The funeral industry is constantly changing with different needs and wants from consumers. With advancements in technology, the desire to add more personalization to services, and the rise of cremation, it can be challenging for funeral directors to adapt to all the needs of families while maintaining a profitable business. Funeral directors do not have to face these changes alone, they should seek assistance from someone they trust as an expert on the subject. When seeking an expert, a funeral director can look internally at someone on staff who is talented in that subject; they can look to their vendors as a resource or can even go as far as hiring an outside consultant. One of the important things to take into consideration is a cost-benefit analysis. Does the cost of hiring an expert bring in enough revenue for the additional cost to make sense? Take the time to explore all your options when bringing in a specialist and you will most likely find that the benefits of utilizing a sales consultant from a family owned-wholesale casket company are incomparable. When deciding to bring in a sales consultant, there are many things to consider that will ensure you receive the best possible service that is in accordance with the goals and plans you have in place for your business.
Here are the top 5 things to look for when working with a casket company:

1. Partner with Someone who will Invest in You

Seek out someone who has a vested interest in your business. The individual you decide to work with should always make your business a top priority. From ensuring timely deliveries to helping you with special circumstances, the relationship is destined to fail if your needs are not being met. Utilizing a highly trained sales consultant will add value, expertise, and personal touch to your business that you might not otherwise get.

Working directly with a consultant allows you to trust that your business is staying up to date with the industry changes without having to sacrifice your time or values as a funeral director. Also, if you can find a vendor that caters to your needs, the added benefit is that your firm will benefit from that “personalized touch.”

2. Keep Focus on Top Revenue Generating Opportunities

After the consultant relationship is established, work together to keep the focus on top revenue-generating opportunities. It is no secret that cremation is publicized and, on the rise, but that does not mean your focus should shift away from burials; cremations should just add to it. Burials account for a significant amount of revenue for funeral homes and they should remain a priority even as the industry changes. Let’s face it, the funeral industry has undergone significant changes throughout the years. As the way the industry is viewed by consumers is changing, funeral directors must also change their approach to certain aspects of their business.

Your sales consultant will be able to guide you in the best practices for merchandising caskets in a way that allows you to continue to be profitable while continuing to meet the financial needs of the families you are serving. They will be able to assist you with setting up your showroom in a way that makes sense, as well offer knowledgeable insight to caskets that have are profitable for you while maintaining retail prices families are comfortable with.

3. Leave it to a Trusted Expert

Just as you might outsource your payroll, you can do the same thing for merchandising. Certain companies have highly trained, trusted sales consultants that know the industry and have dedicated many years to helping funeral homes be successful on the financial side while allowing you to do what you do best, serving families. As a funeral director, you are a caregiver, an event planner, a community leader, an emotional support system, a customer service representative, and the list goes on. Bringing in an outside sales consultant to assist you with product knowledge, merchandising, and other issues that may arise allows you to focus on your families without having the added stress of the necessary behind the scenes tasks. Properly merchandising can increase your revenue substantially, allowing your business to be as successful as possible and assisting in steady growth.

4. Plan your Business

Work with your consultant to create a business strategy that makes sense for you. Additionally, you should base your plan on readily available merchandise. Promotions can be great and certainly offer an incentive to purchase caskets but try not to abandon your original business plan for the sake of a one-time discount. If a promo item does not fit your original business plan, do not order it just because it is discounted. Sticking to your original plan will allow for steady growth and will allow you to stay on track with your overall goals. A sales consultant with a casket company will be able to sit down with you and strategize a business plan that makes sense for your needs and is tailored to your goals.

5. Partner with Vendors who Understand your Business

Be sure to partner with vendors who understand all aspects of your business, from the administrative side to the sales side to the marketing side. With the advancements in technology, larger corporations have continually made decisions to scale back their face-to-face interactions. Therefore, it is hard for their remote personnel to act as a true sales consultant without ever stepping foot in your selection room. When you work with an independently owned and operated casket company that has people in the field and at your funeral home, you can trust that you are receiving subject expertise from people who are trained and exposed to hundreds of funeral homes. They understand what works and what does not work in the funeral industry. They are constantly adding new techniques and strategies based on field research and they can relate to running a small business.

Overall, working with a family-owned casket vendor can be extremely beneficial to funeral directors who are looking to optimize all aspects of their business. Funeral directors should expect their vendors to be just as knowledgeable as them on all aspects of the industry, therefore it is important to be selective when deciding on bringing in an outside sales consultant. This person will be taking on responsibilities that have the potential to influence the direction of your business, therefore you should invest in someone who genuinely wants to see you succeed. Taking these 5 points into consideration when selecting a casket vendor to work with will ensure the relationship is mutually beneficial and that your needs are being met on all levels. FBA

Kathy Shirey currently serves as the Sales and Marketing Support Specialist for Thacker Caskets. Upon graduating from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, she relocated to Maryland where she began her career in sales and marketing for an art gallery. Kathy will provide Thacker valued support in leading all marketing activities including designing printed marketing materials, leading collaborative efforts with industry publications, social media delivery and more! Kathy will also be directly involved in providing critical support to Thacker’s growing outside sales team. In her free time, Kathy enjoys spending time with all her rescue animals. To connect with Kathy, email her at [email protected]