Here’s a 26-ingredient recipe that will satisfy your hunger for increased mattress sales
BY GERRY MORRIS
Accessories » Don’t think of protectors, pillows, sheets, etc., as add-ons. Use them to help shoppers maximize the enjoyment, benefits and longevity of their investment.
Benefits » It isn’t the product that’s important to shoppers; it’s what the product does for them. To shoppers, a bed is a bed. Show them how the features contribute to back support, comfort and their quality of life.
Close » Not closing mattress sales is a waste of time for your shoppers and yourself. They are going to buy somewhere and there are most certainly products you have that would satisfy them.
Demonstrate » Show mattresses by focusing first on the benefit then the feature: “You can sleep in one position longer on this mattress. It has a layer of convoluted foam that relieves pressure points.”
Educate » Teach shoppers about sleep. Learn as much as you can about the important benefits of deep sleep and the damaging effects of poor sleep. Use that knowledge to help your shoppers connect the dots to investing in a quality product.
Focus » Switch your focus from the product to the person. Ask, “How do you feel on this mattress?” rather than, “How does the mattress feel to you?” People may not like shopping, but they do like feeling good.
Guided discovery » Make selling steps more productive by involving the shopper in the process. Having goal-oriented conversations empowers shoppers and makes them more likely to buy.
Happiness » The one thing everyone wants is to be happy. There is no better product than a quality mattress to give people a better start on their day. Feeling good and being rested don’t guarantee happiness, but it sure does help.
Introduction » Always introduce yourself and ask for your shopper’s name; use it, but don’t overuse it. Establish a relationship by spending a few minutes talking about your shopper’s needs.
Journal» Keep a daily journal of your interactions with shoppers. Note things that don’t go well to find possible solutions, as well as things that do, and share with other retail sales associates.
Key » The key to mattress sales is to understand that shoppers approach the process as satisfying a need or fixing a problem. Through conversation, you have the ability to help them want to buy by adding emotion. Give people a glimpse of how their lives can be improved.
Listen » Slow down and give full attention to what your shopper has to say. Pause and consider before responding. I’m sure you know the old adage about why we have two ears and one mouth.
Mission » Knowing what you do about the benefits of sleeping on a quality mattress, make it your daily goal to help as many people as possible choose to buy one for their benefit.
Never » Don’t ask what your shopper wants to spend, bash your competitors or use warranty, price or comfort guarantees to close sales.
Overcome » Deal with objections by using your product knowledge to add value rather than stepping down in price or quality.
Product knowledge » Objectively learn every product on your floor by lying on the sleep surfaces and understand how the specifications create and contribute to the comfort level, support and durability of each.
Qualifying questions » Here are two questions that can change the dynamics of the selling process, increase your average ticket and customer satisfaction:
1) “Which mattress feels most like your current one?”
2) “Which do you like best now?”
Replacement » Make sure to recommend customers replace not only their mattresses before they wear out, but also their pillows and protectors.
Support » Shoppers mostly perceive comfort. It’s up to you to explain support and durability. Both contribute to the cost of the mattress and even more so to your customer’s satisfaction.
Train, train, train » Top veterans are not big know-it-alls. They realize how much they still have to learn and are in constant pursuit of increasing their knowledge and skills.
Understand » Recognize that your shoppers are on a mission to find a good value. Help redefine value as it relates to their quality of life rather than their dollars. Price shoppers are reluctant to pull the trigger, thinking there may be a better deal elsewhere.
Validate » Corroborate and support your shopper’s choice to help her decide to buy: “Together we’ve gone through a thorough process to find products that will work for you. I think you’ve made a good choice with this model.”
Warranties » Always make sure your customers understand that warranties cover only defects, not the normal wearing-out process.
eXamine » Analyze your motives. (Taking a literary license here because I couldn’t think of an application for X-ray, xylophone or xenophobia.) Putting others’ needs above your own will create more success than if success were your goal. People perceive intent. Serving instead of selling is a win-win deal.
You » … are the most important factor in a shopper’s decision of what and where to buy. It is true—people most often decide to buy from someone they trust.
Zzz » Sleep well and help others do the same. If you don’t already have a top-quality mattress, get one ASAP and then share how your life has improved. It may be the best ingredient of all.
Gerry Morris is an author, consultant and training coach with more than 20 years of experience in the mattress industry. Morris’ Inner Spring train-ing 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.