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Opportunity For Bedding Retailers To Team With Hospital Sleep Centers

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There is a little known figure of speech called hysteron proteron. In the simplest of terms, hysteron proteron signifies putting the cart before the horse, a sure road to ineffectiveness. It is my humble opinion that our mattress manufacturers have been putting the cart before the horse every time they put articles that while they pretend to speak to the importance of sleep, end up using that as a ploy for selling mattresses.

Now it is a fact that William C. Dement’s book, The Promise of Sleep, out of the 556 hundred pages in that book devotes only two pages to mattresses, in which two pages he laments that the average sleep shop is not designed to leave the customer feeling comfortable long enough to make the best possible decision about which mattress to purchase.

All manufacturers of mattresses ought to devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading Dr. Dement’s book, if they are to know more than the statistic that puts the number of adults with sleep apnea at about fifty percent.

However, the purpose of this article is not to help sell Dr. Dement’s book. The purpose of this article is to help sell our sleep centers to the general public. It is disconcerting to discover how few
individuals are aware that a sleep center exists in their local hospital. I lived in the Bemidji, Minnesota area for almost ten years without knowing the local hospital had a sleep center in which a patient suffering from some sleep disorder can spend a night there while being monitored by professional nurses.

Concerned about that, I recently went to Frazelle’s Furniture Store in Walker, Minnesota, to discuss that matter with Mr. Frazelle, the owner. Putting our heads together, we came up with the following plan:

A.  The Strategy

1. We will work with the local chamber of commerce to join our efforts to inform as many of those living in Walker about the local hospital’s sleep center.
     
2. We will invite at least one of the local sleep center’s staff to hold a conference at Frazelle’s Furniture Store.

3. We will make the following pledge to the sleep center’s staff: no mention of the word mattress will intentionally escape either from Mr. Frazelle lips or those of his staff. 

4. As a corollary to point 3, no attempt will be made to thwart the purpose of this conference, which is to direct the audience’s attention solely to introducing that audience to what the local sleep center has to offer regarding the matter of sleep.

5. At the conference, the sleep center nurse will be invited to leave brochures and other written information designed to acquaint the audience with its local sleep center.

6. Immediately following the conference, a questionnaire will be distributed to the audience, a questionnaire designed to provide valuable feedback for all concerned.

Mr.Frazelle and I believe that all of us in the furniture business, both the manufacturers and the furniture store owners and their staff have for too long a time gone without becoming acquainted with the local hospital sleep center. That has contributed to a loss of vital information about the nature of sleep. By depriving ourselves of that information, we always end up depriving our customers. Without that information, we cannot hope to become side by side buyers. Failing that, we will, by default, fail to leave our customers feeling comfortable. Customers who feel uncomfortable with salespeople can hardly hope to find comfort on any mattress in our stores. It is after all comfort buying and not comfort selling. It time to put the proteron in front of the posteron.

For more information on this concept contact Peter Marino care of editor@furninfo.com.


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