A few recent commenters and emailers have asked me questions about pre-need, with two questions specifically about generating cold leads.

Unfortunately, my experience with pre-need is limited to working with the sales force at a large chain (there are three letters in their name) and selling insurance to walk-ins at a small funeral home.

My time spent with that big company brought quite a few interactions with pre-need sellers.  Unfortunately, characterizing those encounters or experiences as pleasant or even tolerable would be over-generous.

In truth, most of those sales people were ruthless and seemed more preoccupied with their own welfare and wallet than with taking care of their clients.

But here’s my caveat:  while I met many “sharks”, I also had the fortune to become friends with some very nice, wholesome and caring individuals who were more concerned with their customers and worked to provide the best possible care.  It’s unfortunate, then, that the machinery in the large corporation seemed designed to eat the nice ones up and reward those with less scruples.

When I left and went to work for a small family firm, I saw the flipside: an ineffective pre-need drive.

Within two years, I took the necessary classes, passed the appropriate test and background check, and received my license to sell funeral insurance for the funeral home.

My pre-need duties, however, were secondary to my daily chores, which included running all the day-to-day tasks required by a small family funeral home.

All of which limited me to selling pre-need to walk-ins, families we had previously served and referrals.

And that, my readers, makes me less than qualified to teach anyone how to generate cold leads.

Of course, I can tell a new salesperson how to leaf back through old files and cold-call widows, checking up on their well-being and trying to encourage them to buy pre-need.  And I can talk about how to present seminars and display at health fairs, but what about the business of generating completely new leads?

Is it about charm?  Should you stand in line at McDonalds wearing a nametag (see the post, DAILY NAG: Wear Your Nametag!)?

Or is it “who you know?”

You got any insight?  Feel free to comment.  We need guidance on this subject.