How to prospect on the cemetery grounds
From the email bag:
How do you work the cemetery grounds?
The cemetery is a fantastic place to prospect for new business. Contrary to what you might think visitors to the cemetery are typically interested in pre-planning. Especially, grave spaces and funeral pre-arrangements. The tricky part is the approach. I like to get a conversation started and let the family bring up grave spaces. If they don’t bring it up at some point you can mention; where are your locations?
It helps to know the cemetery but within a few days of roaming the grounds you’ll become very familiar. Most of the time your prospect will have a complaint. Complaints are a good thing. Complaints help start the conversation. I like to find out who my prospect is visiting and let them tell me about family members.
Some of your best leads are individuals who have family members scattered through out the cemetery. You’d be surprised how many visitors to the cemetery do not own grave spaces.
Many times your prospect will share what happened to a relative including pre-arrangements or not. Let your prospect talk. Encourage them to tell you about the situation.
The goal is to have a conversation.
Remember my definition of a lead:
A lead is someone who doesn’t own pre-arrangements (cemetery or funeral) and is open to discussing it.
Also, be ready to solve problems from adding additional memorials (bench, ledger, upright, or new marker) or even tweaking arrangements. I’ve had several couples convert a grave space into a double-depth (companion) space to give the other to a child or other close relative. Family members like to be together so don’t forget about cremation bench opportunities on a traditional grave space.
If your prospect has everything done at the cemetery you’ve got a funeral lead. And, by the way, if you cannot sell pre-arranged funerals remember the suggestion I’ve made in the past to do a joint venture with a funeral sales person. That funeral sales person can refer cemetery leads to you.
The amount of visitors increases quite a bit between December 15th – December 31st.
You can incorporate the strategy of working the cemetery grounds through out the year. If you work on weekends you’ll find that’s the best time.
Finally, don’t be bashful about referrals. I’ve had many people who had everything complete at the cemetery and refer friends and family. In fact, one time I had an individual who had done everything at the cemetery. He gave his brother an ear full. Needless to say, his brother pre-arranged at the cemetery. Leverage is powerful (see my posts and the catalog on Champion Endorser® )