For some salespeople these 12 tips will be impossible to implement. That’s because what you’re about to read flies in the face of conventional wisdom and how people are taught to sell. Sure, these suggestions might be easier to implement in independent sleep shops, but hopefully you’ll find something that makes you a better sleep consultant.
- Shut up and listen. As Judge Judy says, “You have two ears and one mouth for a reason.” You can’t provide the proper assistance to a customer if you don’t know their needs. Stop telling them what they need and assist them in finding what they need.
- Check out the big brain on Brad. Know your product. You don’t need to be able to recite the exact specifications of every mattress from memory, but the contents should be visible to you and consumers and you should know the differences from one product to another.
- Nyah nyah nyah. Don’t degrade other brands – explain why yours is superior or more appropriate. Know your competitor’s products. You can’t help people compare unless you know how your product differs from others that they may have been assessing.
- If you can build it, they will come. Learn how to construct a mattress. Know the proper way to assemble a bed and discern where certain brands cut corners. Visit a factory and follow a few mattresses through their entire construction process.
- All foams aren’t created equal. Study foams and how they’re produced. Do some actual research into the different types of foams, their compositions, their category, and how they’re made. There’s a wealth of objective, scientific information available online, including some great videos.
- Dem bones. Learn anatomy. You can’t speak in an educated manner about how a product fits a person if you don’t have a basic understanding of the body. Get one of the basic books used for teaching musculoskeletal anatomy to high school students and take some time to read through it.
- Sleep is not a uni-cycle. Study up on the different phases of sleep and some of the theories on how we transition from one cycle to the next. It can help you explain to customers why they feel tired even though they were in bed for eight hours.
- Channel your inner nerd. Check sleep research online once a week. Do a basic search and see if anything came out from a university or sleep lab that you can relate to your customers. Set up a Google alert for sleep research and remain current.
- Why? Why? Why? No, it’s not the Billy Currington song. Our industry is known for promoting the “sizzle” and having products with a lot of “story,” so you should learn to separate the wheat from the chaff and question any new ad campaign. Ask your representative about the science behind any changes and call BS when you see it. I’ve been asking a certain mattress company about the percentage of a certain element they claim is in one of their springs for years. Their lack of a response gave me all I needed to know.
- Give the lady what she wants. Do like Marshall Field said and show what’s appropriate. If a customer wants a nice basic guest room full size set, why are you offering them a $2000 queen set? Granted, you can’t sell what you don’t show, but there’s no better way to alienate a potential customer than not doing what they ask. (See item #1).
- Be a sponge. Ask questions. It’s how you learn. Ask your customer questions. Ask your sales representatives questions. Ask questions of the plant managers when you tour a mattress factory. In Glengarry Glen Ross, the alpha dog motivational speaker Blake talked about ABC – Always Be Closing. I prefer ABL – Always Be Learning.
- No mas pantalones. – If a customer asks you a question and you don’t know the answer, don’t make up an answer. There’s no surer way to lose a sale than getting caught in a lie. There are too many people in our industry who don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story, and the general public is well aware of this fact. Smartphones, tablets, computers – you have access to a ton of information and often can find what you need to know very quickly. Your customer will appreciate your honesty and effort, and you will have improved your knowledge.
Did I miss anything? Share your tips for becoming a better sleep consultant in the comments section or head over to Facebook.