expressed dismay with the size of the glaciers we were seeing. It seems that she had made this same trip only two years ago and said she was shocked to see how much the ice had retreated since that time. Our earlier visit to the Mendenhall Glacier brought similar observations from the Park Rangers who provided photographic evidence of the retreating ice. This led to my considering the politically knotty question of whether climate change is indeed a dire problem, and assuming that it is, what should we be doing about it.

I am no expert on this issue but as an inhabitant of this planet, at least for the time being, I am a stakeholder. Like you, I am very confused by the clashing opinions that declare either we are in big trouble or that it’s a hoax and is being used to expand the government and make some folks wealthy too. What are we supposed to think? How do we find the truth between the alarmists and the naysayers? And is there a happy medium?

Here is my attempt to make some politically-nonpartisan sense out of climate change. First, climate change – alternately global cooling and global warming – is a normal process that has been taking place for millions of years. At any point in time, the earth is either cooling or warming. Impassioned pleas that “climate change is real” are silly because that’s not the issue. The real issue is whether global cooling or warming is going much longer than they are supposed to, hence the danger of rising sea levels, floods, and the extinction of various species, possibly including mankind. This is something we should take very seriously.

As if the issue were not already complicated, advocates can’t seem to get their story straight. Remember in the 1990s when the warning went out of a new Ice Age due to global cooling? Then some scientists claimed that we were really in a phase of global warming. Just last week I read that the earth has started cooling again. I have no idea how valid these claims are but the advocates have gotten smart and are now calling the issue “climate change.” Thus, whatever the planet is doing these folks are good to go.

I have noticed one thing from a political perspective.  The people who are spreading the alarm of disastrous climate change (and they may be correct) all seem to have an economic incentive. That is, if climate change is really such a problem that we must take action on it, then they are positioned to make a few bucks out of the situation. On the other hand I notice that that “deniers” as they have been dubbed (and they may be wrong) won’t make a dime out of their position if they are correct. So where does that leave us?

I wish I could conclude this essay with some conclusion on the issue of climate change. Instead let me leave you with an observation that I find troubling. Since nobody really doubts the question of climate change, then what exactly is the problem? As I understand it, the problem is that advocates claim that if global warming or cooling continues at the present rate, we will suffer dire consequences. There are literally billions of dollars hanging on that little word “if.” We will only know for sure if the present rate continues over the next 30 to 50 years.
 
If the earth does what it has always done, reverse the warming or cooling before the entire USA is flooded or frozen over, then things will be fine. But the closer, as our sales people call it, is that we can’t wait 30 or 50 years. We need to take action, i.e., spend lots of money, right now. To make the issue worse, when advocates are asked what specific action we should be taking now, most say that they don’t know. This reminds me of the deathless observation that while we are lost, we’re making good time. This may also explain why our Alaskan bus drivers got bigger tips when they turned on the air conditioner.

 

Rick Platter's picture

Industry News 6.17.2015

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Early Enrollment Period Ends Soon The ICCFA University early enrollment deadline is just over a month away (June 17). Register by that date for the best chance of getting into the college of your choice. Learn more at www.iccfa.com/university.

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Rick Platter's picture

Industry News 6.15.2015

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Early Enrollment Period Ends Soon The ICCFA University early enrollment deadline is just over a month away (June 17). Register by that date for the best chance of getting into the college of your choice. Learn more at www.iccfa.com/university.

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Morality over practicality: why the funeral industry holds on to unclaimed cremated remains (Australia)

 

Rick Platter's picture

Industry News 6.8.2015

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Early Enrollment Period Ends Soon The ICCFA University early enrollment deadline is just over a month away (June 17). Register by that date for the best chance of getting into the college of your choice. Learn more at www.iccfa.com/university.

Call to keep convicted killers from being buried in veterans cemeteries (U.S.)

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Rick Platter's picture

Industry News 5.27.2015

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Early Enrollment Period Ends Soon
The ICCFA University early enrollment deadline is just over a month away (June 17). Register by that date for the best chance of getting into the college of your choice. Learn more at www.iccfa.com/university.

The Rise of Green Funerals (U.S.)

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Funeral home to cite Hobby Lobby ruling in transgender bias case (U.S.)

 

Rick Platter's picture

Industry News 5.21.2015

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College of International Studies Debuts at ICCFA University 
Learn about the funeral customs of all major religions and population groups from around the world in the
College of International Studies at this year's session of ICCFA University, July 17-22 at the University of Memphis. Learn more at www.iccfa.com/university.

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Australian family charged 'grief tax' to remain by relative's grave (Australia)

Funeral directors see rise in cremation requests (U.S.)

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Rick Platter's picture

Industry News 5.19.2015

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Early Enrollment Period Ends Soon
The ICCFA University early enrollment deadline is just over a month away (June 17). Register by that date for the best chance of getting into the college of your choice. Learn more at www.iccfa.com/university.

Update on EEOC transgender litigation (U.S.)

StoneMor Partners L.P. Announces Departure of Chief Financial Officer and Appointment of Interim Chief Financial Officer (U.S.)

Troy funeral director to lead state association (U.S.)

Haida Gwaii undertaker provided services to province (Canada)

 

Rick Platter's picture

Industry News 5.18.2015

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Serve Everyone. Learn How at ICCFA University! 
Globalization is making the world a much smaller place to live in. Are you sure that you know how to serve families of all nationalities and religious backgrounds in your community? Learn how at www.iccfa.com/university.

Understanding veterans’ burial and memorial benefits (U.S.)

Funeral homes personalize arrangements to help with bottom line (U.S.)

Bill could expand payments for indigent cremations (U.S.)

Funeral convention makes stop in Athens, honors local funeral directors (U.S.)

 

Rick Platter's picture

Industry News 5.14.2015

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Serve Everyone. Learn How at ICCFA University! 
Globalization is making the world a much smaller place to live in. Are you sure that you know how to serve families of all nationalities and religious backgrounds in your community? Learn how at www.iccfa.com/university.

Florida funeral home employees fired after Dunkin Donuts stop with veteran's body in hearse (U.S.)

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Exquisitely remembered (Asia)

 

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