And How They Relate to the Funeral Industry
The successful salesperson knows that sales is a skill best refined by reflection. If you feel like your sales could be improved over the next month or quarter or year, reflect first and foremost on the sales process. Generally, there are 5 steps to a successful sale. Let’s take a look at how those steps relate directly to the funeral industry so you can make adjustments to your own practices.
Step 1: Lead Generation
In the funeral industry, step 1 manifests differently than it does in any other industry. Some questions to ask yourself to measure your effectiveness in this step are: do people come to us first when making funeral plans? Is our name a household name that is familiar to the community? Are we advertising the benefits of pre-need planning effectively, or is it something most of our customers have never considered? Do we know our target audience and how to reach them? If lead generation is a weakness, consider how you can increase the tools and techniques you use to inform people of your services before they are needed.
Step 2: Qualify Clients
As you know by now, more is not always the answer in the funeral industry, and generating more leads may not be the problem. It’s crucial that your clients have the appropriate budget for your services and have the time to partake in the full range services you provide. Perhaps when searching for how to improve your sales you should focus on quality, not quantity. How can you adjust your target audience for pre-need planning? What services don’t you provide that, if added, would attract a more qualified clientele? Are there packages you could arrange or promotions you could host to attract these higher-quality clients?
Step 3: Proposal of Solutions
At this point, your quality clients are in the door and sitting down to choose the specific services that they require. If this is where your sales are falling through the cracks, perhaps you need to reflect on how you demonstrate the solutions you offer. Try focusing on showing the client how simple the decisions can be instead of telling them what they need. Really take time to listen to their concerns and opinions. Be flexible and empathetic when relating to clients.
Step 4: The Decision
Success in step 4 is a question of confidence and execution of the first 3 steps. After listening carefully to a client’s needs and addressing all of their concerns, it is the salesperson’s job to finalize the decision with confidence and clarity. If left open to the client for too long, or if indecision is lingering on their part, you are leaving room for doubt to creep in. Once the decision is made, the client will consider it finished, and the sale will close much more smoothly.
Step 5: Deliver
The sales process does not end with closure. Perhaps the most crucial step of all in the funeral industry is the actual delivery of services. Beautiful ceremonies that are well-executed and refined will stick in the memories of guests, clients, families and third parties. Our industry is hugely dependent on word of mouth and reviews, and if this step is lacking, the entire process will be more difficult to start with new clients. Take pride in the delivery of services you offer, and your clients will want to tell their friends of their wonderful experience with your company.