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Better Bedding & Mattress Sales: One Sentence, One Small Step

Furniture World Magazine


"That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind." 
- Neil Armstrong

"If a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live." 

- Martin Luther King, Jr.-

"Give your customers a shopping experience to behold and be told."
– Jeff Giagnocavo-


Each of the quotes above point to a powerful marketing concept that can help you to create an important profit asset in your mattress (or furniture) business. I hope Furniture World readers will forgive me for adding a quote of my own to those of Neil Armstrong and Dr. King. We, as business owners and marketers, often spend too long getting to the point because we spend too little time determining what the main point is.

Yet, in our fast-paced, short-attention span world, retailers must be clear and concise to capture the attention of target customers, and get them to take action.

As French author Blaise Pascal wrote in 1657, “I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had the time to make it shorter.”

Re-read that quote again, because today, more than 250 years after this quote was written, it contains a truth we ignore at our own peril. In this day and age of mass digital media and instant distractions, people who tackle urgent, important issues, do not have time to waste!

Developing a short, concise and powerful message is no easy task and it takes much more effort to create it, then to bloviate everything you know about the products you have on your sales floor. Often less is more.


Clear & Compelling

When you ramble or fail to give a clear sense of direction to your message, you turn your customers off and any money invested to get their initial attention is wasted. Simplicity, if it is clear and compelling, is power.

Consider Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. It lasted three minutes and 75 percent of Lincoln’s words were one syllable. Interestingly, Lincoln delivered his famous, almost poetic speech, after Edward Everett, considered to be the country’s best orator at the time, had spoken for two hours.
No one remembers Everett’s speech.



Your "One Sentence"

Recently I came across a book you may want to add to your library. It’s Mimi Goss’s “What Is Your One Sentence?”

Goss does a decent job of declaring the importance of having laser-focused, “one sentences” about you, your business, products and services. While smart marketers understand the value of unique selling propositions and unique value propositions, I found this book to offer a different perspective in an industry full of retailers who often do a poor job of differentiating their messaging.

My only “issue” with her book is that it doesn’t offer a lot of business-oriented one sentence examples, however if you struggle with being able to clearly and succinctly articulate your messages, I recommend using Goss’ exercises to create your own one sentences.

To offer you a quick glimpse, here are Mimi’s 12 Components of a Memorable One Sentence:

1. Defines the essence of your whole message
2. Inspires dialogue
3. Is about people and for people
4. Includes action or a new way of looking at a topic
5. Captures your message’s drama, power or wit
6. Is directed towards achieving your goals
7. Takes into consideration your desired audience members’ goals
8. Enhances your message, because it helps you and your audience focus on your message’s key point
9. Highlights your message’s special, inspiring value
10. Has a style authentic to you or your organization
12. Uses concrete examples that people can visualize, or is poetic and soaring
12. Is easy to understand and ideally, to remember

After reading the book, I immediately looked at some of my current marketing efforts and went back and wrapped a “one sentence” around them. I think you will find it a profitable exercise for your business, too. You can find Mimi’s book on Amazon.com.



A Powerful One Sentence

At Gardners Mattress & More, our one sentence is made powerful because it frames every conversation thereafter.

"Our unique & personal sleep assessment process is designed to best fit your sleep needs with premium sleep solutions so you wake up happy, guaranteed."

We use this sentence in marketing materials, on our business card, in video, in articles, in print – everywhere. And it’s very powerful when customers ask us, “OK, so why should I buy from you?”


A Weak One Sentence

Compare our one sentence to that of our competition, possibly even your store. Typically, people will answer, “OK, so why should I buy from you?” with...

  • WE are the biggest
  • OUR purchasing volume is the best
  • WE have been in business since 1958
  • OUR prices can’t be beat
  • WE have great service.

See a pattern here? It’s all about YOU, not your customer. And every single statement can be outdone with a better adjective to describe the statement point.
Focus your one sentence on your customer and you will see your marketing and sales results improve.

About Jeff Giagnocavo: Jeff Giagnocavo is co-owner of the retailer Gardner’s Mattress & More and the co-creator of Mattress Retailer Weekly. Mattress Retailer Weekly is shared with you every week so you can get new customers, stay ahead of your competition and increase your sales tickets. Get your FREE subscription by visiting www.RenegadeMattressRetailer.com or text MRW to 484-303-4300.

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