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  • Lesson 6: Developing a Rapport with Local Funeral Directors, Part 3

    "Please omit" or "In lieu of flowers" – no matter how it is said, it can damage your sympathy business. Monitor your local newspapers. Track the frequency of the "Please omit" notices.

    As you track the number of times the suggestion appears in your local newspaper, look for patterns. Are the "Please omits" coming from one particular funeral home? If so, visit with the home's funeral director. Find out if the director had a problem with flowers in the past. Perhaps transporting the flowers has been a problem, so the director now encourages families to include "Please omit".

    If you find out there is a problem, let the director know how your shop can correct the problem. Be sure to follow through. After the next delivery of flowers to that funeral home, follow-up with the director. Confirm that the actions your shop took eliminated any concerns about flowers.

    • Never argue with a Funeral Director about using "please omit." Rather, politely provide alternatives. Such as,
      • "Family requests donations be made to..."
      • "Memorials may be made to..."
      • "Contributions in memory of..."
      • "The family appreciates your memorials and tokens of sympathy, especially to the _____________ fund."
    • Many families are unaware of "please omit" alternatives. A carefully planned information campaign focusing on the reason people send flowers to comfort the living may be in order.
    • Discuss "please omit" problems with other florists at Unit meetings and state conventions. Learn and share ideas on how to combat the problem.
    • Remember, sympathy tributes are designed to comfort the living. They convey an emotion troubling for many to express – shared sorrow. Flowers are visible, tangible reminders of hope and comfort.

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