I’m really an accountant at heart (and at mind). I love numbers. I love the logic of them. I love the way things fit together. I’ve been involved in manufacturing /production for a long time and the things that I like most about production is the pattern of it all. I love the elegance of MRP (Material Resource Planning). There is a real beauty to the method of it.
When we bought McDonald Containers, I worried about the parts of a business that require the skills and passions that I don’t have. Mostly, the sales end of things. How in the world would someone who is most passionate about logical things ever going to be able to deal with the softer side of business? I knew that I was going to have to get out and meet Funeral Directors and visit funeral homes and really get to know people and try to understand their needs. This was not a skill set that I had. I have a friend that I envy in this area. He is the most engaging individual and is probably one the the best “people persons” that I know.
So, what to do, I needed to just get out there and do some visiting. I found that funeral directors are some of the most considerate, friendliest people in the world (even to people making sales calls). I have visited maybe a thousand funeral homes over the last 5 years and I don’t think that I have ever been turned away harshly. I’ve met many directors that were willing to set aside what they were involved in to spend a couple minutes with me at the drop of a hat. I certainly am not a skilled communicator and need to work every day on how to listen better (just ask my wife), but you guys and ladies, have turned this into (dare I say it) an enjoyable part of my job.
We were in upstate New York last week on vacation and I took some time to visit with some of our customers in the area and it confirmed how much I appreciate working the the funeral industry. One funeral home I visited, the director was in the prep room occupied, but was willing to free himself up to spend a couple minutes chatting and letting me get to know him better. Another director was in the middle of preparing for a service and also was kind enough to give me about 15 minutes of his time so we could get to know each other better and discuss how we can work together.
I just wanted to say thanks to all the funeral directors and staff members that I’ve met over the last six years and say that a I really am thankfull to be involved in an industry that is so relational at it’s core and kind in its interactions.
One of the funeral homes I visited while I was in New York had this beautiful wood entry door and I thought to myself that there are many lovely funeral homes around the country but what is really beautiful is the character of the people inside.