The Unforgettable Sunday

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It was Sunday night and my wife and I were sitting in our screened-in porch with our kids, watching the storm. My son, Nick, was collecting hail to see if it tasted like ice. But any feeling that this was an ordinary storm would soon melt away. I received a text from my good friend John Walsh, who lives about five minutes away, telling me that a tornado touched down in his neighborhood, taking out a few trees. But still, at that moment, I had no reason to believe that this storm would prove catastrophic.

My church, St Paul's, after the storm

At 5:41 p.m. on May 22, the eighth-deadliest tornado in U.S. history hit my hometown of Joplin, Missouri. Stretching almost a mile wide and running 13 miles long, it completely destroyed everything in its path. (more…)

Team Up

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Working together, truly together, is vital for success.

So much of our time is spent trying to figure out the best way to sell to our customers  (and by that, I mean the ones paying the invoices every month) that we often forget about the customers closer to home. How often do you consider the customer that pays your salary?

It’s easy to forget that sometimes our most vital customer could be the one sitting in the office down the hall. Based on my past experiences, I know they’re not always at the forefront of one’s mind. Have you ever considered what could get accomplished if you were both playing on the same team? (more…)

Giving RSAs a Voice

Posted Leave a commentPosted in furniture, marketing, mattresses, product development

In a recent blog post of mine, I pointed out that the industry doesn’t do a very good job of listening to one of its most important audiences – the retail sales associates, or RSAs. This group of people works the most closely with the consumer; understands their wants and needs better than most of us in the industry; and pretty much makes it happen for the other sectors of the bedding world. We don’t sell tick (the fabric the bed is wrapped in), springs, foam, machines, thread or finished product of any kind unless they are doing their job. Why aren’t more companies reaching out to RSAs and tapping into their collective wisdom and experience? How often do finished bed producers utilize this group early in the product development lifecycle to create new sleep solutions? Shouldn’t suppliers make use of RSAs’ knowledge in developing the next best component? Who better to communicate the desires of the consumer than someone who works in that setting every day? Why don’t we take advantage of that data set? Do we really understand the voice of the RSA? (more…)