To a certain degree, we all understand the importance of preneed funeral sales. A fully fleshed-out portfolio of preneed arrangements ensures that you and your team have work lined up for the future––not to mention money in the bank. 

But apart from securing future clients, preneed sales have a strong effect on the value of your business. Not only can preneed sales boost your bottom line, but they also make your business look attractive to potential buyers and help you secure essential partnerships within your community.

Secures the Future

For any business, it’s always beneficial to secure future business. Because of this, every funeral home will want a robust portfolio of preneed sales, ensuring that––regardless of the economic climate––your funeral home will have continued patronage from your community. Preneed sales also hold the potential to build relationships with families and potentially sell more.

According to the International Cemetery, Cremation, & Funeral Association, people actually prefer prearranged funeral services and burials. This is likely due to the circumstances surrounding the purchase of preneed services. When a person arranges funeral services at-need, they’re not only working on a tight schedule, but they’re also in the midst of grieving their loved one. These issues can make the financial component of funeral services all the more stressful.

During the preneed phase, people have more time to explore their options and are likely not dealing with the recent loss of a loved one. This relieves the pressure of making a purchase, both in terms of time and money. Ultimately, this tends to result in greater satisfaction with one’s purchase, which in turn makes people more likely to recommend preneed services to their friends and family. 

While running a funeral home or cemetery business, the majority of your operating costs will be fixed. Regardless of the number of services you provide, your costs for facilities, operating permits, and salaries for full-time staff members will remain the same. Preneed sales can help you maximize revenue despite these constant costs.

Preneed Funeral Sales Look Attractive to Buyers 

When selling a funeral business, potential buyers will need to see a handful of documents to help determine the value of your business. These include:

  • Profit and loss statements from the past three years
  • Current balance sheets
  • Cash flow statements
  • Three years of business tax returns
  • Insurance policies
  • Current leases


The purpose of these documents is to create a clear financial picture of the funeral business, one that demonstrates the precise financial situation a buyer stands to inherit. Naturally, a key component of this picture will also be your preneed funeral sales portfolio. 

Preneed programs are not built overnight; rather, they take time to create, implement, and market to your community. Because of this, buyers will want to see a developed portfolio of arrangements booked in advance. This demonstrates to a buyer that not only is there a guarantee of future business at a funeral home, but there’s also a degree of loyalty to this business. Both of these scenarios make your funeral home more attractive when selling.

Remember that when the time comes to sell your funeral business, you’ll be competing with other sellers with businesses that are similar in size, customer base, location, and assets. This makes it important to demonstrate that your funeral home markets preneed services digitally, has well-trained sales agents to field calls, and an aftercare program that incorporates further preneed sales.

Selling Point for Partnerships

The most successful funeral homes have strategic partnerships with other local businesses. Churches, hospice centers, police forces, mortuary schools, and Knights of Columbus (or similar organizations) can all prove to be fruitful connections. In one way or another, all of you serve to improve and support the communities in which you exist. By helping these groups with fundraising or partnering with them for events, you can further your funeral home’s reach and brand recognition.

Additionally, some partnerships can have a more direct relationship with your revenue. For example, florists, crematoriums, and cemeteries (if you don’t have these services in-house) can become an essential part of your business strategy. For these partnerships, you’ll ideally create an agreement with discounted rates and exclusivity. This way, you’ll receive a better price for these services, and you’ll guarantee that your funeral home will have advantages over other local competitors. 

One of the best ways to secure these types of exclusive deals is by having a backlog of preneed sales. If a florist is to forego business with other local funeral homes, then they’re going to need demonstrable proof that your funeral business can guarantee them a return on this investment. Similar to demonstrating values to sellers, preneed sales ensure to partners that your business offers future success in these types of deals.

How to Increase Preneed Sales 

While preneed sales are undoubtedly an important part of any funeral home’s revenue stream, this strategy takes time and careful planning to implement. In 2021, the average cost of a funeral with a burial and viewing was just shy of $8,000. Because of this, it takes a determined team to help educate and impart to families the importance of making these types of arrangements. In the wake of a loved one’s passing, people are forced to make at-need arrangements. Alternatively, preplanning a funeral might seem unnecessary and costly.

Because of these inhibiting factors on the end of consumers, you’ll want to develop a strategy that meets families at several touchpoints, online, in-person, and through partnerships. The goal of this strategy should not only be to make your community aware of preneed services but also to impart their importance, the way in which pre-arranging funeral services can ultimately leave the more satisfied than waiting until an unexpected passing.

If your preneed program is lacking or even nonexistent, then the task of building up your portfolio is inherently daunting. Often, the best approach is to seek the help of funeral professionals.

Get Help from Funeral Experts

At Johnson Consulting Group, one of the nation’s largest death care consulting groups, their team of funeral experts can work with your business and develop a winning strategy toward preneed sales. 

With their combined decades of experience in the funeral profession, their consultants will perform a comprehensive analysis of your current operations–assessing customer service, financial performance, and market positioning. Additionally, they’ll take a look at your preneed program. Regardless of the state that it’s in, they’ll be able to suggest ways through which your preneed program, from outreach to sales and their execution. If your team needs further training to implement these initiatives, they can provide this as well.

Apart from the routine year-over-year profits, preneed services are one of the most important indicators of a funeral home’s worth. By working to improve both your preneed offerings and the ways in which you market them, you can ensure the continued success and value of your funeral business.