Everyday, members of our team are visiting funeral homes across the country promoting the value of a well thought out and executed preneed program. And everyday, they are met with the same concerns about what such a preneed program entails.
Most funeral professionals will agree that preneed provides families with numerous benefits, not the least of which are the emotional and financial relief afforded to families when such a plan is in place. However, what is the most effective way to promote preneed to families in your community? That is where some differences in opinion may arise.
Some funeral directors are happy to leave it up to the family and wait for them to come to them. At PFP, we tout a more active approach, employing various marketing tactics to reach families and educate them on the benefits of planning ahead.
When discussing our programs with funeral homes across the country, we are often met with the same, albeit valid, concerns. The top 5 concerns we hear everyday are presented below, along with how a preneed program, when methodically implemented, can alleviate each of these concerns.
1. “An active preneed program is too aggressive and puts unnecessary pressure on families.“
It’s not hard to see why this is a top concern among funeral directors. As a funeral director, you feel very protective of the families you serve (rightfully so) and the thought of someone knocking on doors, bothering families to talk about their impending demise just does not sound like something you want to be associated with. We don’t blame you.
That’s why a good preneed program will not rely on such aggressive tactics for the sake of sales. A good preneed program provides informative material to families and then waits for them to ask for more. You essentially wait for families to “raise their hand” to ask for more information about pre-planning their funeral. They raise their hand because they have decided they are interested in learning more about how preneed can help them and their families. As a result, your funeral home gets qualified inquiries you otherwise wouldn’t have gotten from families with a genuine interest in speaking with you. It’s a win-win.
2. “How much does a preneed program like this cost?”
Cost, like with any product offering, is another top concern. The good news here is that at PFP, we are often willing to front the cost of our preneed marketing program because we believe in it that much and the results, based on past performance in our 40-year history, speak for themselves.
Speaking of results . . .
3. “It sounds like you are over-promising on the results a preneed program can deliver.”
Often, when we talk about the performance you can expect from a carefully measured and implemented preneed program, it sounds too good to be true. We get it, we really do. But the results really do speak for themselves. Just check out our success stories for proof.
One of our clients, Wages & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematories, in Georgia is just one example. “They have taken our program in under 24 months from an average of around $400,000 annually to be on track this year to do $1.8 million in net preneed business,” says President & CEO Jeffrey Wages.
With our family background in funeral service and a 40-year history comprised of constant researching, testing, and refining, we have figured out what works. And not just in a blanketed approach. We implement systems that are tailored to work most effectively for funeral homes of all sizes in all different kinds of markets. It’s all about testing, measuring, and refining to ensure we are providing funeral homes with the best program for their firm.
4. “I’m afraid there will be a lack of communication after signing up with the program.”
There’s nothing more annoying or frustrating than signing up for a service only to never hear from the provider again. Or to get just the bare minimum level of customer service. That’s why we promise to be with you every step of the process, before, during, and after. Here’s what you can expect from our team:
We provide you with all of the necessary materials and resources you need to ensure the program is a success. Additionally, we provide comprehensive one-on-one training to preneed counselors so they know the key to a successful preneed presentation. We leave no stone unturned because we know what it takes for the program to work, down to every little detail.
Throughout the marketing campaign, we provide you with real-time data, so you can assess how the program is working for you. We are not a one-stop shop for preneed marketing materials that we leave for you to figure out on your own. We enter into a partnership where we run the program together. It’s our marketing expertise matched with your funeral home brand to create programs that resonate with families.
After a marketing campaign or event has concluded, together we discuss the success of the program and what changes, if any, can be made going forward to ensure even greater future success.
5. “I hear what you’re saying, but I think I can do this myself.”
You of course are entitled to run your preneed program the way you want to. However, why add more work for yourself? it is our experience that our partner funeral homes appreciate the opportunity to leave the hard work to us, so you can concentrate on what you do best, serving families at their time of need. We’ve been doing this for a long time, and as a result have found systems that work for funeral homes and that work for families. Try us out, and if you aren’t satisfied with the results, we can go our separate ways. No hard feelings.
If any of your own preneed concerns fall into any of the above categories, we hope we were able to alleviate some of them for you. Want to know more about how we can help your funeral home grow its market share and increase your preneed volume, thus increasing the long term profitability of your firm? Contact us for a free market analysis and to discuss what and how our programs can work for you. We’re ready when you are!