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Funeral directors share common jokes about people dying to do business with them, or the rigors of mortician work, or earning ones “chaps” from hands dried out by embalming fluids. The truth is their jobs are probably one of the most important services offered to a person since a funeral service is the final mortal memory of the deceased. These jobs must be delivered without mistakes.
Do You Have What It Takes?
Funeral directors want the limo to match the hearse. They want limos without booze decanters, flashy LED disco light displays, or festive decor. The limo will transport family members to a funeral, not a night on the town. Put tissues in the vehicle. They want professionally dressed chauffeurs with good manners and good sense.
Unlike normal limo charters, the rule of ‘don’t speak unless spoken to’ does not apply. “I want the chauffeur to look after a grieving family as if it was his own,” says John Basham, owner of Basham’s Funeral Care in Bakersfield, Calif.
“Chauffeurs must always have a coat on, just as funeral directors do. They are an extension of my service and the family should never know the limo is sub-contracted.” Basham also requests chauffeurs to remove sunglasses when speaking to families. It is demanding work to exacting standards. You also must be financially prepared to carry a balance for four to six weeks.
Speaking of Money
Funeral work can be lucrative based on the sheer volume of business. However, just as you feel compelled to provide a discount for a large volume corporate account, funeral work does require some discounting on the price if you want to be seriously considered.
Some funeral directors pass on the exact cost to their customers and some mark it up to increase their bottom line profits. If you don’t provide a discount, there is no incentive for the funeral home to either call upon your company or refer their clients to you. The client could simply call you directly and pay the retail rate. Whether the funeral director passes on the discounted rate or marks it up, you should establish a funeral director rate applied fairly to all. Just as we farm-out jobs to local competitors, the funeral industry is also a tight knit group and regularly loans each other hearses and other equipment as needed. You don’t want them to compare pricing and discover one has a better price than another. Most funeral homes will ask you to invoice them after the job is complete, since there is no guarantee of actual hours spent working a funeral job, although the average is three hours.