Here’s a fact you’ve probably forgotten:  People get nervous when they have to address someone they don’t know.

BUT… if the person being addressed is wearing a nametag, the nervous person feels more at ease because they already know something about the wearer.

This applies to funeral homes, as well.

So today’s daily nag is:  WEAR YOUR NAME TAG!

And not just in the funeral home, although you should wear it so that families and visitors will be able to identify members of the funeral home staff.

But you should wear it in public so that your community knows who you are. 

“But people will talk about me!” you claim.  Of course they will!  That’s the point.

Stop being so worried that people will know you work in a funeral home.  A lot of people already know.  Those people who duck their heads and whisper when you enter a restaurant?  They’re telling their guests that you’re an undertaker.  And you had better believe that your kid tells everyone at school what you do for a living.  “My mom touches dead bodies!” is worth six months of cool, at least.

You should wear your nametag in public because 1) you shouldn’t feel ashamed about being a funeral professional and 2) you’ll get business because of it. 

“You’re kidding!  I’ll get business just from wearing a name tag?” you ask.

Yes!  Have you ever noticed how seldom people talk to each other in public lines?  Waiting at the grocery store, standing in line at the post office, in the doctor’s waiting room.  Wherever we congregate unwillingly, we keep our traps shut.

But then something magical happens:  someone helps a person by opening a door or lifting a package and it’s suddenly “old home week.”

That’s because people need icebreakers.  They need someone else to start the conversation.  They need to be introduced to you.

Nametags have the power to “introduce.”

I worked with a pre-need salesman who sold all his contracts to people he met at McDonald’s during breakfast.  He’d put on his suit, tack on his nametag and stand in the longest line at McDonald’s.  When people saw his nametag, they’d comment to a friend or ask him a question.  Invariably, he’d have a few people asking him about the funeral home/cemetery where he worked and about planning funerals in advance.

He used to go in the later morning, right after the working people had finished buying their coffee.  He’d leave our office at 9:30 am and head out to meet with the seniors who gathered at the restaurant.  If no one talked to him, he’d introduce himself.

He’s retired now.  Made a lot of money.  And every penny came from contacts he made in McDonald’s.