Service Corporation International (NYSE:SCI) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Jul 30, 2020 • 09:00 am ET


Service Corporation International (NYSE:SCI) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Q & A

Thank you. [Operator Instructions]. Today's first question comes from Scott Schneeberger with Oppenheimer. Please go ahead.


Good morning, guys. It's Daniel on for Scott. Congratulations on a good performance in the quarter. Could you elaborate a bit on the drivers of the cemetery preneed sales? And maybe help us get a sense of the magnitude of each and elaborate a little bit on what you're seeing into July thus far?

Thomas L. Ryan

Sure, Daniel. This is Tom. Thanks for your question. So on cemetery sales, you -- I guess it's first important to point out, if you look at our cemetery atneed sales, they're up more dramatically than we've ever seen them. And that is being driven by the fact that, unfortunately, more people are -- more families are going through the experience of losing a loved one. And as that is happening, it's driving traffic in your cemetery. So that is continuing to happen. We've seen it happen throughout the second quarter. And so, I want to point that out because that also, if you think about it, if I lose dad, I may buy a space for mom, too. So you're getting a pretty good lead source, what we call a companion sale, that's helping drive that. And that's just a small part of it.

The second thing that we've done, and we talked about standing up technology, is we now are getting very good and very effective through training of going through virtual appointments. So we're able to interact with consumers. If we can't get into their homes or they're not capable of coming to the cemeteries, we're able to transact with them, provide information and the like.

As part of our strategy also because we knew these were going to be difficult times, we added additional incentives for our salespeople to sell cemetery. We have lifted some restrictions as it relates to that, I'll call them customer incentives. So we're utilizing some 0% financing terms, we're utilizing a little more discounting. And those are the types of things that I think are happening now that are allowing us to drive cemetery sales with a more attentive customer because there's more of them there.

And that's leading to a lot of the success that we're experiencing in May and June. And we're continuing to see that success roll into July. So we feel very good about our team. I think our sales team has been heroic in being able to stand up this technology. They're utilizing a lot of the tools that they were using before, but now it's their lifeblood. They're not able to travel. So we're utilizing sales force to monitor appointments and which leads to -- I'm sorry, monitor leads, which leads to appointments and then after appointment setting, can we close that sale. And I think, we're able to help our teammates at a senior level as they're managing the various businesses from their death, but they're able to provide, I'd say, a more productive training