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Guest Blog Post: Funeral Director Matthew Morian on Funeral Home Shopper Calls

Jun 29, 2017

ASD is pleased to share this Guest Blog post from Funeral
Director, Matthew Morian, of Lucas Funeral Home in Grapevine, TX. Matt is the
co-creator of the new
Millennial Directors blog. Millennial Directors was
founded by Matt and Funeral Director, Zach Carnley, to provide an outlet for
Gen-Y to voice their perspective on the funeral profession. In this guest blog
post, Matt discusses the importance of properly handling funeral home price
shopper calls and educating callers on the value of funeral service.

Guest Blog Post: Fountains of Experience

What do you
say when a person calls your funeral home to ask that most probing of
“How much?” Do
you quickly blurt out the answer to their inquiry or do you steel yourself
with a deep breath and prepare for a long informative conversation about what
they will potentially experience over the next several days?

If you
answered the latter, then you will undoubtedly increase your firm’s chances of
serving that family regardless of
“how much.”

As funeral directors, we are often challenged as to what
our value is to modern society. Are we simply disposers of the dead or are we
caring and skilled professionals who are here to educate those we serve?

When a family calls on your funeral home and you allow the
conversation to be solely about price, you are circumventing your value as a
funeral professional.

Should you answer their question? Absolutely!

However, as the calm voice of expertise, you should
realize that most callers truly don’t know what else to ask you. Acknowledge
their concern while explaining that you are here to help them with an array of
information they may need to know.

You will want to discern whether someone has passed away
or if they are planning for the future. If someone has passed, in addition to
gathering prices, the caller may also need to know who else to contact before a
funeral home can receive their loved one.

They may also be unaware of what items a family normally
gathers for an arrangement conference. Offering to e-mail them a universal list
that can be used at any funeral home shows your firm’s level of care.

Describe how your funeral home assists in the filing and
ordering of death certificates and for what purposes they are commonly used.
Explaining our undertaking to an inquisitive family is an important instrument in building their trust.

Decades of hiding death behind closed doors has left a
shadowy veil over our industry. Which means a large portion of people we speak
to everyday have little understanding of what we do or why we do it. We should
consider ourselves fountains of experience and allow our knowledge to cascade
to those we serve.

A helpful tool I learned from Lacy Robinson, the Director
of Member Development for the National Funeral Directors Association
is, “If a caller asks you the price of cremation, take a minute to build
rapport and transition by asking if anyone has taken the time to explain what
their cremation options are?”

You might be surprised to learn how many people don’t
realize that cremation is more than just a disposition. If you assume that
every cremation price shopper is speaking of a direct cremation without asking
them qualifying questions, you may be selling them short of their service

If they are a direct cremation family but you still spend
quality time on the phone with them, you’ll have earned their favor no matter
what your price is compared to your colleagues down the street.

The more time you spend answering questions and offering your
professional opinion, the more comfortable the caller will be with you and your
firm. If you are lucky, the family will call your competitors first and
have their one and only question answered!


About Millennial Directors

Millennial Directors was founded by licensed Texas
funeral directors Matthew Morian and Zach Carnley, CFSP in May of 2017. Matt
and Zach met through the North Texas Funeral Directors Association and the
group TFDA Emerging Leaders. Both strive to be as knowledgeable as possible
about the ever changing trends within the funeral industry. Millennial
Directors is as an outlet for Gen-Y to voice their perspective on the
funeral profession. It will include multiple contributors and viewpoints which
will vary as much as our generation.

About Millennial Directors’ Founders

Matthew Morian is a first generation funeral director &
embalmer. He lives with his wife, Andrea and children, Oliver and Margot in
Keller, Texas while being the managing funeral director of Lucas Funeral Home
in Grapevine, Texas. Matt has been in the funeral profession since 2010 and is
a graduate of the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service. He was a member of the
Pi Sigma Eta funeral director’s fraternity and helped charter the Dallas
Institute of Funeral Service Lions Club. Matt has served as President of the
DIFS Lions Club, the Keller Lions Club, and as a Zone-Chairperson for Lions
Club District 2-E2. He was awarded the 2017 North Texas Funeral Director
Association’s Young Funeral Professional of the Year as well as the 2017 Texas
Funeral Director Association’s Young Funeral Professional of the Year. Matt
loves playing music, watching movies, spending time with his family and
friends, as well as writing.

Zach Carnley grew up in Lampasas, Texas, where he graduated high
school. He attended college at Stephen F. Austin State University in
Nacogdoches where he received a B.A. in Criminal Justice. While attending SFA,
he took a part-time job at a local funeral home. There, Zach discovered his
passion for funeral service and for helping others through one of the toughest
times in their lives. Zach graduated from the Dallas Institute of Funeral
Service where he was class valedictorian and earned a degree in Funeral
Sciences. Zach also has earned his Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (a
certification above and beyond initial licensure) by being very active in his
community and completing more than the necessary continuing education
requirements. Zach was awarded the 2014 North Texas Funeral Director
Association’s Young Funeral Professional of the Year as well as the 2014 Texas
Funeral Director Association’s Young Funeral Professional of the Year. He
serves on the board of the Texas Funeral Director Association Services Inc. and
is on various other committees as well. He is a board member of the Academy of
Professional Funeral Service Practice, serves on the Job Task Analysis
Committee for The Conference of International Funeral Examining Board. Zach is
also a member of the Kennedale Rotary Club, Mansfield Kiwanis Club, and is an
ambassador with both the Kennedale and Mansfield Chambers of Commerce. He is
the general manager of Emerald Hills Funeral Home and Memorial Park in
Kennedale, Texas. Zach and his wife, Courtney are the parents of two boys:
Myles and Owen.

We love to see a new blog in the funeral profession tackling important subjects like this. We’re looking forward to reading future stories and
insights on the
Millennial Directors blog.

Related Reading:

5 Proven Ways to Improve Your Shopper Call Outcomes
How To Turn Shopper Calls into Families Served

The Art of Cremation Phone Inquiries

About The Author

Jess Farren (Fowler)

Jess Farren (Fowler) is a Public Relations Specialist and Staff Writer who has been a part of the ASD team since 2003. Jess manages ASD’s company blog and has been published in several funeral trade magazines. She has written articles on a variety of subjects including communication, business planning, technology, marketing and funeral trends. You can contact Jess directly at

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