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• FREE WIRELESS INTERNET in the main classroom area made possible thanks to the generosity of our Corporate Partner.
• An "On-time questionnaire contest": As is tradition at this conference, make sure you are back at your seat after each break to hear a question. Write the answers to all of the questions on your game piece for a chance to win cash and prizes at the closing session.
• A list of airfare specials to/from Las Vegas is included on the lefthand side of this page.
• We've also included a list of Living Social and Groupon deals on the webpage.
• We're looking for about 10 people to share their experiences of "service recovery" (turning a bad customer experience into a great one), in 3 minutes or less on Thursday. These could be instances where you were the customer and a company made things right, or if a customer of yours had a horrible experience and you turned them into evangelist for your company. Let us know if you'd like to share your experience by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
• During sessions, you will be able to text your questions for speakers to answer in real-time.
• Funeral directors may earn up to 10.5 hours of continuing education credit (depending on state approvals).
New Living Social and Groupon Deals Coming Soon!
The ICCFA Wide World of Sales Conference is the only conference specifically for the salespeople within our profession.
Find out how to DAZZLE your audience with outstanding service. Discover how to prove you’re not a PITCHMAN, but rather an expert and trusted advisor to your clients. Learn that your value is not just the price of ADMISSION to your services.
No matter if you're selling preneed or at-need, insurance or urns, memorial services or cremation, memorial jewelry or hospitality options, you'll want to be in attendance to find out the best techniques and ways to provide "Service That Sells."
This year's conference has a Cirque, or circus, theme. This will be our last time in Las Vegas for a few years, so we're going out with a bang! Join us and join in on the fun!
Gain exposure among sales counselors and managers from funeral homes, cemeteries and crematories, as well as sales & marketing specialists from industry-related supplier and allied professionals. Annual attendance is about 425. Click here to learn about sponsorship opportunities.
Reserve your hotel room at Bally's as soon as possible as they may sell out. Make your reservations online by clicking here or call 800.358.8777 no later than December 15 and ask if you may be included in the ICCFA room block.
ICCFA received notification that a third-party vendor named Exhibitors Housing Services (EHS; 1-800-217-4402) has contacted ICCFA members regarding the upcoming Wide World of Sales Conference saying that they can secure you a reduced hotel rate. Please disregard emails and/or phone calls as the company is not affiliated with ICCFA, and it will not guarantee you a room. ICCFA never uses third-party vendors for conference hotel reservations.
Wednesday, January 14
4 to 5:30 p.m.
Fireside Chat with Gary O’Sullivan
Gary O’Sullivan, CCFE, returns to hold another of his famous fireside chats, which are usually standing-room only. With his mix of humor, personal experience and straight talk, O’Sullivan mentors, encourages and motivates salespeople not only to be the best in our profession, but to achieve all we can as individuals. “Gary O.” will share his vast experience from his sales and sales consultancy career and discuss a wide range of topics including, but not limited to, integrity, leadership, corporate culture, sales concepts and professionalism. You may submit your questions ahead of time by email to email@example.com, or do it the old-fashioned way by raising your hand during the discussion.
Gary O’Sullivan, CCFE, is president of the Gary O’Sullivan Company in Winter Garden, Florida. John B. Gouch Jr., co-owner of Gethsemane Cemetery & Memorial Park in Charlotte, North Carolina, will help moderate the discussion.
5:30 to 7 p.m.
Meet sales colleagues from around the world while enjoying heavy hors d’oeuvres and an open bar.
Thursday, January 15
8 to 8:15 a.m.
and ICCFA President I. Frederick Lappin, CCE, Knollwood Corporation and Sharon Memorial Park, Sharon, MA
8:15 to 8:30 a.m.
Kickoff!: An Opening Pep Talk
Chairwoman, ICCFA Sales & Marketing Committee
Assistant Vice President, Sales Support, Forethought Life Insurance Co.
8:30 to 9:30 a.m.
Level 4 Value Creation
Every interaction you have with customers and prospects must center around the value you bring to them. There are four levels of value: 1) product, 2) service, 3) return on investment and, the most important, 4) strategic partnership. Delivering Level 4 Value means that you are a thought leader, an industry expert and seen as a valuable partner to your client’s business. Anthony Iannarino (pronounced ann•ah•ree•no) will share with us how to evaluate the level of value you are delivering today and, more importantly, how to ensure each interaction is at a Level 4 Value Creation.
Anthony Iannarino, CEO of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, is one of the most influential sales and marketing leaders in the world and a top thought leader on the subject of value creation. Iannarino travels the globe delivering keynotes and workshops for Fortune 500 organizations like Abbot Laboratories and CH Robinson, as well as working with companies with annual sales revenues of $100 million to $1 billion. Iannarino’s invaluable insight on how to leverage value in our highly commoditized world helps clients elevate their competitive disposition to drive more revenue and build better long-term client relationships. These results are achieved by the frameworks, tools and methodologies he has developed that promotes and sustains more effective sales management and sales force results. Iannarino has a unique insight into today’s challenges, as he is also president and chief sales officer of SOLUTIONS Staffing, a best-in-class, $40 million, regional staffing firm. Here he services companies like Coca-Cola, Proctor & Gamble and Bare Escentuals.
9:30 to 9:45 a.m.
9:45 to 10:30 a.m.
"I Didn’t Know We Could Do That!"
Kevin Gaffney and Todd Carlson
Nothing’s worse than a customer who thinks your goods and services are just average. If a family doesn’t walk out of your funeral home or cemetery being an evangelist of your products and services, you’re leaving money on the table and giving away business to your competitors.
Sure, you can’t read customers’ minds to find out exactly what they want, but are you asking the right questions? Without knowing what they want, you cannot exceed their expectations.
Join Kevin Gaffney and Todd Carlson from Funeral Directors Life Insurance Company as they give you a blueprint for never again having a “standard” funeral or burial on your property. They’ll also share their personal stories of cases they experienced as funeral directors that started off as a challenge, but ended up with families signing their praises.
The importance of product knowledge will also be stressed, as will the benefits of learning to not say “no.” Stop saying “no,” do the leg work to investigate all possibilities, and start hearing yourself and your customers say “I didn’t know we could do that.”
Kevin Gaffney is a regional sales vice president with FDLIC and is based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Before joining FDLIC, Gaffney was director of sales & marketing with Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum and spent 10 years with Forethought Financial Group.
Todd Carlson is executive vice president of sales with FDLIC and is based in Abilene, Texas. Previously, he served as preneed services director with the Minnesota Funeral Directors Association, regional sales director with Fortis Family and a funeral director with Shelley Funeral Chapel and Egesdal Funeral Homes of Gaylord.
10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Providing Service to—and Fostering Stronger Relationships with—Hospice
Kim Medici Shelquist, moderator
with Caressa Hughes, Lauren Blevins, Lacy Robinson and Glenda Stansbury
Hospice providers have the daunting task of caring for people when they know the end of their life is near. The patient often needs physical and emotional care, as well as his or her family. Have you ever thought about how you may provide service and help lighten the incredible load that these caregivers are burdened with?
Come hear from members of the ICCFA Hospice Committee about outstanding examples of outreach, branding and assistance they are providing to hospice organizations around the country. Learn how you may develop relationships that may more deeply root you in your community and pay dividends long-term.
Kim Medici Shelquist is the vice president of planning and development for Homesteaders Life Company in West Des Moines, Iowa. Prior to joining Homesteaders, she served as business development and communications director with Hospice of Central Iowa, the state's oldest and largest not-for-profit hospice care provider.
Caressa Hughes is managing director of government affairs with Service Corporation International in Houston, Texas.
Lauren Blevins is chief operating officer of Williams Funeral Homes & Crematory in Columbia, Tennessee.
Lacy Robinson, CFSP, is director of professional development for Aurora Casket Company.
Glenda Stansbury, CFSP, is vice president of InSight Books and the InSight Institute in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
11:30 a.m. to Noon
Service Recovery: Turning Bad Customer Experiences Into Great Word of Mouth
Moderated by John Bolton
We all have experienced some failure in products or services, either as a customer or as the service provider. "Service recovery" refers to the actions a service provider takes in response to service failure. A growing body of literature on service recovery suggests that a good recovery has a positive impact on satisfaction, recommendation intention, word-of-mouth, loyalty, image and trust.
Have a great story about how you rectified a problem, or how another company fixed a sticky situation that you were in? We’re looking for 10 or so attendees to share their stories of great service recovery in three minutes or less to inspire fellow salespeople to follow suit across the country. Have a tale to tell? Send us a brief description of your experience to firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Bolton, CCE, is the director of cremation gardens and special projects for Matthews International in Johnson City, Tennessee. He is a longtime member of the ICCFA Sales & Marketing Committee and was chairman of the committee for five years.
Noon to 1 p.m.
1 to 1:45 p.m.
Creating WOW Experiences
There are so many ways to provide exemplary customer service. And when a WOW level of service is provided, it fosters an incredible preneed opportunity through the enduring relationship that is created. Are you making the most of the opportunities to wow your customers?
Service Corporation International’s sales trainer Dan Kientzel will help you develop a plan that delivers a wow factor to every family that includes sales counselors, managers, your frontline personnel and funeral directors/cemeterians.
He’ll walk with you through the initial call, to the moment you meet the family, through the arrangement process and the services, all the way to aftercare and pinpoint numerous touches you may add to your routine that will yield increased customer satisfaction and revenue. Kientzel’s presentation will include tips on how to create WOW service throughout the preneed process as well.
Dan Kientzel joined SCI in 2001 and has held several sales leadership roles. Most recently, he has assumed SCI’s market sales manager role within the Houston market. Having been a facilitator of SCI’s National Sales Manager Development Program for three years, he has trained, mentored and inspired hundreds of individual sales leaders throughout the SCI network. He is passionate about helping sales leaders and their teams achieve their personal and professional goals by providing them with the cutting-edge tools and practices necessary for success.
1:45 to 2:30 p.m.
Cremation Paperwork & Forms As Sales Tools. No, Really!
State and federal laws typically regulate your contracts and forms. So many providers worry about JUST being compliant that they miss so much more. There are opportunities to brand, market and educate. Your forms and contracts are the only thing most families will keep after the arrangement, but are they working for you? There is an art to how forms are structured; a science to the numbers; and, of course, there are legal requirements as well.
This seminar provides information so you may:
Poul Lemasters presents this informal lecture with audience participation, including audience sample scenarios, relevant “hands-on stories” and Q&A.
Poul Lemasters, Esq., is the ICCFA cremation programs coordinator and also serves as a special counsel to the ICCFA on cremation legal issues. He is an attorney and principal of Lemasters Consulting, a funeral profession consulting company. Lemasters holds both funeral director and an embalmer licenses in Ohio and West Virginia, and he teaches business law at the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. He formerly served as corporate counsel for the Alderwoods Group.
2:30 to 2:45 p.m.
2:45 to 3:45 p.m.
Revive Your Aftercare Program
Denise Hall Brown Rollins
Many of our aftercare programs are on life support. This presentation will give you the tools to breathe new life into the way you serve your clients after the funeral is over. You will be inspired to replace labor-intensive and impersonal cookie-cutter aftercare programs with unique, beneficial and simple outreach that is manageable and serves your communities, all while increasing profits. This session will highlight strategies for injecting comfort, peace and restoration (CPR) into aftercare programs. You will walk away with effective tools for helping clients regain control and reclaim their lives via relationships, resources and release.
Denise Hall Brown Rollins knows both grief and grace. Following the sudden and tragic deaths of her mother, son, aunt and husband between 1995 and 2009, Rollins walked away from a 25-year career in corporate America to pursue her passion: helping others heal from grief. Her background includes a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in thanatology (the study of grief and death) and she is currently working on her doctorate in marriage & family. Rollin’s first book, 2Grieve 2Gether: A Journal from the Heart Helping Survivors and Supporters Navigate the Healing Process earned her a 2012 NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Literary Work by a Debut Author.
3:45 to 4:15 p.m.
Educating, Not Selling
Coleen Ellis, CPLP
You might be thinking... "I don’t really want to educate my prospects. I just want them to buy something!" But the first step of a successful sale is educating people about your product or service. In this session, Coleen Ellis will share how looking at sales as "education" will allow you to view the process in an incredibly positive light. You'll learn techniques for selling both B2B and B2C. Find out:
Coleen Ellis, CPLP, is founder and president of Two Hearts Pet Loss Center in Greenwood, Indiana, and is co-chair of the Pet Loss Professionals Alliance. In 2007, she founded Pet Angel Memorial Center, the first stand-alone pet funeral home in the U.S. Prior to founding Pet Angel, Ellis spent nearly her entire professional career in the human death-care industry, specializing in preneed sales. Her experience includes: vice president of sales & marketing for Newcomer Funeral Service Group, national sales manager of Cornerstone Preneed, and 11 years at Forethought Financial Services, Inc., wrapping up her career there as a national account executive where she was widely recognized as one of the top preneed sales professionals in the nation, complete with receiving the company’s top President’s Club Award.
4:15 to 5 p.m.
Personal Empowerment, Execution and Development
Part motivational, part "how-to," Anthony Iannarino will wrap up day one of the conference and give you some food for thought and tips on how to actually execute all that you learn. You’ll be armed with great ideas that could transform your life and the sales and marketing functions of your company. In the right hands, the ideas are worth millions in sales. In the wrong hands, they’re worthless. Dare to be great!
Friday, January 16
8:30 to 9:30 a.m.
Tech Tock Goes the Clock: A Technology Breakfast Panel
Would be making by integrating technology into your marketing plan! This session includes some of the greatest innovators in our profession today. A Q&A session will follow as time permits.
Leveraging Mobile Technology for Your Cemetery
Nick Timpe, moderator
Nick Timpe will guide you through best practices and case studies of how cemeteries across America are currently using mobile technology in diverse ways to reinvent their image in the public eye, create new revenue streams, offer higher levels of customer service and empower their sales staff. This session will cover a range of applications, from free iOS and Android apps to custom apps built by cemeteries. Attendees will be equipped with free apps to download from app stores and strategies for creating their own mobile apps for their business.
Nick Timpe is director of sales and marketing at webCemeteries.com, a company offering custom technology solutions to cemeteries and funeral homes. Timpe is a frequent industry speaker, article contributor, a cemetery technology instructor at Notre Dame University, and is a member of the ICCFA Sales & Marketing Committee and the Catholic Cemetery Technology Committee.
Case Study: Spring Grove’s Facebook Presence
Are you doing everything you can to build your company’s ties in the community? Is your organization the first one that families think of in a time of need? Learn how you may do both through Facebook. Public relations specialist Debbie Budke will share with you some techniques that have worked for Spring Grove Cemetery. By the end of this class, you’ll walk away with the knowledge and actionable advice necessary to grow your Facebook fan base and dramatically increase its engagement and effectiveness.
Debbie Budke is public relations manager for Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Facebook + Email: The Dynamic Duo of Digital Marketing
Effectively marketing your firm via Facebook and email is critical to winning market share in today’s digital environment. And when used together, their power is magnified. Through real-world examples, funeral and cemetery professionals will learn a detailed gameplan for marketing themselves on Facebook and through email, including:
• how to effectively grow, engage and target your community on Facebook
• how to deploy and distribute an effective email marketing campaign
• best practices for increasing your email open rate and reducing unsubscribes
• how to combine your online channels into a coherent marketing strategy
• how to maximize the results from your sales message without turning people off
By the end of this session, you will have actionable knowledge for growing your Facebook and email marketing strategy and dramatically expand your customer base.
Greg Young is a co-founder of Funeral Innovations and brings broad software experience to the death care industry. Previously, Young was a software engineer at IBM where he received over 10 patents pending, while also gaining experience with technical sales consultant at IBM. He majored in computer engineering at Iowa State University.
Moving Your Seminars Online To Increase Consumer Education and Generate More Leads
Seminars are a very popular marketing activity and a great way to generate qualified leads, increase your brand recognition and educate consumers about funeral services. But by moving your seminars online, you can increase the number of leads generated and educate consumers about your services, while decreasing the expense associated with live seminars. Hear how you may convert your current seminar into a webinar, how to coordinate registration, the software options and best practices to make your webinars more successful.
Mike Regina’s family has been in the cemetery business for more than 60 years. He has a bachelor’s degree in information systems and a MBA in online marketing. Regina has more than six years of experience with death care lead generation and email marketing. His company, FuneralDecisions.com, specializes in funeral home and cemetery lead generation along with software solutions to help maximize sales and marketing.
9:30 to 9:45 a.m.
9:45 to 11 a.m.
Sales Communication Skills A to Z
Learn the language of sales from Nancy Friedman (The Telephone DoctorTM), an expert in capturing and navigating the customer contact from lead to sale. From soup to nuts, front to back, and A to Z, this dynamic and interactive program is bursting with tips, skills and techniques you’ll use forever. Coupled with Friedman’s electric energy, this session is sure to stick with you for a long time to come. Whether you’re a seasoned sales executive or just starting out, you’ll walk out of this session prepared to handle every sales situation like a pro.
Your company spends big bucks to make their phones ring and attract prospective customers. If those contacts aren’t handled just right, that money is wasted. Friedman will pack this session with her unique insights and techniques to ensure you never waste another dollar of your marketing budget.
Friedman will share nuggets of wisdom she’s learned over the years, like:
There will also be an invaluable Q&A at the end that is worth the entire program.
Nancy Friedman is founder and president of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training. Telephone Doctor continues to grow and now includes ServiceSkills.com, an eLearning platform offering 91 training modules on customer service, customer loyalty, communications, internal customer service, sales training, and management & leadership programs. Corporate America has embraced Friedman’s teachings, including Subway, Goodyear and Dish Network.
11 a.m. to Noon
Serve More, Sell More
Dan Lodermeier & West Foulger
Sit back and get ready to be engaged and entertained while you learn the right way and the wrong way to provide great service. You will receive reinforcement on the things that you do well and will walk away with ideas to implement immediately. Dan Lodermeier and West Foulger, with cemetery, funeral and supplier experience, will focus on the following elements and more:
West Foulger has been with Larkin Mortuaries Cemeteries, a family-owned firm in Utah, for more than five years. His experience includes working with a small SCI firm in Oregon, at multiple funeral home and cemetery locations in Oregon, Nebraska and Utah, and as an area sales executive for Stewart Enterprises overseeing the preneed funeral and cemetery program in Nebraska and Iowa.
Dan Lodermeier joined Homesteaders in 1991 as the firm’s first ever account executive. Today, as vice president of field sales, he is responsible for setting and expecting the goals and services provided of nearly 40 sales professionals. Lodermeier and his team provide support to funeral home owners across the country. In addition to being a certified preplanning consultant, he earned a bachelor degree in sociology from the University of Northern Iowa.
Prizes and Closing Remarks