2012 Wide World of Sales Conference

 Overview    |    Program    |    Registration    |    Hotel


THANK YOU TO OUR CORPORATE PARTNERS:  Ad Direct, Inc. • Homesteaders Life Co. • Service Corporation International• Forethought Financial Services • Assurant Solutions • NorthStar Memorial Group, LLC • Stewart Enterprises • Matthews International Corporation • NGL Insurance Group • Arbor Memorial Services, Inc. • Cold Spring Granite • Foundation Partners Group • Funeral Directors Life Insurance Co. • Funeral Services, Inc. (FSI) • Biondan North America • iMortuary


January 18

6-7 p.m.
Welcome Reception

January 19

7:45 a.m.

8-8:20 a.m.
First Timers’ Orientation
Ken Coffey

Is this your first ICCFA Wide World of Sales Conference? Don’t miss this valuable intro to the event. Find out what you can expect to see, hear and do and get some great advice on how to make the most of your time so that you can put what you’ve learned to use on Monday.

Ken Coffey is vice president-sales for Forethought Financial Group in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is a member of the ICCFA Sales & Marketing Committee and served as program co-chair of the Wide World of Sales in 2011. A former Washington Redskin with a Super Bowl championship to his name, he understands the importance of training and preparation as part of a winning game plan.

8:30 a.m.
Welcome and Announcements
ICCFA President Ken Varner, CCFE; ICCFA Sales & Marketing Committee Chair John Bolton, CCE; Program Co-Chairs Ty Lohman and Kim Medici Shelquist


8:40 - 10 a.m.
How to Win an Unfair Fight: What the Top 1 Percent Do Differently
Garrison Wynn

This entertaining keynote, based on more than 10 years of research in a variety of industries (including funeral service), will show you how top performers harness the power of their advantages even when the odds are not in their favor.

Business relationship expert and bestselling author Garrison Wynn delivers a high-impact program that answers two monumental questions:  How do you get people to do what you want them to do, and how can you get better results from the difficult people you encounter along the way? 

Among the things you’ll learn:

• the most important factors separating the top 1 percent from everyone else

• how to build trust in 5-10 seconds

• how to break through rigid belief systems and get people to see things differently

• how to reduce resistance to change

• the most important question you need to ask your prospect

• how to get & stay motivated

• how to work with difficult people (even if one is your boss)

You’ll walk out of this session with real-world techniques you can use to increase your sales immediately.

10-10:15 a.m.

10:15-10:45 a.m.
It Takes Two to Tango: Why Funeral Homes and Cemeteries Have to Help Each Other
Paul Seyler

Funeral directors and cemeterians are like dog people and cat people—you almost never catch them hanging out together of their own free will. If we want to make the most of our limited opportunities to serve our communities, that has to change. This presentation will take a look at how funeral homes can add dollars to the cemetery’s total contract and vice versa. We’ll target current approaches to products, presentation tools and compensation and show how real change can add up to real sales.

Paul Seyler is president of Competitive Resources Inc., a marketing firm with core strengths in research, strategy development, brand management and creative services. Prior to forming Competitive Resources in 1993, Paul spent 10 years in marketing and strategic planning with firms in real estate and financial services. He has spoken to industry groups nationwide on a broad range of marketing and strategic planning issues.

O'Sullivan Shipper

10:45-11:15 a.m.
Sales Success: Secrets Revealed
Gary O’Sullivan, CCFE, and David Shipper

From the creators and authors of The System, the profession’s only complete preneed selling method, Gary O’Sullivan and David Shipper share some startling discoveries. After three years of development and four years of implementation and after tracking hundreds of counselors for thousands of hours, the secrets to predictable, manageable and repeatable sales success has been discovered.

In this session you will learn:

• What most managers focus on and why it’s wrong 

• The secret number that drives sales success 

• The five variables that will determine sales volume

• How to make your sales predictable and repeatable  

• The game changer—the one thing that drives everything

Gary O’Sullivan, CCFE, is president of Gary O’Sullivan Company, a consulting firm specializing in strategic planning, development, management and leadership in sales and marketing and based in Winter Garden, Florida. He previously was a sales executive with Carriage Services. He is author of “PrinciplePower For Sales Success” and has produced many sales training DVDs and CDs.

David Shipper is president and CEO of companies that own and operate 42 cemetery and funeral home locations serving more than 12,000 families per year. Previously he served as a vice president and director of corporate development with Loewen Group International. He is an ICCFA past president.

11:15 a.m.-Noon
Filling Up Your Dance Card: It’s Called NetWORKing (Not Net-Socializing)
Michael Bohner

There is a lot more to networking than simply socializing, but many folks stop there.  This can be a very costly mistake.  In this presentation, Michael Bohner will show you how to go deeper into networking to develop meaningful collegial relationships, partner with like-minded professionals and generate business. You’ll also learn what (and who) to avoid when networking.

Michael Bohner is a district manager at Lohman Funeral Home Deland in Deland, Florida. Previously he served as general manager at Serenity Meadows Memorial Park, Funeral Home and Crematory in Riverview, Florida. Before becoming involved in the cemetery and funeral service profession, Michael was vice president/general manager for one of the largest independent jewelers in the United States. He is a member of the ICCFA Sales & Marketing Committee.

Noon-1:45 p.m.
Lunch & Learn Brainstorm Session
Facilitator: John Bolton, CCE

We’ll break into small groups of 10 for a networking luncheon and then a facilitated session where you and your colleagues will share sales and marketing best practices. Together you will brainstorm for solutions to some of the toughest problems we face in today’s market and you will select one great idea that your group will share onstage during Friday’s rapid-fire “40 Ideas in 40 Minutes Session.”

2-2:30 p.m.
Seminars: A Sizzling Source for Preneed Success
Nancy Lohman, CCFE

Seminars are one of the most effective lead-generation sources available to cemeteries and funeral homes … when they are structured and delivered well. In this session, lead-magnet Nancy Lohman will share her company’s secrets to successful seminars.

You’ll learn key pointers for improving your public speaking skills and discover how to avoid common pitfalls that can undermine your seminars’ success. In addition, you’ll receive three turnkey PowerPoint presentations that are designed to not only inform your audience but to inspire them to take action and preplan. These include:

• Honoring Our Veterans: Funeral & Burial Benefits – a presentation for members of VFWs, American Legions and other veteran organizations.

• An Evening of Thought: Creating Your Celebration of Life – designed for civic organizations and/or church communities.

• Are Your Affairs in Order? – a free program to encourage seniors to preplan.

In addition, Nancy will share several YouTube video links that will bring your audiences to heights of new emotion and stimulate them to action.

Along with her family, Nancy Lohman is owner of Lohman Funeral Homes, Cemeteries and Cremation, the largest private, family-owned operator of cemeteries and funeral homes in Florida. 

2:30-3 p.m.
Prospecting in Tough Times: A Drop-By Method That Works
Michael Crahan

When unemployment in the Phoenix, Arizona, area more than tripled from 3 percent to 10 percent, counselors at the Diocese of Phoenix Catholic Cemeteries and Mortuaries saw a corresponding drop in appointments, from an average of 10-15 per week down to three or four.

The diocese reevaluated its prospecting approach and developed the “CAKE EATERS” system—a method that takes the counselor from the Curb through a series of steps to the Start of the presentation.

In this session, Michael Crahan will share how this system brought his counselors’ appointments back up to previous levels. Discover how to turn hard-to-reach contacts into viable prospects. You’ll receive scripts to use both on the phone and at the front door as well as sample transitional statements. In addition, you’ll find out how the diocese relaxes the prospect at the start of the presentation using a simple $5.99 ice breaker.

Michael Crahan is director of sales and marketing for the Diocese of Phoenix Catholic Cemeteries and Mortuaries. Previously, he worked in a variety of positions with Service Corporation International and was a regional vice president of cemetery/funeral operations with Carriage Services. He is a member of the National Catholic Cemeteries Association Marketing Committee. 

3-3:15 p.m.

3:15-3:45 p.m.
The DRIP System of Preneed Sales
Heather Kiteley

Diversity, Repetition, Integrity and Persistence: These are the four foundations of preneed success your company needs for long-term, predictable growth.

In this session, Heather Kiteley will provide a proven, easy-to-follow system that will increase your preneed to at-need ratio, grow your portfolio at a manageable rate and establish your business as the expert in preneed in your community. You’ll learn:

• the four foundations of preneed success and how to make them work for you

• to diversify your lead sources

• how to build momentum in your preneed program

• how to prevent a disconnect between your at-need business and preneed program

• how to ensure constant and manageable growth now and through the boomer years. 

Heather Kiteley is a preneed manager for Guaranteed Funeral Deposits of Canada in Toronto, Ontario. Licensed as a funeral director for more than 18 years, she has diverse preneed experience working with both corporate and family-owned funeral homes, large and small, with varying portfolios up to and in excess of $10 million. She is a frequent contributor to the Canadian Funeral News Trade Magazine and has conducted workshops for the Funeral Service Association of Canada.

3:45 - 4:15 p.m.
Three Essential Steps to Communicating Your Value Proposition
Garrison Wynn
In this half-hour session, keynoter Garrison Wynn will return to the stage to dig deeper into the sales presentation, sharing his three-step process for effectively communicating your value proposition:

• Issue (the problem)

• Action (the solution)

• Impact (why the solution is valuable to the prospect)

The last of these steps is the most important, yet it is also the one most counselors fail to accomplish. You’ll discover how to make this system work for you, and you’ll collaborate with your fellow attendees to develop an actual example to use as a model.



January 20

8 a.m.

8:30-8:45 a.m.
Welcome and Announcements

8:45-10:15 a.m.
Getting Back into Rhythm: What to Do When You Start to Lose Control of the Sale
Paul Lushin
We’ve all been there. Your presentation to the family is going well, until somehow things take a turn and you feel yourself losing control of the sale. What do you do? How do you recover and steer the discussion back in the right direction?

In this session, Paul Lushin will share his expertise on how to gain and maintain control of the sale, from the beginning of the process through the end, without appearing to be a “pushy” salesperson. Do you:

• discount to win business even though it affects your bottom line?

• have low close ratios and long sales cycles that impact your cash flow?

• do too much “unpaid consulting,” wasting your valuable resources?

• tend to be more of a professional visitor than a salesperson?

• chase poor prospects too long instead of looking for new business?

It’s time to regain control of your sales process and your presentation.

Paul Lushin is owner of Lushin and Associates Inc., the largest sales training firm in the state of Indiana, serving a wide variety of clients, including Flanner & Buchanan funeral homes, cemeteries and cremation centers in Indianapolis. He previously served as a territory manager and a district manager with ECOLAB, a Fortune 500 company based in St. Paul, Minnesota.

10:15-10:30 a.m.

10:30-11 a.m.
Go Viral! Reaching Your Community Through Facebook
Zachary Garbow
Succeeding on Facebook requires more than just being there. A simple Facebook page for your company, when left alone, will collect more dust than followers. In order to “go viral,” your page must be interactive, engaging and exciting—adjectives most people don’t associate with funeral service!

Zack Garbow’s 2011 Wide World of Sales breakout session on social media left attendees excited and clamoring for more. In this session, he’ll dig deeper into today’s “sweet spot” of social media—Facebook—with an interactive how-to tutorial on how you can create and manage a Facebook page that delivers viral distribution, differentiates your brand and converts your followers into customers.

You’ll learn:

• why Facebook pages are critical to businesses today

• how to set up an effective Facebook page using microsites

• how to reach your followers where they spend the most time: in the news feed

• how to use the powerful “reveal tab” technique

• how to apply viral hooks to gain distribution

• how to use Facebook ads for inexpensive, hyper-targeted promotion

• what’s next with Facebook and social media

• how to use the Social Director, a custom Facebook application that automatically keeps your page’s followers engaged and informed.

Zach Garbow is co-founder of Funeral Innovations, a technology firm specializing in web-based solutions for the funeral service industry. He previously was a software engineer within IBM Research, where he gained more than 100 patents pending and earned the title of Master Inventor, becoming the youngest Master Inventor in the history of the company. He was accepted into the prestigious Y Combinator startup program, where he developed social media products in Silicon Valley while networking with the giants of the startup world, including the founders of Twitter, Ning and Gmail.

11-11:45 a.m.
40 Ideas in 40 Minutes
It’s time for you to take the stage! Each of the groups from Thursday afternoon’s brainstorming session will send up one member to present their one-minute idea or best practice. Our judges will select the top three ideas, and then the audience will vote for the winner.

11:45 a.m. -1:15 p.m.
Lunch on your own

1:15-2 p.m.
Preneed Cremations: Embrace the Opportunity
Nicki Wiedeman
Are you caught in a negative cremation mindset? It’s time to change your thinking!

This session will reveal the many opportunities cremation can bring to your preneed sales. You will:

• understand cremation research and statistics … and what they mean to us as salespeople

• learn how your approach toward cremation customers can affect your cremation preneed sales

• obtain the tools you need to build effective preneed cremation talking points and presentation pieces

• discover how to become the “cremation specialist” in your market

• understand the importance of tracking your cremation success

Adjust your attitude, and build your average cremation preneed sale.

Nicole Wiedeman is a sales and marketing consultant with Forethought University and Forethought Life Insurance Co., Indianapolis, Indiana. She has been with Forethougt for 21 years and has partnered with many funeral firms to help them build an active preneed program.  Her current assignment is providing consulting and training to customers through the Forethought University. She is a member of the ICCFA Sales and Marketing Committee and was co-chair of the 2004 ICCFA Sales and Marketing Conference.

2-2:30 p.m.
Cremation Is Our Future, Not Our Nemesis
Jim March
With cremation becoming more and more in demand each year, it is foolish for us as an industry to continue to try to talk the public out of it or persuade them to purchase the options we want to sell rather than what they are asking for. In this presentation, Jim March will show how you can make money marketing cremation cemetery property while truly serving your clients as a professional.

He’ll provide comparisons of old and new cutting-edge marketing programs and will share samples of marketing pieces and letters that can be tailored to your company’s needs. Transform your company into a cremation leader.

Jim March is eastern region director of sales support for Carriage Services. He is a third-generation cemeterian and has been selling cemetery property for 38 years. Recently, he worked on the development of numerous cremation gardens at a new cemetery in San Diego, helping the company achieve more than $1.5 million in sales each year with fewer than 200 annual burials.

Burn Gober Ramirez

Cremation Crash Course: Don’t Leave Vegas Without It!
Julie Burn, CCrE, CSE,  Doug Gober and Nectar Ramirez
No one wants to leave money on the table. Join cremation specialists Julie A. Burn, Doug Gober and Nectar Ramirez as they propose the minimum daily requirements you must achieve for cremation success.  

This fast-paced program will show you how to attract today’s cremation customers, connect with them during the arrangement conference and help them develop a lasting tribute for their loved one.

3:15-3:30 p.m.
Closing and Prizes