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Weekly Bedding Sales Tip #13 - What's your Cheapest Mattress?

Furniture World Magazine
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See additional articles in this Furniture World Magazine Series below


Article Summary: Veteran sales people sometimes say that they won’t show the cheapest bed, or tell the shopper it won’t work for them. That may be true, but until the shopper’s needs, wants, and motivation have been discovered, making a derogatory comment about merchandise in our store can stop the demonstration and kill the sale.

View all articles by Gordon Hecht


by Gordon Hecht & Denny Bradford, Ashley Sleep

It’s the “up” or it’s the phone call that sales consultants dread!  A shopper calls, or comes into the HomeStore, and their first words are “What’s your cheapest mattress”?

It’s our job to help the shopper make good choices-sell products they will like today and love for years in the future.  If they’re after a GREAT night’s sleep, all too often, the cheapest mattress won’t deliver the benefits they need.

Veteran sales people sometimes say that they won’t show the cheapest bed, or tell the shopper it won’t work for them. That may be true, but until the shopper’s needs, wants, and motivation have been discovered, making a derogatory comment about merchandise in our store can stop the demonstration and kill the sale. 

Starting price bedding ($299-399 Queen Sets) are designed for occasional, rare guest room usage, five to ten times a year.  They won’t provide superior support, but are okay for a couple of nights. Shoppers who need to put something in a bedroom that is used for holiday or occasional guests can usually “get by” with these products. However, if this is the master bedroom mattress that will be used everyday-shoppers need to shown other products designed to give comfort and support on an everyday basis.
With that in mind, a logical first question to a shopper is “How are you going to use the bed?” If the response indicates occasional use, start a demonstration with your low price leader.  On the flip side, if the response refers to main room daily use, put some perspective on the cost issue.  Try this question:

Did you want the cheapest mattress to buy, or the cheapest mattress to own?

This puts a different spin on the cost.  Follow up by letting the shopper know that your “least expensive” mattress is designed for rare guest room usage, 5-10 nights a year. It is probably not a great bed for every night rest. 

At $399 it is not designed to give your proper comfort and support, and after 3-4 months the shopper will probably be disappointed in the mattress’ performance.  It lands up costing about $100 a month!
However for a little bit more they can purchase a sleep set that will give years of comfortable restorative sleep.  A good starting choice is the Ashley Sleep Bar Harbor Memory Foam Mattress.  At $599-$699, it figures out to cost about $8-$10 a month!

At that point, ask your shopper which one they would like to try, the $100 mattress or the $8 mattress. Let them make their choice, but don’t be surprised how many want to try the $8 mattress!

Next Week: Providing Mattress Protection


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 ghecht@ashleyfurniture.com.

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  ghecht@ashleyfurniture.com

View all articles by Gordon Hecht

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