Parenthood is filled with memorable moments. One of my favorites happened when my daughter was around three years old.

We were on a long road trip, and she was in her car seat playing with some toys. Suddenly, she blurted out, “Why are we moving so fast?”.

The floodgates had opened….

Why is the sky blue?

Why are there clouds?

Why are stop signs shaped like that?

Why is my big toe bigger than my other toes?

Why? Why? Why?

Most parents can identify with this phase of childhood development, the time your child discovers and explores the power of the word why.

Initially, she was satisfied with any answer and would move on to her next question. But eventually, she wasn’t happy with my first response and learned to probe for a better answer.

Why? Why? Why?

As children, it’s natural to ask the question why? It’s a normal part of learning how to converse and figure out the world.

As adults, we continue to ask why but tend to do it subconsciously, and if we say it out loud, we’re not satisfied with a boilerplate answer that doesn’t answer the question.

One of my favorite business books is “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek. If you’re unfamiliar with it, go to YouTube and search for that title. You’ll find his TED talk that has 9.8 million views.

The gist of his book is that most people talk about what they do and how they do it, but what motivates others is why they are doing it. Here’s a quote from the book that summarizes this concept…

“Any person or organization can explain what they do; some can explain how they are different or better, but very few can clearly articulate why. WHY is not about money or profit; those are results. WHY is the thing that inspires those around us.”

I was reminded of Sinek’s book this week when I read the following quote in a marketing newsletter.

“Good marketing hides motivations. Great marketing exposes motivations.”

Another way of saying this is, “Good marketing hides your why. Great marketing exposes your why.”

Great marketing is also about being prepared. You have to anticipate the questions in someone’s mind and be prepared to answer them.

When a family experiences the loss of a loved one, you need to be prepared to answer two important questions.

  1. Why should we have a gathering of some kind?
  2. Why should we have it with you?

The first question is fairly easy to answer because it’s human nature to gather together whenever an important family event occurs. Whether it be a birth, graduation, wedding, housewarming, reunion, or the death of a family member, our natural inclination is to gather together and share the experience.

You’ll notice that I didn’t say, “why should we have a funeral?”. That’s because most Baby Boomers do not want their parent’s funeral experience and are often repelled by the term funeral. However, they are more inclined to do something, if you call it a Celebration of Life or a Farewell Gathering.

When I’m working one-on-one with a client, we spend a lot of time on the second question, “why should we have it with you?”. The answer has two layers, logical and emotional.

The logical side might address things like your beautiful facility, service packages, convenient location, multi-media equipment, ability to live stream the service, mastery of the details, celebrant services, etc.

The emotional side of the answer has everything to do with your personal why. Why are you in funeral service in the first place? Why do you care?

“People buy on emotion and justify on logic.” – Zig Ziglar.

If you can articulate your why and justify it with the ability to provide an excellent funeral experience, you will win the call.

At this time of the year, many funeral home owners look at their results from 2022 and wonder what they can do differently in 2023 to increase their call volume, market share, and revenue. If I were in your shoes, there would be two questions that I would ask.

  1. Why should I invest in marketing?
  2. Why should I invest with a specific marketing vendor?

Why invest in marketing? 

Because if it’s done right, it tells your why and attracts families to you. Of course, if it’s done wrong, it can attract nothing but price shoppers and waste a lot of your hard-earned money. That’s why picking a good vendor is so important.

Why should you invest it with a specific marketing vendor? 

I can’t answer for other marketing companies, but here’s my answer. As I said above, there are two sides; emotional and logical.

My emotional why is that if I can help my clients do a better job of attracting and caring for families, I am indirectly helping families worldwide. 

I’ve personally experienced what it’s like to be served by a great funeral home, but I also know that not all funeral homes are created equal. I’m on a mission to help the great ones serve more families.

My logical “why” is that we’ve been able to help some of our clients double the size of their businesses by winning more calls at a higher revenue per call. We do this by doing a better job of marketing to, and winning, Baby Boomer families.

Until next time


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