Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Dealers learn about RFPs and how more choice isn't always better

Over the past three weeks, we've been recapping our 2013 Trigard Convention. This week, we'll share even more highlights from the full day of presentations.
 
Jeff Miller, VP of Business Development, talked with our dealers about tackling RFPs. Many dealers shared their experiences about submitting proposals and what they felt made them successful in the process. The presentation was far from a line-by-line how-to. Instead, Jeff lead a good discussion to help our entire network of dealers become more successful.
 
Julia Sullivan, Creative Director, wrapped up the day of presentations by talking about how we make choices. She explained that most of us as consumers believe we make rational decisions when we purchase. But she recapped three behavioral economics studies that demonstrated that the people who design the environment have more control over the outcome than we might suspect.  

In one study, people were offered samples of jam in a supermarket. When there were fewer jams to choose from, people were more likely to buy than when there were many more flavors to try. Why? Because after a certain point, it became confusing for consumers. All of the flavors started to seem very similar. So by offering fewer choices, more purchases were made.

 Julia drew a parallel to a vault display in a selection room. While we may want to show every option available to families, by showcasing a select few choices,
we help prevent families from feeling overwhelmed by the choices.


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, August 20, 2013

Dealers learn strategies to overcome objections and hear NCBVA news

Jeff Miller, Trigard VP of Business Development, understands that funeral home owners and managers don't wake up one morning and decide to change suppliers. Most are incredibly loyal to their vault dealers and value the relationship they've cultivated. But he also understands that for Trigard vault dealers to stay strong, they need to continue to grow.
So Jeff put together some common sales call objections that dealers might encounter, plus ways to overcome them. He stressed the importance of understanding what potential customers need and finding unique solutions with real value to help them serve families even better.

We were also pleased to welcome Kimberly Fantaci, NCBVA Executive Director, to Trigard Convention as a guest speaker. In addition to joinng Linda Darby to talk about the new "Have the Talk of a Lifetime" campaign Kimberly shared many NCBVA resources and updates with our Trigard dealers.

She encouraged Trigard dealers, both NCBVA members and non-members, to submit stories to her about successes, updates and important points our industry needs to understand about what our dealers do every day.
She stressed the importance of having good educational materials to help funeral homes, cemeteries and families understand the importance of a lined, sealed burial vault. In addition to the customized materials Trigard offers, Kimberly explained that NCBVA is working on new marketing materials as well, including brochures and videos.

You can learn more about all of the services NCBVA offers, plus the benefits of membership, at http://www.ncbva.org.
 
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, August 13, 2013

Linda Darby shares industry-wide research and action

Following Rich's presentation, Linda Darby, Chief Executive Officer, shared two powerful industry-wide projects that can have a positive impact on our future. She first discussed the ZMET study conducted by Olson Zaltman Associates for the Funeral Service Foundation. The goal of the consumer study was to better understand what modern consumers are seeking in an end-of-life service or ceremony.

The results were striking. Consumers felt like most traditional funeral services were like a lonely, lifeless tomb. They described feeling alone, uneasy and controlled. 

When the consumers were asked what they wanted their end-of-life services to be, they uniformly said they wanted it to be their "crowning performance." They wanted to be the writer, director and star. An overwhelming theme of "I mattered" connected all of the consumer comments. They were looking for a ceremony that helped their loved ones transform and heal while sending a clear message that the life journey continues.

Linda also partnered with Kimberly Fantaci, NCVBA, to discuss FAMIC's "Have the Talk of a Lifetime" campaign. We've talked about this exciting campaign and the best ways you can get involved in previous editions of Trigard Tuesdays. There are easy and free ways you can encourage consumers in your area to talk about their final wishes. If you need a login to access the materials on the FAMIC site, call Trigard Customer Service at 800.637.1992 or your national funeral association.


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.

Rich Darby discusses "The new consumer"

Welcome to our second week of recapping Trigard Convention 2013. Last week, we shared the wisdom and insight from special guest speaker Mike Staver. This week, we're sharing the highlights from two more presentations.


Mike Staver was a hard act to follow, but Rich Darby, Trigard Chief Operating Officer, handled the job with a high-energy, interactive presentation. Rich explained his unique perspective on our industry as thanks to being hands-on in all facets of the business, from the development of Trigard products to serving families in the funeral homes that the Darby family owns. He shared what he's learned about "the new consumer" that has emerged.

He reinforced that Trigard vault dealers are providing so much more than just a vault. He challenged attendees to find even more ways to become consumer-centric and provide an indelible experience through personalization, ceremony and attention to detail.

He solicited stories from the dealers in attendance, including Steve Handley, Handley Precast Systems, who shared a powerful story about a family so moved by the Healing Tree® burial vault that they said "the vault was the highlight of our 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.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Trigard Convention recap: Guest speaker Mike Staver

Nearly 100 Trigard dealers, vendors and guests gathered in Annapolis, Maryland, July 28 - 30, to come together to shape the strong future of Trigard. The 2013 Trigard Convention was an outstanding opportunity to gather, network and learn.

Whether you were able to attend, couldn't make the trip this year, or are an industry professional who is curious about what happened at the dealer convention this year, we are going to spend the next five weeks recapping our time in Maryland in this newsletter.

 
Mike Staver was our keynote speaker. He entertained, excited and challenged all attendees with his high-energy discussion about leadership. He hosted an "excuse-a-thon," soliciting excuses heard in the workplace. He turned this laundry list into a hilarious, improvised argument with imaginary children. It was easy to see that we'd never accept these as excuses from our children, but as adults, we see these as reasons we can't do our jobs well.

He challenged us all to look at our lives to identify the places where we burn energy, but we'll never get any ROI (return on investment). Burn out isn't the result of too much energy spent on something, but that there is no value or return on the effort, he explained.

He left us with a great challenge. He asked, if you were going to build a business to put yourself out of business in 6 - 9 months, what would you do? Then build it.

Want more from Mike Staver?
 
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.