Kevin Montroy, CEO & Founder of FrontRunner Professional, is a 34-year licensed funeral director and former owner operator. He has spent the past 20 years looking out for funeral professionals by helping them avoid the pitfalls of technology and understand the importance of choosing their technology partner wisely.
Having a website is now one of the most hotly debated topics in funeral service, yet very few know what it is, how it works, or how to truly use it to one’s advantage. In this post, I hope that I can help you understand more about websites and what you need to consider to truly succeed online.
Let’s start by understanding that your website is simply your space on the Internet – your teeny, tiny little spec in a vast space that has had a profound impact on every business around the world. It has changed virtually every market, toppled dictatorships, and has become the single source for people around the globe to rapidly find out anything they want to know when they want to know it. This vast new space can become your biggest friend or it can become your worst enemy. It’s entirely up to you.
You have undoubtedly been hit up at one time or another by the hype of promised profits through the use of sympathy stores and other online selling tools. Before you put your firm’s reputation on the line, there are a few things that you need to know.
A recent study suggested that the typical funeral home in North America receives an average of 19 unsolicited sales contacts per day. Being in the technology space, I am saddened to say that in today’s market, most of these contacts involve someone trying to sell some form of technology.
We live in a new world of digital phone service with unlimited calling, email blasts, digital fax machines, and social media. Many technology companies use these techniques because they require little to no investment in advertising and no personal contact. Most don’t know anything about the funeral profession because their sales ‘experience’ has focused on everything from vacuum cleaners and photocopiers to used cars. The noise they generate can be relentless and deafening.
There is a lot of hype these days about electronic guest books and most of the hype, of course, is coming from the technology companies producing them.
As the CEO of a technology company, this latest fad serves to remind me that when it comes to technology, just because we can, doesn’t mean we should. And, as more and more funeral homes seek to be the ‘leading’ funeral home in their communities, being on the front line gives them a greater chance of being shot.
Picture this scenario: Just as you go to register your firms Internet address—or “domain name”—you quickly realize it’s gone! It’s been taken by another firm with the same name, a disgruntled former employee, or your competitor down the street!
Those who had the foresight and were proactive enough to properly register their firms Internet address some 7-8 years ago, know what a sound investment it has been for their firms future. For others who “thought” they did everything right in purchasing their firms domain, often they quickly find out that the domain is registered owner of the website developer they hired, the large vendor they trusted or in the legal name of the website hosting firm they chose. Continue reading →