Are we missing out on opportunities to sell mattresses outside of the typical store environment? Consider several groups of people who could really use a new bed for one or more reasons:
- People with back pain
- People with chronic pain
- Pregnant women
- People with sleep disorders
- People with too much stress
- People who are really in to fitness
- People who are obese
Do you think retailers do a good job of connecting to these groups and offering up the idea that a mattress can significantly benefit these people? Do the managers of the local sleep shop or furniture store have referral relationships with the local chiropractor or sleep disorder clinic? Could both locations carry literature for the other and cross-market one another’s business?
I can’t tell you how many pregnant women I have talked to and sold an adjustable bed to so that they can be more comfortable during a very uncomfortable time in their lives. Later, those same women came back thanking me profusely for the recommendation. Do OB-GYNs tell their patients about the benefits of a power foundation, and if not, why not? How about personal trainers? Do they talk about sleep with you? Don’t you think they would like a shot at making some additional money referring their clients to your mattress store?
All I am saying here is that we should not always rely on the typical approach to selling products in our industry. The secret weapon isn’t really a secret at all: Develop relationships with people who might have clients that can benefit from a quality mattress. Then, after they send you business, return the favor. Scratch that, send them business first and it’s likely they’ll return the favor.
Don’t stop your advertising or social media outreach, but also consider charging your people with making some friends out there and cross-selling some better sleep! Remember, we are not selling the rectangle here. We are selling the benefit of the rectangle, and, in all cases listed above, we have something substantial to promote.
Before you bedding producers or component suppliers get too comfortable, are you doing your part to tell that story or address these groups? It can’t be just a few of us banging the drum. We need to arm our favorite retailers with great information, product development, and research so that they are ready to have those conversations!
Are you developing relationships outside the office? Has your outreach paid dividends? In the comments section, share some of your strategies for selling outside the box.
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are mine and mine alone. They do not represent the thinking of the company I work for, or anyone else with whom I am affiliated. Except my wife of course, who is good at telling me what not to say.
Great article Mark!
Can you tell me if you have seen any studies to support the claims mentioned above? I saw one clinical study with low back pain with Sleep Number but I can’t find the year it was done or if it was published in a peer review journal.
Sleeping with pain is like sleeping with the enemy. Are you aware of any evidence based studies with the mattress industry that have been done in the past 5 years?
Thanks again for your interest and support. Good sleep is good medicine. Nancy Nadolski
Hi there Nancy,
Check the Better Sleep Council’s website at bettersleep.org. there is a study from Oklahoma that was done a few years ago. Let me know if that does not help you. Kingsdown has also done some work on that also so you might send them a note.
I’ll tell them you sent me. Thanks. Nancy
I could not agree more! I am new in the Industry, my husband has been in the Mattress Industry for too many years and now we have our own factory. I was given the task of finding new clients and that is exactly what I did… I cross referenced…Good or bad sleep is a topic for everyone… the best thing is that people are greatful for the suggestions…it’s a jungle out there for consumers to find the right mattress.
Thanks Silke I am glad to hear that you were thinking outside of the box.