Sleep Savvy columnist compiles past articles to give retailers an educational, inspiring book they can turn to again and again
BY GERRY MORRIS
It doesn’t seem that long ago that Nancy Butler, founding editor in chief of Sleep Savvy, called to ask me if she could include an excerpt from my then-recently published book, “Spring Training,” in the inaugural issue of the magazine. That was in 2002. At the time, I had no idea how that phone call would change my life.
Within a few months, I became a regular columnist and occasional feature writer, appearing in every issue since then. My first columns were 300 words, then 600 and now closer to 1,000. That adds up to a lot of words about retail mattress sales. To be honest, as my deadline nears for each issue, I often have no idea what I’m going to write. Indeed, you’d think that I—or anyone else for that matter—would run out of things to say about such a simple product. But that isn’t the case. Somehow, something from somewhere enters my brain in the nick of time. Divine intervention? I believe so.
A serious mission
I consider the opportunity to write for such a wonderful publication both an honor and a privilege, but also a responsibility to readers who take the time to see what advice and guidance I have to offer. Sleep Savvy has in the neighborhood of 26,000 readers. Wow! That’s more people than live in my hometown. So, I take writing for Sleep Savvy seriously, sometimes spending dozens of hours on a column or article, all the while hoping and praying that my words will have a positive effect on others and, in some small way, will lighten their burden, inspire them or at least make them smile.
I’m with my third Sleep Savvy editor now. After Nancy Butler came Julie A. Palm and now Mary Best. I love them all and am eternally grateful for their friendship, kindness, patience, support—and superb editing skills.
I believe mattresses are one of the single most important consumer products anyone can buy or sell. Knowing the profoundly positive effect of deep, restorative sleep, I have maintained through all these years a passion to help mattress retailers and especially retail sales associates help as many people as possible choose to invest in and sleep on comfortable, quality mattresses. In that case, everyone wins.
Sometimes I wonder if anyone cares about or even reads what I write—and if those who do read my columns and articles actually benefit from them. Much to my delight, validation comes when I work at furniture and bedding markets or speak at industry conferences. Almost everyone I talk to reads Sleep Savvy, knows me, reads my work and says nice things about it. Very humbling.
I am so thankful that both my first book, “Spring Training,” and my second book, “Sell More Beds, Guaranteed” continue to sell throughout North America and in countries around the world. I once received an order from someone in Amsterdam who had seen my books on someone else’s desk in Moscow. I never imagined that would happen.
My second book, “Sell More Beds,” is a compilation of columns and articles originally written for Sleep Savvy and other trade magazines through 2006. I was concerned at the time that some regular readers might not want to invest in a book containing material they likely had read before. I’m happy to report I’ve never had a single complaint.
In fact, I’ve discovered that most RSAs like to be reminded of things they’ve read in the past: It’s impossible to assimilate everything we read the first time around. In addition, there
is a tremendous turnover rate in retailing in general and an explosion of new mattress retailers bringing huge numbers of people into the industry who’ve never read a single word I’ve written.
Behind the title of third book
It is for all these reasons that I chose to publish a third book, “Mattress Matters.” It, too, is a compilation of previous columns and articles, these published exclusively in Sleep Savvy beginning in 2006. My wife, Mary Jane, helped me decide on the title, saying she liked the double meaning—it “matters” in that it covers subjects concerning mattress sales and it “matters” in that mattresses are important. M.J. is pretty, smart and witty and she said it best: “At the end of the day, the mattress matters!”
I hope you will buy the book, read it and like it. I’m confident that it will help increase your sales by helping you improve the quality of life of others.
A final note: The other day, a friend asked what I thought was the most important thing to know about selling. Big question, but I knew the answer instantly. I believe it is for mattress RSAs to personally use and believe in the products they sell, to realize the life-enhancing benefits of doing so and to have a genuine desire to help as many people as possible realize those same benefits. Thanks to Sleep Savvy for allowing me to share my messages with its readers and to all the retailers and RSAs who take my words to heart.
Sleep well and help others do the same!
Gerry Morris is an author, consultant and training coach with more than 20 years of experience in the mattress industry. Morris’ Inner Spring training company has a strategic partnership with The Furniture Training Co. to offer a premium online training course, “Sell More Mattresses with Gerry Morris.” To view the course, visit www.furnituretrainingcompany.com.