Check Their Math! How The Herd Instinct Works In Funeral Service
Article By Alan Creedy, FuneralHomeConsulting.org
WARNING! This is not about caskets!
A couple of decades ago I was visiting with 3 funeral home owner friends. They were discussing among themselves that the expensive makeovers of their selection rooms, popular at the time, were not working as advertised. Having heard nothing but glorious praise about these “retail” style showrooms I was taken aback by their private comments among themselves. Even more curious was the response when I asked them why it was that such a widely praised concept wasn’t working for them. In unison they said:
“It doesn’t work for anybody…they just don’t look at the numbers.”
“Well, then, why does everyone say it does,” I asked.
“Alan, if you had just spent $50,000 on something you would tell everyone it worked too.” They chimed, again in unison.
I have never completely recovered from that conversation. And, by the way, my answer to them was: “The heck I wouldn’t…I’d take out an ad.”
In more recent years I have seen several vendors become somewhat dependent on this phenomenon.
- A pre need marketer consistently sells significantly below their client’s At Need average creating a future shortfall of unprecedented proportions…even when they publish their own statistics! Because they have so many clients and so many of them are highly respected no one dares to do the math. Could you survive on an average sale (with cash advances) below $3,700?
- A pre need insurance company carefully states a growth factor in such a way that client’s are led to believe they are getting more than they actually are.
- A consulting company provides analytics and training that most of their clients never use other than for bragging rights. The work they do is excellent but produce very few results.
- An advertising specialty company sells a preneed lead generator that drives leads but the leads (while many) are poor and are unaffordable.
- Casket companies offer discounts that aren’t discounts at all. They also lock you into long term contracts with the intention of raising prices. You will know prices are up but you won’t realize you are paying much more than you expected.
So, the formula is:
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