Bed Expert talks about promotions

Vic Smith, owner of independent beds retailer Vic Smith Beds, talks about knowing the times of trade and how specific, well-timed promotions can be a big benefit to both the customer and your business.

So, it’s August! 

Here we are again, and if your trade is anything like ours, typically August is a slower month. People are getting a last-minute holiday deal somewhere hot and sunny, so don’t despair thinking “oh no!” Then it’s September, we’re back to school and (some, probably most) people’s money has been diverted to new laptops, shoes and uniforms or whatever else for the children.

This is where you need to sow the seed and be proactive. Say to people: “Did you sleep well on holiday? Is that because you had a bigger bed or just simply a nicer more comfortable bed? For the rest of the year, you’re going to sleep in your own bed. Has that seen better days? Maybe it’s time to get a new bed – it won’t break the bank but you will feel so much better, just like when you were on holiday. If your customers are anything like mine, they don’t want to buy and when they do they want it straight away.

As I keep saying, our job is to explain the industry, and explain to people if they want it quick, that they have to order now. Because manufacturers are shutting for a seasonal break and they’re going on holiday too, so the usual one- or two-week delivery now goes out in reality to four- or five-weeks delivery time. So, educate and encourage them to order now where they then can sit back, relax, and know that their new bed or mattress will soon be helping them to sleep better.

Again, it’s your job to point out the fact that a customer can take advantage of your summer sale and save money. Saving money has never been so forefront in everyone’s minds since the 80s. Also, you may want to consider it’s time to freshen up your stock – have a summer showroom sale. It’s a great time to freshen up your shop models, giving your customer a chance for instant delivery which I’m sure you can arrange or they can have a fresh model for a slightly longer delivery period.

Give your customer choices – because not everybody falls into one camp given the choice, which one they prefer to go with, and that way they should be choosing between option one or option two – either way, they should be buying, and you as a retailer have to figure out what incentives you can promote to swing the “oh not sure there’s a lot of expense at the moment” to “that sounds good, let’s go”. Work on your closing and change it to suit your store! Remember, people want value, quick delivery and straight-talking sales staff!

Tailor your goods and your pitch to the month you’re in and the coming months ahead. This cash flow crisis is seeing a typical customer that would buy straight away taking two or even three visits to buy! With this in mind, don’t be surprised that your customer, that would normally take one or two extra visits, is now taking three or four. The fact they’ve come back three or four times is a good thing – they’re serious, so don’t be disheartened or annoyed you’re repeating yourself – it means you haven’t said the right things to close that sale and they’re giving you extra chances without them realising to brush up.

Show the incentives, show the benefits and the features, and if you don’t know the difference you should. As an example, an ottoman bed’s feature is that it has great storage. A benefit is you now know where to put those suitcases and they don’t have to be empty when you store them – you can put smaller suitcases inside or even your seasonal clothes – benefits work and may help your buyer do just that, buy.

Save this article for later

You can revisit this article if you save it as favourite news!

Leave a Comment


Peter Harding, Managing Director at Fairway Furniture, shares a deeper insight into the ongoing refurbishment at their flagship Plymouth store....