If you go to buy a new laptop, you don’t only buy it based on how much it costs, you look at what features and benefits it has—what it does and how it will help you.
That’s the same mindset retailers should take when they are talking to customers about mattresses.
Instead of talking about prices, talk about the quality of the mattress.
Use good, better, and best to distinguish between the mattress types—all positive words that don’t make any mattress seem worse than another.
There’s a reason a higher-grade mattress is more expensive. There is something you lose as it relates to quality if you step down in price, and if you can explain that reason to the customer, they’ll realize it makes the price worth it.
Salespeople should remember that a person who needs sleep and is suffering is willing to pay for a quality mattress if that means a better night’s rest.
Jeff Giagnocavo, co-owner of Gardner’s Mattress and More, says price is often the last thing his salespeople discuss.
“We uncover needs and issues, present the opportunity, discuss how they’ve failed in the past, how what we offer is the best fit, then talk price,” he says. “We don’t advertise on price and discounts have no place in our ethos. It’s pretty amazing what happens when you truly commit to solutions around better sleep and what our products can do. The paradigm is completely shifted this way. It works well for us.”
JeMiale McKinney, who works in sales at Badcock Furniture, agrees with Giagnocavo’s statement because he “feels like the world speeds up more and more every day.”
“Ten years ago I could easily do the approach where we didn’t discuss price before we discussed feel,” McKinney says. “I had things to gently deflect price questions. I feel like young customers now, millennials and zoomers, are so sharp that they “smell” it when price is sidestepped. They can tell we’re trying to get them “sold” on the feel and that we’re going to pitch something above ideal budget.”
And over the last couple years, McKinney says he’s had success just letting them get it out to say a little about price. “I can still sell them 2-3x higher price than what they initially say because they are comfortable in the situation,” he said.
However, some retailers find it easier to bring up prices first.
TJ Whelan, Gallery manager at Macy’s Furniture Gallery, says the first question he asks is about the customer’s budget because it allows him to get a hard, open-ended question out of the way.
“I never want to show someone with a $1,000 budget in mind a $5,000 mattress, but that also means I don’t have to show them anything $799 either,” he explains. “At my old company, the poorly trained salespeople started at Tempur, then $999, then $599. Nine times out of 10, turning that $1,000 guest into $1,299 or $1,499 was easy because I explained that I would show them something a little out of budget and a little less than budget, all the same.”
And Jesse Kostuhoski, VP of regional sales at Boston FAM, says he likes to address price commitments before customers do.
“I’m committed to finding you YOUR most comfortable mattress,” he offers as a script. “I’m committed to making sure it addresses why YOU are looking for a mattress. I’m committed to making sure it’s at YOUR comfortable price. How’s that sound?”
No matter how you talk (or don’t talk) about price, remember these wise words from Giagnocavo: “If it comes up $500 or $5,000 I’m not hung up on what they invest with us at all. No matter the amount you’ll hate me all the same if it’s not the right fit. We have to get the fit right first, then go from there.”
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