4 min read · Nov. 14 2022
Nicholas Welzenbach is changing how families experience funerals.
He’s forward-thinking and thoughtful, knowing that change comes just as much from the big picture as it does from the tiny details. Not only the disarmingly beautiful details you’ll see the moment you set foot in one of Darling & Fischer’s newly renovated spaces, but also the basic language we use to talk about funerals and funeral homes.
A renovated gathering space with modern design and filled with natural light.
Nicholas needed a preneed partner just as committed as he was to building his business and advancing how families intersect with the funeral profession. He found that partner in Precoa.
Before Precoa, the preneed experience at Darling & Fischer was unremarkably typical.
The funeral home received one brief visit from a preneed provider, they got a calculator and some fill-in sheets, and then a follow-up phone call or two. All the burden of preneed fell on the funeral home’s shoulders, which meant it was a struggle that generated lackluster results at best.
“In seven years, I only saw my preneed rep once,” Nicholas said. “There was no infrastructure to grow our program, no community outreach plan, no plan for how to help find and vet advance funeral planners, and no plan for implementing strategies for our mutual gain. The calculator and the fill-in sheets were really the extent of their support.”
The problem was that Nicholas had always firmly believed in the power and potential of preneed.
“After 21 years in the funeral profession, I know the value that preneed provides,” Nicholas said. “Families who rely on insurance death benefits quickly realize those benefits don’t do what they’re supposed to do. Preneed protects families and provides reassurance and relief.”
No one in my experience has come to us with the same level of commitment to growing our funeral homes. Nicholas Welzenbach Darling & Fischer
Nicholas recalls his first meeting with Precoa. Here was a preneed company that was interested in developing a true partnership.
“No one in my experience has come to us with the same level of commitment to growing our funeral homes,” Nicholas said.
With ProActive Preneed®, Darling & Fischer had robust lead generation programs that had been tested and optimized for preneed sales. They also had the powerful engine of the Funeral Planning Center setting quality appointments with families. Finally, they had on-the-ground training and coaching from a field management team of the most talented preneed professionals.
Our program completely changed overnight when Precoa came in. Nicholas Welzenbach Darling & Fischer
“Our program completely changed overnight when Precoa came in,” Nicholas said. “Preneed assists our growth on so many levels, and Precoa had a plan to almost completely alleviate the burden of preneed so we can focus on growing our business while they focus on protecting more families in our community.”
Image 1: Simple touches enhance how families experience the Darling & Fischer space. Image 2: Well-manicured grounds invite peaceful reflection.
The most effective marketing strategies are about balance.
So on top of digital marketing and direct mail, Precoa provides a blend of community education programs, advertisements, and impactful preneed experiences that help Darling & Fischer stand out and stay top of mind.
“Having a proactive preneed partner is mission critical to making sure the Darling & Fischer name is relevant,” Nicholas said. “Precoa is always striving to represent Darling & Fischer as the premier provider in our community.”
Precoa is also agile and continuously innovative. Drawing from millions of data points and thousands of campaign variations, Precoa is dedicated to helping funeral homes reach the maximum number of families who are interested in preplanning. And the results speak for themselves. Since partnering with Precoa in 2010, Darling & Fischer’s program has sustained an average of 5x preneed.
There’s absolutely a correlation between the growth of Darling & Fischer and Precoa’s engagement with our community. Nicholas Welzenbach Darling & Fischer
Mercedes Alcaraz, Advance Funeral Planner for Darling & Fischer, helps families make selections.
“There’s absolutely a correlation between the growth of Darling & Fischer and Precoa’s engagement with our community,” Nicholas said. “We’ve updated our image, improved our staffing, and had major renovations. When you have so many things up in the air, I’m grateful to have a constant like Precoa. Darling & Fischer will continue changing how families intersect with what we do. That includes continuing to differentiate our name so families know that service at Darling & Fischer is about experience, excellence, and beauty. It also includes protecting families through preneed with Precoa.”