I have not written about my journey with Spink and Edgar for a while so I thought I would update you on what is going on.
My brother and I flew to Los Angeles and launched our products at Sit’N Sleep on November 16th, and we had a helluva good time! (To read more about this trip, visit Furniture Today and read about it from Dave Perry.) Jeremy Bercier is our rep at Sit’N Sleep and he is a total pro at what he does. He knows the account well having grown up around it his entire life, so his coaching on how to deliver our message was important to say the least. The rsa’s at Sit’N Sleep are not your typical group so when you talk to these guys you can’t come in speaking mattress 101; it’s insulting. The average time on the job for this sales force is 9 years. How many retailers can say they keep their sales force happy, and around for that long? We talked about our farm, the herd of sheep, the massive amounts of coils, the all natural story with NO FOAM, and the foundation that actually works with the bed to deliver comfort. We also talked about the big sales tickets, fat margins, large commission checks and our very limited distribution giving them something special in the market. They were fired up. Several veterans that had been around the industry for a long time even told us it was the best product presentation they had ever seen.
I think we did a good job with the presentation, but that is not why we got the reaction that we did. There were many in the group literally thanking us for bringing them something that was both unique and compelling. Many commented on the authenticity of what we are doing and appreciated the lack of BS marketing spin. Others just enjoyed the romantic nature of our story and how it could help them justify the price they would be asking. Whatever the reason, the sales force really liked it and we are so incredibly glad that they did.
After the presentation we had everybody get up and try out the products and I think this is when we really sealed the deal with these guys. If you are going to stand in front of a room and tell veteran rsa’s that you have the next big thing, you had better deliver when it comes to that moment of truth of actually testing the bed itself. The primary take away from the product experience can be summed up in two comments. 1.) It’s not like anything we sell on our floors today; totally unique. 2.) Wow.
What did my brother and I learn from this week in Los Angeles? We were just blown away at the quality of sales people Larry Miller and Nelson Bercier have assembled to work at Sit’N Sleep. This group really knows their stuff and define all that is good in a retail mattress store. There is no doubt that these guys set the bar as to what a mattress sales person should be. How is it that Larry and Nelson can keep sales people around for so long and fill their stores with “A” players? They show that they value their people and they keep them happy. (A lot of companies say it; these guys do it.) Over the course of three days you would not believe how many people told us that they LOVED working for Sit’N Sleep. UNSOLICITED! For all of you running companies today I hope you agree with what I say next…the intangibles matter. The ownership at Sit’N Sleep really does care about the people that work for them and it clearly shows. Happy people create a happy experience for the consumer and there is no doubt in my mind that this is the reason for the success of this particular retailer. What a pleasure it was to experience this first hand.
I am not concerned about anyone thinking that I am pandering to this retailer because any of you that are reading my blog that have visited this group like we did, know what I am saying is true. So to all of my new friends at Sit’N Sleep, on behalf of myself, my brother Jeff, the Ellman brothers, and Jeremy, we want to thank everyone for the best product launch that we could have hoped for. You guys really did help us make an incredible memory. We understand that sales are great the first few weeks on the floor so THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
From my family to yours, I hope that all of you have a fantastic 2016. Happy New Year!!!!!!!