The realities!

Ed Horn's picture


It is a New Year that continues to offer little hope to many of our families. Those who have been unemployed or are currently working at a job they would love to forget fight depression and sadness that blinds them to any positive developments. Reality is where you find your feet!
It appears that some reporters believe that the dire economic circumstances dictate increased cremations rather than traditional burials. Yet we do not see the increase that should be expected. Rather those who would never consider cremation remain adamantly opposed while those who view cremation positively include financial benefits in their reasoning.
The economic tsunami hit in mid 2008. The following year was gloomy and hard fought to stabilize a world in turmoil but we enjoyed gains that brought the Cemetery almost back to the pre-disaster days of 2008. 2010 was remarkably an excellent year and this year has begun surprisingly strong particularly considering the inordinate snowfall and frigid temperatures.
I have long been an advocate of a commissioned sales force that has the security and support of a Sales Manager who comprehends he lives in two conflicting worlds. The Sales Manager has an obligation to the institution that has entrusted him to run sales in the manner and image that reflects his or her beliefs. The Sales Manager also stands with the sales counselors insulating them from the abuses and greed of those in position above them who believe as salaried employees that no one has earned the right to take home more money than them. 
I am a Sales Manager who also is the Director of Marketing and Community Services. The tentacles of sales know of no limit and touch every aspect of any business wherein income is derived from selling. The position is one that requires a commitment that knows of no off days and too many late evenings working with and for the community. A great Sales Manager becomes the face of the business regardless of who on the organizational chart appears above.  
Circuit City thought the way many Boards do which in the end spelled the bankruptcy of the business. In our profession there are stories upon stories of the majors demeaning their sales force, discharging Sales Managers seeking to improve their bottom line by eliminating the high income achievers. Yet in so doing one must question the real benefits achieved. After all which of the majors have enjoyed increased stock value or appreciation among their employees in what is said off site? It is hard for me to recall engaging in any conversation about a major that could be repeated to an officer of the business.


To prove your point about commissioned sales people, on January 1 we converted from a majority base salary with a maximum bonus of 30% of base pay, to a much smaller (about 40%) base pay, with commissions and NO CAP. We have already made the months target in units and dollars, and have sold more niches (which we pay 5% versus 1% for crypts) than any time in the past three years.

Ed Horn's picture

The following appeared on the web today as the stupiest thing said by a boss to a commissioned sales rep:

1. "Years ago, I was a commissioned salesperson. My boss said to me, 'It's really hard on my ego that you're making so much money.'" -- Bonnie Harris, Wax Marketing