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5 Tips for Selling Memorial Products

Learn how to find customers, sell sensitively, preserve a memory, and comfort someone who may still be grieving

The memorial products market can be a profitable one, but it does need to be approached with care and sensitivity. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to find customers, sell sensitively, and do that little something extra that preserves a memory and comforts someone who may still be grieving.

Tip No. 1: Start with funeral homes

It sounds obvious, but many decoration companies that want to sell memorial products forget this step. Most towns have at least one funeral home, and many have more than one. Contact the owner or director and ask if you can display items in their showroom or ask if they have a directory of funeral-related services to which you can be added.

If you sell products online, reach out to one of the larger funeral home chains with locations in multiple states. You can also work with funeral homes to bundle your products as part of a memorial or funeral service package. Just make sure to do your research on the funeral home first so you can be sure you are working with a reputable establishment.

Tip No. 2: Be sensitive and caring

Having a loved one pass is never an easy thing, and it is obviously an emotional and sensitive time for those who are making arrangements for a memorial. Be aware that the customer you’re talking to may be emotional and may take longer to decide.

Also, be cognizant of the fact that the selection of products to memorialize a lost loved one is a significant decision and will hold weight. So be patient and be prepared for tears, possibly anger, and indecision.

You should also remember that these behaviors may also occur if the customer in question is buying a memorial product for a pet. While it might be tempting to minimize grief over the loss of what might be considered “just” a pet, treat the situation the same as you would if it were a human.

Tip No. 3: Don’t always push the most expensive option

It’s kind of a rotten sales tactic, but some sellers of funeral or memorial services use it, pushing the idea that memorializing a loved one is only valid if it’s expensive and top of the line.

Make sure you have a variety of attractive options at a range of prices so that you meet the budget of your customer and leave them feeling satisfied. It’s not nice or fair to imply that a bereaved person is letting a loved one down if they don’t spend to the maximum or even over what their budget can afford, so don’t be that sort of seller.

Tip No. 4: Focus on the life, not the death

Yes, you’re creating a product to help remember someone who is no longer with us, but that product will be so much better if you understand who that person was. Take a little time to hear a few stories or anecdotes about the person who died.

Treat any items that were owned by the deceased or pictures you might be given as though they were extremely valuable, and be sure to return anything (with the exception of items to be made into memory quilts or bears) in the same condition in which it was received. Remember that you are creating a product that is designed to preserve someone’s memory and treat the life that is being remembered with respect.

Tip No. 5: Put yourself in the customer’s shoes

If it was your grandmother, husband, or best friend who died, how would you want to be treated? Granted, people are different, so the “treat others as you’d want to be treated” option may not be your best bet here, but it’s at least a place to start.

Putting yourself, at least in your imagination, in your customer’s shoes gives you a baseline set of behaviors to work from. Then be guided by the customer. If they’re brisk, follow their lead. If they need to cry, offer a tissue.

Learn more: The Constant Need for Memorial Products

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Kristine Shreve

Kristine is the founder and CEO of Kristine Shreve Consulting which offers writing, marketing and business development services. Kristine is also the creator and host of the Business + Women podcast, where the discussion centers around being a woman business owner. She blogs on her webiste, as well as readingandranting.com and whenimthin.com. On Facebook, Kristine is the founder of the Women in Garment Decoration Facebook group. Kristine was the director of marketing for Ensign Emblem and EnMart from 2006 to April 2020.

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