How to Put the Customer at the Center of the Mattress Shopping Experience

Written by Chad Fischer

August 10, 2023

Technology in the mattress industry has exploded over the past decade as manufacturers have raced to find the “next best thing” to help consumers get the best night of sleep possible. With all these advancements in the bedding industry and everyone claiming to have “the best thing,” how do you as a store owner navigate and choose the right merchandise for your floor? And, once you have chosen the right lineup for your sales floor, how do you present it to a customer without the fear of confusing them even more than they probably already are?

I remember a time when selling mattresses didn’t require an engineering degree in foam production, coil spinning and tape edging. Of course, I’m kidding, and a specialized degree is not needed to sell mattresses, but it does and can get confusing if we let it.

Back in the olden days, I was a sales rep with a major bedding company. The go-to-market strategy was simple: Let the customer tell us what they need in a new mattress. It’s likely that you’re already still doing just that. But do you keep it simple?

There are hundreds of possible reasons why a customer is in your store looking for a new mattress. But what our research has found is that if we focus on the top five problems, we can help solve most of your customers’ sleep issues and help them select a new mattress that is just right for them.

Let’s review the top five issues and the five simple questions that you can ask to get the customer to tell you exactly what is going in with their current mattress.

Problem #1: Tossing and turning

Question you can ask: Is excessive tossing and turning preventing you (or your partner) from getting a good night’s sleep?

Problem #2: Lack of support leading to back pain

Question you can ask: Are you (or your partner) experiencing any back pain or stiffness when you wake up?

Problem # 3: Partner disturbance

Question you can ask: Does one partner’s movements disturb the other?

Problem #4: Uncomfortable sleep temperature

Question you can ask: Are you (or your partner) sleeping too hot or too cold?

Problem #5: Mattress roll-off or sag

Question you can ask: Are you (or your partner) experiencing a “roll-towards-the-middle’ or “roll-off-the-edge’ feeling?

Now that you have the answers to the 5 questions, it’s time to try out beds. An important sales tip to note: do not talk about specs while your customers are testing mattresses. We will get to that point later in the process. Instead, take them through the process, and when you get to the point that the customer tells you, “I like this bed,” now is the time to talk specs and ensure them they have made a great choice.

Review all the questions and talk specifically about the issues they have and nothing more. Often, we talk about benefits and features that the customer didn’t ask for and they don’t care about, which often leads to more confusion and possible second-guessing.

Based off the answers they gave you, you can walk them through how the mattresses they are testing will help alleviate those problems and allow them to get a better night’s sleep.

For example, “Mrs. Customer, you mentioned that you sleep hot. The great news about the mattress you selected is that it has a special component in the foam (or whatever the feature is) that allows you to sleep cooler than a traditional mattress. This should help keep your body temperature cooler while you sleep.”

Remember, the customer probably hasn’t shopped for a mattress in nearly a decade. They need our help in guiding them to select the right mattress. And that process should be tailored to their needs — not an opportunity for us to show off everything we learned getting that engineering degree in mattress sales.

Happy selling!


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