The Next Innovation—Cornerstone Index Advantage

Omaha, Nebraska—Funeral home owners can now protect themselves against low interest rates, thanks to a new pre-need product from Physicians Mutual. Cornerstone Index Advantage allows funeral homes to earn equity index‐driven growth rates instead of a fixed rate set at the discretion of the carrier.

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The Importance of Success Planning

One of the most important factors of running a good business is planning. I would add, specifically, planning as it relates to success – success in our business toward a common goal and in our profession in general. Consider this: What separates a business that is successful from one that is not?

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This article was published in the July 2015 issue of The Director magazine and is shared with its permission. Learn more at

growing your business

Growing Your Business in Any Market

By Kelly Kohut

Most professionals who invest in marketing for preneed will eventually ask themselves how they can measure the success of that marketing. The answer can be found through some very simple tracking measures and an extensive evaluation of your customer base and the overall reach of your preneed program. At a basic level, if you can record and track the source of each lead who pre-arranges and/or prefunds, you will have a good understanding of which marketing avenues are bringing in consumers.

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This article was published in the May 2015 issue of The Director magazine and is shared with its permission. Learn more at

spacht funeral home sold

Congratulations to the Snyders!

Spacht Funeral Home Sold

By  on April 1, 2015

Bill Spacht couldn’t be happier that his one-time competitor has purchased Spacht Funeral Home in Lititz.

On March 25, it was official. Spacht Funeral Home is now Spacht Snyder Funeral Home.

“I wouldn’t say that we were competitors,” said Spacht. “We were colleagues who respected each other.”

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This article was published by The Lititz Record Express on April 1, 2015

Road to success

What Does Good Look Like? How to Assess the Performance of Your Pre-need Program

By Kelly Kohut

For any funeral home with an active pre-need program, it’s important to set goals and assess progress toward those goals throughout the year. Often, when it comes to pre-need, many funeral homes rely on the measurements held dear to a chosen insurance carrier or pre-need marketer. In fact, what’s important to the funeral home will often vary compared to what an insurance carrier, trust representative or marketing company will use to assess progress.

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This article was published in the February-March 2015 issue of Southern Funeral Director magazine and is shared with its permission. Learn more at

Marketing Roundtable

By Patti Martin Bartsche

Marketing is an important component of any funeral home’s business – and in an ever-changing environment, there’s more to it than you might expect. While you may be an established presence in the community, that’s not always enough to bring families through your doors. Marketing professionals Michael Anderson, vice president of marketing and business development at The Outlook Group; Glenn Gould, CEO of MKJ Marketing; and Joe Weigel, founder of Weigel Strategic Marketing, share their insights on the goal of marketing and how to develop a successful marketing strategy.

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This article was published in the Setember 2014 issue of
American Funeral Director magazine and is shared with its permission.
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Finding the right Preneed to At-need Ration Cover Image

Finding the Right Preneed to At-Need Ratio

By Charles Anderson and Kelly Kohut

How do we best measure the success of our preneed program? Does the preneed to atneed ratio provide an adequate indicator of how preneed is impacting our business? What other indicators should we be watching?

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This article was published in the February 2015 issue of
American Funeral Director magazine and is shared with its permission.
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2015 Christian Chambers Mortuary Science Scholarship Award

Students interested in a career in mortuary science are invited to apply for the Christian Chambers Mortuary Science Scholarship Award. Established by The Outlook Group in 2013, the scholarship honors one of the finest directors in funeral service. Christian Chambers has served his chosen profession with distinction for over 22 years. Through 2033, a scholarship of $2,000 will be awarded annually in Chambers’ honor to a deserving student in a mortuary science program accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education.

The 2014 Christian Chambers Mortuary Science Scholarship was awarded to Emily Hattab. Emily attends Ivy Tech Community College (Indianapolis, IN) where she aspires to obtain an Associate of Applied Science degree.

The Outlook Group will announce the recipient of the 2015 Christian Chambers Mortuary Science Scholarship Award in August of 2015. In order to be considered for this award, all applicants must submit their application & supporting documentation by June 30, 2015.

For more information about the scholarship, please visit:

2015 Christian Chambers Mortuary Science Scholarship press release

About The Outlook Group

The Anderson family opened their first funeral home in 1944 to provide the families in their community with the caring service they deserved. Over 40 years later, Charles W. Anderson founded The Outlook Group to offer fellow funeral home owners customized solutions for their pre-need business. Today, The Outlook Group has grown to be one of the most respected pre-need organizations in the profession.

Outlook Mentioned in Dodge Magazine Article by Glenda Stansbury, CFSP, MALS

Searching for the Beautiful Question: Pre-Need

by Glenda Stansbury

I have to buy a new car. Yes, that’s right, I said have to. I’m not a car person. I don’t look at styles or models, bells or whistles. If it goes “vroom vroom” when I stick the key in, then it’s a great car. I’ve had five cars in my entire adult life and driven each of them well past their expiration date because I did not want to go look for another one. But, my current car is twelve years old, has over 100,000 miles on it, and my company said it’s time to get a new one. Sigh. Now, I will say that I saw a very cute red Mercedes SUV the other day that caught my eye, but I’m thinking that’s not exactly what my sister, the CFO, had in mind.

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Copyright: The Dodge Company
Posted with permission from the Dodge Magazine

Tim Reed

Tim Reed featured in Funeral Service Insider

Preneed Experts Dole Out Proven Tips to Reach Out to More Families

By Lisa Howard-Fusco

Not many people would question that funeral homes need to think about preneed if they want to boost market share, survive economic ups and downs and navigate the changing nature of funeral service. But the burning question continues to be: “How do I market my preneed program effectively, tactfully and efficiently?”

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Charles W. Anderson

Charles Anderson Named President of Preferred Funeral Directors International

Largo, FL

Preferred Funeral Directors International (PFDI) a professional association of independent funeral homes with members throughout the US, Canada, and Europe, has appointed Charles Anderson of Anderson Funeral Homes, Franklin, OH, as President of Preferred Funeral Directors International. According to Mr. Anderson, “I am honored to be elected as President of this organization. I take great pride in the deathcare profession, and am proud to represent such a progressive association in funeral service.”

PFDI is an exclusive professional organization for leaders in the death care industry. To maintain PFDI’s professional reputation and exclusivity, membership is by invitation only.

Formerly established as the Advertising Funeral Directors of America in 1937, PFDI was the first marketing-oriented professional association of its kind. For over 70 years, PFDI has been committed to stimulating and sharing marketing and management innovation in the quality of funeral service its exclusive members provide.

For information concerning Preferred Funeral Directors International, contact Charles Anderson at 937-746-6455, or visit

For Further Information, Contact:

Glenn Gould
Preferred Funeral Directors International
C/O MKJ Marketing
PO Box 335
Indian Rocks Beach, FL 33785

Michael Anderson Featured in The Director Article on the Consumer

The Consumer Speaks

Deana Gillespie and Edward J. Defort

2014 NFDA Consumer Awareness and Preferences Survey

With consumer attitudes and preferences continually shifting, it’s often a more difficult proposition to give consumers what they want. And it’s always tougher when it comes to making funeral arrangements because not only has someone lost a loved one, but the public at large doesn’t really know what its options are. So, when determining what is important to the consumer, it is always best to ask. And for the third consecutive year, that is precisely what we did.

Continue reading The Consumer Speaks here

Physicians Mutual Article

Inflation Guard Featured in Funeral Service Insider

Physicians Mutual and The Outlook Group Continue to Fight Shortfalls

Physicians Mutual shook up the marketplace a year ago with a product enhancement that gave funeral
homes the option of requiring families to pay a different premium rate in order to lock in the price of a
prearranged funeral – and so far, the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, according to the

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Honoring Celebrating Creating

Increasing The Value of Ceremony: Consumer Presentation Aid Results Released

FRANKLIN, OHIO, Oct. 6, 2013 – The Outlook Group hosted its annual 2014 Company-Wide Meeting in Chicago, Illinois in September. Every year, The Outlook Group brings Advance Funeral Planners from around the country together to provide training on the pre-arrangement conference, to share best practices, and to recognize annual performance.

The Outlook Group is focused on enhancing the value of ceremony and the results of a one-year pilot involving the Consumer Presentation Aid, which was launched just last year at the 2013 Company-Wide Meeting, were released.

Continue reading the entire press release here

Yvonnie Wiggins Named the 2014 Obsessing Over The Customer Award Recipient

Franklin, Ohio, Oct. 6, 2014

Yvonnie Wiggins, Training Coordinator at The Outlook Group, was given the 2014 Obsessing Over the Customer Award by Tyler Anderson, President and CEO at The Outlook Group, during the Company-Wide Meeting in September.

The Obsessing Over the Customer Award is voted on by Advance Funeral Planners and given to the individual who best exemplifies the following characteristics: anticipates needs, provides a one of a kind experience, and consistently exceeds expectations.

During the award introduction, Anderson shared that Wiggins’ “smile can often be seen through the phone and you can always count on her wanting to know how she can help you. No matter what’s going on in her life she always strives to obsess over our team and ensure everyone is taken care of. I always say that we are going to change her title to ‘Director of First Impressions’ because no one gives a better first impression of The Outlook Group”. As she accepted the award with love and appreciation, Wiggins simply said, “I love all of you”.

About The Outlook Group

The Outlook Group, based in Franklin, Ohio, has long leveraged their personal experience as funeral home owners to successfully provide a broad range of pre-need, training and lead generation services to funeral home owners. The company has recorded nearly 30 years of improved pre-need sales and training performance in the industry; a record regarded as unmatched in the profession.

Michael Anderson, The Outlook Group

Michael Anderson Analyzes the NFDA Consumer Awareness And Preferences Survey in the Memorial Business Journal

By Michael Anderson
Vice President of Marketing and Business Development
The Outlook Group

FRANKLIN, OHIO – The National Funeral Directors Association’s 2014 Consumer Awareness and Preferences Survey supports the findings from the 2012 and 2013 Consumer Awareness and Preferences studies, the ZMET study and the Citrin Cooperman study: The consumer is changing, and if we as a profession don’t offer consumers what they demand, they will go elsewhere to find what they want.

Continue reading the entire article here

Rob and Bob Reed

Congratulations to both Rob Reed and Bob Reed!

Physicians Mutual Appoints Rob Reed as New President and CEO

Omaha, NE – September 9, 2014 –Physicians Mutual, a premier provider in individual health, life and retirement insurance products, today announced that its board of directors named Rob Reed as president and chief executive officer, effective January 1, 2015. Reed currently serves as executive vice president and chief operating officer and has been a member of the board of directors since 2005.

“Rob is an accomplished business leader with a combination of financial and operational acumen, making him uniquely positioned to lead the company,” said Physicians Mutual Chairman of the Board William Hamsa, M.D. “This leadership change comes at a time of strength and growth for Physicians Mutual. The company has the right strategy and the right people in place to ensure future success.”

Current Physicians Mutual President and CEO Robert “Bob” Reed will become chairman-elect of the board of directors and remain involved as an advisor to the new president and CEO, effective January 1, 2015.

Continue reading the entire press release here

Congratulations to Cress Funeral and Cremation Services and The Eernisse Funeral Home for being featured in the November 2013 issue of The American Funeral Director.

“When was the last time you looked – really looked – at your funeral home? An up-close-and-personal look may reveal some hard truths – outdated furniture, peeling wallpaper, a space that screams, “I’m a funeral home!” In other words, everything a family doesn’t want.

Physicians Mutual and The Outlook Group Celebrate One-Year Anniversary

This month marks the successful one-year anniversary of Advanced Funding Solutions, a new pre-need program created to meet the growing needs of funeral homes across the country. Advanced Funding Solutions is a collaboration between The Outlook Group, one of the nation’s largest pre-need marketing organizations, and Physicians Mutual, a premier provider of health, life and retirement products.

Read the full release here.

The Outlook Group Holds Annual Meeting in Omaha, Debuts Innovative New Tool

The Outlook Group recently gathered for its annual company-wide meeting in Omaha. Attendees included more than 50 members from The Outlook Group’s home office, along with Advance Funeral Planners (AFPs) from all regions. Together they celebrated The Outlook Group’s partnership with Physicians Mutual, as well as the introduction of The Consumer Presentation Aid, a new resource for AFPs.

Read the full release to learn more

Victoria O'connor

The Outlook Group Reinforces Presence In Southern California

The Outlook Group would like to congratulate Victoria O’Connor of Lake Elsinore, CA, on her new role as Regional Development Director for the Southern California territory, as the Outlook Group continues to grow and support funeral homes throughout this region.

Michael Anderson, vice-president of The Outlook Group, points out, “Establishing a strong presence in Southern California is a top priority for The Outlook Group, and Victoria will play a critical role in bringing that to fruition. Victoria brings a wealth of leadership and B2B experience to the funeral homes we serve. I’m looking forward to watching her reinforce our commitment to them.”

Victoria comes to the Outlook Group with a broad background in marketing and sales. Victoria has worked as director of admissions and financial aid at two colleges in California, where she spearheaded aggressive plans for growth and developed outstanding and effective admissions teams. Victoria’s experience also includes her position as director of sales and marketing at a senior living facility. Her eagerness to help enhance a productive team in a progressive profession led her to join The Outlook Group, where she can apply both her extensive sales analysis and presentation skills. Victoria’s familiarity and experience in several parts of Southern California also play an important role in what she brings to this RDD position.

Candace Franco

Candace Franco Featured in American Funeral Director

My 9-year-old granddaughter Reilly and I were having a discussion about pet cemeteries recently. She thinks it’s a good idea for people who love their pets to have a place to go when they want to remember them after they’re gone. I decided to take this opportunity to see how she feels about the need to have a place to visit with me once I’m gone.

Read the full article in American Funeral Director

Tyler Anderson, The Outlook Group

Outlook Group CEO Tyler Anderson Featured in May 2013 American Funeral Director

10 Tips for Marketing Preneed Services

Preneed services in your funeral home are a way to serve families before a death occurs and can help ensure your future. You can build on your legacy by actively educating your community about the value you provide. You can rely on your traditions to assure your families their plans are secure. But how do you generate the interest? Tyler Anderson, CEO and president of The Outlook Group, offers these marketing tips for preneed services.

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Funeral Profession Unites to Help Boston

The Outlook Group was pleased to participate in the recent ICCFA members’ initiative to help the people directly affected by the tragedy in Boston. More than 100 photos were posted on members’ social media pages to show support and more than 200 members participated in raising funds for The One Fund by posting the photos.

Click here to read the full press release

Michael Anderson

Michael Anderson Shares Perspective on Funeral Profession Survey Results in American Funeral Director

Marketing is one of the most important aspects of growing a business, and is an investment that will pay for itself over and over again, pointed out Michael Anderson, vice president of marketing and business development for The Outlook Group. Unfortunately, it is often misunder- stood or neglected due to a lack of time, resources or knowledge of its potential, he added.

Read the full article in American Funeral Director


The Outlook Group Enhances Presence in the Southeast

The Outlook Group would like to congratulate Kyle D. Aler in his new role in Business Development for the states of Tennessee and Georgia.  Kyle will be focusing on this new opportunity along with continuing his role supporting Raymer-Kepner Funeral Home in Huntersville, North Carolina as an Advance Funeral Planner.  As the Outlook Group continues to grow and support funeral homes throughout the Southeast, Kyle is looking forward to the opportunity.  “As a funeral director who has worked in all aspects of the funeral business, it’s a humbling opportunity to take this step.  I look forward to building relationships with funeral homes throughout Georgia and Tennessee,” Aler states.

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