Why Private Label for PN to AN Conversion
A common question that comes up when talking to potential clients about using Private Label caskets is how does pre need conversion affect my business and how do I get the staff to support the change to Private Label. This is a great question and one that deserves attention as it will make or break the success of implementing Private Label as your casket distributor.
Private Label prides itself in its ability to offer very similar looks and styles to its competitors. We offer 13 wood caskets and 28 metal units in our core line. Many times families even have the option to upgrade when using Private Label. For example, a family may have selected an 18 gauge in the pre arrangement but are able to have a stainless steel at the time of death. This creates value for your firm as you are able to over deliver for that family.
We at Flanner and Buchanan are able to convert 95% of our pre-need business to Private Label units. Our business is located in Indiana with two of the big casket companies in our backyard and we still have been successful in this area. The key to doing this is to get your funeral directors on board. We were recently told by a partner that they had slowly started to add Private Label to their floor a few years ago, filling one space at a time. Their funeral directors were hesitant, and tried hard to find the flaws in each casket that was introduced. Rightfully so, as they had heard that all “imports” were of lesser quality than their domestic competition. Over time, they gained confidence and found that the quality of the Private Label caskets were as good, if not better, then some of the other caskets that were being carried by other manufacturers. More importantly, the funeral directors were confidently selling these caskets without reservation.
Another example of this from the same partner shows that Private Label caskets can be put up against any other distributor. This firm frequently hosts different mortuary students throughout the year. The last stop of the day usually ends up in the selection room, that is now almost 100% Private Label. They are then told that two of the fourteen caskets on the selection room floor are imports, and they are asked to identify those two caskets. They usually debate for some time, but ultimately decide on the two caskets that they think are imports. After giving all of their reasoning and logic behind their decisions, it is then explained to them that all fourteen caskets are imports. The look on their face from that point forward is priceless. This firm went on to say that the most important thing to them is to know they are selling a great product at a great price, so both the funeral home and the consumer benefit.
Let’s take a look at the impact to the bottom line for a 500 call firm selling mostly 18 gauge caskets on pre-need business. What is the savings over a year if 30% of your business is pre-arranged? A private Label 18 gauge casket averages $600.00 compared to a competitor’s model which averages $1300. This is a $700 wholesale savings to your firm per unit sold. When the value of pre-need policies and trusts have not grown to keep pace with the market, this kind of savings can have a serious impact to the business.
One of the greatest benefits to Private Label Customers is that Private Label is able to hold prices steady with minimal increases since the start of the company in 2007. Private Label has had no price changes at the end of 2014 or 2015. Our competitors pass on price increases annually averaging 4%-8% which continually cause funeral homes to have to raise retails to maintain margin. Keeping prices low without the large increases allows funeral homes to be more competitive both at-need and pre-need with families they are serving or with shopper families. Private Label is constantly evaluating marketing strategies to be able to keep wholesales low and increases to a minimum.
If you need help in getting your team on board and training them in the best way to present Private Label to your families please let us know as we would be glad to assist in this area.
- Private Label has similar looks and styles to most big 3 models. Private Label offers ?? wood options and ?? metal options.
- Many times to find a matching model families are able to upgrade with Private Label. An example of this would be upgrading from an 18 gauge to a stainless steel casket.
- If you are a 500 call firm selling mostly 18 gauge caskets on pre needs – what is the savings over a year if 30% of your business is pre-arranged?
- There is a savings on wholesale costs with declining growth in pre need. For example, a private Label 18 gauge casket averages $550.00 compared to Batesville which averages ???This is a $$ wholesale savings.
One of the greatest benefits to Private Label Customers is that Private Label is able to hold prices steady with NO increases since the start of the company in ???. The big 3 casket companies pass on price increases annually averaging ?? which continually cause funeral homes to have to raise retails to maintain margin. Keeping prices competitive without the large increases allows funeral homes to be more competitive both at need and pre need with families they are serving or with shopper families. Private Label is constantly evaluating our marketing strategies to be able to keep wholesales low and increases to a minimum.