I led an Opportunity Strategy Workshop this week in beautiful Ft. Washington, PA (30 miles north of Philly for those geographically challenged like myself) and was struck by learning that one of the participants had experience in selling cemetery plots. I don’t know about you, but I’m always intrigued when I meet someone who has had a unique career stint like this.
So I asked him how he liked it and why he left it. His answer was fascinating. He said he enjoyed it and was successful and then proceeded to explain that there are very specific techniques required to be successful in selling “plots”. An example: a great cemetery plot salesperson will make note when someone has died and has left a widow behind. He discovered that the widow will usually get a life insurance settlement approximately 60 days after the burial of the their spouse and that is the perfect time to follow up with the widow – when they have money available and have begun to deal with the grief associated with the loss.
When they call the widow, the next step is to explain that the plot next to their deceased spouse will likely only be available for a short period of time given the limited availability of land in the typical cemetery. Then they follow with, “and, this is likely a great time for you to invest in land (anywhere from $7-14K – not including the casket of course) given that real estate tends to be among the best investments over the long term.”
I’m listening to this guy’s story and tactics with my mouth open. Really? Isn’t that taking advantage of the vulnerable widow? Is this how it works in the “death” business? He could only smile and say, “It worked.”
What about you – have you ever sold in an environment that has its own unique tactics that few others likely know about? We’d all like to hear your story…