How to be a Better Funeral Director…Right NowJune 18th, 2012
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” ~ Maria Robinson
Do you want to know how to be a better funeral director, grow your firm, or better connect with your families?
If you’re like most funeral directors, of course you do. So what’s stopping you?
You could go online and do tedious research on how to be funeral director, read a self-help book, or if you’re feeling really ambitious, you could call up some the most successful funeral directors in the world and get their advice.
But, if you want to become a better funeral director right now, I’ve got some tips that will help you better yourself immediately – no research, cold calling, or reading glasses needed.
1. Never try to be someone you’re not.
Funeral professionals need to know who they are – on a deep level – and meet their families from a place of authenticity. That means creating a personal connection to a bigger purpose and developing your emotional and social intelligence.
2. Embrace change.
Baby Boomers have changed everything. Change with them or die (pun intended). This means embracing the funeral service trends their looking for, like DIY personalization services, (think tribute videos, social memorial websites, and funeral webcasting).
3. Don’t be scared to make a mistake.
No one knows what will work. Accept this! Mistakes are inevitable. Conrad Hilton said, “Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” And he was right.
4. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes.
Dwelling in the past is a way of avoiding the future or what you have to do today. But there’s more to it: your past mistakes have given you a wealth of experience, and can pave your way to a brighter future. Learn from them, and move on.
5. Be bold.
The first to hit the marketplace with a new idea will have a great advantage over those who simply follow. Take John McQueen, of Anderson-McQueen for example. His firm was first in the US to offer alkaline hydrolysis. Just think of the funeral marketing challenges within that decision! But he still did it, and boy, did he succeed.
6. Don’t just compete against everyone else.
Benchmarking against mediocrity will not ensure your success! Be the best funeral director you can be, and leave the other guys alone. Conformity never leads to innovation.
7. Face your challenges, head on.
It isn’t about the challenges you face (cremation rates, rising costs, price pressures) but how you respond to them. Take a risk, make that bold move – don’t use the former as an excuse not to do the latter.
8. Don’t let others bring you down to their level.
There is safety in numbers but if your entire mountain climbing party is going over the cliff, you can’t save them. Cut the rope and do something different!
9. Stop trying to be everything to everyone.
Trying to be everything to everybody means you’ll end up being nothing to anybody! Genericising your funeral service offering is the first step on the slippery slope to irrelevance. Take it from Lajos Szabo, President of Funeral Operations here at funeralOne, who says: “Unfortunately, in making something generic, it automatically becomes less valuable to everyone.”
10. Don’t worry so much.
Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, but it will strip today of its joy. In other words, worrying doesn’t do a bit of good.
There you have it: my list of ten things you can do to help you become a more successful funeral director today.
Now it’s your turn. Share your tips on what you’ve done to become a better funeral director! Leave your comments below!