A retailer’s real way to increase its capacity, market share and returns is to magnify their loyal customer base as well as develop long term-relationship. The best mattress retailer’s first priority to attain this objective is to facilitate, support and empower sales staff to escalate the opportunities of closing sales.
Each decision needs to be customer focused – ‘Will this help to serve customers best?’
Wearing this lens, let’s create a successful and efficient mattress sales program.
A salesperson is the grand ambassador of your entire mattress store. Therefore, retailers need to ensure that their sales staff undergoes objective, communication, psychology, and human relationship training. This is a gruelling and ongoing process but necessary for new level success attainment.
On the other hand, even sales staff need to arrive early, ensure kind of mattresses are properly organized, get familiar with all relevant information regarding sales, delivery, promotion, price changes and be prepared to serve customers, when the door opens.
Today, shoppers come equipped because they gain a plethora of information from blogs like Newsweek or any other review sites on the internet. To avoid losing power struggle sales staff need to research their competitors and different brands regularly just like their consumers, so as to stay updated.
When shoppers observe the competence and confidence of a well-trained, expert sales person they often allow him/her to show the way. Blending these qualities with care and compassion instils trust.
Preparation for retailers and sales staff
Sales staff needs to be prepared because they are responsible for closing a sale but even mattress retailers need to be prepared for the shoppers entering the door.
Mattress shoppers make impulsive judgements
Brains of basically every shopper make snap judgements on entering the store because they always nurture, ‘more is better’ attitude.
- Buyers start to draw conclusions regarding the retailer, the moment they park their car. Therefore, it is crucial to objectively examine, improve and maintain every detail of showroom presentation.
- Based on advertising messages or word of mouth potential buyers rapidly determine whether to visit your store or not. So, retailers need to create advertising that highlights discounts, price, and financing options to attract consumers seeking best deals.
- Buyers size up sales associates instantly. Therefore, it is crucial to be totally prepared. Everything ranging from product information and sales skill to body language, attitude, and grooming must be inspected.
Sales staff make impromptu judgments
- Even sales staff make impulsive judgments about shopper’s entering the door. Remember not to judge them by appearance but assume that the shopper will possibly choose to invest in a top quality mattress.
- It is significant for sales people to take time to listen to their mattress needs, show respect and offer solutions to resolve concerns. Salespeople who hone this kind of attitude will enjoy more success than those who don’t.
How to take care of mattress shoppers’ needs?
Salespeople need to determine the mattress, which suits the possible customer.
The three simple indicators, which will help you decide about a mattress customer will mostly be satisfied with.
- Quality, type and comfort level of buyers existing mattress.
- Duration buyer has been using it.
- Sleep experience quality.
Succeeding method – Positive approach
They can ask qualifying questions to seek the necessary information, which will guide buyers and convert them into satisfied customers.
Popular question – ‘What comfort level or feel you prefer?’
This sounds like a great question but it is not. Many shoppers have just a single reference point and it is from the mattress they are about to replace. Therefore, they hardly have any idea about what other comforts are available.
Moreover, their answers don’t matter but it locks you into presenting them a product they desire. For example, if they prefer firm, then if you try to show other comfort levels it can create mistrust.
Qualifying question for a kick-start – ‘Do you know there are three comfort levels available?’
Majority of buyers will say, ‘NO’.
Ultimately, your doors to present a firm, push, and pillow top mattress are wide open. The buyer takes time and interest in feeling and giving each type an objective consideration.
This approach will put the sales person in an advantageous position of pro-action instead of reaction. After interest gets developed, engaging shoppers and discovering their experience with existing mattress becomes easy.
Slowly, take care of their expectations regarding a new mattress saying, ‘Which model gives near-to-same comfort like your existing mattress?’
You can now gather information regarding the buyer’s current mattress and sleeping experience.
‘Did you sleep soundly on it?’ ‘How long did you have it?’ ‘What was its cost?’ ‘What are the features you liked and disliked about it?’
It is the right moment to ask – ‘Which mattress do you prefer as best now?’
Sales person needs to appraise all gathered information and remember that there are many possibilities, for e.g. the buyer’s existing mattress is firm, so may prefer firm, pillow top or plush. In case, the shopper prefers a firm because they are very much accustomed to it, then selling a plush mattress is a bad choice. If experience is optimistic, then it is safe to stick with the same feel.
The challenge escalates when buyers make extreme comfort level changes, like choosing a hard mattress to pillow top or memory foam to firm mattress.
If the switch is from firm to soft ask the following questions to talk about their expectations.
‘Do you suffer from backaches and expect a new bed to give relief?’ or
‘Soft mattress show sleep indentations, will this be any concern for you?’
It is crucial to understand their expectations in advance to ensure they are real. Make them understand that it will take them a month to adjust in a soft one as their body was accustomed to a firm mattress. Take some time to gently explain and the probability of customers making a satisfied mattress purchase increases.
There are plenty of qualifying issues to reflect on. Use the three simple indicators to reveal information from prospective shoppers to determine the mattress, which may possibly be a good customer choice.
How to maximize the probabilities of closing sales?
Sales person has a powerful influence on shoppers
One harsh reality with retail mattress sales is that sales people get a single chance to close a sale. It is a lot of pressure but the situation will never change. Several buyers hardly care about the shop or showroom they buy a mattress. They are only interested in getting what they desire at a rate they plan to pay.
Nevertheless, a slight negative feel and they walk towards your competitor. Amongst all the aspects buyers apply to determine where and what to buy, their encounter with sales staff is perhaps the most potent influence.
Therefore, retailers need to understand the significance of sales training or else they will not be capable of competing, which can hamper their turnover rate.
Teaching about the product and selling skills training is appropriate but is not sufficient. These are just tools for learning but there is a need for practical training. The sales floor can be turned into an examination hall, where the sales staff will learn from their errors.
First the new sales person needs to learn ways of using their skills and knowledge effectively before dealing directly with buyers. Veteran sales staff can be also incorporated, so as to enhance their effectiveness consistently.
Theory can be put into practice through ‘Scenario Based Learning’ [SBL]. Recreating real life scenarios for sales people to resolve issues and put it into practice.
How scenario based learning works?
SBL helps learner –
- Use established knowledge
- Get familiar with it
- Apply it
- Analyse new situations
- Create new outcomes
A hypothetical scenario can be created for training like a couple with limited budget needs to purchase a low-priced mattress. How will you influence them to buy better quality?
Sales people need to keep a journal, where notes regarding successful and unsuccessful sales can be jotted in as much detail as possible. Using questions and statements will be very helpful. Capture issues where sales went bad and even events that converted into a sale closing. This gathered information can be used for training purposes.
Examine failures to figure how it could be saved. Share successful sales elements and even criticize them, so as to examine probable ways to enhance. Scenarios can be created with new sales associates and veterans can be observers. They can help the new associates in case of any challenges. It will even help the veteran sales staff to learn some creative things new associates may say, while selling.
SBL motivates the sales staff to attain a goal. Most of the learners take training as it is compulsory. Ultimately, SBL taps their emotions making new and veteran associates discover the reward and pleasure of helping customers enhance their life.