Sleep Physiology

Sleep experts like Drs. Maas, Dement and Jacobs all agree that - aside from living a generally healthy lifestyle - one of the most important factors in getting a good night's sleep is the entire sleep environment. Wall color, lighting, feng shui, room temperature, and sleep surface all contribute. Is there a better place to address all of these issues than a full service retail furniture store?

With our hectic schedules, it can be a challenge to get a solid eight hours of sleep every night. Our daily balancing act of work, family, friends and everything else leaves little time to worry about keeping our bedrooms in an "optimum sleep condition". There are, how-

By Peter Marino

Create rapport with the customers. Don't make this a grim experience. You're not selling caskets.

Find out what their current mattress is like. Was it once a comfortable mattress that gradually lost its comfort?

What's wrong with its current performance? Does it sag? Is its edge support gone?

Make shopping for a mattress a pleasant experience. Customers don't buy when they're mad, sad, or scared. They only buy when they're glad. Make them glad.

5 Shoe salespeople don't just show their shoes; they have their customers try them out. Don't merely point to your mattresses. Have the customers try them, and not just for a few seconds.

0Once you get through the regularly asked closed probes having to do with size, who's going to be sleeping on the mattress, etc., start to ask some open probes, such as, "Mind telling me what the most important thing your looking for in your new mattress?"

7 Tell your customers you are going to have them go through comfort buying. Don't refer to it as comfort selling. Unfortunately, the word selling has negative connotations like the words taxes and mortgages.

8 You can never know too much about your sleep sets, but you can talk too much about them. Customers don't come in to learn about how to manufacture a sleep set. Were that the case, your owner would have advertised for them to go to a mattress factory.

9 If you are selling in a furniture store, you may need to guide your customers to your store's sleep shop. Along the way, develop good rapport with your customers, and if you have the time, get some valuable information from them. You might try the 3-step opening: "Would you mind telling me, on the way to our sleep shop, what your greatest concern is about buying a mattress? That way I can skip all those questions that have nothing to do with why you're here. Would that be all right?" You can use the same 3-step opening if you work in a sleep shop. Simply skip the words "on the way to our sleep shop."

1f\ Regarding the manufacturers specs, take your cue from the customer.

\J Most customers don't want to hear about the specs. No matter how good you are at explaining them, most customers just end up confused. If the customer should ask about the specs, explain them as briefly as you can by using the model samples with which your store provides you.

IT Don't talk features and benefits until your customer gets on one of your mattresses and his or her body language tells you he or she likes

'When I pre-shop for furniture, if a retailer doesn't have online catalogs, I'll find another one who does/'

The best furniture

FACT: 80% to 90% of women age 33 to 45, the key demographic of furniture shoppers, shop online before visiting o showroom.

In today's Internet-driven world, having o website is no! only a smorl business decision, it's absolutely essentia I if you want to prosper in retail furniture. But you have to make that site interesting with lots of options and lots of choices.

Nothing does that more efficiently or cost-effectively than MicroD's ePreVue electronic catalog. With it, you can literally display every case goad and upholstered furniture item from every P reVue-sup ported manufacturer you carry. Then, using Easy Plan - ePreVue's software companion, your shoppers can place their selected items into their own custom-created room plan to see how it fits info their home one/ into their own sense of style.

To find out more, see us al the Las Vegas Market, World Market Center, Bldg. B 16th Floor, Retail Resource Center July 28 - August 1, 2008 Call 800-964-3876, ext 253, or visit us online at

business technology.


ever, some simple things that can be done in order to achieve a better night's sleep. But first, we must know the basics of sleep physiology:

Creating A Sleep Cocoon may look fashionable, but it can actually work against what our customers' bodies are naturallyjrying to do -

  • Your body must cool down in order to go to sleep.
  • Your body continues to cool off during the evening until just before you awake.
  • Your body begins preparing for sleep at sundown when your retina sends a signal to your brain - which, in turn, sends a signal to the pineal gland to begin to produce Melatonin.
  • Melatonin is a naturally occurring chemical that lowers your body temperature and makes you drowsy (this has the same impact as taking a warm shower before going to bed; your body temperature elevates while in the shower, then cools once you come out). That change in temperature makes you drowsy and helps you pre-

pare for sleep.

  • There are 5 phases of sleep in a typical sleep cycle with the 5th being the all-important REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. Studies have shown that REM propensity increases when your body temperature is at its lowest point during sleep...typically in the early morning hours. during REM your brain reorganizes and recharges for the next day. This is also the state in which you experience vivid dreams.
  • You must go through all 5 phases of sleep consecutively in order to achieve REM sleep. If you wake up in the middle of Phase 3, you don't fall back asleep and pick up where you left off. You will have to successfully complete Phases 1 and 2 again.
  • Most sleep experts recommend setting your room temperature between 65 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit for optimum sleep.

Since most consumers don't know all the technical details of sleep physiology, it's our responsibility to explain it. Remember - having knowledge about and explaining these topics will also dif-

Continued from page 18

that one. At that point you might say something like the following; "What you're liking about this mattress is the way it cradles and caresses you as it supports you. Let me show you a sample of the foam on this mattress. It's the same foam that burn centers use to conform to the sensitive bodies of burn victims. Features tell, but benefits sell.

IO The best way to handle a price objection is to make use of the following Z- sayings before objection ever comes up:

  • a) When you buy quality, you cry only once.
  • b) You don't always get what you pay for, but you hardly ever get what you don't pay for.
  • c) Price is much like condiments; you should be putting them on food that already tastes good. Price alone won't ever give you a good night's sleep, or your present mattress would be doing that for you. It's already paid for!

In asking for the sale, timing is everything. But keep in mind that timing must always be accompanied by buying signals. The stronger, the better. It is at the point of asking for the sale that all the little things you did to create excellent rapport with your customer pay off. Remember, customers don't buy when they are mad, sad, scared; only when they are glad.

1A Remember that rapport is both a state and a process, and that it is a \ volatile state. As soon as you discontinue the process that won you rapport, it can vanish in a second.

When you ask for the sale, do so with confidence. Remember the Roman poet Livy's words: Confidence begets confidence.

1/ Handle every customer objection as an implied need. Your task is to O support the implied need, and not to look upon the objection as an adversary to be overcome. Selling is a collaborative process, not a competitive one.

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