I was recently shocked when a couple of friends that work for a big funeral industry supplier were told by their management “relationships don’t matter, it’s all about productivity.” This is simply not true because a relationship is the only glue that binds the brand to the customer. Say what you may, the funeral profession is about relationships. I have yet to meet an owner of a funeral home that buys from or does business with someone they really dislike. In fact, in many cases it costs more to work with someone you like because of the value brought to the relationship.
As funeral home owners and directors, pause and consider that the families you serve are exactly the same. The majority choose a funeral home because they have a relationship with the owner or staff. Just below in rank of why a consumer chooses a firm is because the firm served a family member or friend in the past (notice price is not even at the top two).
Large gatherings like NFDA and ICCFA offer us a reason to arrive from all corners of the earth to commune with each other for a common purpose. These few days of the “Funeral Super Bowl” in Philadelphia provide attendees many opportunities to become better educated and access to what’s new. However, the most important aspect of the gathering is strengthening old relationships and developing new ones.
As you know, I’m all about technology, Social Media, and new sources of reaching people. But the most effective form of communication is looking into someone’s eyes, conversing face to face, and listening. A handshake, warm introduction, and genuine conversation are more captivating that “20% discount.” Of course my preferred method is Mano y Mano, with libations and a cigar perhaps even during a round of golf. I have a very keen bullshit meter and I easily separate authenticity from superficial and the Mano y Mano method tends to prove true.
Interesting that even lower costs or fees has no relevance in a positive relationship (unless you want a cheap date). Relationships are a two way street with mutual trust and respect at the forefront. If you are here in Philly, let’s connect at booth 4318 or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can schedule time together. I’ll shake your hand, look you in the eye, and listen. If we can get to it, I know a great spot for a libation and cigar which is always in order.
From the FOB in Philadelphia, Cheers Y’all! #thefunealcommander