Funeral Consumers Alliance

 
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Corporate Preneed Sales Tactics

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Sales tips from one of the big-three, anonymously leaked to the FCA office:



How often do you ask a prospect for the order? The answer, "One more time." You should be prepared to ask at least four to five times.

•46% ask once and quit

•24% ask twice and quit

•14% ask three times and quit

•12% give up after the fourth attempt.

•60% of all sales are made only after the fifth attempt at closing, yet 96% of the sales people give up before the fifth attempt.

•DO NOT ask a customer to sign anything--ask him to okay it or initial it.

•DO NOT use the word contract. Substitute word: agreement.

•DO NOT use word: pay, payment, down-payment, monthly payment, or cash price. Substitute word: investment, monthly investment, total investment.



How to answer a customer's objections:

Want to think it over

When a man says to you: "I want to think this over."

(You say) "That's fine, sir, obviously you wouldn't take your time thinking this over unless you were really interested, would you?

"I'm sure you're not telling me this just to get rid of me, so may I assume that you will give it very careful consideration?"

(Begin Summary Closing) "Just to clarify my thinking, sir, what phase of this program it is that you want to think over?"

(Do Not Hesitate at this point)

"Is it the integrity of CMS West Inc. and cemetery name?"

"Is it my personal integrity?"

"Is it the concept of our cemetery?"

"Is it our location?"

"Is it ________etc.?"

(This will allow you to get a final objection. What you have to do is take "I'll think it over" and reduce it to a specific objection. You cannot answer "I'll think it over" because it is an intangible.)



I'm going to have my ashes scattered

Mr(s). _____, before you make a final decision to have your cremated remains disposed of in that manner, please let me explain what happens when a person is cremated. The cremated remains are really not ashes, as most people think, but actually calcium flakes about the size of your fingernail. Because the calcium flakes have nutritional value, if they are scattered about the ground the birds or insects eat them. If they are scattered in the water, the fish will eat them. [Really?]

Experts who have studied this subject advise us it is very important that we have a final resting place where our loved ones can come to visit and pay their respects to us; and to deprive our loved ones of this opportunity can result in their having serious emotional problems.



I want to be buried back home.

Sir, I talk to many men that tell me they want to be buried back home until they find out the problems it creates for their families. First, it's more expensive because (a) two funeral directors are required. . . (b) The body must be accompanied by an escort, by plane or train. The person traveling with the body must carry a ticket marked corpse for the deceased. [false] . . . Mr. _____, why don't we take care of the problem for the family now so that they won't have to worry about this matter-- then if you decide to go back to _______ you can always give your property to one of the children. Or we do have a lot exchange opportunity whereby you can transfer ownership of what you purchase from us to all areas in the United States. . . .[This is out-and-out consumer fraud. One has to use only those cemeteries that are signed up with the "lot exchange" program; a town or religious cemetery is not a likely prospect. Furthermore, you get credit ONLY for the original purchase price, NOT the current value. There is no exchange, lot-for-lot.]



Donating Body to Science

Mr(s). _____, I can understand why you would want to donate your body to science and that's very commendable on your part. In discussing this subject with most people I find that what they really are interested in doing is to make available the vital organs of their body such as their eyes or kidneys, to help another person, and that's wonderful. That can be accomplished with little difficulty by simply contacting the hospital or organization of your choice and in the event of your accidental death and assuming your death occurs in the area where the organization can remove very soon after your death the vital organs you wish to donate, this is a workable idea. . . .

Most people, once they understand what takes place, are not interested in donating their body to a medical school for experi-mentation. 1. Many schools are now rejecting bodies because they have more bodies than can be used. 2. The usual policy is to store bodies in a frozen locker room for a period of one year before using the body. By the way, this isn't a very pleasant thought but they put a large screw type apparatus into your ears and hang you up on a conveyor belt with a room full of other frozen bodies. 3. Perhaps most important of all, the family is deprived of having a fitting burial for you. . . . Mr(s). _____, in view of these facts would it be okay if we were to plan on your donating just your vital organs and allowing the family the opportunity to provide the customary burial for you--that would please everyone involved, okay?



I don't sign anything without

thinking about it.

Mr. and Mrs. _____, aside from the fact that you would like to take some additional time to think about this . . . is there any other reason that you are aware of why you would not want to go ahead and solve this problem? Isn't it true that all of the important possessions that you now have required your signing your signatures? A. To be married you had to sign a marriage license. B. Before the hospital would allow you to take your children home you had to sign a release document, giving them their legal names. C. You had to sign forms for you and your children to receive medical help from a doctor or for them to go to school. D. To buy a car, you had to sign the forms to take delivery. E. Before you could own this lovely home, you had to sign mortgage papers. Mr. and Mrs. _____, when you stop to think about it, wouldn't it be correct to say that virtually every worthwhile possession that you own today required you to sign your name to some kind of document and that had you refused to sign your name you would not today have the beautiful things you do? Folks, you can add to that wonderful collection by simply signing your names to this agreement and gaining the priceless benefits of this program today . . .



We do not feel there is any need to make this decision now.

Mr. and Mrs. ______, I can understand how you feel about going ahead with this decision at this time. . . but, may I ask each of you a very important question? Let's assume you each knew for certain that you only had a few remaining hours of your life to live . . . what would you each do? (NOTE: Encourage husband and wife to discuss their loved ones and how important their welfare is to them.)

Mr. and Mrs. ______, with all of these things you have just said, not once did you mention that you were going out and spend money on having a good time. Your total concern was for doing those things that would help and protect your loved ones. Doesn't it make a lot of sense to not wait until our time has run out to do those things that we know are important to protect our loved ones?



Parents already have property for us.

Mr. and Mrs. ______, if I could demonstrate to your satisfaction that it would be in your best interest both financially and otherwise that our program was the best for your family, you would definitely want to do business with us -- wouldn't you? May I raise these points--

1.Has the deed for the property been made out in your name so that you would be guaranteed the use of the property? Do you have brothers and sisters that would have first choice if there was a need in their family first?

2. Would there be enough property available for your children and possibly your grandchildren or would you end up with a situation that would make it impossible for your children to be buried with you in the years to come? And, would this be fair to your children?

3. You are aware, I'm sure, that you could be no longer entombed in a dry lawn crypt--but would be buried separately in conventional vaults.

4. Most likely you would end up buying your vaults from a funeral director and your monument from a monument dealer after the death occurs. You would still be paying more money just for those two items than our whole program costs.

5. You would also have to give up all of the protection we provide for you and your children under our Family Protection Plan.

Mr. and Mrs. ________, in view of these facts wouldn't it be a lot better to solve this problem for you and your children with our program?



Closing Procedure

Grave of Sorrow or the Shrine

Mr. & Mrs. ___________, do you know the difference between a Shrine and a Grave of Sorrow? Well let me tell you the difference. Perhaps 75% of the families out here purchase the Grave of Sorrow . . . 75 out of 100 times it is the widow who makes this purchase . . . through lack of foresight she is forced to go out . . . to a strange cemetery . . . on the arm of a relative or friend . . . to make a business transaction concerning a subject she knows nothing about . . . when her mind is clouded with Sorrow, broken hearted . . . and perhaps financially broke . . . in any type of weather . . . 10 inches of snow . . . sleeting rain . . . a blowing gale . . . or a very beautiful day . . . it is a very dark one to her, yet she must make a selection alone.

On the day of the services, she rides through the cemetery . . . to this Grave of Sorrow . . . her loneliness is increased because she has an uncertain future ahead. On the day of the service as she stands here at the graveside . . . for committal . . . she finds this day to be the loneliest and darkest of her life . . . she has lost her husband, sweetheart, father to her children, and income, and they are gone forever. Each time that she returns to this grave . . . for visitation, her mind goes back to the loneliest hours of her life. The hours spent when she purchased this grave . . . and left her sweetheart to rest. It all comes back now . . . broken hear, broken pocketbook . . . broken spirit . . . and an uncertain future ahead . . . her mind goes back to a time . . . when a consultant stopped by their home . . . she is reminded of the excuses that were used that evening . . . to evade or postpone or put off . . . a most important decision . . . the selection of the Family Estate . . . excuses such as cannot afford, want to see it, recession ahead . . . but oh how she knows now that that was a time of great opportunity.

 

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