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The Traveling Retailer's Tip #16: It’s Just A Bunch Of B.L.S

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True NFL football fans not only love to watch the games, but also those post-game interviews that have become part of network programming. In a recent wrap-up with Seattle Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson the sideline reporter asked why he has the so much success on the field compared to other QBs in the league. Wilson replied “the separation is in the preparation”. It seems fairly simple, if you want to WIN, and PLAY TO WIN EVERYTIME, you have to prepare yourself to be successful. And whether it’s a chance to go to the Super Bowl, or close a deal on an iComfort with Power Base, it’s crucial to separate yourself from the competition. On a recent visit to a nationally branded Mattress Store, I had the opportunity to step into the RSA role and help some shoppers select a bed. It was a hard reminder for me that a prepared game plan will separate you from the competition.

Picture this; I traveled to help the Mattress Store owners with their advertising plan. When I arrived at the store-everyone was busy helping shoppers. Immediately following my entrance was a couple on a mission! They walked right up to me and told me “We are here to buy a mattress”. As the store team was deeply involved with the shoppers they had greeted, I made the decision that I was going to help the customer! All it was going to take was some B.L.S.

B is for BELIEVE. When your staff starts each day they need to believe that each and every shopper will become a customer; and that they ARE GOING TO BUY. This is a mindset to BELIEVE that every time the door swings the register will RING! As I approached the young couple that had entered the showroom, I decided it was up to me to help them buy something before they left the store. After a few minutes of getting to know the young couple they let me know they were in the market for King Size mattress set. FANTASTIC! It was time for the next step.

L is for LEAD. During my presentation with the young couple I discovered that they had different ideas on what level of firmness they were each looking for. Opportunity Called! This Mattress Store had a comfort test center set up that would help my new friends( and me) discover what level of firmness they wanted. Here’s the really cool thing! I did not ask the customer to do a comfort test. By LEADING them from the area of the store they were in to the comfort test area simply by saying “Follow Me; I have something to show you”. We arrived at the first comfort test bed (Firm Model) I asked them to give it a try. As they began to relax on the mattress I explained that they were now doing a comfort test that would allow them to find the perfect bed. I guided them through a couple more tests on varying comfort levels and treated them to an adjustable base presentation. They concluded that a plush model gave them a sleep surface they could agree on. Based on that choice I showed them an iSeries that the testing showed would be the perfect bed. After a few minutes of enjoying the bed’s comfort and support they gave me a major buying signal. Time to move to the final step!

S is for Succeed. Pricing had not been discussed by the shopping couple or me for any of the beds they had tested. I confidently told the customer that the bed they were on was $1799 in a queen set. As hard as it was, I shut up after announcing the cost of the bed-and waited for their response. They asked a few additional questions about delivery time and warranty (More BUYING SIGNALS) then told me “We like this one”. Since I gave them time to talk they followed up the affirmative with “Do you offer financing?” Rather than a simple “Yes”, I asked how long they wanted the finance term to be. They asked for 2 years, which I quickly computed to be 24 months and told them “We can do that-let’s get started” Both the shoppers and I SUCCEEDED in our goals!

I am not sharing this story because I am the greatest sale person in the world, just as Russell Wilson is an excellent quarterback, but not quite a living legend. I just want to remind you that each day starts with a mindset the separation is in the preparation. Russell will not win every game all of the time, and your sales team may not convert all of their shoppers into buyers. But you’ll always WIN by BELIEVEING you are going to be successful with each customer interaction. Next LEAD the Customer through the process and guide them to the bed that is perfect for their needs. You can’t help but SUCCEED by using all the tools at your disposal as an America’s Mattress retailer and then closing the sale.

Remember, at the end of the day selling is just a bunch of B.L.S.


Gordon Hecht is a Growth and Development Manager for National Bedding Company’s America’s Mattress stores, nearly 400 locally owned and operated bedding stores across the country selling Serta-branded and America’s Mattress-branded mattresses. He started his 30+ years experience in the Home Furnishings industry in Las Vegas, NV as a delivery helper and driver.

He has been recognized for outstanding sales and management achievement with several organizations including Ashley Furniture HomeStores, Drexel-Heritage, RB Furniture, Reliable Stores, and Sofa Express. He has served as Store Manager, Multi-unit manager and National Director of Sales. With his first-hand knowledge of our industry’s front line, Gordon has devoted his career to guiding others to exceed their goals.

Joining National Bedding Company in 2014, as part of the Serta Retail Concepts Group With over 400 stores, America’s Mattress stores is one of the fastest growing bedding retailers 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.
Read other articles by Gordon Hecht

Furniture Industry News and in depth magazine articles for the furniture retail, furniture manufacturers, and furniture distributors.
Read other articles by Gordon Hecht