July '22

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 2 J U L Y G R A P H I C S P R O 6 1 out to one of the larger funeral home chains with locations in multiple states. You can also work with funeral homes to bundle your products as part of a memorial or funeral service package. Just make sure to do your research on the funeral home first so you can be secure you are working with a reputable establishment. Be sensitive and caring. Having a loved one pass is never an easy thing, and it is obviously an emo- tional and sensitive time for those who are making arrangements for a memorial. Be aware that the customer you're talking to may be emotional and may take longer to decide. Also be cognizant for the fact that the selection of products to memorialize a lost loved one is a significant decision and will hold weight. So be patient and be prepared for tears, possibly anger, and indecision. You should also remember that these behaviors may also occur if the customer in question is buying a memorial product for a pet. While it might be tempting to minimize grief over the loss of what might be considered "just" a pet, treat the situation the same as you would if it were a human. Don't always push the most expensive option. It's kind of a rotten sales tactic, but some sellers of funeral or memorial services use it, pushing the idea that memo- rializing a loved one is only valid if it's expensive and top of the line. Make sure you have a variety of attractive options in a range of prices, so that you meet the budget of your customer and leave them feeling satisfied. It's not nice or fair to imply that a bereaved person is letting a loved one down if they don't spend to the maximum or even over what their budget can afford, so don't be that sort of seller. Focus on the life, not the death. Yes, you're cre- ating a product to help remember someone who is no longer with us, but that product will be so much better if you understand who that person was. Take a little time to hear a few stories or anecdotes about the person who died. Treat any items that were owned by the deceased or pictures you might be given as though they were extremely valuable and be sure to return anything (with the exceptions of items to be made into memory quilts or bears) in the same condition in which it was received. Remember that you are creating a product that is designed to pre- serve someone's memory and treat the life that is being remem- bered with respect. Put yourself in the customer's shoes. If it was your grandmother, or husband, or best friend who died, how would you want to be treated? Granted people are dif- ferent, so the "treat others as you'd want to be treated" option may not be your best bet here, but it's at least a place to start. Putting yourself, at least in your imagination, in your customer's shoes, gives you a baseline set of behaviors to work from. en be guided by the customer. If they're brisk, follow their lead. If they need to cry, offer a tissue. While the memorial market is profitable, it isn't a market in which everyone will feel comfortable, nor is it a market which should be entered into lightly. People who have been bereaved and who may be emotional and in pain are trusting you to help them remember and celebrate their lost loved one, and that's a trust that should not be abused. Treat their grief sensitively, sup- port their wish to remember their loved one appropriately and offer a wide range of options so you can suit almost any budget, and you can do well in this market. GP Kristine Shreve is the founder and CEO of Kristine Shreve Consulting, which offers writing, marketing, and business development services. The company can be found at Kristine is also the creator and host of the Business + Women podcast and the direc- tor of marketing and outreach for Applique Getaway. Kristine was the director of marketing for Ensign Emblem and EnMart from 2006-2020. TIP #2 TIP #3 TIP #4 TIP #5

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