Tag Archives: sales

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Buying a mattress may be more stressful than buying a car

Image via Wikipedia

Shopped for a mattress lately?  The internet offers loads of shopping guides, and the stores offer so many models, it’s mind boggling.  It seems that every department store or mattress specialty store has its own line of   Simmons Beautyrest or Sealy Posturepedic sub-models, making quality and price comparison virtually impossible.  The one constant is that famous brand of “memory foam” mattresses, that seem to have the same models and prices across the board.  The folks in the mattress stores tend to lead you in the direction of that display first, probably because they cost as much as a good used car.

This is not a consumer piece –  I really don’t want to get into number of coils, stuffing, topping, and foundation.  I just wanted an  easy way to find a bed that is as comfortable as the bed in that hotel I stayed in a couple of months ago.   After all, I am going to be spending about 1/3 of my life there.

This IS a customer and sales post.  I have already reviewed The Mattress Firm in the Laurelwood Collection on Poplar on Yelp, but we had such a good consumer experience with our salesperson, Helen, at that store that I just had to mention it.  After all that research I had done on the internet, and the hotels I had called about the brands they used,  pulling  mattresses out of a rack at a warehouse store and trying them out on the floor, and going to other mattress shops, we dropped in at Helen’s store.  She waved us right on by the memory foam, explained the firmness color coding in their system, and quickly analyzed our preferences.  Did you know that even in high end bedding, some mattresses are designed for back sleepers and some for side sleepers?  We made a no-stress purchase and we’re very happy with our new bed.

A pillowtop mattress (U.S. size

Image via Wikipedia

So why did I write this post?  Because Helen was a great salesperson.  She wasn’t trying to sell us an expensive product.  She was using her knowledge to find us the perfect piece of comfort for our needs.  She made sure it was the right product for us.  And that’s what being a good sales person is all about, and why I will recommend Helen to anyone in search of a bed.

Selling the sizzle, giving away the steak

I think the very first sales aphorism I remember is “Sell the sizzle, not the steak”.  That sales instructor explained that people buy benefits, not products, and that a good sales person always stresses how his/her product will solve a problem, be it by eliminating pain or inducing pleasure – the  Sizzle.

Yesterday, I was rather shocked to get a phone call from an out of town sales lead who wanted a relocation package – you know, a folder of interesting printed information, maps, brocures, coupons, etc. about the Memphis area.  Well, if your company does not have a relocation department, they are were a pain to put together, cost a lot to ship, and generally did not result in any business.  I think many students order them to research their geography projects.  So I stopped using them over a year ago, offering links to virtually everything Memphis.  I can understand the tactile gratification of holding  a lot of printed material in your hands, but my prospects seem quite happy researching for themselves online.  As it turned out, this person had no concept of searching online, and hopefully, the .pdfs I sent were helpful.

That type of customer is very rare these days.  Most new customers come to me knowing as much as or more than I do about the macro and micro aspects of this market.  They have found the steak, eaten it, and now are looking for someone for some after-dinner talk.  And that’s Sizzle 2.0.

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