From the email box

May 27, 2010 by  

A new comment from the email box:

I received a question concerning an older cemetery and their mapping system.  It is interesting how we have all of this modern technology including G.P.S. but the cemetery still uses the original system.

I mention G.P.S. because I was involved in a start-up cemetery that literally used satellite technology to locate the grave spaces.

The accuracy was totally amazing.

But, here’s a little more on the email I received.  It seems there’s a cemetery or two out there still using hundred year old maps with pins to identify blocks and lots buried long ago or made of cement that’s been chipped or busted.

Reminds me of a cemetery I worked at that was two cemeteries combined.  Both had sections 100 years old and a mapping system that was designed when the dinosaurs still roamed the earth.

Because it was two different cemeteries combined the mapping system for each was different.  Further, many sections had a completely different mapping system.  And, many graves spaces did not have markers to help you figure out the system.

But, I still figured it out.

I’ll tell you my secret.  I found one of the grounds guy that had been at the cemetery for plus 25 years.  He knew that cemetery inside an out.  I ended up slipping him a few bucks to stay late while I would take copies of maps to figure out where things should be.

Some of you might argue that I spent money to solve the problem.  What I did was solve the problem I had and it allowed me to be one step better and translated into more money in my pocket.

Here’s an idea for my fellow pre-need seller.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if they took those old maps and married with G.P.S. technology and not only figured out where the current supply of graves are located but new pins placed exactly where they need to be?

Well, it can be done.

But, like a lot of things in this industry they’ve been doing things the same way forever.

This is why you continually hear me go on and on about old style prospecting.  Why do cemeteries and funeral homes repeat last century techniques for selling?

My fellow pre-need seller hit the nail on the head with his question.

He wanted to know why mapping systems are still being used from the early 1900s.

It’s called, “industry norms”.

The less “industry norms” you do the better you’ll succeed.

The only other advice I can give you is to spend some time on the cemetery grounds with copies of the maps and figure it out.  There is a way.  Once you’ve figured it you’ll be that much better.

I heard a famous golfer from the 1950(s) used to walk the golf course before a tournament.  He would walk and count his steps and make notes to help him with distances and terrain.

No one else had ever done this.  He was already a great golfer but that bit of “outside the norm” preparation gave him a little bit of an edge.

To all you pre-need sellers out there do that little something extra that puts you head and shoulders above the rest.  That’s the difference between mediocre and Top Producer.

I often talk about the difference between an elite running back in football and an average running back.  The difference is about a half step.  I heard one running back once say he ran and used colors to help him get through the line.  He would glance at the color of the jersey to give him a little bit more of an edge.  That little thing turned into a big edge and made a large difference in his production.

YOU, the pre-need seller, need an edge. 

Many times it is the little things we do every day that put us closer to a sale that makes a big difference at the end of the year.  Read the posts on this site, invest in yourself, do something proactively to put YOU in a better position to sell more pre-arrangements in the next 6 months than the last 12.

Next time you’re at the bank take note of the safe door.  The safe door at a bank is huge and weighs a lot.  But, when you note the safe door take a long hard look at the hinges.  The hinges are a heck-of-a-lot smaller than the door.

Many times it is the little things we do that make a huge difference for us.  Look for the little things you can do to give you a huge advantage and more sales.

Happy Selling!

David…

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