Would You Like to Take Your Business to the Next Level?
Is Your Current Sales Process Holding You Back?
Let’s face it, selling to funeral home owners can be challenging these days. Consumer preferences have changed dramatically, and the funeral home’s bottom line has suffered. Owners are more cautious than ever, often postponing a decision rather than risk making a bad choice.
As a result, the sales process you have used for years is not producing at the level you need to meet or exceed your sales goals.
The Decline of Conventions….a Huge Problem Hurting Vendors & Suppliers.
For decades one of the best ways for industry vendors to connect with funeral home owners has been to participate in the 50+ conventions and trade shows that happen every year.
NFDA, ICCFA, and state conventions have been excellent opportunities to make contact with an owner and fill the sales pipeline for the next quarter.
But attendance at conventions is down….way down!
And unfortunately, many of the key decision-makers have stopped attending. Instead, they send their rank and file managers who attend the educational sessions for CE credits and walk through the exhibit area, picking up brochures for the boss to browse later.
To make things even worse, every time a virus hits the news, conventions take another hit.
UPDATE: ICCFA 2020 has been CANCELED. Click here to read the announcement
The Declining Role of Trusted Sales Professionals…Another Problem Impacting Your Business
The relationship between funeral home owners and their industry sales professionals used to be extremely valuable for both parties.
The salesperson would share information about their products plus best practice ideas collected from other funeral homes. The owner perceived the salesperson as a trusted source of information and fresh ideas.
But unfortunately, that is no longer the case. With the wealth of information readily available on the internet, the funeral home owner does not need the salesperson in the same way.
Funeral industry salespeople are now faced with a long list of objections to overcome before winning the business. What used to be a fairly straightforward sales process now looks like this…
In the “good old days’, a salesperson’s job was to turn a “No” into a “Yes” and close the deal.
But today, the funeral home owner wants to make their own decision and resents being pushed. They make those decisions based upon one thing…..content.
The content they read or watch, mainly on the internet allows them to make an informed decision.
The content may consist of case studies, product descriptions, testimonials, Google reviews, articles, educational videos, infographics, and dozens of other forms of information.
2020 and Beyond…The Rise of Content Marketing
Content Marketing is the most effective form of marketing today. It is also a $300 billion per year industry. Companies invest that kind of money because it produces a measurable ROI.
It works by facilitating the buying process and gives the consumer exactly what they need to make informed decisions.
But content marketing is far more than just website content, or a magazine article, or a podcast. Content marketing is an overriding strategy that aligns all marketing communications.
It’s about mapping out the entire customer journey and creating the right content to move someone to the next step. The following diagram from econsultancy.com does a great job of illustrating some of the contact points you can have with your prospective customers while they are on their journey.
The key to success for Funeral industry vendors and suppliers comes down to making the transition from being a salesperson focused organization to being a content-focused organization.
Salespeople are still important, but they should focus on closing the deal when the client is ready while allowing content marketing to build and maintain the relationship.
Replacing a convention booth expense with investments in marketing tools such as webinars, newsletters, blogs, podcasts, and email autoresponders can generate the hot leads you need to reach your sales goals.
Add in some strategies to turn your current customers into loyal customer advocates and you can fill your pipeline with referrals (the holy grail of sales).
Online Sales Funnel….
Where Most Vendors Mess Up
Some funeral industry vendors have started making investments in content marketing. Unfortunately, they are also wasting a lot of money!
A content marketing strategy creates a measurable ROI only when it is conducted within the framework on an Online Sales Funnel, an integrated system designed to move someone from being a cold prospect to being a customer advocate.
Too many vendors have relied upon tradeshows and good salespeople to generate new customers. But in today’s world tradeshows have dried up and salespeople are treated as annoying pests.
The solution is to build an online sales funnel and power it with content marketing. Think of the sale funnel as the engine and content marketing as the fuel. Together they can move your business forward, separately they do very little.
But how does a vendor make this transition?
For over 15 years, the team at Funeral Success has helped funeral home owners grow their businesses. We have used many tools to accomplish this, but our primary tool has always been Online Sales Funnels plus Content Marketing.
We have also helped several industry vendors navigate the changing world of marketing. Website companies, granite providers, casket distributors, and more.
Now is the appropriate time for us to expand our focus and formalize a new service offering to help vendors grow their market share.
The goal of the process is to take you from Marketing Guesswork to a measurable Marketing ROI.
We take you through three main phases; Align, Build, and Close (ABC!).
In the Align phase, the goal is to become very clear as to the exact problem your customer is experiencing and how you solve it.
In the Build phase, we focus on finding the perfect words or images to communicate your unique value proposition and your core story. We then create a Content Marketing Plan to guide the implementation. Not only will we determine the best marketing message to use, we will pick the right way to reach your market (e.g., webinars, podcasts, blogs, etc.).
In the Close phase, we kick into full fledge Content Marketing mode within the framework of a defined sales funnel. We create all of the materials required to cultivate relationships, fill your marketing funnel with leads that convert into customers, and then creating great customer stories to help fuel future growth.
It is critical to understand that this program is about INCREASING YOUR REVENUE! Content Marketing is simply the vehicle to accomplish the goal.
Who Wants a Competitive Advantage?
Creating an Online Sales Funnel and fueling it with Content Marketing is not a one time project; it is an ongoing process. Therefore, we will be creating a very strategic long-term relationship with our vendor clients. As a result, we have decided to only work with one vendor in each category.
one website vendor
one mortuary management vendor
one urn supplier
one casket supplier
one preneed company
You get the picture….
The bottom line is, if we are helping you win market share, we will not work with any of your competitors.
That also means we’re going to be picky. We’re looking for the best vendor in each category and then we’re going to help them dominate the market.
If that interests you, go to www.SpeakWithJohn.com and schedule a meeting. We can have a quick conversation and decide if the relationship is worth pursuing.
John Callaghan, Funeral Success Marketing
PS: If you are ready to separate yourself from your competition and move from the red ocean to the blue ocean, go to www.SpeakWithJohn.com and schedule a meeting.
As a bonus for reading this far down on the page, here’s a copy of a book I wrote a few years ago. It’s not about the funeral industry, it’s about how to grow any business even in the toughest economies.
Click the image below to download the pdf.