Our Arrangers Academy training is made up of two major components. The first component includes three four-hour sessions over a two-day period either at our Hamburg, Michigan training center or “on-site” at your location. The second component of our training happens online. Participants will be given access to our online learning system with 52 weekly video lessons to reinforce and further explain the concepts and methods introduced during the initial two-day training. Below is a description of the material included in both the onsite and online training. To reserve a place for you or your arrangers, please call us at 810-844-1444, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1) The Experience Economy and Funeral Service
- The Scale of Economic Progression
There are five categories in which consumers make value/price decisions. It is critical to understand these five categories, how consumers’ perception of the funeral industry impacts their choices and what we must do to reverse the trends that have our industry in a 30 year decline.
- The Six Disconnects
There are six “customers disconnects” that the funeral industry participates in every day. The old business model consisting of service options, merchandise offerings and the endless prospecting of clients has led many to feel betrayed by our industry. We will teach you how to serve reluctant, resistant, skeptical and defiant clients with authentic, compelling, personalized and innovative experiences.
- The Decline
Every industry has a life cycle…a time of emerging, periods of growth, maturity and decline, and sometimes rebirth. The funeral industry has followed this cycle and it is at the threshold of a new era. Are you defending the past or creating the future?
- The Eureka Moment
The fundamental question every funeral director must ask is this, “If what I do has real value for people, why are more and more clients rejecting it?” Following the scale of economic progression you will learn how to position what it is you can do for people, with what they most need.
- The Unguarded Moment
Every American remembers where we were when IT happened. Understanding your own experience with this moment will transform your view of the experience your clients are having at the time of death.
- The Challenge
The hardest challenge any business owner ever takes on is reversing the behaviors and habits of their clients and transforming their personal activities, tasks and perceptions. Simply put, people like the status quo.
- The Opportunity
Between 2012 and 2030 those of us in the funeral industry have a unique opportunity to redefine the role we play in serving families. Our choices during this time will impact the families we serve for the next three generations. The Baby Boomers will die and their children and grandchildren will learn what to do when someone they love has died. This is the last and best opportunity for existing funeral homes to become relevant to those who are currently rejecting our services.
- The Solution
There are seven essential phases in the Acute Loss Period that help people engage and begin to nurture their grief and empower them to have a healthy experience with loss. The value narrative created in these seven phases, establishes the role of the funeral professional, the needs of the family and a common understanding among each generation in the family.
- The Goal
Establish a new language, narrative and identity for the next generation of funeral service.
2) Knowing Your Audience
- Five Generations
In my book, When We Must Say Farewell, I write, “In the end, your death doesn’t belong to you…it belongs to anyone who has cared for or about you. Every child must learn the answer to the question, ‘What do I do when someone I love has died?’” Every generation has their opinion; those opinions often collide in your arrangement room.
- Four Family Players
Everyone has a family of origin and therefore experiences a range of family dynamics that range from functional to dysfunctional. When a person arrives in your arrangement room they will usually reflect their role in the family. We teach you about the emotional, relational and spiritual needs of the four primary family players and the healthiest role for each to serve in the decision making process.
- Three Orientations
We may serve a hundred personality-types, five different generations, multiple religious and ethnic groups but they only have three orientations toward funeral service. This simple yet profound lesson enables you to quickly identify and appropriately educate each orientation.
- Two Primary Questions
They ask two different questions, see the world in two different ways, communicate with others differently and have spent much of their lives questioning each other’s values and choices. We will equip you to understand current trends such as “the Boomerang,” and teach you methods to close the gap between these two decision-makers.
- One Universal Need
Everyone needs to be loved, respected and valued. When a death occurs, the family and friends who remain have one universal need. It’s the pink elephant in the room and the unspoken felt need of every person you meet.
3) The Acute Loss Period
- A Plan to Begin Healing
When death occurs we enter into one of the most confusing times of our lives. Thinking clearly, making decisions that we understand and being certain we are making the best choices for those we love, is a complicated process during this time. We will teach you about The Experience of Healing®, which includes the seven psycho-social-spiritual phases each person must navigate in order to begin a healthy grief experience.
In order for family planners to identify their needs, you must surface them without being offensive or judgmental. Our training will show you a simple narrative that will enable each generation to understand their needs and make decisions that will attend to those needs.
We no longer present endless options to families. Instead, we provide solutions that meet the needs which surface during the educational and needs assessment portions of our arrangement process. We’ll show you how the business model we use will help you more effectively serve the families in your community.
Connecting the dots between what you do and what they need is simplified when the family planners understand why they need what you do. We use a three-step approach to making arrangements that will make the arrangement process a meaningful, valued and rewarding experience for those who participate. Additionally, you will qualify your clients on a value basis rather than price alone.
- The Seven Phases of the Acute Loss Period
The Acute Loss Period clearly defines seven phases in the initial loss experience of your clients that until now has not been defined. Our research has demonstrated a direct link between those who had an intentional plan to address their needs during the Acute Loss Period and the eventual transition to a healthy grief recovery. Our integrated therapeutic model identifies three primary stages in the grief experience; the Acute Loss Period, the transitioning phase and the recovery phase. A person who has no plan for grieving can often end up with unresolved grief.