Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Join us in Austin


Need one more reason to head to the 2013 NFDA Convention and Expo in Austin, Texas? How about a free one-day expo pass! All you have to do is complete and return this form by September 13. We'll see you in Austin!

This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at http://www.trigard.com/tuesdays.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Trigard dealers unite to build strong future

Greetings from Annapolis, Maryland. We are enjoying the final day of our Trigard Dealer Convention. What a great couple of days it has been. We always relish this opportunity to connect with our dealer network.

What did we learn at this year's convention? We learned that we have a strong future when we work together.

Thank you to the more than 80 Trigard dealers and vendors who made the trip to Annapolis. We had a wonderful time and hope you did as well.

Mike Staver leads us in an "excuse-a-thon" during his presentation, "Change: Leadership isn't for cowards." Stay tuned next week for  highlights from the presentation.
Didn't make it to convention? Don't fret. Over the next few weeks we will be recapping all of the highlights from Annapolis in this eNewsletter. We will kick things off next week with a recap of Mike Staver's powerful presentation, "Change: Leadership isn't for cowards."

This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at http://www.trigard.com/tuesdays.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

4 tips to sharpen your negotiation skills

Stuart McDaniels, Materials Manager

Whether we consciously think about it or not, negotiation is a way of life for all of us and probably something we each do on a daily basis in some form. Negotiation in our lives can take many shapes such as complex business decisions, purchasing an automobile or home, or even something simple like debating what's for dinner or what movie to watch with your significant other.

In my position at Trigard, I have many opportunities to sharpen my negotiation skills regularly as I am the primary relationship  for each outside manufacturing material supplier we are partnered with. Through the years, I have been able to apply a wide range of strategies to help our company in many ways while at the same time helping to strengthen our dealer partners and the network. We understand that at the end of the day, the benefits we receive through better negotiations can directly or indirectly affect your bottom line.

Here are a few tips that you may find helpful when faced with opportunities for negotiation:

  • Prepare - Proper planning prior to a negotiation is critical. Begin by understanding what your own position is as well as the other party's. A good negotiation is when both parties win. 
  • Steer the dialog - The party that frames the discussion generally has more control over how those issues are eventually resolved.
  • Time is your ally - Sometimes time can be a very powerful tool. Don't give in too quickly, particularly where time is not critical. Be patient, but also be sure to avoid a stall in discussions.
  • Walk out - Be willing to walk away. Literally. Never underestimate the power of getting up from the table. It conveys a clear message. In many cases the other party will call you back before you reach the door if they have any room to move. But, if they let you leave, there is nothing to stop you from turning around and sitting back down if you wish to continue.

Remember, ultimately you are trying to build a relationship, so never turn a negotiation into an "us vs. them" scenario. Always remain respectful, professional, and above all, honest. Stay cool and unemotional, especially in areas of disagreement. If you are successful in your negotiations chances are you will have to interact with the other party regularly. Those interactions will be much more pleasant and productive if the original negotiation remains amiable.

This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at http://www.trigard.com/tuesdays.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Remembering our everyday heroes

Donna Darby-Walthall, Trigard Chief Financial Officer

With the deaths of the 19 firefighters in Arizona two weeks ago so fresh in my mind, I wanted to take this time to thank all of the police officers and firefighters who risk their lives every day to keep us all safe. It was such a tragedy to hear that those 19 men lost their lives. Those men were heroes, and I hope they each had the quality funeral they deserved.

When a tragedy like this happens, we, as funeral service providers, want to do all we can to help the families remember and celebrate the lives of the loved ones lost. We can achieve this through products and through actions. At times like these we are reminded why we do what we do, and how important our jobs really are.


 Whether you are servicing a funeral for a firefighter or a community neighbor, help show the families that their loved ones are important and deserve to be remembered. Go the extra mile to help the families you serve with anything they might need. After all, funeral service is about relationships.

The next time you are out and about and see a firefighter or police officer, please thank them for what they do for us each and every day.

This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at http://www.trigard.com/tuesdays.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Top 3 reasons to love the Aegean® urn vault

1. Customization. The Aegean urn vault is available in white marble, black marble and rose granite finishes. You can customize the Aegean even further by choosing an Appliqué® from our library, or work with our designers to create a custom tribute. View our complete Appliqué library.

2. The Healing Tree®. The Aegean Healing Tree urn vault encourages families to participate in an interactive celebration of life at the graveside. Learn how the Healing Tree adds value to graveside services.

3. It comes in an easy-to-lift version. The Aegean Ultra urn vault uses a special low-density concrete formula. The result is a beautiful urn vault that is significantly lighter than a traditional urn vault without sacrificing strength. Discover the benefits of our lighter cremation solution.

What's your favorite thing about the Aegean urn vault? Share it with us on the Trigard Facebook page.


This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at http://www.trigard.com/tuesdays.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Join this campaign now!

Linda Darby, Trigard Chief Executive Officer 
      
Have you heard of the FAMIC organization or their new "Have the Talk of a Lifetime" campaign? If you aren't familiar, I urge you to go to the FAMIC website and check out this grassroots public awareness campaign aimed at motivating families to have conversations about life and what they value most.

As the NCBVA's voting representative to FAMIC, I have had the great experience of helping make this campaign a reality. I cannot ever remember a time in my professional career in which a group of key funeral service organizations have united around a common goal and developed a campaign of this nature. I am thrilled to be a part of this grassroots effort and ask my funeral service colleagues to join me in making this campaign a success. The families we serve are worth it.

We will be giving our Trigard dealers more information about how they can join the campaign at our Trigard Convention this July.  For those of you who can't wait, here is a list of the best ways you can become involved with this campaign today.

Good: Watch this video. "Like" it on YouTube and embed it on your website.

Better: Call Trigard Customer Service at 800.637.1992 or Contact your national organization and request login information to access www.famic.org/campaign. Then, download the animated GIFs and place them on your website, linking them to www.talkofalifetime.org so families can request a free brochure.

Bonus points if you purchase printed copies of the brochure to distribute to families on your own.

Best: Customize the news release template to set up interviews with your local media. Then download the advertisements and place them in your local papers.

Bonus points if you follow @TalkofaLifetime on Twitter and "like" @HaveTheTalkOfALifetime on Facebook.


This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at http://www.trigard.com/tuesdays.