I have often posted and shared thoughts, experiences, successes and failures of being a funeral industry entrepreneur; for example Funeral Industry Entrepreneur and Funeral Entrepreneur? The path is paved with all sorts of challenges however I thrive on teamwork, critical thinking, beta testing, along with continuous improvement. For those fellow stalwarts that do the same, bravo my fellow comrades! But this post is to call out and challenge the “posers” that are emerging around us. As defined by the Urban Dictionary–
Poser: 1. one who pretends to be someone whose not. 2. who tries to fit in but with exaggeration
As Social Media provides a platform for anyone to share information, whether the information provided is correct has no relevance to building their audiences. Even more interesting, when the background and experience of such a person is further vetted, we are surprised by the lack any credentials whatsoever to position themselves as an authority.
There are copious examples to undermine the theory that in order to create something fantastic relevant to the funeral industry that one should be a licensed funeral director, and I’m not advocating such. What I am describing fits into one or more of these:
- No formal death care or funeral service education.
- Never worked actively at a funeral home in any capacity.
- Does not regularly participate or observe in person funeral arrangement sessions.
- Assumes process without experience.
Funeral product manufacturers, service providers (insurance, marketing, technology, etc.) and now preparing for “launch season” which is pretty much the NFDA Convention in October. Many will bring “the newest and best” thing to their booths hoping to convince buyers that their particular service or product will “make a difference” at a funeral home. The big companies have research/marketing departments that have either repackaged something or attempting to create a new “need.” Smaller and new manufacturers/providers simply believe they have the “next best thing” in the funeral market.
Rarely does most ever conduct any BETA testing of the service or product; meaning real funeral directors sharing with real at need families. Actually listening to what funeral directors think or suggest much less consumer needs and acceptance. Focus groups don’t count or provide an accurate measure of anything compared to making selections in funeral arrangements and actually paying. However, the “posers” will provide anecdotal scenarios and spew forth inane figures based on “research” which is contrived by people who have never set foot in a funeral home, much less looked a family in the eye during arrangements.
As the “launch season” approaches, start your own research to formulate investigative questions that are relevant to your needs. Ask for actual data (if it’s printed in a brochure, it’s likely made up) and reference names of other funeral homes that have had success with the service or product. Does the company actually manufacture the product, have in-house technicians/content writers/designers, actually own the service/laboratory, or are just a sales agent? Unfortunately there are few funeral industry vendors that actually produce their own product and services…most are “farmed out.”
There is a great saying; “what you will allow is what will continue.” Ask questions or challenge to the talking heads and decide for yourself their value. If not, expect the same results of performance and behavior. From the desk of The Funeral Commander, Cheers Y’all! #thefuneralcommander