I have been inundated with messages from funeral home owners about some of the “year end deals” that have been presented in the last week. Many questioned why we must be subject to the fiscal whims of the suppliers, i.e., most funeral homes operated the fiscal year January-December…so is this really the “end of the year?”
One of my favorites was a particular firm had two open spaces on their casket display. While their supplier representative was paying him a visit, the rep said that he would call in for a reorder to fill the open spots. The owner asked the rep what the new product lines are that he would like to try something new and “less pricey” because it seemed to take forever to sell the two that are now gone. The rep explained there are going to be some new products out, but those won’t be available until after “the show” in October. The rep again said he would just call in an order for the two empty spaces…the owner told him “not so fast, I told you I want to display something less expensive.”
That’s where the fun began. The rep explained that he had some “special year end discounts” which would make the exact replacements less costly. The owner pushed back with the issue that it took a while to sell those two off, and he was interested in something new/less costly (the owner said it was as if he was talking to a tree, no listening for the rep). The rep finally showed the owner a line of caskets that had high eye appeal, less costly “but would not count towards their current discount, rebate or “numbers” as the rep put it. The owner selected and purchased two of the “special line” of caskets after doing the math of less net wholesale cost, same margin as the two that were being replaced, and lower retail cost to the consumer that would make the purchase which had a better propensity for turn.
The deflated rep took the order knowing the trend is inevitable…math is dictating the business. Please keep sending the “it’s that time of year” stories related to “let’s make a casket deal.” I feel an article coming in the future about “buyer beware” on casket contracts…Cheers y’all! #thefuneralcommander