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Adventures of Mattman: The Right Questions Will Save the Planet (Ep. 9)

A typical day in Mattman’s morning routine is to wake up, prepare a warm tea, and do some stretching.

It’s my daily victory to accomplish this and it’s the first thing I do when my feet hit the floor. It gets me on the path of action! And the last couple of days, I have been listening to The FAM audio stories while I stretch. Among them, Mike it Up with the Goodbed boys Mike Magnuson and Jeff Cassidy. 

They offer a lot of knowledge. Have you ever seen the pictures around Thanksgiving with tables overloaded with turkey, sides, deserts, and the like? Each episode is kinda like that picture! Or maybe it’s like visiting your wife’s Italian family on a Sunday for dinner and the food just doesn’t stop coming! Or… ahh. Okay. You get the point.

I’d like to shine a spotlight on their 7th and 8th episode in particular because it strikes a chord with me. It’s about pollution. I’ve already discussed light pollution and how that can affect our sleep habits. This is about landfill pollution. Wall-E style pollution. Real pollution and when you hear how many mattresses contribute to our carbon footprint and also to landfills, that information keeps me up at night!

Yes, the mattress industry can come to a reasonable standard for the best practices on comfort returns. Yes, the customer can be threatened with return fees if they choose the wrong mattress with zero care of the consequences. And sure, we can cook up some crazy tech to monitor usage to guarantee cleanliness on returns to recycle the mattresses if they are brought back.  All of these are great ways to address the symptoms. But ladies and gentlemen of retail, it’s up to us to help that customer diagnose their ailments correctly. We’re the “doctors” in this analogy. 

It’s up to us to do our part with our clients that come looking for a better night’s sleep to ask them questions to help us find the root of the problem. Use your knowledge and experience to custom fit your client to the best mattress for their needs. If you get this part right, it has a big impact on your quality of life as well as the clients. 

Here’s an interesting way for you to get the information that will help you diagnose what your customer needs. I got this pro tip from a little book called The Go-Giver.  Instead of asking questions like “Do you like firm, medium, or soft?” or “Do you need a queen or king-size?” Ask questions like:

  • How many kids do you have?
  • How old are they?
  • What do you do for fun on the weekends?
  • Where’s your favorite place to go on vacation, if you had to choose right now?
  • What’s your favorite thing to have for lunch? 

None of these questions get you answers that say I need a firm mattress if you don’t know how to decipher the code. Let’s just say my favorite vacation ever would be to go to Yosemite National Park and hike up a hill. I’ve got two sons ages eight and 12. And we also were kind of hoping for one more because my wife wants a girl. And my favorite thing for lunch is a triple XL pizza with all of the toppings plus extra meat and a butter cheese crust, please. Oh yeah, and last weekend the weather was nice out for the first time since spring began so we hit the trails up in Asheville North Carolina. It was amazing!

What I found here is that I’ve got some active clients! I know hiking is a high-impact activity. I’ll need to start them on something a touch softer and see what they think. When you have a mattress too firm, it’s hard on hips, shoulders, and joints being smashed between your body and a hard bed.

Before recommending a mattress, I always ask what positions they prefer to sleep in, like on their side, back, or stomach. And from here I know how much support they need and what kind of comfort they’re looking for when they sleep at night.  

When you ask the right questions and listen carefully, the clues will guide you! Not only can you help our industry reduce waste, but you will be your client’s very own superhero when they find the right mattress faster! It’s bad enough that going shopping requires putting on pants and fighting traffic. Your client’s time is precious! 

We are all the superheroes in this story. We can custom fit our clients to the right bed the first time, every time! Not only will you get better results by asking engaging questions, but you might also meet a new friend along the way. Work is so much better when your friends are walking through the door!

And the more times you get the right mattress on the first try, the less pollution and unnecessary waste our industry adds to the world around us. Don’t wait for the industry or policy to come to rescue us from this problem. We can be the solution today! And to Mother Earth, we can all be superheroes together!

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