Monday, August 31, 2015

What happened at Trigard Synergy Convention? Part two.

It’s our second week of recapping the 2015 Trigard Dealer Convention in Indianapolis. Our big day of continuing education began with a warm welcome from Donna Darby-Walthall on behalf of the entire Darby family.

Continuing education kicked off with a high-energy presentation by Julia Sullivan, Creative Director. She talked about the importance of getting comfortable being uncomfortable, especially as the industry continues to evolve and grow. She reaffirmed our commitment to our dealers, emphasizing that they continue to be Trigard’s strongest resource.

The presentation transitioned from growth opportunities to specific tactics, focusing on ways dealers can invest in relationships with the funeral homes they serve, specifically by updating funeral home selection rooms. She used McDonald’s advertising through the years to show how just because outdated information is accurate, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s working for the customer.

She challenged the vault dealers to consider when a family’s last interaction might have been with the funeral home before coming in to make at-need arrangements. It might have been decades since the last time someone they love died, they had to make at-need arrangements for another family member or they pre-arranged their own celebration of life. Wouldn’t you hope that things have changed?

Vault dealers were particularly excited about the new flyer sharing a very personal story of the impact of the Healing Tree®. This art is available for any funeral home, cemetery or vault dealer to use to help share the impact of this graveside ceremony.

Next, new Plant Manager John Albers and Project Manager Blake Swinford talked about continuous improvement efforts. The technical details of some of the adjustments were discussed, but the most important takeaway was that all of the improvements came from dealer suggestions. More ideas, suggestions and feedback is encouraged.

This week: Stepping up your selection room (and our strategy)
Manufacturing improvements and how they benefit you

Next week: Creative growth strategies and succession planning
Special guest speaker Sarah Fisher

September 15: Sales awards
The state of funeral service

September 22: Sponsors and vendors

This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at

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