The following is adapted from Come Back to Bed.
Let’s say you’ve invested in marketing your product or store to consumers. You’ve placed ads, built a website and posted tons of promotional content on social media. Now that you have done all of the work to get people into your store, what are you going to do with them?
This is where the sales process comes in. Whenever working with retailers, we ask what makes them different from the competition, and the most popular response is “Our people set us apart.” This may be true, but it’s not always enough.
Your people alone aren’t necessarily going to be what brings you major sales. Consumers are smart and good at navigating around sales people they see as only interested in their commission. What you need to do is customize your sales process to give your customers a unique value-add they can’t find anywhere else.
The first step to creating a customized sales process is determining what value you have to offer. This article will help you to understand how you can offer value through unique promotions that help you connect with your customers and keep them coming back.
Prioritizing Value and Trust
Think about it. You haven’t purchased a bed in years, but now you’re in pain because your mattress sucks. You start doing research online to educate yourself on what bed is going to be best for your body and your budget.
Big problem, though: this is way more confusing than you thought. After you battle through all the sales, promotional messaging, fake online reviews, and pushy salespeople who are only after your money, you realize that this process is much harder than you imagined.
Our friends at Mattress Warehouse understand the in-store experience they deliver has to be unique in order for them to be the go-to for great sleep, so they follow the bedMATCH diagnostic process. You lie on the bed, they hit the magic button to measure your body, and out comes a mattress recommendation based on your height, gender, distribution of weight, lumbar curve, neck pain, back pain, and so on.
At this point, you realize that this retailer is actually trying to uncover your needs and fit you for your perfect bed; they want to help you, not just sell you. This gives Mattress Warehouse a value-add advantage over their competitors because the process requires the RSA to ask the consumer questions about their sleep, which ultimately builds trust—and trust is the key to the sales process.
A typical selling process involves some form of the following steps. Your job is to make sure your brand and your creative ideas come through in the process.
- Establish trust and connection.
- Discover needs and wants and map to solutions.
- Create a memorable win-win outcome customers want to tell their friends about.
Think about ways to customize your selling process with a unique promotion. If a certain percentage of your proceeds goes to one of your favorite charities, have a nice picture board in the front of your store that highlights all the good things that group is doing in your community. If a consumer does an official test of your featured item, maybe they get a special discount offer or, better yet, one of Grandma’s homemade cookies.
Tell me and I’ll listen. Show me and I’ll watch. Involve me and I will buy.
Don’t just sell your customers; have fun with them. If your current shopping experience and process are just like those of your competitors, then there is huge potential for you to connect with your customers in a more compelling way.
It’s pretty obvious when you’re shopping for a product and the person helping you is in it for the commission. Encourage your sales people to see the value in helping your customers. For example, it’s not just about selling mattresses, it’s about helping people improve their sleep.
When your salespeople realize they are in the life-improvement business and every “up” they get on the selling floor is a chance to help someone sleep better and live better, their motivation will change and your sales will increase. We all know what it feels like to be on a car lot or in a retail store and be sold by someone working toward a big commission.
We also know what it feels like to work with a sales consultant who is focused on helping solve a problem. Those are two very different experiences that will get you two wildly different results.
In building a successful business, the first step is marketing your business to customers. The second step is that once you’ve captured their attention, create an experience that will build trust and keep them coming back. The second part is sometimes the scariest, but with some creative thinking, you can design a customized sales process that helps you to connect with customers.
Remember, at the heart of your sales process should be your value. When you lead with a purpose-driven approach, you show customers that you are not just in it for the sale, but that you care about their well-being. Do this and you’ll set yourself apart from the competition and put yourself on a path to success.
For more advice on building your business, you can find Come Back to Bed on Amazon.
Mark Kinsley is President and CEO of Englander, a top-15 US mattress company founded in 1894. Furniture Today called him one of its “20 People to Watch,” and Home Furnishings Business recognized him as one of its “Forty Under 40.” Mark Quinn is the Co-Founder of Spink & Co, Farm-Grown Beds, and the VP of Key Accounts and Marketing for Sherwood Bedding. He’s a top industry blogger at Q’s Views and holds pioneering patents in biometric sleep-space technology. Together, they co-host Dos Marcos, The Galaxy’s Greatest Mattress Podcast (dosmarcos.co), with more than 185 episodes and hundreds of thousands of listens.