How to Start Selling Pre-Need from Scratch

March 27, 2009 by  

When you first start this business it is common to NOT know what to do or where to begin.  We’d all like to just plug into a system to get going but 90% of the businesses (cemeteries/funeral homes) don’t have any structure to help you get started.

The majority of the questions I receive relate to being NEW and wanting some MAGIC PILL to solve the problem of getting new business.  Well, there’s no magic pill you can take that will do all the work for you BUT there is a magic formula you can use much like baking a cake.

There’s a difference between cooking dinner and baking a cake.  When cooking dinner you can deviate from the recipe and still make a great dinner.  But, when baking a cake you must follow the recipe to a “T”.  There’s no room for error and no skipping steps.

Prospecting the warm-fuzzy way is similar to baking.  You’ve got to follow your formula to a “T” and do each step in the process.  Skipping steps or deviating from the formula is a recipe for disaster. 

As a New Pre-Need Seller there are a few concepts to understand about selling pre-need you simply must get down in order to succeed.

Here are a few things NOT TO DO.  First, get this out of your head; the idea that ONE STEP PROSPECTING works or is even worth it.  This is why I’m not a fan of  Cold-Prospecting.  People that cold-prospect are trying to get into a home with no warm up.  There is no relationship just a one-night-stand.

One-Step-Prospecting is sending out one piece of mail, calling a prospect, door-knocking a prospect, to get an immediate appointment.  There is one-step in the process.  If you’re door-knocking the goal becomes knocking on the door to get in and make a presentation.  When cold-calling you are trying to book an appointment.  I refer to this as interrupting your prospect, developing quick rapport, and do whatever it takes to get that appointment.  I’ve written about this in past posts.

Phoning your prospect out of the clear blue sky to ask them for an appointment is one-step in the process.  This formula is the most unproductive, last century, time consuming, frustrating, demoralizing, type of prospecting on the planet.

Here are a few things TO DO.  First, get this into your head.  The proper baking formula to generate prospects calling you up for an appointment is to add steps to the process.  I refer to this as a Two-Step approach.  Two-steps is a little more intricate and involves more steps to get to your prospects but create a relationship with your potential prospect and warm them up until they are a porcupine.

I started this post by talking about the common questions I receive about prospecting.  To understand the warm-fuzzy approach to prospecting you must change your mindset about how you’re prospecting and why you must do it differently.

I’ve described this as using an out-house instead of an in-house bathroom.  Yes, an outhouse will work but a bathroom is much more comfortable.  Yes you can use an out-house but the real question is; WHY WOULD YOU?  Not many people use payphones anymore.  Almost all of us have a cell-phone.  Why would you ride a horse and buggy if you can drive a car?

Okay, how do you go from the out-house to the in-house plumbing system?

It begins with MINING YOUR NATURAL MARKET.  What is your natural market?  Your natural market are people you know.  Everyone has a backyard of folks they have influence over.  As a new pre-need seller your job is to drum up new business.  Mining Your Natural Market is a warm-fuzzy way to drum up new business.  It also has side benefits including:  practicing your  presentation on a friendly crowd, learning the areas of your presentation you can get referrals, and of course, getting those referrals.

Nothing beats practice and nothing beats a friendly crowd to practice on.

Begin to contact your natural market and set up appointments to meet.  Go through and practice your presentation to identify areas you can gather referrals.

Tap into your natural market in a well thought out plan will give you a toll-position into future sales as an expert.  I know it seems counter intuitive but you  really want to prospect to a small, tightly, highly targeted group of people.

I’ll continue this next time.  Be sure and roam around the various posts on this website.  I’ve got short articles covering all the aspects of Prospecting the easy way.

If you haven’t subscribed yet, well, why not?  I give away free stuff you won’t see posted here.  Subscribing has privileges.  Simply go to the top right hand side of this page and sign-up today.

Happy Selling!

P.S.  To get started mining your natural market TODAY go to:


Feel free to leave a comment...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!