Meet Keith, Owner Of Bedzzz Express
Keith started his business taking a second mortgage on his home and got to a point where he actually thought he was going to lose his home. The decisions he has made up to this point have been critical at each stage and he has fought his way into a model that works for him.
Mark Quinn: Extreme Team Leader
Does any of this sound familiar?
Of course it does. Retail owners are leaders and pioneers in the business world. There is no large business that didn’t start out small. And there is no small business that doesn’t seek to grow.
But taking that leap from local retail store to large retail business can be as hard as moving up from a farm baseball team to the major leagues. There is little to no room for missteps. And you can’t take your eye off the ball.
So, for anyone to open the doors of their business up for the kind of scrutiny that our L&P Extreme Team was ready to offer says a lot about Keith as a businessman. It says he’s willing to take risks, willing to adapt, willing to listen, and most important, willing to work. read more
In the “discovery phase” we did see a lot of opportunity for Keith because he has made decisions along the way that were good for that moment in time. We saw a chance to go in and tie everything together for him, helping them create a new strategy that would work on everything from their website, logo, advertising, PR efforts, product assortments, and store messaging, look and feel. In addition we created a selling process that was true to their product approach and would help them achieve better sales results. This was never about one thing, but more about tying it all together to drive profits for Bedzzz Express and deliver a better experience for the consumer.
- The right questions
I discovered their sales force must do a better job of asking questions and showing empathy to the consumer. Don’t ask the old five, ask the new five:
- How well do you normally sleep?
- How many hours of sleep do you need to feel really rested?
- Is your room dark and quite?
- How old is your pillow?
- How many hours of sleep do you typically get?
The goal is to try to pinpoint their primary need. Their salespeople will be more effective if they convert to intention-based selling.
- Accessories first
I also realized they need to include the accessory products at the beginning of the sales presentation so that the customer understands the need to have the right pillow (pick one and carry it around). It also helps the consumer understand that the entire room environment or ecosystem is very important to every one’s quality of sleep.
- Set the bar high
Start every sale with The Comfort Test on the adjustable bed.
View the Results >>
Read the Sales & Training Discovery >>
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Can Better Products and Better Training Equal Better Sales?
Brian Croft - Director of US Retail Sales
It is vital that each and every customer opportunity is maximized in today’s marketplace. If you can’t count on more customers, you have to count on more from each customer.
A common source for this additional revenue is the sale of accessories. Salespeople have been trained to always offer accessories for this very reason. “But Imagine,” I said, “what the impact would be if they had the same mentality about offering adjustable foundations every time a customer selects a mattress that is adjustable friendly.”
So when I told Keith that retailers who had instituted our Sales & Performance Metrics Training and began proactively selling adjustable beds were experiencing banner years, Keith was very interested. read more
I saw these opportunities for Keith’s store:
- Keith floored only one adjustable foundation model and did not display it in a case good or ornamental bed.
Retailers like Keith have always perceived an adjustable foundation as something they need to have in their stores, and not as something they want to have. The adjustable has been on their floors just for the rare chance that a customer comes in asking for it. It was a reactive sale. Proactively offering adjustable foundations to any customer that selects a mattress that could work on one is a fairly new idea.
Fear, though, is still the main reason why people do not actively try to sell adjustable foundations. The adjustable foundation has been marketed in the past to be a product for the sick or elderly. Salespeople do not want to ruin their credibility in a sale by offering something they feel most customers would not be interested in. The main fear that they have is the high price tag that an adjustable foundation comes with.
They do not use “adjustable friendly” hang tags on their adjustable friendly mattresses to educate salespeople and customers which mattress can be sold with an adjustable base.
Keith wanted to increase his sales right? Think of the incremental volume just one of his stores would experience if they sold just ten adjustable foundations in place of ten flat foundations each month. $12,000 to $16,000 is the range of additional sales volume he would experience!
And this works because every time a customer experiences the comfort of an adjustable foundation, they all have the same reaction when you bring the bed back to a flat foundation - they want their customized comfort back! The key to selling adjustables is simply showing them. A hang tag that identifies adjustable friendly mattresses is essential for making that transition.
The salespeople received little to no training on adjustable foundations.
With proper training, salespeople will understand the exact steps they need to take to close a sale on an adjustable foundation.
We have an experienced national training team to help retail salespeople get over their fears and preconceptions of adjustable foundations.
They understand that making salespeople comfortable with the functions and use of the remote control helps them maintain credibility with a customer.
They also understand that many retail salespeople find it difficult transitioning from a flat mattress to an adjustable foundation and will teach them effective transitioning techniques.
There was no system in place to measure the success of Keith’s salespeople.With a performance metrics system in place Keith could:
- Track individual performance
- Track total volume
- Recognition, set goals, effective communication
In every environment I’ve been in, Performance Metrics was an absolutely essential component for generating higher sales margins.
Herman Tam - Head of Marketing, Consumer Products Group (Sleep Related Products and Accessories)
This is what I discovered about Bedzzz Express:
Keith had not positioned his company to sell the complete sleep solution, and left a lot of money on the table - his loss is other retailers’ gain.
In particular, Bedzzz Express needed to expand their offerings in the categories of pillows, sheet sets and bedding support products. They have missed golden opportunities to build bigger tickets during these tough economic times, when foot traffic is way down. Based on our research, most consumers want to buy new sheets and pillows when they get a new mattress. If Bedzzz Express is not selling these products, consumers will go somewhere else to get them.
With the proper training - training that not only educates on the product, but also the way products are presented - Keith’s sales people would better communicate the benefits of sleep as well as the benefits these products bring to sleep.
Carrying more sleep related products and accessories can bring much-needed sales and increase Bedzzz Express' profits, while better positioning the company to sell a complete sleep solution that brings additional benefits and comforts to consumers. In particular, Bedzzz Express should expand their offerings in the categories of bedding support products, pillows and sheet sets - all of them are important for better sleep and better living.Read the Sales & Training Implementation >>
View the Sales & Training Results >>
Read the Marketing Discovery >>
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Adding Emotion Makes All the Difference
John Walsh - Director of L&P Creative Services
Keith’s team recognized the importance of branding in the stores but were frustrated with the slow progress they had made. Their approach (for many years) was very similar to the competition; cram the ad with as many products and prices as possible in an attempt to get “more bang for your buck.” These ads lacked the benefits of sleep and unfortunately, their logo, guarantee (and their individuality) was hidden in the clutter. read more
At first, I was a bit skeptical that so much change would be developed, approved and implemented in such a short amount of time. Having a client that was open-minded and ready for change, a creative team that “got it” immediately and the diligence of our internal support and printing staff is what made it happen.
Here’s what I thought when we first evaluated the situation.
Our design approach will be one of “less is more.” Their belief, which is common in retail, is that they get more bang for their buck by using every square inch. This is simply not true. It gets confusing for the customer and the eye doesn’t know where to go.
Beyond price, adding more value
Their messaging is all about price not benefit. We plan to completely re-position them as a company that cares about their customer’s sleep...and how good sleep can change their customer’s life. We also can help Bedzzz Express brand their guarantees.
Brand image and the power of emotion
The client fills their stores with free materials from the major bedding brands. The stores lack motivating emotional images or messaging that reinforces what makes Bedzzz Express different. It is too promotional as opposed to a sophisticated, relaxing, and contemporary brand. A branded, consistent look that incorporates their logo and tagline will greatly improve their messaging and showrooms for a better customer experience. It will even appeal to potential franchisees.
Each of these ideas will help separate Bedzzz Express from all the competition.
View the Marketing Results >>
Read the Website Discovery >>
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Your Website - Is It Driving Sales to Your Business? Or Wasting Your Advertising Dollars and Efforts?
Tom Hawkins - Director of L&P Internet Solutions
The initial site condition was that of a non optimized state required for effective web sales and lead generation for their business. Print formatted materials from mattress vendors were basically put online as the main content for the site, a practice many of Keith’s local competitors emulated. Unfortunately, this resulted in a low benchmark for an effective web presence.
We had to raise that mark.
For true success on the web, Keith had to be willing to pull away from what he saw “everyone else” doing, and look at the key business factors for creating a successful web presence. read more
Here is what I recognized more specifically after assessing their online situation:
- No search engine marketing occurring
They are currently researching participation in Pay-Per-Click campaigns. One estimate was $1,500 a month per site. This minimal amount suggests only basic keyword coverage.
This is an opportunity to create highly targeted and advertised traffic on a regional and possibly national exposure through our L&P SEO Program, reducing the need for SEM/PPC campaigns.
If national exposure is successful this could open their doors to nationwide direct online sales opportunities for additional accessory items (CPG), if they are open to this additional business opportunity and we all approve.
- Site architecture is not optimized for visitor conversion
As a result, the site conversion rates from SEO or SEM are low resulting in high abandonment rates due to site inefficiencies.
We could help them convert highly targeted and web advertised traffic on a regional (and possibly on a national scope) into sales opportunities.
- Not measuring or receiving report analysis of web site traffic
There is a significant opportunity to understand site traffic patterns and provide targeted marketing optimization of the site navigation and product promotional content.
- Content is not optimized for the web
Keith’s site product content is mostly ad based images merged together in a format which could confuse the customer’s decision processes and also deter the process of establishing Search Engine relevance through normal indexing processes.
L&P can help them setup an optimized and target marketing based merchandising display system.
This will better support their customers purchasing cycles and increase conversion rates of their site traffic, as well as speed up site media delivery which will also contribute to better site conversion rates.
- Online Brand Positioning and Awareness
Here is a chance to dramatically elevate the view of their online brand as a quality regional retailer and possibly growing into a nationally known online retailer of high quality (CPG) sleep products and accessories - if they wish to take advantage of this segment of the business potential.
View the Website Results >>
Read the Public/Earned Media Discovery >>
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A Passive Presence in Your Community Can Lead to a Passive View of Its Value.
Mary Leigh Wallace - Vice President of RLF
As far as public relations is concerned, Bedzzz Express is a typical regional retailer. They tended to rely on advertising as their sole promotional vehicle and relied heavily on their internal team’s knowledge to conduct marketing efforts.
Bedzzz Express has been in the Birmingham community for nearly 15 years, and should have a presence in the area as an employer, a retail outlet and an active member of the community. But the focus had been on generating sales through traditional means, and attention had not been given to building a profile within the community, developing key relationships and telling the Bedzzz Express story. read more
The role of public relations is often boiled down as media relations or earned media. Media relations is simply one part of the picture. Bedzzz needs to consider other tactics associated with the discipline such as community relations, which includes community involvement, events and sponsorships.
This is what I discovered in particular:
- Intermittent sponsorship
I discovered that Bedzzz has supported several causes over the years, particularly local schools, but there has been no strategic plan or guidelines on donations and community involvement.
- Absence of media relations
While Bedzzz is the city’s largest advertiser for the mattress category, no attention has been paid to earned media coverage.
Bedzzz provides one internal award. They acknowledge the highest sales by associate on a monthly basis, but there is no cumulative award for the year.
There are no true promotions. They consider each week’s advertisement a promotion, but it’s only pricing. There is no offer given. They have not explored promotional partnerships.
View the Public/Earned Media Results >>
Read the Implementation Overview >>
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