BY GERRY MORRIS
Reach out to consumers with positive messages about sleep and bedding on social media and in face-to-face interactions.
The good news is that mattresses are and always will be one of the single best and most important products for consumers to buy and, consequently, for retail sales associates to sell. But the nature of mattress sales is that RSAs will experience shifts that seem long, unproductive and discouraging. You never know when a shopper will enter the store. That’s especially true at certain times of day, certain days of the week and certain times of the year. But you don’t have to just sit back and wait any longer.
More and more RSAs are creating positive results by proactively reaching out to others, primarily through social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Recently an associate I work with, Jordan Pittman of Ashley Home Store in Texarkana, Texas, told me she had begun doing just that but was having some difficulty figuring out what to post that would attract and motivate mattress shoppers to visit her store. I thank her for giving me a great column topic.
Motivation is key
A prerequisite for success is the right motivation behind your efforts. Having a sincere desire to help others improve the quality of their lives is the catalyst for effectiveness in mattress sales. Motive is a transcendent force people can perceive. When your motive is “making a sale,” the shopper is merely a mechanism for success; however, focusing on elevating the well-being of others subliminally communicates sincerity and instills trust. To facilitate this worthy goal, RSAs must understand and believe in the life-enhancing benefits of quality sleep that come from quality sleep products.
I’ve heard people say, “Selling products you don’t believe in makes you a con artist.” Ouch. Let’s consider the inverse: Selling products you believe in makes you a good servant to others.
Use messages to inform
Messages about sales, discounts and promotions are fine to highlight on social media, but many people have become jaded by the barrage of such posts. A better approach is to mix them in with positive messages that educate and inform people about the benefits of great sleep on quality products or, conversely, the negative effects of inadequate sleep on poor quality or worn-out bed sets.
Here are some great suggestions from my friend Barry Gross, sleep products manager for Wolf Furniture based in Bellwood, Pennsylvania. He sends “Did You Know?” messages to his sales staff each week for them to communicate to their shoppers. The proof’s in the pudding, as they say. Gross’ team does an excellent job serving customers by helping them choose to invest in quality products. Gross’ “Did You Know?” messages include:
O The average person tosses and turns 45 to 50 times per night.
O When we are in REM sleep, our muscles are essentially paralyzed: And the mattress is the only thing supporting us.
O On average, people replace their mattress every seven to 10 years.
O During the past 10 years, how much money have you spent on automobiles? You will spend three to four times longer in your bed each day than in your car.
O When you sleep, your brain recharges and your body rejuvenates.
O To your brain, one sleepless night is the cognitive equivalent of being legally drunk.
O Some 35% of U.S. adults aren’t getting the recommended seven hours of sleep each night.
O Sleep is just as important as diet and exercise to good health.
O Many of the critical restorative functions in the body, like tissue repair and muscle growth, occur mostly or only during sleep.
O There is a direct correlation between a quality mattress and quality sleep.
Messages to inspire
Another approach is to use social media messages to give people a glimpse of what life would be like if they were sleeping on top-quality products. People who get even a few extra minutes of restorative sleep each night feel better, look better, weigh less, get along better with others and perform better at work. Starting each day renewed and refreshed gives us an opportunity to find more joy and happiness in our lives.
No one ever says, “I wish we hadn’t bought such a comfortable mattress!” Instead, our customers come back to thank us for how great they feel.
Spouses who sleep well often improve their relationships with each other—and with their children. It makes sense that when rested and restored, people tend to be more loving and patient. Children who sleep well are more likely to behave better and perform better in school and in other activities.
As with the cumulative effects of a daily vitamin, sufficient water, regular exercise and nutritious meals, a few extra minutes of deep sleep will produce dramatic, positive benefits over time.
Don’t stop there
These messages make great talking points, whether on social media or added to your conversations with shoppers in the store. The most successful mattress RSAs also keep business cards with them to engage friends and others with the motive of sharing the good news about how mattresses can improve their lives.
These facts and figures are a great start, but there are more. Use your creativity to come up with messages that will motivate and entice shoppers to come experience for themselves the extraordinary comfort and quality of today’s wonderful sleep products.
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. To learn more about him and to buy his books, including the new “Mattress Matters,” visit SellMoreBeds.com. 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.” For more information, check FurnitureTrainingCompany.com.