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Monuments and memorials selection Word Count: 921 Summary: There are many memorial monument dealers selling headstones to the public. The most important thing in finding a good monument dealer is to know what each one has to offer. There are different kinds of professionals & amateurs of each. Keywords: monuments, memorials, headstones Article Body: There are many memorial monument dealers selling headstones to the public. The most important thing in finding a good monument dealer is to know what each one has to offer. There are different kinds of professionals & amateurs of each. Monument Memorial Headstone Companies The great majority of monument headstone companies do only one thing; they build and sell headstone memorials to USA. Taking into consideration that this is probably the main business they do, they are often qualified, experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to a headstone. Most of these headstone and memorial monument companies have been around for years handing the company down from one generation to the next. Professionals - They have a good knowledge of their headstone monument products. - A Headstone / Monument Company is the best place to go to if you want a custom headstone made. - Availability of in stock granite headstone products ready for lettering and carving. - Good knowledge of the local cemeteries and the rules governing a headstone. - Usually independently owned and operated. Amateurs -Their headstone products can sometimes be priced on the medium to high end. -Turn around time can vary depending on how busy they are. -You can sometimes run into a pushy or aggressive sales person. -May not be open on weekends or evenings when most people can shop. Considered the new kids on the block, Internet monument dealers are usually not that new to the industry. They are mostly owned by headstone / monument dealers or cemeteries that are using the Internet as a new channel for sales and to broaden their market. Maintaining a presence on the web allows Internet monument dealers to sell at drastically reduced prices due to the low overhead associated with operating a web site. Many people consider the low headstone prices a good trade off to the cons. Internet monument dealers are actually accounting for more sales due to their unimposing format and accessibility. -You cannot see and touch actual headstone samples of their products. -Many people are uncomfortable shopping online for a headstone. -Relatively new sales outlet. Cemeteries A cemetery's main field of operation is selling and maintaining grave spaces. Most cemeteries that sell headstone products have a sales staff of "Counselors" who sell headstones as well as burial plots and pre-need burial insurance. There is usually a high turnover rate with sales counselors and their knowledge of headstone products may be somewhat limited. Generally speaking you will pay the most for a headstone if purchased from a cemetery as opposed to any other source. Reason being is their high overhead. Professionals -Convenience of ordering a headstone from the same company that maintains your loved one's grave space(s). -They have direct knowledge of what is acceptable as a headstone. Amateurs -Usually the highest prices you will pay for a headstone. -Salespeople sometimes have inadequate knowledge of the headstone products. -Have been known for high pressure sales tactics. -May choose profits over customer service. Funeral Homes Funeral directors have the first opportunity to offer the sale of a headstone to a family. Again you are dealing with a source whose primary function is not the manufacturing or selling of headstone memorials. While some funeral directors do know the details of headstone sales, many do not. Their main job is funeral directing, but many include the sell of headstone memorials for extra income. Their knowledge may be somewhat limited. Since most see it as a supplemental income they may not take the time to fully understand all aspects of the headstone industry and therefore cannot provide this knowledge to their customers. Professionals -Convenience of ordering a headstone from the same company that also arranges the funeral of your loved one. -Funeral directors are in many cases compassionate and this makes their families more at ease when making a headstone purchase. -They usually do not resort to aggressive sales tactics. Amateurs -Many do not posses proper knowledge about the headstone industry and headstone products. -Headstone pricing can be on the medium to high end. -Accessibility can be low considering their first priority is planning funerals. Pre-need Sales Counselors Pre-need sales counselors are hired by cemeteries and funeral homes to sell pre-need burial and funeral insurance policies. In addition they also sell pre-need funeral and cemetery merchandise such as headstone and cremation products. Their primary focus is to make sales. Many of them have backgrounds as sales reps for a wide variety of businesses. Their knowledge about headstone products is usually on the low end. There is normally a high turnover rate with pre-need counselors as is the case with sales positions in general. Professionals -Convenience of being able to visit your home. -Affiliated with local funeral homes and cemeteries. Amateurs -Limited knowledge of the headstone products they sell. -Have been known for aggressive sales tactics. -They will approach you first with a sales call or knock on your door. -Primary focus is in closing the sale. As you can see there are a variety of monument dealers each one with pros and cons. The information provided here is to help you in making a decision on whom to purchase a headstone from. You may also want to ask your friends and family members if they know of a reputable monument dealer. In many cases one will have been referred to a source by a friend or family member who was very satisfied with the monument dealer. This is a very valuable tip especially since the person looking for the dealer may not have a clue where to start.
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