The Importance of Selling Sleep

Posted by Jeff Giagnocavo on

Now more than ever, it seems the pressure to sell a quality sleep system in your store is at an all-time high. Online sellers are telling your potential customer that shopping in your store is old fashioned, a waste of time and if they do buy from you, they will get ripped off.

This is certainly not the truth in my stores and I hope this is the case in your store, too.

There is one thing, however, that the online companies have done that benefits every outlet selling quality mattress sets – elevated the perception that a new mattress set has on the quality of sleep.

Of course we know this, we’ve all known this for years. But today the consumer is more tuned in than ever that quality sleep has a positive impact on health and wellness and that a mattress plays a pivotal role in finding sleep nirvana.

All this said, are you truly selling sleep? What is the message on your website, the one main point every customer will learn and take away? Is it that a quality mattress equals a better night’s sleep? Or, is it that your most current sale ends soon and everything is on sale at a deep discount?

If you’ve followed me or are aware of my teachings, you’ll know I run a successful set of stores and I never promote low price.

I have helped many other mattress retailers move their product selection up-line, raising their average tickets while increasing the number of happy customers ready to buy premium mattresses from them. This all happens because they are committed to truly selling better and not constantly discounting both their products and the services they offer.

Here are three easy ways you can commit to selling better sleep so your sales and tickets increase:


#1 - Forgo the usual and all-too-common pleasantries that only annoy the customer.

Try this – “Tell Me”. Two simple, yet powerful words.

  • “Tell me, why are you shopping for a mattress today?”
  • “Tell me what is most important to you in a mattress?”
  • “Tell me, in what position do you most often sleep?”
  • “Tell me, why don’t you like your current mattress?“

These simple and easy-to-use phrases get to the truth quickly and succinctly without boring your customer. In a time when a five-second YouTube ad before a video is too bothersome to stick around and watch, do you really think your customer has the time or patience to put up with the same old greetings they’ve heard in every store they’ve visited?


#2 -  Know your floor and how your customer will experience it.

Two years ago we mapped our entire floor based on comfort feels. Everyone on our team had to rank the mattresses according to baseline feel – a matrix blending comfort and support – from our premier vendor Vi-Spring. This exercise transformed how we present and speak about our products. Sure, we knew how each bed felt, sort of. But we had never spent the time to follow a pathway from top to bottom like what the customer was feeling as we were presenting our products. It truly opened our eyes.

For example, with the tried-and-true comfort test of firm, plush and pillow top; have you ever laid on every bed that is firm, plush and pillow top? If not, you should. You’ll likely experience your showroom floor in a totally new light and have a better understanding of how to communicate you know what the customer is actually feeling and experiencing.

Remember, when you can connect two different senses at a time you have a better chance of the customer not being confused because they are better engaged with what they are hearing and feeling at the same time. Hearing about the attributes of the mattress while feeling them at the same time is less confusing to the customer, keeps them more focused on the mattress they are laying on, and greatly increases the chances of making the sale.


#3 – Don’t drop price; build value in what they are experiencing.

This may be a cliché statement, in my opinion that is only because so many don’t execute the first two steps. Building value as a last resort or dropping your price to make a sale, puts you in a defensive position in negotiations.

If you’ve used “tell me” properly, you’ll understand why the customer is in your store and what their true reasons are for purchasing a new mattress. You will be able to say…

 “Based on what you’ve shared with me about your back pain, your husband’s snoring and your different sleep schedules. The sleep system you’re enjoying here will work wonderfully at home because of its ability to properly support your spine without adding pressure points, helping with your back pain. The bed base with a minor lift in the head should help with snoring, and many other sleep related issues. And, because you are in a king split set, you have the ultimate in customized comfort. Though you both get in and out of bed at different times, you’ll have the benefit of restorative sleep while keeping your different schedules and still sleeping in the same bed.

The true tipping point of value is when the desired solution outweighs the price to be paid.

The above selling solutions are how you sell higher tickets and increase closing rates, rather than speaking about price, discounts and deadlines which puts you into the commodity business. Did you know that there is now a Google Chrome browser extension that notifies the user of all discounts on all products they have ever searched for? How can you possibly match that? You can’t. However, if you truly commit to the power of selling sleep, and selling your mattresses and sleep systems as true solutions to the customer’s sleep needs, you’ll find yourself quickly rising above the rest with higher sales tickets and higher closing percentages.



Jeff Giagnocavo is co-owner of Gardner’s Mattress & More in Lancaster, PA and is also the co-founder and co-publisher of Mattress Retailer Weekly. Mattress Retailer Weekly is a weekly publication where we share tips, strategies and insights so you can sell more mattresses. For more visit 

About Jeff

Jeff has been selling since the age of 12 when he began cutting lawns and shoveling driveways to pay for skateboards and RC cars. Since then Jeff has been a true entrepreneur, owning various businesses. Today Jeff is a sought after speaker and sales automation consultant for brick and mortar business owners wishing to automate their sales and marketing. As a fellow brick and mortar business owner, Jeff relates to the real world challenges and opportunities. Since his stores are retail mattress shops the bedding industry looks to him often as a speaker and thought leader. Email him at View all articles by Jeff
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