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  • Lesson 4: Developing a Rapport with Local Funeral Directors, Part 1

    The immediate nature of sympathy flower orders can put a significant amount of pressure on the entire flower shop staff. Often this work requires long hours as well as weekend and holiday work. But florists should remember they are just one part of the funeral process. The pressures and demands on the funeral director are greater than the ones experienced in most flower shops. The easier florists can make the director's job, the more sympathy referrals they will receive.

    Understanding the Role of the Funeral Director
    It is important to understand the role of the funeral director. Florists have something in common with funeral directors, as we both wear many hats in our day-to-day operations. The easier we can make the director's job, the better it will be in the long run for our business. Use the following steps to build a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with your local funeral directors.

    • Be certain to visit your local funeral home at least once a year. Meet with the funeral directors and find out how your shop can better serve them.
    • Always use telephone courtesy when calling a funeral home for information. Never call more often than necessary and always identify yourself and your shop.
    • Consider supplying boutonnieres for the pallbearers when your shop has received numerous orders for one funeral.
    • Funeral home receptionists are influential in guiding out-of-town friends to a local flower shop. Establish a friendly relationship and be sure to leave your business card for easy reference.
    • Provide a "Flower ID Chart" with pictures to the funeral home receptionist. This will assist the receptionist when asked to identify flowers used in the tributes.
    • The disposal of flowers after the service is a growing problem. Work with your local funeral directors by offering to remove flowers after the services and donate them to nursing homes, design schools and garden clubs.
    • Show your cooperation by supplying furniture protecting mats and coasters.
    • Above all, try to understand the funeral director's challenges and find ways to make their job easier by providing professional flower services.

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