I have trained thousands of funeral directors in my tenure and hearing I don’t like to talk about money from some always gets a reply from me: “Well, then your funeral home owner shouldn’t deposit your salary into your bank account since money is so distasteful to you.” Now hear this! It’s your job to talk about the money! The FTC provides you with a document that actually has numbers on it; it’s called a General Price List. The GPL is not a general services list or a memoir of the history of your funeral home. It’s about the MONEY!
Why don’t funeral directors like to talk about the money? A few excuses come to mind. The first, “I just do this as a ministry.” No problem, I’ll donate your earnings to the charity of your choice. Another, “I don’t want to upset the family when they are experiencing such a difficult time.” It’s your job, Skippy. Do you think that families show up thinking the funeral is gratis? (That’s free for y’all in West Virginia.) Still yet, “I’m here to serve and the money will take care of itself.” Yes, you are here to serve. However, it’s your responsibility to make sure the family knows the costs of their chosen goods and services as well as what options are available for payment…otherwise, are you going to make them guess?
The FTC makes it easy for funeral directors because it mandates (not asks, not suggests) that the General Price List be presented to a family prior to engaging in the selection of services and products. Do me a favor; open up a GPL (you know, the leather bound, embossed folder with old English lettering and the dove on the front cover). Take a look at the descriptions of services and then note the $ symbol with numbers next to it. That set of symbols and numbers notates the prices; you know…how much your firm charges people for services or products.
It’s worth repeating. The FTC mandates that you share this document, the General Price List, with each and every family you serve. What makes you think that you shouldn’t talk about THE PRICES? Are you ashamed of what your firm charges? Are you scared to actually do your job? Do you think you’re doing the family a favor by keeping them in the dark? Are you making a choice to be out of compliance with the FTC? What is your reluctance? Please, help me understand!
By the way, I have the “secret sauce” of how to talk about the money with families. And guess what? Everyone pays and we have $0.00 accounts receivable. From the Command Post (West), Cheers Y’all! #thefuneralcommander