Training a Horse to Sell Funerals

This article was written by KarenS, on July 26, 2012

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I've seen people do some
amazing things with horses,

but I've never seen anyone
train a horse to sell funerals!

However, training a horse and selling funerals are more similar than you might think.

I purchased my current horse, Alabama, in September of 2011. Alabama was the perfect breed, color, height and he had what I call “a kind eye”. That’s it! He was the most stubborn animal I had ever met! No amount of spurring or whipping was going to get him where I wanted to go! Not only would he not go forward, if I dug in my spurs…he would BACK UP! Is this starting to sound like a preneed presentation?

One day I found myself laying in the creek—that he didn’t want to cross—frustrated to tears, soaking wet and MAD! I was wet and he was dry…why?! Because he wasn’t motivated to cross the water. It was MY idea to cross, not his and I hadn’t clearly communicated to him WHY we should cross. What if there had been a coyote on our side of the creek? I bet he’d have been motivated to cross then! I wasn’t trying to get him to cross because I wanted to see the other side…I was trying to make sure I could save his life if the situation ever arose. He didn’t understand and the problem was my presentation!

What should I do now? START OVER! I went back to the beginning of my presentation and I got a surprise. He was lacking some of the essentials that he should have learned as a youngster. He wasn’t being bad on purpose…he simply didn’t understand. It was my “Ah ha” moment! That moment has spread to every area of my life, including sales.

After months of working with Alabama on every little thing, from the way he stands when I groom him to side passing and learning to bow, he’s nearly perfect. The relationship has been transformed into a bond that can’t be broken. Alabama respects me and willingly does what I ask because I’m the professional…I’m clear in my communication so he understands what I’m asking and why I’m asking it of him.

Training a horse is exactly like selling a funeral. You can’t spend too much time getting to know your prospect and finding out what motivates them. (It’s probably not carrots, but it can’t hurt to try)!

Patience is key. Don’t rush through your presentation or close. Be patient, take your time and get to know your prospect or horse, depending on the situation. Clear communication is a close second to patience, and last but not least, when you find something that works for you…don’t change it. Remember, you are the professional.

You’re not just trying to sell a funeral.

You’re saving an entire family from having to make these decisions on the worst day of their lives.[/tp]

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