dream If Bedding Was A by wpr1947


									                                 If Bedding Was A Dream Purchase…
                                            By Gerry Morris
                                  Furniture Today Article, Month, Year

Gerry Morris is the President of Inner Spring and a veteran mattress manufacturers representative. He is the
author of Spring Training: A Supplementary Guide to Mattress Sales, considered the “Industry Bible” by some.
The book, while standard issue for retail sales people, is also a resource book used by manufacturers around the
world. Gerry also conducts entertaining and effective seminars for both retailers and manufacturers. For more
information visit: http://www.innerspring.net or phone (903)456-2015.

I believe one of the biggest influences on the bedding industry is what I call the Needs vs. Wants
Phenomenon. Basically we (most of us) don’t like to do or buy the things we need and depend
on, but love to do or buy the things we want, even if we can’t logically justify doing or buying
them. It is just human nature.

We are motivated by emotion to buy want items for how we imagine they will make us feel. But
when it comes to need items, we use intellect, logic and reason to discern value. We want some
kind of justification for the dollars we are reluctantly spending.

Most consumers don’t like to buy our product. That doesn’t mean they hate it, but it is
something they just want to get out of the way. When we have a long “wish list” and have to
spend dollars on mattresses, tires or any other utilitarian items, we are disappointed.

When people want something badly enough, their emotions can trump their intellect. We will go
into debt for certain “dream items.” Many times these dream items don’t live up to how we
think they will make us feel. Even if they do, the newness wears off, and we go on to the next

This phenomenon has manifested itself in a variety of ways. One of the most harmful is that
many retail salespeople don’t like to sell mattresses. When you think about the demeanor and
attitude of consumers, it is no wonder.

Most sales training has been a reactive response to customers seeking value. Amazingly, most
people don’t really want to know what is inside a mattress: they are seeking a value reference.
Explaining differences many times results in customers stepping down to what they perceive to
be the “best value.”

Mattresses are so limited by parameters that no manufacturer will ever get a “leg up” on its
competitors through product innovation. I’m not saying that we should not continue to make
improvements through innovation, but consider our product in relation to the explosive
environment of the high-tech industry.

Consumers can now buy a car with a voice-activated, satellite-linked navigation system. I don’t
think they will be impressed with breakthroughs in foam or fiber technology.

Every conventional innerspring mattress ever made has a mattress and a foundation and consists
of wood, steel and upholstery. If a manufacturer does come up with a “better mousetrap,” the
others are waiting in the wings to knock it off. Witness the no-flip mattress. Do you think if a
“new size” takes off, all the manufacturers aren’t ready to make them as well?

Growth will come from more effective marketing, service and sales training.

Mattresses are a simple product, but consider what it takes to make one. While this may seem
abstract, if you trace all the elements back to their source, you will find literally hundreds, if not
thousands, of people have had a role to play in the process. After all, someone planted the trees
for slats and someone mined the ore for steel. Add in all the design, manufacturing,
transportation, accounting, advertising, marketing, etc., of each element, and it boggles the mind.

All the effort of so many people comes down to a conversation between a retail salesperson and
a consumer. Suddenly, we can realize the importance of effective training. My experience is

For more information, or to contact Gerry, visit www.innerspring.net

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