When the customers tell retail sales associates that they’ve found the bed they want, associates will often take them to the desk and ring them up.
But in doing that, they’re missing out on a crucial aspect of the sleep surface that can not only impact the customer’s satisfaction of their selection but also leave money on the table that someone else could very easily pick up. I’m talking about 25% of the sleep surface that is the pillow.
So why is it we miss it?
In truth, for a lot of people (sales associates included), it’s an afterthought. It’s an accessory. But you have to accept that the pillow makes up 25% of that sleep surface. Once you acknowledge this, it’s easy to begin the process of talking to your clients about the pillow. That all starts with Step 1.
Introduce the pillow
Some people find success mentioning it at the beginning; others find success mentioning it after you’ve found the mattress. Personally, I like to introduce it and fit them for the pillow on the mattress they selected so the fit matches with the mattress.
In either case, the sheer fact you’re talking about the pillow already increases your opportunity to get the consumer to buy a new pillow. One of the ways you can demonstrate the importance of the pillow is to lay one at the head of the bead and flip it down the length of the mattress. It should cover about 1/4th of the surface of the bed.
Now that you’ve got the consumer visually engaged so they can see how much impact that can have, you should talk to them, albeit briefly, about the things they need to consider. Is temperature an issue for them? Then talk to them about how people lose the majority of their heat through their heads and a breathable and cooling pillow can play a major factor in keeping them cool throughout the night.
The point is, they need to understand that a pillow, just like a mattress, impacts their health and quality of sleep. Remember, the closer to the brain, the more nerves are impacted by improper spinal alignment. It’s why spinal injuries higher up affect more nerves. And there is an easy way to demonstrate that to your guest.
The pillow demo
First, show them that their spine goes all the way past the neck to the base of the skull. Then square yourself with them and show what a straight spine would look like by just standing straight. That’s a healthy alignment and good for the muscles.
Then lean your head to one side and ask them if they see how the spine would be way out of alignment. Even better, if you have them lie on their side you can have them let their head drop to the mattress. They will feel the tension in the neck.
If they are back sleepers, simply turn your shoulder to them and lean your head back and forward. Let them see on you what their head isn’t supposed to do. Then, find them a pillow that fits their sleep position. Typically, side sleepers need thicker pillows, whereas back and stomach sleepers need thinner pillows. But, make sure you’re looking at their body and understand your products so your first pick is close to proper alignment.
And above all else, make sure to involve them. Ask them how they feel. They might look straight to you, but they themselves may be uncomfortable. Have a conversation about it. Involving them in the process is going to make them feel heard and allow you to build trust with your clients.
What if they like their old pillow?
I have had many a client say to me “I enjoy the pillow I have.” That’s perfectly fine if they do, but let’s dig into that further. If they come in looking for a new mattress because they have back pain, how do they know the pillow isn’t part of the problem?
Do they know the signs of when it’s time to replace your pillow? As I said earlier, pillows are often forgotten about when it comes to bedding. So how does the customer know if it’s time?
Sometimes the pillow is flat or requires it to be fluffed up consistently. Sometimes they already are experiencing pain. Other times, the pillow might have stains on it or a yellow discoloration caused by sweat and oils from the skin.
In short, the average pillow is only good for around a year. That’s why, just like a mattress, it’s worth investing in a quality pillow for longer comfort life and a high quality of sleep and health.