As you will learn in this episode, this topic is always apparent to me ever since it hit me over the head in 1997 and I think that it is something that you should think about every so often (or even daily)…
Topics discussed / In this video:
02:34 – Who scored on Hepp who also hoisted the Stanley Cup?
03:24 – Started my apprenticeship with McCalls
04:04 – An epiphany in Las Vegas
06:07 – Opinions are like a nose, everyone has one
07:30 – Have you embalmed as many bodies as me?
09:32 – I’m not picking on hospice
10:23 – September 9th, 10th, and 11th, in Cleveland
14:44 – This podcast is now on iTunes
15:11 – Dropbox for Funeral Homes
“Never take advice from someone who doesn’t have what you want or doesn’t have the experience or the education to get you the results that you need.” – Hepp – Click To Tweet
Don’t you hate “the nosy rosy neighbor, who always sticks their nose in it” – Hepp – Click To Tweet
Welcome to the “Funeral Strategy and Marketing Show.” I’m your host, Robin Heppell. In today’s show, we’re going to be talking about the differences between opinion and advice. Before I get into that topic, I just want to let you know to stick around to the end of the episode because I’m going to be sharing with you one of my favorite free resources that every funeral home could use. It saved my butt more than once, probably a dozen times. We’ll get into a little bit later.
First, let’s get back into the topic of today, which is the difference between opinions and advice. I think this is really important because we get bombarded by people’s opinions. People being the do gooder and sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong, but over time people with their opinions, sometimes others will then start to receive that information as advice.
I really want to separate the difference here because this can help you both when you’re bringing in information and also when you’re giving information.
I want to share with you a little bit of a story. Probably most of you haven’t heard the story before, so it will be somewhat interesting. Most of you know that when I was 18 right out of high school, I still had my dreams of becoming a professional hockey player in the NHL being a goalie. I was a goalie.
I had gone out to Ontario to work at a hockey school. While I was there, I stayed at the funeral home at Egan’s in Bolton, Ontario. Grandpa and Uncle Paul’s rule is that if you can eat and sleep, you can work. That’s why I worked around the funeral home, but for a few weeks there I went and worked at the hockey school.
The hockey school was great. It was my way of getting to know some people there and if there was a chance of getting picked up by a team, just seeing how it worked there.
Anyway, the summer was coming to a close. I’d already had my plans to come and play hockey back in BC. We’re sitting around the dressing room. We’re going around, and guys are saying where are they going to play. Different guys are saying, “I’m going to play here. I’m going to play there. I’m going to college,” or whatever.
They get to me, and I say, “I’m going to play in Fort St. John, BC with Richie Webb.
We had just finished that previous spring playing in the BC provincial championships, kind of like the state championships. We lost to a team from Burnaby, which is just outside of Vancouver. We lost to Joe Sakic’s team. You probably know if you’re a hockey fan, Joe Sakic was the captain of the Colorado Avalanche for years and hoisted a few Stanley Cups. He scored a couple goals on me. Anyway, not that we’re talking about Joe.
This guy in the dressing room says, “You’re going to Fort St, John from little timid Victoria, where it’s super mild and you don’t even have to shovel snow and stuff like that?” He goes, “Fort St. John is going to eat you up and spit you out. You don’t want to go up there.”
You know what I did? I took his advice, or what I thought was advice. I changed my plane ticket, decided to fly right back to Victoria, ended up playing a lower level of junior hockey here, and started my apprenticeship at McCall’s shortly after that.
Now, I have absolutely no regrets. I love my life, I love my career, but things would’ve been a lot different if I’ would have gone to Fort St. John. Who knows what would’ve happened? Maybe I would ended up still working for Ric Hamre up there at the funeral home, but things would’ve been different.
Life just went on. About 10 years later, myself and three buddies from high school all went down to Vegas. It was actually the US Thanksgiving long weekend. We got some great deals. We went down there. We’re sitting around the hotel room.
We’d all gone off in our different directions. I was the only one living in Victoria. A couple of the guys were in Vancouver, and one of the guys was in Toronto. We got together, and we’re just talking about where we went right out of high school. I don’t know how it came up.
We all played sports. I’d probably gone further than the other guys did in their sports. They said, “Whatever happened? What would it have taken to make the NHL?” So I explained the story that I just told you.
What I found out as I was telling the story…I said, “This guy said, ‘You don’t want to go there. You don’t want to go to Fort St. John.'” I said, “There’s this assistant coach. He was from a small college in Alberta.”
He says, “Who was he?” My friend kept on hammering. “Was he anyone? Had he made the NHL? Was he an NHL coach or an NHL scout?”
I said, “No.”
“Well, then why did you take his opinion?” Boom, it hit 10 years later. It just hit me.
From that point on, I’ve always been cautious of the difference between an opinion and advice. I took someone’s opinion, that I thought, was advice.
If you look the two terms up in the dictionary, and although they get interchanged quite a bit, there is quite a difference.
The reason why I want to tell you this is that people are impressionable in different parts of their life and in a day to day basis. Whether it’s family members, friends, or co workers, you’re probably getting lots of opinions.
What do they say? Opinions are like a nose, everyone has one. You just need to make sure that you filter those, to make sure if you’re taking someone’s opinion, you take it as such.
If you’re taking someone’s advice, people who may be a bit more qualified to give advice would be someone like a brain surgeon.
Now, maybe they haven’t gone through brain surgery on themselves but they’ve gone through all the training, education that they need to perform that. Hopefully, if you ever need one, you get someone who has a great track record.
I came up with this quote, where it is, “Never take advice from someone who doesn’t have what you want or doesn’t have the experience or the education to get you the results that you need.” I really, really live by that.
Now, just to be open, sometimes I’m giving this could be perceived as advice or it could be perceived as opinion. I’m always very careful when I’m writing articles. I’m not just pulling stuff out of the air.
Based on a lot of my experience, now I had the great fortune of, while I was working at McCalls, it was a high volume facility.
Over my 20 years of working there, I’ve probably embalmed over 500 bodies. I’ve made over 1,000 arrangements, worked on over 1,000, probably a couple thousand of funerals or services.
Also for 10 of those years, I was also, at the same time, in managing the preneed department and wrote over 1,000 contracts.
That wasn’t enough, I actually went back to school, went to Royal Roads, got my business degree in entrepreneurial management, just to round that out.
Since that time, I’ve been studying marketing and strategy. Just you listening to me, right now, is just some of the results of the marketing that I’ve done.
Now, I’m not saying, always take my advice. I’m always very cautious, if it’s something that people are asking me that I don’t have expertise on, I say, “You know what, let me give you my opinion. Take it as such, that won’t be advice.”
Say, if you want to get evaluation for your funeral home, to see how much the business is worth, I’m not the guy to talk to. There’s a few other people within the industry who are super smart on that and you should go seek them for that advice.
Also to, this ends up, for you, because when you’re in a situation, day to day, talking to families. You have the opportunity to give advice to people.
You know what it’s like because maybe the family’s come in from being at hospice. The hospice counselor said, “Oh, you know what, you can save a lot of money. You don’t need to have a viewing. Come and view your loved one here and say good bye here,” or, “You don’t really need that. You don’t need to have a service. You can just have a quiet memorial service.”
Well, those are just opinions from someone. Someone who’s sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong.
You know what, I’m not picking on hospice people, but they can give you great advice for that last part of someone’s life and how to interact with the person who’s terminally ill and how to make sure that they’re comfortable. That is advice from them. I would seek that advice from them.
I would not seek funeral advice from them but unfortunately, they give funeral opinions, all the time. Also, the nosy rosy neighbor, who always sticks their nose in it and says, “Yeah, you know what, you can save a lot of money by not having a viewing,” or things like that.
I’ve even used this rule, this maxim of mine, with families. I’m not blunt about it as blunt as I’m being here but I’ll say you’ve got a lot of decisions to make, and we’re here to provide you some advice on that. Feel free to bounce any ideas off of us. Lots of people are going to give you their opinions, but everyone’s situation’s different.
We’ve dealt with hundreds of thousands of families like you, and we know that we can do the best thing that we can for you in your situation. Just make sure you ask a lot of questions, and we can help you go in the right direction.
Just try that, because they’re getting bombarded by opinions all the time, and we have to be careful that we don’t let those opinions override our professional advice that we can give them.
I hope that helps. That’s just a little story, tying in where I learned this. Maybe learned it the hard way. But also how I apply today and how you can apply it. You think about that, and I’d love to know your thoughts. I’d also just like to keep you up to date on what’s happening here at the Funeral Futurist’s headquarters.
We’ve opened the registration for the Funeral Bootcamp. It’s going to be in September, September 9th, 10th, and 11th, in Cleveland, and it’s going to be great. This Funeral Bootcamp is going to be for if you want to Supercharge your Funeral Home Web presence and your website. It’s not just for funeral managers and owners.
If you have someone looking after that part of your business, looking after your social media, then they’re probably the best person from your firm to attend. I’ve actually got right here on my whiteboard, just mapping it out, and here are just all the different topics for its three days. We’re going to be talking about a lot of stuff.
We’re going to be talking about search engine optimization, we’re going to talking about social media, online reputation management, how to get reviews online, and all that. It’s all going to be how you do it yourself. We’re not selling anything to you. These are going to be the steps, the step by step.
I’m going to be sharing a lot of the training that I give my own team for the things that we do for our clients, but to showing you how you can do it yourselves. We can’t serve everyone, but hopefully we can teach as many people as we can.
The other thing, too, is just doing maybe some late spring cleaning, but I’ve got hundreds and hundreds of domains with Go Daddy. I thought, “You know what? I’m not going to hoard these. I’m not going to use some of these.” Some of them I’d had for five, six, seven years, thinking, “Oh, that would be a great idea.”
You know what I’ve done lately? I’ve really honed in our server’s offerings. We’re solely focusing on marketing for funeral homes and providing education in that area. Obviously, with that, there’s going to be some strategies as well. But lots of other ideas that I had, you know what? I’m going to put them to rest.
What I’ve done is I’ve created a page. It’s on funeralgeeks.com. That’s going to be one of the sites that we send you for technology and things like that. Funeral Futurist is going to be more on the consulting side and my ideas. But that funeralgeeks.com/domains-for-sale/, you’ll see the link below, you can just check out some of the domains.
Most of them are below the appraise price, so you can snatch them up. If you could use it, great. I don’t want to sit on these things anymore. Maybe someone else who wants to put them in action could use them, and, hey, that’s awesome. I’d also like to get your feedback, and to see if you have any burning questions about strategy, competition, marketing. Just let me know.
Around this video here, just leave a comment, or, at the bottom of the page, on the side, you’ll see where it says, “Leave a Voice Message,” it’s called “SpeakPipe.” It’s another free resource that I’ll talk about sometime.
You can just leave a recording, and I can either play your question and answer it or I can just state it. Let me know if you want me to keep your name anonymous or not. No problem there. But I think this will be a great platform for me to answer some of your questions.
You can also now listen… My podcast is on iTunes, so feel free to give it a review. Five stars would be awesome. You can just do that right on your phone, too. Now back to my quick tip that I mentioned at the beginning. The free resources that I want to tell you about is Dropbox. Dropbox, probably a lot of you use it now, but some of you may not. I just want to let you know that it’s awesome to use.
Dropbox is basically an online file storage. Just like you have file folders on your computer, like on your C drive or D drive, Dropbox is like another folder that is on your computer, but it’s also copied into the cloud and it’s linked to the cloud. What I use it for is, if I’m creating a presentation.
I might be working on my PC at my desk and create a PowerPoint presentation, I’d save it to Dropbox, and then when I open up my Mac it syncs, and that PowerPoint presentation’s there. I can present the presentation.
Just in that, in itself, it’s been awesome. I used to have to email myself the presentation, or use a thumb drive. You don’t have to do that anymore with Dropbox. You can also use it amongst your team. We use it within our team. What you can do there is just, you’re sharing a file and you’re working on a file together. You’re not always emailing the file and then waiting, getting the person to make their changes, and emailing it back.
It’s much easier for collaboration, and another use that you could use is for dealing with families. Maybe a family wants to send you all their photos, and you know what it’s like reading five different emails with five images each. Maybe it’s 10, and you’ve got to download each one. You know what? Show them how to use Dropbox, or ask them if they use Dropbox. A lot of people do. You’d be surprised. Probably 10 percent, 20 percent of the people would probably know how to use Dropbox. If they’re computer savvy, for sure.
They can just share all those files right there. Boom! Once they’ve synced to your computer, you’ve got them all. You can then give them back a copy of the video right there. Anything that’s over 2 or 3 megabytes, most email programs only allow you to do 5 megabytes, 10 megabytes, if you use Gmail or Google Apps, you can do 25 megabytes, but that’s the max. Videos are much more than that.
If someone’s sending you 25, 30, 50 images for a video slideshow, they’re going to be a megabyte each or more, so well over 25. Dropbox, you can just go to Google and go “Dropbox.” Just search “Dropbox for Funeral Homes.” You’ll find a video that I created, and you can even just go, to make it easy, to funeraldropbox.com. I’ll take you there for you to get a free trial, or not even a trial. It’s free.
Now, if you go over the limit, then you have to pay, or you start referring people and you build up your capacity that way. The more you share, the more space you get. That’s Dropbox. Just search for “Dropbox for Funeral Homes” on Google, and you’ll find my video about that.
Now, I just want to leave you with just my little challenge. My challenge today, it’s pretty simple, just beware of the information that comes into you, in the forms of opinions or advice.
Also, the information that comes out of you. Are you just giving an opinion or are you giving advice? Just be careful you know the difference between the two, both, inward and outward.
Just see how many times it does that. See how many times people want to bestow what they think is advice but really, it’s just their opinion.
If you’re going to accept it, make sure that if someone is going to give you an opinion on restaurant, that’s OK. If they’re going to give you some opinion on something that can be life changing, then, I think, I would shop around for a bit better advice.
Anyway, that’s just my thought. Once again, thanks for spending time with me here. I’m really enjoying this. My goal for you, is for you to serve more families so that then, they can experience better funerals.
If you can do that, then I’m doing my job. Make sure you check back soon for another episode of the Funeral Strategy and Marketing Show. This is Robin Heppell.
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