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The secret to successfully selling sleep sets PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bruce Stevens   
ImageBedding remains one of the most profitable departments in any furniture store. This is not only for the owner but for the sales associate as well. Each time a customer purchases a bedroom suite, the logical follow-up is to introduce them to a sleep set.

It is vitally important to ask every customer when they last purchased a sleep set. If the response is eight years ago or longer; she becomes a good prospective buyers of a premium mattress and box spring combination and all the benefits that go with a good night's sleep.

Every professional, experienced associate knows while the mattress and box spring are the tangible products of the effort, what is really being sold is a great night's sleep. However, most associates were trained to sell features and benefits in that order. Experience has led me to hold a different view. The benefits of the product or service must be stressed before the feature.

The odds are that a customer would not be interested in reviewing a premium sleep set if the first statement the associate made was: "Do you mind if I show you our premium bedding that has an 835 individual coil count, with a fine layer of convoluted foam on top?"

To successfully sell any sleep set, the benefits must come first.

A more positive response will be received if the opening statement was: "Would you mind if I show you some of our premium bedding that would afford you most restful nights sleep that you have ever had - one where you will awake refreshed and ready to face the day?"

Remember, the successful bedding sale is all about comfort, service and a very restful and night's sleep.

Before making any attempt to sell a sleep set, there are a number of well-researched facts that every professional associate should be aware of:

  • 60 per cent of customers are replacing an existing sleep-set.
  • 34 per cent are new purchases.
  • Sleep-sets are usually a "need purchase" not a "want" purchase. Customers generally resist "wanting" to by a new sleep-set.
  • 65.4 per cent of potential mattress customers purchase at the first store they visit.
  • 12.9 per cent of potential mattress customers purchase at the second store they visit. This simply means that statistics show that over 80 per cent of customers purchase in the first two stores the visit.
  • 97 per cent of potential customers say that comfort is their primary issue.
  • 93 per cent say support is their second issue. Therefore, over 90 per cent of all potential bedding buyers say the comfort and support is the main issue.
  • Price is not the issue with the majority of customers. The real price issue is in the sales associate's head.
  • 52 per cent are interested in the quality and construction of the set that supports fully your benefits story.
This again emphasizes the benefits of any product or service should be explained first to begin building that all important rapport and relationship with your customer.

What is the cost of a great night's restful sleep? Well, assuming an average life-span of ten years, it would be (based on the selling price point):

  • $599: 16 cents a night
  • $699: 19 cents a night
  • $799: 22 cents a night
  • $899: 25 cents a night
  • $999: 27 cents a night
  • $1099: 30 cents a night
  • $1199: 33 cents a night
  • $1299: 36 cents a night
  • $1399: 38 cents a night
  • $1499: 41 cents a night
Once you are armed with these vital statistics, how do you go about leading your customer into purchasing a sleep set that is right for them?

Very simply, it is by gathering information through intelligent questioning.

In the next article, the qualifying process to successfully sell sleep-sets will be reviewed.

Good Luck and Good Selling!

Bruce Stevens is president of Stevens Sales Consulting and author of So You Think You Can Sell! Prior to retiring from the company in 2005, he served as national sales manager and sales trainer for one of Canada's largest furniture retailers. He also was their franchise director for eight years. To order his book, e-mail .

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