Your shopper enters the store at 7 pm on Saturday. She has been driving through traffic, getting her child into a stroller, and navigating through parking lots and rock-hard store floors all day. She wants to find a mattress. You get her to test-rest your best selling model and ask her if it’s comfortable. She buys it-and a week after delivery she wants to return it, saying that she’s awake tossing and turning all night.
Why was she comfortable in the store and not comfortable at home?
In the store she said “YES”, because when people are tired, laying down is more comfortable than standing up! She would be comfortable on ANY mattress! Your job is to find a mattress she will be comfortable on for 8 hours, not just 10 minutes. You need to help her make the right choice the FIRST time!
There is no method that is 100 % right all the time, but there are ways to eliminate the wrong choices. Most of all you have to ask questions that will help you and your shopper understand what is important to her needs and desires. In an earlier installment we went over some basic qualifying questions:
- “Who’s the mattress for?”
- “Do you toss and turn at night?”
- “Do your hands or feet feel tingly or cold during the night?”
- “Do you feel your partner move at night and does that disturb you?”
These emphatic questions will give you an idea of what is important to your customer –in turn, she will understand that you are concerned with her sleep, and not just ringing the cash register. You need this information though to help them make an educated decision.
Once you have answers to these questions use the process of elimination to help her select. Many shoppers only have a vague idea of what they DO want in a mattress. But they have a pinpoint opinion on what they DON’T want in a mattress! She doesn’t have time to test rest all 30 mattresses on your floor, so if you can narrow down the choices by eliminating from the equation what you know won’t work for them, then the realistic choices are few.
If her sleep is disturbed when she feels partner move at night, then eliminate linked coils. Anything with a linked coil system is eliminated because it will transfer motion.
If she is tossing and turning at night, or has that tingly cold feeling in her arms and hands, that’s usually an indication of irritated pressure points. What causes that irritation? Think about what happens when you compress a coil -it pushes back. So if she is a side sleeper, all of her weight is on her shoulder and hips with springs compressing her pressure points and restricting blood circulation. So, anything with a coil is out. Ashley Sleep, Sealy, Simmons and Tempurpedic foam mattresses are wise choices
Ask if she prefers a hard or soft feel? If she prefers a harder feel then memory foams is what you want to show. If she opts for a softer feel then the Latex foams are a better choice.
After asking her to test rest a mattress -ask ”What could I change about this mattress to make it PERFECT for you”? Your shopper’s answers will clue you into her perfect selection.
This presentation takes some practice and you need to be aware of how every mattress on your floor feels. Your version of hard and soft will be different from someone else, comfort is relative. However to be a professional, you must understand the different comfort levels your floor models provide. Take time today to do your own test rest-not to find what you like, but do it so you can help your next shopper find her perfect night’s rest.
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 Senior Manager-In Store Concepts for Serta Simmons Bedding Company, introducing and expanding bedding business in conventional and non-traditional venues. He started his 30+ years experience in the Home Furnishings industry in Las Vegas, NV as a delivery helper and driver and later served in sales, retail management and consulting roles.
Read other articles by Gordon Hecht