Brian Baxter, a friend and mattress-industry veteran, told me about a coaching tip he used to give the team at Sleep Train and Mattress Firm. When a consumer is testing beds, he said an RSA should never ask, “How does that mattress feel?”
People don’t know how a mattress is supposed to feel.
Instead, when someone is lying down, ask, “How do you feel on this mattress?”
Most people don’t have a mattress-related vocabulary that allows them to talk about how a mattress feels. They’re not mattress geeks. They won’t say, “The action and responsiveness feel like an 8-inch fabric-encased coil unit is paired with two-inches of latex. I’m getting buoyancy that’s creating nice lift in my lower back, but I’m riding down deep enough in the unit to give me a cocooning effect and solid spinal alignment.”
On the flip side, nearly everyone can describe how they feel. We are familiar with ourselves, but unfamiliar with a product we purchase once every 10 years. Ask each person how they feel. Never ask how the mattress feels.
When they run out of thoughts, simply say, “Tell me more about that” or “what do you make of that?” If a shopper says, “I feel good,” then nothing else, saying “Tell me more” can prolong the conversation. A majority of the time they will give you additional information. More importantly, if they feel good, they are selling themselves the mattress by verbalizing those feelings.
Open ended questions and slight changes in your language are the difference between mediocre sales people and world-class sleep consultants.
A special thanks to Brian Baxter for this great tip.