Wide World of Sales - ICCFA's Sales Management & Marketing Conference

6 to 7 p.m.  
Welcome Reception  


8:30 to 9 a.m.  
Recognize Top Sales Leaders and Everyday Sales Heroes
9 to 10:30 a.m.
Don Cooper, Five Keys to Selling in Tough Times

Selling in a good economy is easy. Selling in a bad economy can be a lot more challenging. But there are still sales to be made. The only question is, will they be made by you or your competitors? In this practical, no-holds-barred presentation, "Sales Heretic" Don Cooper will share with you:

  • How to deal with diminished budgets
  • What matters most in a bad economy
  • Why your price isn’t your real problem
  • Where and how to find new clients now
  • How to get a huge edge over your competition
  • What you should be doing less of and more of
  • How to uncover new sales opportunities
  • Why a positive attitude can actually work against you
  • How to get people to stop delaying and make a decision
  • Where to invest your time, money and energy for maximum returns

Don Cooper is a "Sales Heretic" who will challenge you to defy everyday tactics and use original thinking to boost your sales performance.

He has experience selling both to businesses and directly to consumers, including door-to-door sales. In his most recent position, he led his company to a 38 percent growth in business for a delivery service in a competitive market. He has acted on stage and film and appeared in the Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus and even performed at the legendary comedy club The Improv. Learn more about Cooper and his sales techniques at www.doncooper.com.

10:30 to 10:50 a.m.  
10:50 to 11 a.m.  
Great Ideas and Everyday Sales Heroes  
11 to 11:30 a.m.
Ty Lohman, Lead Generation: The Power of 3

Ty Lohman asks his sales counselors on a daily basis: "What recession?"

Lohman Family Properties has experienced its highest preneed sales volumes ever during this recession. So put down your newspaper and turn off your TV. It’s time to put all that talk about the economy behind you and get back to the basics!

In this session, Ty will show you how the Power of 3 has affected his company and his community. This "third power" has grown to unbelievable proportions through the use of multiple and effective lead systems. You’ll leave with 10 lead systems that you can take back to increase your sales volume... guaranteed!

Ty Lohman is vice president of Lohman Funeral Homes, Cemeteries and Cremation, with six funeral homes and four cemeteries in Daytona Beach, Florida, and the surrounding area. He has served on the board of directors of the Florida Cemetery, Funeral and Cremation Association and is a graduate of Florida State University.

11:30 a.m. to Noon
Mark Russell, Sales Survival Tactics: Five Lessons from Katrina

Sales Director and Hurricane Katrina survivor Mark Russell will teach you five valuable action steps you can use before, during and after an economic downturn to succeed and to lay the foundation for sales and marketing growth. You'll learn how to:

  • Develop and implement a master plan... and the sub-plans needed to truly gauge the up-to-the-minute success of the plan. This entails not just your overall marketing plan, but also a multicultural marketing plan, a community impact plan and a "Plan B" plan.
  • Weatherproof your sales and your individual sales blueprint. "Prepare to win, or lose to someone who does." Discover the difference between winning and whining.
  • Improve your network. It’s not who you know... it's who knows you! Find out how and where to network.
  • Use creativity to differentiate and dominate during the storm. Think unfunded preneeds, continual care, better bereavement follow-up, focus groups, etc.
  • Increase testimonials. When you say something about yourself, it’s bragging, but when someone else says it about you, it’s proof. We’ll look at the difference between advertising and testimonial advertising and how to make testimonials work for you and your company.

Mark A. Russell is director of sales & operations at Resthaven Gardens of Memory Cemetery & Funeral Home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He has an extensive background in funeral home and cemetery sales, marketing and operations. He is a guest lecturer for Delgado Community College School of Mortuary Science (New Orleans campus) and has given many presentations to boards of directors, sales conferences, college classes and at American Marketing Association events.

Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Managers Luncheon -or- Lunch with Gary O’Sullivan (counselors only—see below)

Gary O'Sullivan, CCFE, one of the greatest sales heroes of our time, began selling preneed door-to-door as a teenager and today has become the most well known sales instructor and motivator in our profession.

The Thursday Counselor Lunch with Gary O will give your counselor a new outlook on sales as not just a job, but as a career and a calling.

O'Sullivan is known for his passion and dedication to sales and prearrangement and his incredible ability to teach and inspire. At this special luncheon, he will share his secrets for increasing sales volume through higher productivity and improved service.

Give your top sellers and your future leaders the recognition they deserve by sending them to this inspirational and rewarding event.

Note: Space for this luncheon is limited and will be made available to counselors on a first-come, first-served basis. Please be sure to check the appropriate box on your registration form.

1:30 to 3 p.m.



Speed Sales, moderated by John Bolton, CCE, and Mike Hays

It doesn't get any more fast-paced than this. You'll learn 15 sales skills in 90 minutes, presented in an interactive speed-dating format.

The ICCFA Sales & Marketing Committee, made up of top experts in our profession, will be your "dates" for the afternoon. As you circulate from table to table, you'll learn 15 five-minute lessons designed to help you take your sales approach and presentation to the next level.

Among the topics:

  • Body language
  • Listening skills
  • Relationship building
  • Appointment setting
  • Cremation sales
  • Engaging prospecting
  • Presentation materials
1:30 to 2:15 p.m.
Paul Seyler, The Wrong Tool For The Wrong Job—Why Deathcare Marketing Fails to Deliver

Dollar for dollar, marketing in the deathcare business produces lower results than we've found in any other industry. Despite increased spending, ad recall is lower, brands are weaker and customer loyalty is eroding faster than in other service businesses.

In this session, you will:

  • Learn about the two separate marketing jobs that have to be done, and why firms fail whenever they mix them up
  • Learn why most deathcare media buys include so much waste, and what can be done to fix them
  • Learn why many of the common marketing messages are irrelevant (or even destructive) and what we can do about it

Since 1993, Paul Seyler has headed Competitive Resources, Inc., a marketing firm with core strengths in research, strategy development, brand management and creative services. The firm has successfully executed projects for a wide range of clients. Prior to forming Competitive Resources, Seyler 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.

2:15 to 3 p.m.
Jeff Gould, Marketing Case Studies: Brilliance or Blunder? (You Decide!)

Not every marketing campaign can be a winner, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try! Sales manager and marketing director Jeff Gould has struck out many times, but he's hit a few homeruns, too.

Can you figure out which of his company's efforts were brilliant and which were blunders? In this session, Jeff will:

  • Lay out more than a dozen of his "genius" marketing ideas from the past six years, examining them one at a time, step by step.
  • Ask you to take a look at each idea and decide whether you think it actually worked (this is harder than you think!).
  • Give you the (sometimes humiliating) results of each campaign and the lessons learned.

If you believe you can learn from others' mistakes, this is the seminar for you! This seminar will feature tons of handouts, examples and how-to information.

Jeff Gould is sales manager and marketing director of The Care Group, which handles the pre-planning and pre-funding of funerals for George Boom Funeral Home and Miller Funeral Home in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He is a past South Dakota Broadcaster of the Year, Distinguished Sales and Marketing Award winner, Staples Invention Quest finalist, Addy Award winner for creative advertising, participant in the Sioux Empire Community Theatre, writer and publisher for six newsletters and author of a book on the history of the cemetery where he works. In addition to his work, he is the host of a regional radio program that runs on 10 stations in the four-state area.

3 to 3:20 p.m.  
3:20 to 4 p.m.
Pat Downey, Power Presenting in the Real World

Every professional salesperson in our industry invests hours of their time prospecting, mailing, calling, scheduling, and preparing... all for those magic moments when we can tell our story to a qualified consumer.

Many things have changed in the arena of prearrangement selling. But one thing remains the same: It takes a purposeful, professional and powerful presentation to gain and retain a new customer.

So, what does that presentation look like? What core components and key elements can make your presentation connect with today's demanding consumer? What is the Platinum Rule of Presenting?

In this fast-paced session, Pat Downey will present hands-on, how-to techniques for power presenting that will help you gain new customers now.

Patrick R. Downey, CCE, is director of sales and marketing for Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is the founder and principal of the Downey Group, a sales and marketing consulting company. He began his career in 1979 at Wisconsin Memorial Park as a preneed counselor. Since that time he has directed the efforts of successful sales teams throughout the country. He was formerly vice president of sales and marketing for Palm Cemeteries, Mortuaries and Crematories in Las Vegas; vice president of sales for Memorial Park Inc. of Memphis, Tennessee; and vice president of marketing for Carriage Services. He is an ICCFA past president and served as chancellor of the ICCFA University from 1996-2000.

8:45 to 9 a.m.  
Welcome, Announcements and Everyday Sales Heroes  
9 to 10:30 a.m.  
Victor Antonio, Sell More Through Response Block Selling

Sales counselors are forever practicing how to overcome objections to close the sale. The reality is, the sale will almost close itself if you can remove, or better yet, block, those objections up front.

In this session, Victor Antonio will show you a new method of presenting that will reduce your clients' sales resistance to your product and at the same time increase their acceptance of what you’re selling.

Victor will present examples of common objections and then show you how to use the Response Blocking system to minimize and discard each of them, thereby reducing the buyer's resistance. Forget overcoming objections; learn how to prevent them from occurring in the first place!

Victor Antonio's poor upbringing in one of the roughest areas of Chicago didn't stop him from earning a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and an MBA, building a 20-year career as a top sales executive and becoming chief executive officer of a multimillion-dollar high-tech company.

As president of global sales and marketing for a $420 million corporation, Victor was tasked with building a global sales force, establishing contract agreements, developing financial pricing models, developing the corporate brand and marketing the company's services for worldwide acceptance. Before that, as vice president of international sales for a Fortune 500 company, Victor grew the business in 2.5 years from $14M to $98M in annual revenue. During that time period, his sales totals were $162M and he was selected from more than 500 sales managers to join the President’s Advisory Council for excellence in sales and management.

Find out more about Antonio at www.salesinfluence.com.


10:30 to 10:45 a.m.

10:45 to 11 a.m.  
Great Ideas and Everyday Sales Heroes  
11 to 11:30 a.m.
Nectar Ramirez, Cremation Arrangements: The GRASP Method

Helping families select a service with cremation is the first step toward preserving the value of funeral and burial services. Batesville Casket Company developed the GRASP cremation sales model based on interviews with more than 1,000 funeral service professionals across North America as well as a review of key selling practices used in other industries.

GRASP uses a question-based approach that builds the need to honor the life of the deceased. With GRASP you will:

  • Gain trust
  • Reflect on a life well lived
  • Assume a service
  • Select containers
  • Personalize

You'll find tremendous power in engaging cremation families emotionally prior to presenting your services and products.

Nectar L. Ramirez is the general manager for Options, the cremation products section of Batesville Casket Company. Previously, she served as Batesville’s director of market research and as sales director for the metro New York/New Jersey/Connecticut region. Prior to joining Batesville, Ramirez worked for Corporate Executive Board as a consultant identifying and teaching best practices to Fortune 500 companies in sales, marketing and human resources, with clients such as Hewlett Packard, Ford, 3M, Lockheed Martin and GE. She holds a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

11:30 a.m. to Noon
Vickie Zimmerman, Cremation Sales: Adding Value Through Graveside Celebrations
sponsored by Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc.

Everything we need to help a family see value in a permanent placement of cremated remains is right in front of us. We've been looking over it and through it but have missed the most important part of the process: the family's participation to make it theirs. Participation is personalization.

In this session, award-winning sales manager and representative Vickie Zimmerman will show you how to create a celebration and participatory event for families burying their loved ones' cremated remains. This in turn opens up a world of opportunities for funeral directors, preneed counselors and cemetery personnel. Assisting each family in developing their very own graveside celebration service can lead to a higher rate of at-need point-of-purchase sales. When a family comes in for a second right of interment for cremated remains, the celebration graveside service is a value to each family member.

With more and more families choosing to switch their purchased cemetery property to dual cremation interments, this presents an excellent opportunity to open up the door to a personalized service to accommodate them and their shared spaces.

Vickie Zimmerman has served as marketing and sales manager for Arnold-Wilbert Corporation for 15 years. Prior to joining Wilbert, she was a Batesville sales representative for six years and was recognized as the company's 1992 International Rookie of the Year. She is a past president of the Cremation Association of North Carolina, a former board member of the Cremation Association of North America and is chairman of Wilbert's IdeaWerks Committee. She was named a Regional Sales Person of the Year for Wilbert in 1996, 2000, 2002, 2007 and 2008, received the company's award for "Most Valuable Player" in 2000 and 1996, and was a Bronze Circle Award winner in 1997.

Noon to 1:30 p.m.  
Lunch on your own  
1:30 to 1:40 p.m.  
Great Ideas and Everyday Sales Heroes  
1:40 to 2:10 p.m.
Michael Miller, 25 Ways to Close the Sale

It's where all sales go to die: "We're going to think about it."

Why do sales counselors often fail at the very place they desire to be: the close? In this interactive presentation, Michael Miller will examine sample challenges to closing the sale and provide the proven solutions on which he built his successful preneed sales career. And all are based on one concept: "He who serves best, profits most."

Don't miss this "how to" session, and be sure to save some extra room in your suitcase as you'll take away a handbook with the 25 closes, 100 topics for your sales team meetings, and a package with hands-on information regarding prospecting, breaking a slump, team building and more.

Michael Miller is general manager of Rose Lawn Memorial Park in Tyler, Texas. Previously, he was a sales manager and a Circle of Diamonds winner with the Loewen Group Inc.

2:10 to 3:30 p.m.






Sales Superstars: Secrets of their Success

Panel featuring:
• Doug Gober, moderator
• Bob Gordon
• Bob McConneghy
• Gary O'Sullivan
• Dick Perl

Ever wish you could spend an afternoon with the top minds in our industry? Don't miss this panel interview with four legends of our profession, experts who are the best of the best at cemetery, cremation and funeral sales.

Moderated by Doug Gober, our Sales Superstars panel will share their top advice regarding:

  • prospecting
  • warming up
  • setting appointments
  • answering objections
  • closing
  • and more.

Bob Gordon, CCFE, CCrE, CSE, is managing director of Eternal Hills Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home in Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Bob McConneghy is director of advance planning for Centinela Group in Agoura Hills, California.

Gary O'Sullivan, CCFE, is president of the Gary O'Sullivan Company in Winter Garden, Florida.

Dick Perl, CCFE, is director of marketing and sales for Mobile Memorial Gardens in Mobile, Alabama.

Moderator Doug Gober is executive director of Matthews Casket Division in Kenner, Louisiana.

3:30 p.m.  

For more information, please contact the ICCFA Meetings Department:
107 Carpenter Drive, Suite 100 | Sterling, Virginia 20164
Telephone: 703.391.8400 | Toll Free: 800.645.7700 | Fax: 703.391.8416