Poll: What Makes a Successful Funeral Director?

Recently, I read an article on Connecting Directors called, “I Think Confucius Knew a Few Good Funeral Directors” by Timothy O’Brien. It got me thinking about what exactly it means to be a good funeral director.

I turned to Facebook for some inspiration. I posted an open-ended question on my Facebook page, and the response was so awesome, I wanted to share it with you!

My question: What makes a successful funeral director? And for that matter, a successful funeral home?

I received responses from thought-leaders, funeral directors, funeral owners, and bloggers in the funeral profession.

And do you want to know what the number one response was?


It reminded me of one of my favorite quotes of all time: “Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.”

I’ve got to hand it to you. Every day, funeral professionals help families through the toughest time of their lives. The job is challenging, but the reward is invaluable. Money can’t buy the response you get from families when you’ve helped them face their grief, and made them feel supported.

But the support families feel wouldn’t be possible if you all didn’t have that passion and drive that keeps you going – even on days that you think you can’t anymore.

As someone who has an infinite enthusiasm for what I do, it was great to see how many funeral professionals have that shared trait!

See for yourself the amazing responses we received:

Bob Biggins: Passion

Carl Jones: A passion for the trade and a caring person who is willing to go that extra step

Kim Stacey: passion is an essential, no doubt about it. “Passionate Adaptive Adopters” 🙂

John Perkes: Excellent question. For my definition if a successful funeral director or funeral home, definitely a passion for what we do and a compassion for the families we serve.  If I was defining a truly great funeral director the list of attributes would be a lot longer.

Jared Skarda: Someone that realizes that a funeral business is unique in that it is about 50% service related and 50% retail related. You have to be aware of trends on both sides to maximize your growth potential.

Beth Young-Mosley: Compassionate people who have a true passion for the service they give and for the families that they serve. If you are in it and after it for the buck then you are doing it for the wrong reasons, you may be successful in the beginning, but people want service and long for that service during a difficult time and will search to find a place where they can feel comfortable and cared for. It’s those “extra” little things that make the difference.

Santos Moreno: Ability to listen and provide

Keister Whitt: Compassion, ability to hear what is being said, identify what a family really wants, a funeral home staff willing to break the mold and a knack for making it all happen!

Patricia McGrane Johnson: compassion and the desire to be successful in this field by having the passion for the trade…to be willing to work with the families and the community to make a difference 🙂

Aason Fortune: Passion, Integrity, optimism, innovative, dignity and respect is what makes a Funeral Director and a funeral home successful

Vincent Iocovozzi: if you love what you do, people will see that in you and your funeral home

Ryan Thogmartin: The ability to adopt will be critical for success

What do you think makes a successful funeral director or a successful funeral home? Share your thoughts!


Joe Joachim is the CEO and Founder of funeralOne, the first global solutions firm leading a movement of change for the funeral profession. For the past 10 years, he’s developed game-changing solutions that help funeral professionals increase the value of their service offerings, connect with the families of today, and become more profitable. funeralOne’s solutions include: website design, aftercare, funeral eCommerce, and personalization software. For more information about funeralOne, visit www.funeralOne.com.

Joe Joachim


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  1. Kim Stacey

    Love it, Joey! What a GREAT post. Full of energy, light, and PASSION! 😉 Thank you for everything you do to support funeral service professionals!