8 min read · April 6 2022
Sometimes a decision is simple. When Kim Borselli and his fellow managing partners at Fuller Funeral Homes left Precoa and went with another preneed provider, they were willing to wait for results. They were promised more market share growth, and they were realistic about the time it takes to get a new program up and running.
So they waited. And waited. After almost three years and two preneed providers later, they met to look at the numbers.
“It just wasn’t going to get better,” Kim says. “At that point, it was actually getting worse.”
And that’s when they decided it was time to return to Precoa.
Naples, Florida is the kind of place you visit once and fall in love with. Palm-lined beaches, picturesque golf courses, and a relaxed luxury make it an enviable vacation destination, and Fuller Funeral Homes is the premier choice for the majority of its residents.
Fuller Funeral Homes has been serving families for 26 years and counting
From their unparalleled facilities to the unsurpassed quality of care provided by their staff, the firm has spent nearly thirty years living up to its motto to take care of everything for every family they see. Their outstanding reputation led them to open two additional locations, and they own and operate their own crematories in both Naples and Cape Coral, Florida.
Like many leading funeral homes, the staff at Fuller play an active role in their community, and they’ve watched as Naples and the surrounding areas have grown. Once a largely seasonal town, Naples’s year-round residents have steadily increased, making preneed an important part of Fuller Funeral Homes’ business strategy.
Preneed opens up a lot of opportunities to us...it helps us secure business for the future, and it helps us meet that many more people in our community whom we might not have reached otherwise. Kim Borselli Fuller Funeral Homes
“Preneed opens up a lot of opportunities to us,” Kim says. “It helps us secure business for the future, and it helps us meet that many more people in our community whom we might not have reached otherwise.”
Even more important, he recognizes, is the fact that preneed makes it so much easier on families. On what is perhaps the worst day of their lives, 90% of the work has already been done.
“I always tell families that even if they don’t decide to prepay, just getting the rest of the plan put together is important. It takes the guesswork out of planning your loved one’s funeral.”
Kim joined Fuller Funeral Homes as a managing partner in 2014. At that time, Precoa was responsible for their preneed program and had helped it to grow. Sales were steady, but the managing partners saw an opportunity to do even better.
Being promised substantially better performance is obviously an attractive business proposition. Fuller Funeral Homes’ managing partners were concerned that their market may have been saturated by Precoa. They wondered if a new approach, with attractive new marketing materials, might have better results.
“The other provider promised to double where we were with Precoa,” Kim said.
Kim had worked with the provider in the past while managing a funeral home whose preneed program was virtually nonexistent. They had helped that program get off the ground, and they claimed to get good results.
So, the managing partners agreed to give the new provider time to get up and running. They knew there was a learning curve in any new market. Yet by the end of the first year, sales were slumping. And those attractive new materials?
“None of them really worked,” Kim says. “They were nice, but they didn’t generate any sales.”
The managing partners met again, and this time they chose to go with a provider with even more bona fides and an aftercare program that seemed innovative and impressive. Once again, the partners offered the provider ample time to start getting results—except those results never materialized.
It really was a simple decision to come back to Precoa. Kim Borselli Fuller Funeral Homes
“It became pretty clear they weren’t going to be able to provide what they said they could,” Kim says. “By then we’d given two different companies about three years to try to develop something, and there were whole months when there was nothing. It really was a simple decision to come back to Precoa.”
So Kim called and asked what they needed to do to get rolling again.
Since returning to Precoa, Fuller Funeral Homes is once again reaching more of their community through preneed. The program was soon up and running, and sales have been increasing each month.
“We’re seeing the numbers take off again,” Kim says, “and I’m extremely happy. Without Precoa, too much of my time was spent looking over another company’s shoulder, asking why there weren’t any sales or whether they made their last mail drop. Sometimes, we weren’t even getting reports.”
Now, as far as I'm concerned, preneed is on autopilot. Precoa is handling everything, and I don't have to worry about it anymore. Kim Borselli Fuller Funeral Homes
He pauses for a moment, as if thinking about how much has changed. “Now, as far as I’m concerned, preneed is on autopilot. Precoa is handling everything, and I don’t have to worry about it anymore.”
Kim is not alone among funeral home owners who have too little time to effectively manage preneed. Supporting an entire program takes a lot of additional resources and effort, so it often gets put on the backburner.
“If I had to do it, I would,” Kim says. “And during that time without Precoa, both of these companies tried...but they weren’t successful at all.”
What he appreciates most about Precoa is the follow-through and the support. Kim has been able to watch Precoa ramp up preneed quickly, amazed to see the process in action, and he attributes a lot of the success to the Funeral Planning Center.
“To review the daily reports of appointments,” Kim says, “I see that better than 50% are set by the Funeral Planning Center. I know from experience that’s not an easy job. It’s clear they’re professionals at setting appointments, they really are. We couldn’t touch the kinds of numbers we’re seeing without the Funeral Planning Center.”
More than 50% of Fuller's appointments are set by Precoa's Funeral Planning Center
On top of everything else this year, Fuller Funeral Homes had one of its busiest summers to date. Many of the seasonal residents stayed put instead of flocking back to the Northeast due to COVID-19, so what is typically the funeral home’s off-season resulted in several record-breaking months.
Luckily, when it came to preneed, Precoa was right by their side.
Precoa has my recommendation, one hundred percent. I'm very, very happy. Kim Borselli Fuller Funeral Homes
“I literally don’t have to think about preneed at all anymore. It’s there, it’s going well, and I know I don’t have to worry about it. Precoa has my recommendation, one hundred percent. I’m very, very happy.”