Whether you sell pre-need, manage those who do, or lead a cemetery, funeral home, or combination business — the challenges you face every day are different than those in any other type of business.
Your Unique Challenges
For Sales Professionals
If you sell pre-need, you encounter a greater degree of rejection and have to be much more proactive and persistent in prospecting, largely because people simply don’t want to talk about their own mortality. You have to manage objections that are, for the most part, unique to your profession. You’re selling benefits, not products or services. You’re selling a concept: before-need planning.Talk to Gary
For Sales Managers
If you manage those who sell pre-need, the nature of your business makes it particularly difficult to recruit and retain talent. And developing your people is uniquely challenging because training programs and related resources that are specific to your profession are extremely limited, both in supply and in effectiveness.Talk to Gary
Your most important job as a leader is to cultivate an organizational culture that shapes how all members of your team interact with each other, which directly impacts the level of service you provide to your families. Creating a common purpose based on values and beliefs designed to drive desired behaviors is hard enough in any business. In your profession, with its unique sensitivities and where the areas of focus and job responsibilities of team members are so diverse, it’s even harder.
I Understand Your Profession
I know the Cemetery & Funeral profession.
In 1971, right out of high school at the age of 18, I started selling cemetery property door-to-door. Since then — in a career spanning nearly five decades — I have served the profession in many capacities. From being a sales manager, regional manager, and Senior VP of Sales for a public company, to being responsible for helping companies design and drive their desired culture.
Whenever I work with members of the Cemetery & Funeral profession — delivering keynotes, consulting for companies, providing one-on-one coaching for leaders, providing training in seminars and workshops — the principles and techniques I share are shaped by the prism that is my experience in the profession.
Here is what Chuck Gallagher, a seasoned sale leader, has to say:
Talk to Gary
There’s a lot to be said for someone — that’s Gary O’Sullivan — who is so connected with what we do and why we do it that his message and process always produce positive results.
The System University
In 2013, together with David Shipper, Past President of the ICCFA and third generation cemetery and funeral home owner and operator, I co-created the profession’s only complete, online pre-need sales training program: The System University.
This program, offered exclusively through the ICCFA, provides everything a company needs to support sales managers while also including what every pre-need organization needs to train and develop its sales team: videos; online courses and quizzes; scripts and sales training tools; an extensive resource library; and the Pre-Need Superstore where you can buy all the sales and training materials you need.
Watch this short video for more:Talk to Gary
Awards & Recognition
I am both honored and humbled to have earned the recognition of my colleagues for my service to the profession:
- I have earned the lifetime designation of CCFE, Certified Cemetery and Funeral Executive.
- I have twice been recognized by the ICCFA as Speaker of the Decade: first in 2000 and then again, for an unprecedented second time, in 2010.
- In 2014, I was presented the first-ever Lasting Impact Award given by the ICCFA Educational Foundation. This award is presented annually to an individual who has made significant contributions to the profession in education and memorialization.
- My audio series, A Basic Approach to Selling Pre-Need, which was recorded live at an industry event, was recognized as the bestselling audio series in the history of pre-need sales.
ICCFA and Related Industry Experience
I have been speaking in the cemetery & funeral profession for over 40 years and have addressed audiences throughout the Americas.
- Featured keynote speaker at the ICCFA annual convention
- Featured keynote speaker at a world-wide cemetery and funeral symposium in Guatemala
- Featured keynote speaker and workshop leader at the Catholic Cemetery Association
- Featured keynote speaker at Brazil’s annual Cemetery & Funeral conference
- Featured keynote speaker at regional cemetery conference in Canada
- Featured keynote speaker at numerous state and regional industry conventions
In addition, I have been the featured opening speaker at the ICCFA’s annual Wide World of Sales event for many years. My “Fireside Chat” is one of the top-rated sessions of this annual event.
Also, with over 30 consecutive years of experience, I am the longest-serving faculty member of the ICCFA University, through which I have conducted many seminars and workshops. For more than a decade, I have been privileged to be the dean of the ICCFA University’s J. Asher Neel College of Sales and Marketing.Talk to Gary
Praise from an Industry Professional
Chuck Gallagher began his career in the Cemetery & Funeral professional nearly three decades ago. I have worked with him and his companies on many occasions to help solve a variety of problems. I’m gratified he has found our association to be so valuable.
I look forward to exploring how I can help your organization.Let's explore how I can help your organization