Attract dream customers by selling sleep, not just mattresses

In the world of mattresses, it’s easy to fall into the trap of guerrilla marketing. Flyers, sidewalk signs and Facebook Marketplace posts can snag a customer, but often at the cost of attracting price-focused bargain hunters.

This might bring in short-term sales, but for long-term success, look to the strategies of luxury brands like Purple, Mercedes Benz and Rolex. They don’t sell a mattress, a car or a watch — they sell a feeling, an experience and a lifestyle.

Here’s the takeaway for mattress retailers: Sell the sleep, not the price.

Think about it: A quality mattress is an investment in your health and well-being. It’s the foundation for a restorative night’s sleep, which impacts everything from your energy levels to your mood, cognitive function and overall health.

A recent study by the University of California, Los Angeles (https://www.ucla.edu/) found that chronic sleep deprivation is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and even Alzheimer’s disease. When a customer asks, “How much?” and the answer gives them pause, it’s a sign they might be approaching the purchase from the wrong angle.

The allure of sleep expertise

Transform your store from a mattress discounter to a haven for sleep seekers. Here’s how:

  • Become a sleep specialist: Train your staff to be sleep consultants, able to assess a customer’s needs and recommend the perfect mattress for their sleep style and body type. Consider certifications from organizations like the Sleep Disorder Specialty Certification Inc. (https://www.nbrc.org/examinations/sds/) to bolster their expertise. Equip your staff with knowledge of the latest sleep science research so they can confidently answer customer questions about sleep hygiene and the impact of different mattress materials on sleep quality.
  • Craft a relaxing environment: Create a calming atmosphere in your store. Think soft lighting, soothing music that promotes relaxation (think nature sounds or classical music) and comfortable seating areas. Consider incorporating elements of chromotherapy (color therapy) by painting walls in calming hues like blue or lavender. Offer customers a cup of herbal tea known for its sleep-promoting properties like chamomile or lavender.
  • Content is king: Develop a blog or social media presence with informative content about sleep health, different mattress types (innerspring, memory foam, latex, etc.) and the science behind a good night’s rest. Partner with local chiropractors or sleep specialists to create informative content that positions you as a sleep authority. Host in-store workshops on topics like improving sleep hygiene or creating a relaxing bedtime routine.

The price whisperer

Price is still a factor, of course, but it shouldn’t be the lead singer in your sales pitch. Focus on the value proposition: a better night’s sleep, improved health and a more energized life.

Let the customer see the mattress as an investment, not an expense. Consider offering financing options to make high-quality sleep solutions more accessible. And be sure to highlight the long-term cost savings of a quality mattress. A good mattress can last for 10 years or more, while a cheap mattress might need replacing every few years, ultimately costing the customer more in the long run.

By becoming a sleep sanctuary, you’ll attract customers who appreciate the value of quality sleep and are willing to invest in it. This approach leads to higher customer satisfaction, repeat business and a more profitable business model.

Remember, the right customer isn’t asking “How much?” You should hear, “How can you help me get a better night’s sleep?” Be the answer they’re looking for.

Bonus tips:

  • Cater to specific customer niches: Develop a selection of mattresses specifically designed for side sleepers, back sleepers or those with back pain. Offer specialty pillows for neck pain or allergies. This niche approach demonstrates your expertise and caters to a customer who values a solution tailored to their needs.
  • Embrace technology: Incorporate technology into the shopping experience. Offer virtual consultations for customers who prefer to shop from home. Utilize sleep diagnostic tools to help customers find the perfect mattress for their body type and sleep style.
  • Build community: Host sleep-themed events in your store or partner with local wellness organizations. Offer loyalty programs that reward customers for their business and encourage repeat purchases. Cultivate a community around sleep health and well-being, making your store a destination for anyone seeking a better night’s rest.

By implementing these strategies, you can transform your mattress store from a discounter into a trusted sleep sanctuary, attracting dream customers.

Lawrence Heilers

Lawrence Heilers is the owner of Texan Mattress, a fast-growing franchise group of specialty retail mattress stores in Texas with eight franchise locations.

View all posts by Lawrence Heilers →

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