federer nadal tennis court grass clay

The picture above is from an experimental match between world tennis #1 Roger Federer and #2 Raphael Nadal.  The court was half grass (Federer’s strength) and half clay (Nadal’s domain).

In fact, the experiment was undertaken partially because of the dominance each has shown on his preferred turf.

I can already hear you: “Who cares?”

I’d suggest that many of us look at our competitors (other funeral homes or, in my case, other funeral product suppliers) and think that we just can’t possibly compete with them.

Can I compete with The Dodge Company when it comes to meeting face-to-face with funeral directors and selling cot covers?  How do I keep up with the reach of Kelco Supply’s catalog?  What advantage do I have over the cheap hi-luster cover offered by other suppliers?

But I keep forgetting that I don’t have to play on their field!  I can choose to compete on my own “best turf.”  For Final Embrace, that means the Internet and word-of-mouth.  Hundreds of people are exposed to our covers every month through this website.  Everytime we ship a new cover, competitors of the firm that purchased it find out about our product (people DO talk, especially when there’s something new!).

In fact, many of our current orders are coming because “a good friend in a neighboring county told us about your covers.”  Others come because a proactive funeral professional searches for quilted cot covers on the Internet and finds us right away. 

In fact, I don’t HAVE to compete with Kelco’s catalog or Dodge’s reps because I can play all “home games” if I want.  But it also means that I know where my strengths are where my weaknesses lie.  Which is why I don’t send out mass mailings and I’ve abandoned efforts to build a network of field reps.  But it’s also taught me that I have a better product that the cheaper manufacturers (best turf aspect:  Innovation and design) and that I don’t have to compete in the price arena. 

What about you?  Are your efforts to compete against your price-focused competitor failing?  Maybe you’re not playing on the right field!

Is the oldest funeral home in town constantly beating you when it comes to attracting the established families?  Have you considered changing tactics and selling your ability to provide unique services, free from five generations of “how we’ve always done it”?

In every area I’ve visited, there are a wide range of funeral clients available.  Stop trying to snag the price-focused ones, if there are others you can wow with your A-game. 

Make sure the field you’re playing on is best suited to your talents.