How many times have you brought a shopper into your store’s bedding area and they just would not “test drive” a bed by lying down?
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by Gordon Hecht and Denny Bradford , Ashley Sleep
How you position yourself during your presentation is an important factor to making your guest feel more comfortable.
How many times have you brought a shopper into your store’s bedding area and they just would not “test drive” a bed by lying down? Getting someone to lie down is a big hurdle. When your shopper lies down on their back, it is a vulnerable position. Subconsciously, they feel unprotected and vulnerable. It is also considered a submissive position.
The closer to eye level you can get is more relaxing and less intimidating.
When you have a customer lying on the mattress, be sure you are not standing over top of them. Doing so, will make them feel defensive and they will want to get up quickly. Make sure you give the customer room to relax. And MEN- when a woman is lying on a mattress don’t stand at the foot of the bed, as this is also uncomfortable for them, especially if they are wearing a skirt. Stand off to the side or do some busy work like straightening pillows or foot protectors while she is testing the mattress.
This will take the pressure off the guest.
The majority of the communication between you and your customer is visual, not audible! Studies show that 55% of communication between two parties is subconscious that is, spoken through body language and not through verbal communication. Body language and how you present yourself can make or break your bedding sale.
Knowing what your body is saying can help you close the sale. Here are a few body language tips.
Keep your hands out of your pockets when talking to a guest. Hands in the pockets portrays that you are hiding something or are not being trustworthy.
Don’t cross your arms. If your arms are tightly crossed, it portrays a defensive or protective position. It also projects that you don’t want to be bothered.
Look your customer in the eye when speaking. Looking away or not keeping eye contact shows lack of confidence or you’re be evasive.
If sitting down, lean forward when in conversation with your guest. Sitting back shows disinterest or indifference. Leaning forward shows that you’re interested in what the customer has to say and that you are listening.
Another secret of reading body language is to look for things that happen at the same time. Thus if you ask your guest a searching question and they close their body, then this may be an indication that they do not want to tell the truth. It may also, of course, mean that they do not like your aggressive style, so you should be aware of your part in the dance and change your style accordingly.
Next Week: Who Needs a Power Base?
This series is written by Gordon Hecht and Denny Bradford, Ashley Sleep Directors of Sales. To comment or ask a question on any of the bedding tips in this series, contact Gordon Hecht at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gordon Hecht is a 35+ year veteran of the Furniture Business, starting as a delivery helper in Las Vegas, NV. He has served as a Regional Manager and Director of Training for a large Midwestern chain. Currently with Ashley Sleep division of Ashley Furniture Industries, Gordon travels the East, Midwest, and Canada training retail sales teams on selling bedding and works with store owners to maximize sales. Gordon resides in Columbus, OH with his wife, and has one adult son.
Denny Bradford started in the bedding business as a store manager for a Texas based waterbed dealer. His 18 years of sales and management experience includes directing a seven-store bedding chain and serving as Bedding Director for a Dallas based retailer. Denny covers the Western US and Canada for Ashley Sleep. He resides outside of Dallas, TX with his wife and son.
Gordon Hecht is Director of Sales for Ashley Sleep division of Ashley Furniture Industries. He started his 30+ years experience in the Home Furnishings industry in Las Vegas, NV as a delivery helper and driver. From that ground level start he started his sales career-and passion for our industry-while in college.
He has been recognized for outstanding sales and management achievement with several organizations including Drexel-Heritage, RB Furniture, Reliable Stores, and Sofa Express. He has served as Store Manager, Multi-unit manager and Director of Training. With his first-hand knowledge of our industry’s front line Gordon has devoted his career to guiding others to exceed their goals.
Joining Ashley Furniture HomeStores in 2007, Gordon managed a 44 store district covering 11 states and 4 time zones. He joined the Ashley Sleep team in 2009 and has worked to make it one of the fastest growing bedding lines in the country.
Co-author of the “Better Bedding Selling Tips” featured on Furniture World Online, Gordon has been a frequent contributor to company newsletters, and contributing writer for industry magazines. Gordon is based in Columbus, OH and is married with one adult son. He can be reached at email@example.com
View all articles by Gordon Hecht