A Funeral Home that has Members and the Secret to Moderate Success

As I write this blog post I’m sitting in the exit row on an airplane
coming back from my second trip to Baltimore this month (I also had to
go to Cleveland for 2 days which was even more interesting!). The guy
sitting next to me was looking for some calculus homework help…fate
obviously placed him in the wrong seat! I could have spent the entire
duration of the flight convincing him to throw in the towel and take
up something useful, but hey, I can’t save everyone. Oh well…

I can assure you the marketing conferences and meetings I have been
attending have been well worth the trips or you would never get me to
leave my wife and 2 sons to go to any such place! And yes, for those
of you who are wondering, I spend a lot of time and money on personal
development and coaching every year. As a matter of fact, I will
spend well over $30,000.00 this year on seminars, coaching and
information products. I can also tell you that since I have more than
tripled my spending on these items the last 3 years, my income has
tripled as well. Just a quick gut check: are you dedicating the time,
effort and resources to develop your skills so you can make more
money? If you aren’t you should be!

In my travels, I often run into business owners who are caught up in
comparing their businesses to local or national competitors in their
industry. While this can be an effective way to measure some things,
it is also a guaranteed way to achieve moderate success. In order to
achieve extraordinary success, you have to look to extraordinary (or
even “unorthodox”) methods. You’ve got to get outside of what
everyone else is doing in your industry and find some successful
methods that are working in other industries.

*For one example of this, check out Lowe’s Supercenters (yup the
hardware store!) monthly publication Lowe’s for Pro’s this month where
I was interviewed and gave some secrets for unorthodox marketing
practices for landscapers. I can assure you I have never marketed
anything for a landscaper, but the principles I revealed can and
should be used in every business. For a copy, email me.

One of my favorite examples is from a friend of mine, Scott Mueller
who I saw today, who runs a funeral home business. Scott came to a
lot of marketing meetings absolutely green with envy that he could not
do what most other smart businesses are doing: creating what we call
“Continuity Income” in their businesses. For the uninitiated,
Continuity Income is income built on recurring fees like monthly
membership fees, subscription fees or any other fee that you can
charge on a recurring monthly basis. It’s the greatest way to make
money…from the first of the month when you open your doors, you have
made a profit and you just have to be on the lookout for ways to grow
your continuity income and not lose the members you already have. It
sure beats “pay to play” business models where customers come and go
as they please, without being tied to the business in any way or
possibly ever spending any money with you again! Which, by the way,
is the fastest way to a mediocre business that is more of a job than a
profit center. But I digress…

Scott was determined to find a way to grow his profits so he set out
to be the first Funeral Home with Continuity Income. And I will
definitely hand it to him, what he did next was brilliant! Scott
realized that a funeral was really just a stop on the journey that a
family has to embark on, whether it is convenient or not, when they
experience the death of a loved one. What happens before and after
the funeral is a long, often painful, process for many families filled
with fear and worry. Scott realized that what families really wanted,
besides a comforting funeral service, was a way to heal and recover
from the loss of a loved one. So Scott created the only Guaranteed
Family Recovery program. Now Scott’s customers are offered the
opportunity to join a paid grief counseling and recovery program that
walks the family through the recovery process before and after the
funeral. The results have been amazing. Not only in profitability,
but also because his clients are now MUCH more satisfied customers.
Scott now provides a full solution to the problems his customers are

If Scott hadn’t taken the time to study some other industries and
innovate, then he never would have had this breakthrough. I encourage
you to look for ways to interact with and study what’s working in
other industries and to look for ways to innovate in your own
business. It’s the only way to create an extraordinary business with
extraordinary profits.

If you’d like to challenge Jack and I to find a way to add continuity
to your business, just email us at info@dicksnanton.com. I will post
our answers to the best challenges in my next blog.

P.S. – Our book, Celebrity Branding You, is coming out in bookstores
nationwide within the next 30 days and I’m going on a mini book tour
to launch it. I started the tour in Orlando on June 11 at the Rock
Your Business Power Lunch where I was given the honor of smashing a
guitar! It was quite a thrill. You can see pictures HERE.

If you live in Pittsburgh or Las Vegas, here are some details on the
next couple of events. Come on out and say hi!

June 24 – Pittsburgh, PA

Up A Notch Marketing Seminar
The Pittsburgh Marriott City Center
112 Washington Place, Pittsburgh, Pa 15219
Contact Kathy for details @ Kathy@upanotchmarketing.com

June 26 – Las Vegas, NV

Glazer-Kennedy Insider’s Circle, Las Vegas Chapter Meeting
Antique Mall
1495 E Flamingo
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Contact Richelle Shaw for details at richelleshaw@gmail.com