I have conversations daily with funeral directors nationally about funeral payment plans and collecting full GPL prices prior to engaging in a funeral contract. More often than not I get questions from funeral directors: “What if the family?” I’m going to address some of those questions I get from the field.
What if the family does not have any money? My immediate response (and yes we have trained our staff and we actually give the same response when asked in an arrangement session): How much is no money? Not anecdotal, but I literally witnessed this same question posed to a funeral director and the family ultimately paid over $15,000 in cash for a complete funeral! Does your funeral home train how to provide a response? When a family says “they have no money” what exactly does that mean? Most funeral directors dive straight to the bottom without engaging further to better understand the financial posture of the people they “are directing.” The appropriate response is: “How much is no money?” Then, close your mouth, listen, when appropriate inquire more, and then create a solution that suits their budget. I know you’re sitting there saying “what if they have NO money?” Back at your here, what do you do?
“What if the family does not qualify for a loan at FuneralPayPlan.com?” You go back to the drawing board. The next step is to let the family know that you will accept a minimum of X% (our firm requires 80%) up front in cash, credit card or life insurance assignment. The family is required to sign up to pay the balance on Simple Funeral Payment Plan which requires them to allow withdrawal from their bank account, not just get billed and send in a check to your funeral home. By the way, if you are billing a family and charging interest (1-whatever %) and you did not provided a TILA (federal Truth In Lending Act statement) and/or their calculated APR, your firm is most likely out of federal lending regulatory compliance. No funeral contract is signed by the funeral director until the payment is secured.
“What if the family can’t come up with the X% up front?” You are offering them the wrong service and products; they simply can’t afford the current services or product selections! I wrote about this a while ago “I Only Have Bus Fare But I Want a Cadillac” and basically once you know that a family can’t afford what you are offering, then you must change their options. If not, you are part of the problem.
“What if the family gets money from FuneralPayPlan.com deposited in their account but they use it to buy something else?” Well, I guess I can only answer this one: “here’s your sign”
I have much more to say from experience and training firms to cash flow better for at need services, so this subject will continue in other posts. This post will generate enough fodder for those that #FNhustle and want to make #FNchange; so feel free to contact me to initiate training to make positive steps to build your #FNbrand. Of course, the others will simply smirk and continue upon their path of “often wrong but never in doubt.”
From the smoke filled Command Post, Cheers Y’all! #thefuneralcommander