Training, Patience & Persistence Are Keys to Smartlife™ by King Koil Success at Sit ‘n Sleep
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As the first major retailer to floor SmartLife™ by King Koil several years ago, Nelson Berceir said that training of his retail sales associates (RSAs), patience to nurture the brand’s success and persistence to assure it was regularly shown to consumers were the three factors that has led to its success at Sit ‘n Sleep, the widely respected, 37-store, West Coast specialty sleep chain.
From the get-go, Bercier, president and co-owner, and his team saw not just innovative product in SmartLife, but an opportunity to combat a heavily advertised, national air bed line that was taking share in Sit ‘n Sleep’s markets.
“We didn’t have a comparable product, but once we put SmartLife in place, we were able to compete,” Bercier said. “In fact, sales of SmartLife have consistently surpassed what I thought would be possible because we have created door swings. We’re not just trading one big “S” brand sale for another. In adding SmartLife, we are generating traffic that we never would have had otherwise.
Today, when a customer comes in asking for that nationally recognized air bed—and this happens very frequently because they have been sold on the marketing—our sales associates are able to engage them. Without SmartLife, we lose that opportunity.”
The technologically advanced SmartLife line uses a scientific algorithm that powers 80 patented smart cells and eight independently controlled zones that automatically adjust to fit a consumer’s unique body shape, weight and sleeping preferences. Programming, real-time monitoring and data analysis of the sleep system are managed through an app on smart devices.
Sit ‘n Sleep features three SmartLife models on their floors ranging in price from $4,999 to $5,399 in queen, offering three different surface firmnesses. “I firmly believe when you have a unique category on your floor, you have to show customers that you are invested in it,” Bercier said. “Consumers want choices, and success demands a good, better, best presentation.”
Success with SmartLife also requires commitment from the top down he counseled. “Don’t expect an overnight, rocket-to-the-moon sensation,” Bercier said. “SmartLife is an involved sale, and training is critical. Your teams need to know that you expect them to show and sell the product and that they are accountable. Salespeople will follow the path of least resistance, but once your people sell three or four, they will love them. We’ve found that at least half of the people who come in looking for that national brand will buy SmartLife from us. And half of those that leave to go try the other brand will end up coming back to us after they do because SmartLife is so much better.”
“Nelson and his team have an extraordinary ability to sell a range of product, so we were confident from the start that they would do an exceptional job of presenting the product to consumers,” said David Binke, chief executive officer of King Koil. “Several years down the path, it’s clear that their strategy of patience, persistence and great training are paying off. They consistently do an excellent job with SmartLife every single month.”
About King Koil
A leading global mattress manufacturer, King Koil supports more than 30 licensees in more than 90 countries where King Koil mattresses are manufactured and sold. Headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Willowbrook, Ill., the company has a long, rich history that reaches back to 1898 when Samuel Bronstein founded United States Bedding in St. Paul, Minn. What started out as six employees in a small factory has continued to grow. During the 1930s, U.S. Bedding improved the bedspring and was looking for a new name for its product. From there, the King Koil name was born.