Storytelling is an engaging and emotionally-driven means of communication. It can be used to capture the interest and evoke memories of whoever is listening. Stories can take us to other worlds and times, and they can stick with us for a long time. Using real-life stories to promote advance funeral planning can help you share the benefits of prearranging in way that are meaningful to people in your community.
One of my favorite new storytelling campaigns is from Budweiser. The beer company partnered with Folds of Honor, a non-profit that gives scholarships to the children of fallen and disabled Veterans. Together, they created a short documentary about a family whose father had been unable to deploy with his military unit due to a major injury that still affects him today. The Veteran’s daughter is currently in college, but they are having a hard time making ends meet. In the video, you hear the family’s heart-wrenching story and learn about the father’s guilt when he found out he was no longer able to serve.
The video continues as actor Adam Driver, a former Marine who was also injured before being deployed, shows up at their house with a letter letting them know that their daughter received a scholarship that would cover her entire college tuition. The moment is emotional and authentic. It made me cry, and even trying to explain it gets me teary all over again. Even though I’m not a fan of beer, this video had a major impact on how I perceive the company and what it stands for.
There are several ways to effectively use storytelling to support your brand and services. Here are a few ideas for sharing the story of your firm’s advance funeral planning services in meaningful and memorable ways.
Explain what pre-need does, not what it is.
One great way to start using storytelling techniques is to remember this rule: benefits first, features second. This phrase is often associated with a physical product, but it can be used in a funeral home business, too.
Most people will understand what a pre-need funeral plan is after a simple explanation. Having the ability to prearrange and pre-pay for a funeral in a variety of ways is a feature of pre-need, but the benefits extend much further. The benefits of prearranging your own funeral include things like taking the burden off the shoulders of your family and making sure your funeral will include everything you desire. These benefits will address the needs and experiences of your prospective client families and could be even more important than that practical features that advance funeral planning also provides.
Provide solutions for complex experiences.
End-of-life decisions can be difficult to think about. Planning for what will happen after your own death can bring up complex feelings that may include grief and even superstition. In funeral service, you often share how pre-need is a solution to make things easier for families during difficult times, but it’s also important to address the emotions a policy owner may be feeling when they confront their own mortality and finalize their arrangements.
Client families who prearrange their funerals can sometimes experience their own type of grief. Providing them with pre-need-specific aftercare resources, similar to those you provide to at-need families, can help lessen the emotional weight they may be feeling. Plus, demonstrating that your firm provides care for clients even after the prearrangement conference is an important element of how your advance funeral planning story is told in your community.
Make your story simple.
Studies have shown that consumers who are given too many options are less likely to buy any products or services. Keeping this fact in mind during community presentations and events could help you avoid overwhelming a prospective client family.
A firm that has a huge array of caskets, urns and keepsakes can provide a lot of options for creativity. However, presenting this information all at once could make the decision to prearrange with your funeral home seem more difficult than it really is.
Using storytelling techniques to communicate the benefits of advance funeral planning can be an effective way to earn business in your community. If you are looking for an additional value-added benefit to provide prospective client families, learn more about FAMIC’s Have the Talk of a Lifetime® and our newest video series.