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If You Confuse, You Lose


There is a fundamental principle in marketing that says a confused mind will never buy anything. If for some reason they are forced to buy they will always minimize the transaction.

So how does this apply to a funeral home business?

Let me tell you the story of a call I had recently with a funeral home owner. To protect his confidentiality, I’ll just call him Mark.

Mark is suffering from the same problems many funeral home owners are faced with today. He has an SCI firm in town that is swallowing up the pre-need business and a discount cremation firm offering $695 cremation.

His call volume is down, and his traditional business is shrinking. He has a beautiful funeral home, but it isn’t used much because of all of the no service calls.

I asked Mark if the families he served understood the value of a funeral. His response….No.

And therein lies the problem…

Not understanding something and being confused are basically the same thing.

A price shopper calls your funeral home because someone in their family has passed or is about to. They don’t understand the value of a funeral service, but they are faced with having to talk to a funeral director. They’re already defensive and confused.

What do they do? Try to minimize the transaction.

It’s a pretty logical response once you understand the fundamental principles of marketing.

So how do we clear up the confusion?

First, take a look at your website. 90% of your website traffic is people looking for obit information. How easy is it to find your obits?

There should be a very clear button at the top of you site that says something like “Current Obituaries”. Make it really obvious!

Don’t make people search all over your site trying to find the obits. They are not there to buy something, but they are there for information. Make that information really easy to find.

If you sell flowers or merchandise on your website, you have a vested interest in making it really easy for them to find the correct obituary as quickly as possible.

Now consider the other 10% of your website traffic. These are people who are in need of a funeral home to take care of someone who has passed away.

For that person you need two types of information. Content that helps open the conversation about the value of a service plus content that builds a case for choosing your funeral home.

Do you have anything on your website that explains the value of what you do? For most funeral homes the answer is…nothing.

Or your website is filled with generic content from the website vendor that attempts to make the case that all funerals are valuable. That’s a huge mistake!

Do not attempt to convince someone that all funerals are valuable. You’re taking on an entire cultural belief and it’s too big of a task. Leave that for big organizations like NFDA.

Instead build a case for why your funerals are valuable. Show them how you are different from other funeral homes and how you can offer something that others cannot.

If you can’t do that, you might need my help (just saying).

Back to Mark…

He has a lot of work ahead of him. His website needs a complete overhaul and he needs content that helps prospective families understand that value of what he does.

I offered two choices; work with me one-on-one or join FuneralBusinessBuilder.com and go through the process.

Of course, there is a third choice. Do nothing and continue to watch his business shrink.

That sounds like a very expensive choice because eventually he’ll lose his business.

Too many funeral home owners have adopted a “wait and see” strategy. They’re waiting for the boomer wave to hit to see if that will turn things around.

The good news is that eventually the boomer wave will hit. The bad news is that they don’t understand the value of a funeral service so they will minimize the transaction.

You can choose to “wait and see” or you can reinvent your business to offer what boomers really value. I recommend the later.

Until next time

John

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