Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Help families honor a loved one this holiday season

Erin Brodbeck, LCSW, CT,
Director of Grief Services,
Sunset Funeral Home
With the holiday season drawing closer, do you plan on reaching out to families you have served during the past year? Your guidance and understanding during this time of year can be beneficial to a family who is newly bereaved or even someone years into their grief journey.

Many things change after someone dies, including traditions during the holidays. But, one thing families can do is add a new tradition to their list by honoring the life of their loved one. That way their memory stays alive, and they are always a part of the celebrations.

Here are a few ways the families you serve can honor their loved ones during the holiday season:
  • Lighting a candle 
  • Leaving an empty place at the table 
  • Decorating a tree with ornaments that tell the story of their life 
  • Purchasing a present for them and give it away to someone in need 
  • Placing holiday themed decorations or grave blankets on their resting place 
The holidays are tough for anyone who has lost a loved one. Encourage the families you serve to be patient, only do what feels right to them, and not to be afraid to ask for help and extra support if they need it. By providing these helpful tips to families, you help them create new and meaningful connections with their loved ones at this special time of year.


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.

Friday, November 20, 2015

It's time to lay the groundwork for your future

Linda Darby-Dowers,
Chief Executive Officer
At church last Sunday, our minister called his sermon “Building for the Future - A Great Investment.” It discussed laying the groundwork for our future. It doesn’t matter if that means we need to get our finances in place, our businesses in check or something else, we need to prepare.

Our society is stuck in a rat race. Our lives are so fast and furious. And, I think sometimes we don’t want to slow down and invest the time to make our quality of life better. I know it’s hard, but the next time you are faced with something that requires you to show true grit, instead of looking for a quick win, stop and think how working through it could impact your future.

A few weeks ago, we celebrated Veterans Day. So many men and women fought long and hard for the freedoms we have today, and some even gave their lives. Can you imagine what our country would be like if they hadn’t made so many sacrifices for the future of our country? Please, stop and take the time to lay the groundwork for your future, it will be worth it in the long run.



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.

Friday, November 13, 2015

What is your B.A.T.N.A.?

Stuart McDaniels,
Materials Manager
Those of you that follow my articles closely will find that I often talk about negotiation. I consider myself to be a student of the process of negotiation and continually look for opportunities to get better at it. I believe it to be an important part of our social interactions, whether they be in business or with friends and family.

In the book Getting to Yes: Negotiating Without Giving In, the authors, Roger Fisher and William Ury, coin the phrase B.A.T.N.A., which means “Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement.” Simply put, this means it’s the best solution you have without the other party getting involved. It’s not really your best outcome necessarily, but it is the best you can do without them.

Having a good B.A.T.N.A. improves your negotiating power. Knowing you have a good alternative keeps you from giving up as much as you might if you had no alternative. And, you should generally never accept a resolution worse than your B.A.T.N.A. If you have no other options, you are likely to give in to demands from the other side that you normally would not.

If it’s beneficial to you to disclose your B.A.T.N.A. then you should do so. This can help frame the negotiation and identify to the other party that you do have other options. Otherwise, it is best to not disclose it as you can give up leverage.


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.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Are you creating personal relationships with your customers?

Jeff Miller,
Vice President of
Business Development
Do your customers only know your “professional personality?” Or do they only see you in a suit and tie or work uniform? Even though having a strong professional appearance is important for your relationship with your customers, showing your personal side is valuable too.

When you are a Trigard customer, you are part of the family and we will treat you as such. We try to find every opportunity to get to know you and your company on a more personal level. Don’t know where to start building your more personal relationships? Well, the holidays are right around the corner. Invite your customers for a holiday gathering or take them to dinner. This is the perfect time of year to start deepening your relationships. Strengthening personal relationships with customers will enable you to more easily accomplish business objectives with them as well.

There are other options as well. If your customers only see you at the grave site as a vault dealer or at the funeral home as a funeral director, then try changing your routine and getting out into your community. Volunteer at your local food bank or hold a community event. Whatever you decide to do, be yourself and have some fun with your customers.

If you want to share your ideas for connecting with your customers, I am always interested in hearing about them. Just email me at jeffm@trigard.com


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.