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Weekly Bedding Sales Tip #13 - What's your Cheapest Mattress?

Furniture World News


by Gordon Hecht & Denny Bradford, Ashley Sleep

It’s the “up” or it’s the phone call that sales consultants dread!  A shopper calls, or comes into the HomeStore, and their first words are “What’s your cheapest mattress”?

It’s our job to help the shopper make good choices-sell products they will like today and love for years in the future.  If they’re after a GREAT night’s sleep, all too often, the cheapest mattress won’t deliver the benefits they need.

Veteran sales people sometimes say that they won’t show the cheapest bed, or tell the shopper it won’t work for them. That may be true, but until the shopper’s needs, wants, and motivation have been discovered, making a derogatory comment about merchandise in our store can stop the demonstration and kill the sale. 

Starting price bedding ($299-399 Queen Sets) are designed for occasional, rare guest room usage, five to ten times a year.  They won’t provide superior support, but are okay for a couple of nights. Shoppers who need to put something in a bedroom that is used for holiday or occasional guests can usually “get by” with these products. However, if this is the master bedroom mattress that will be used everyday-shoppers need to shown other products designed to give comfort and support on an everyday basis.
With that in mind, a logical first question to a shopper is “How are you going to use the bed?” If the response indicates occasional use, start a demonstration with your low price leader.  On the flip side, if the response refers to main room daily use, put some perspective on the cost issue.  Try this question:

Did you want the cheapest mattress to buy, or the cheapest mattress to own?

This puts a different spin on the cost.  Follow up by letting the shopper know that your “least expensive” mattress is designed for rare guest room usage, 5-10 nights a year. It is probably not a great bed for every night rest. 

At $399 it is not designed to give your proper comfort and support, and after 3-4 months the shopper will probably be disappointed in the mattress’ performance.  It lands up costing about $100 a month!
However for a little bit more they can purchase a sleep set that will give years of comfortable restorative sleep.  A good starting choice is the Ashley Sleep Bar Harbor Memory Foam Mattress.  At $599-$699, it figures out to cost about $8-$10 a month!

At that point, ask your shopper which one they would like to try, the $100 mattress or the $8 mattress. Let them make their choice, but don’t be surprised how many want to try the $8 mattress!

Next Week: Providing Mattress Protection

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 ghecht@ashleyfurniture.com.

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.


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