Despite what those outside the industry might think, to say RSAs are the backbone of the home furnishings retail would be an understatement.
They are the ones spearheading the sales, talking to and learning about customers. They train and memorize product details, brand names, and SKUs, all while offering service with a smile.
At The FAM, we have mad respect for RSA, so we decided to talk to RSAs and see what sage advice they have as soldiers on the front line.
When Jerrod Young was looking for work, he knew he wanted to join a small business where he could gain experience wearing several different hats.
He found that at Columbus Mattress, and now works as the store manager.
“I’m in the industry for self-development,” he says. “CMW gives me opportunities to practice sales, learn about logistics, manage people, and do some cross-fit training. Being a small business gives me the opportunity to practice a lot of things that I wouldn’t get if I was at Amazon.”
In addition, he says he loves selling and helping people find the mattress that best fits their needs. But he doesn’t like it when customers think he’s just trying to make a higher commission.
“I get paid hourly and want them to get the best mattress they can,” he says.
With that, he explains that the key to working with customers is to ask as many questions as he can about what they like and don’t like.
“I’ll generally confront their preconceptions immediately (if someone says they like only like firm memory foam, putting them on a softer hybrid to start) and find what they really like,” he says.
While he concedes that the industry does a great job of making quality mattresses, he has advice for the industry.
I wish the industry was more transparent about the logistical challenges of sleep trials, especially in DTC brands, he says “It’s not practical for consumers to sample mattress after mattress without putting more waste in landfills.”
Overall, Young says he appreciates working a job that doesn’t feel like it’s hard work all the time. He doesn’t feel that he’s just “going through the motions” at CMW.
“A lot of people don’t look at their situation as positive,” he explains. “They look at work as something they don’t like but have to do. But the nice thing about working here is that the focus is on doing more.”