In the early 2000’s, I fell in love with the death profession while working on a technology project at a cemetery. No one would have ever guessed, least of all me, that the death care profession would become that light in my life. With much needed encouragement from many of our finest industry teachers and mentors, I learned to have a certain code of conduct to ensure that the people I served were prepared for the inevitable. We can talk about the topic of pre-need sales in a myriad of ways, but at the end of the day, when we conduct ourselves in a kind, compassionate and caring way – pre-need just happens.
During frequent visits and conversations with cemeteries and funeral homes, I commonly hear, “we don’t sell pre-need”, “we are an at-need organization” or “we serve those that walk in.” I don’t get it. I am a firm believer in helping people through respectful, informative methods to achieve pre-need arrangements in advance of need. When did pre-need get such a bad rap? And, who decided to believe it? Not me.
Pre-need is everything we decide it to be. If we believe that pre-need is “pushy” or “salesy,” then our programs and behavior will represent this thinking.