How to Make Your Preneed Program a Competitive Advantage
By Paul Lovelace, Executive Vice President & Chief Corporate Development Officer
Does your preneed program currently rely on walk-ins and call-ins?
If so, your program is considered passive – you are simply meeting the existing demand in your community.
But what if you could CREATE more demand for your preplanning services?
Then, you would have an active preneed program.
An active preneed program uses marketing and networking by a designated preneed agent or counselor who hosts community events (like seminars), gets referrals from families, and works hard to increase the demand for your preneed services.
A passive approach (where families come to you) is not necessarily going to grow your market share. However, an active approach (where you are reaching out to families) has the potential to dramatically increase your growth year over year, both for preneed and at-need services, due to the active marketing of your brand.
An active preneed program gives your funeral home a strong competitive advantage because you are reaching families well before the time of need. And now, with Funeral Directors Life’s recent growth rate increase, there has never been a better time to start locking in preneed contracts at the best rates we’ve seen in years!
So, you’re ready to turn your passive preneed program into an active one. The question is…how?
Let’s take a look at three proven strategies for transitioning from a passive program to an active program.
1. Hire an in-house preplanning specialist
One option for growing your preneed program is to hire an in-house preneed sales professional. This person could be an employee of the funeral home or an independent agent. There are pros and cons to both options, depending on how much (or how little) oversight for your representative you feel comfortable with.
Many of our clients don’t have the time, resources, or expertise to recruit, hire, train, and manage, and in-house preneed specialist who will get the results they want.
The good news? At Funeral Directors Life, our team can assist everything, including hiring, training, management, coaching, and marketing. Our experienced recruiting team knows which qualities to look for and how to match your funeral home’s values with the ideal candidate, making this option much more attainable and sustainable than if you were to do everything on your own.
2. Work with a preneed marketing agency
Using a preneed marketing agency (or marketing partner) is a great option for funeral businesses of any size, but especially for medium to small businesses. Why? Preneed marketing partners do all of the work of recruiting, hiring, training, managing, coaching, and supporting their preneed sales professionals with lead-generating marketing programs.
The result? Funeral homes have to spend very little time and resources on building a preneed program from scratch, and they have the immediate benefit of an active and growing program.
At Funeral Directors Life, we partner with some of the largest, most well-known preneed marketing partners in the nation. Reach out to your FDL representative to learn more about this option.
Want other preneed marketing tips? Read this blog.
3. Bring in a traveling agent
A third option is to bring in a traveling preneed sales professional for one or two seminars per year. This option is perfect for smaller firms in relatively rural areas that cannot support a full-time sales professional.
The traveling sales professional presents a seminar at the funeral home, sets appointments, and writes contracts for about two weeks following the seminar. This type of program makes it very easy to add business to the books while promoting the funeral home and offering a valuable service to the community.
Funeral Directors Life can facilitate this type of program for clients who are interested in getting just a bit more active with preneed. Simply reach out to your representative for more information.
BONUS: Work with an FDL-employed sales professional
So, we know we said there were three options for growing an active preneed program. But with Funeral Directors Life, you have a fourth option: a sales professional employed by us, a Select Producer.
Select Producers are carefully selected, highly qualified, and highly trained individuals. Many of them often become million-dollar-plus producers because of the industry-leading training, coaching, and support they receive from our dedicated management team.
How does it work? FDL covers base salary, commissions, expenses, training, and marketing. Funeral home clients provide office space and any resources that might be needed (price lists, letterhead, access to case files, etc.)
The results? An active program that requires minimal resources but provides a huge competitive advantage to the funeral home through marketing and preneed sales that continually grow your market share over time.
If you’d like to learn more about this program, read this free case study to see how one funeral home grew its preneed sales by 300% and its at-need calls by over 46% with a Select Producer! Here’s what the funeral director had to say:
“Our experience with the Select Producer program has been a game-changer for us. We were apprehensive at first, but it didn’t take long to realize it was a very smart move. Since we started, our visibility in the community has just skyrocketed. We wish we would have started earlier.”
Ready to make your preneed program a competitive advantage? To get started, contact your FDL representative or fill out the form below!