Struggling Mattress Store

by Goliathstwin 73 replies
Hey All,

I am the store manager of a struggling mattress store. We offer quality products, name brand (Serta, Simmons Beautyrest, Sterns and Foster, Tempurpedic) all new, and 10 year warranties on everything, and the products are the same if not less expensive then big box stores(Sears, Rooms to Go etc.). We are just a small business trying to make it.

The other locations(3 others) are pretty successful but this store (Which is next to a publix in a very populated area) just doesn't seem to get any traction.(It has only been open for 6 months, but they were hoping for more than 4 or 5 people in the store total each week by now) We do facebook ads regularly, and have recently added signs at all the Publix entrances along with big signs on the windows.(And a Chalk Sign right outside on the sidewalk with balloons attached) We have an up-to-date website, and even started going around to businesses to pass out discount cards to local business owners. But the owner is relying on me to turn the store around(I have been here for just over 1 month), and I just don't know what else to do. I suggested a mattress costume and I could go outside and wear it, till people came in but that could be a bad idea as well, I just don't really know what else to try. They have given me some money to spend on the store(Ideally less than $200)

My ability to sell the mattresses is decent(I have done sales for several years, though in the past I would see lots of people during the day), because they are all quality products and I can feel good about them, especially since the prices are truly fair, but I just can't seem to get people in the door.

Do any of y'all have any ideas. I have always relied on WF in the past, and have usually gotten some great advice with other things.

Thanks for anything you can think of. No idea will be discouraged!

P.S. The Store is locked in a 3 year lease so we can't just lock it up and try another location.
#offline marketing #mattress #store #struggling
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  • Profile picture of the author TP84
    Hi Goliathstwin,

    I'm only starting out in my own journey to help business owners, but my first question would be:

    Why should I come to your store to buy a mattress instead of going to one of the big box stores?

    I assume they also offer the brand mattresses, the 10 year guarantees, the similar prices etc. So what do you offer that will make me want to buy from you, rather than the big box store I'm so used to buying everything else from?

    I think if you can offer something here that no one else can,

    (I'm thinking off the top of my head here - maybe you can offer a bigger guarantee, maybe its free delivery on all your mattresses, maybe you give people the opportunity to return their mattress for up to 3 months if they don't like it and get a different one etc)

    then you can start promoting that selling proposition to get people coming into your store, and not the big boxes.

    What do you think?
    TP
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    • Profile picture of the author Goliathstwin
      Originally Posted by TP84 View Post

      Hi Goliathstwin,

      I'm only starting out in my own journey to help business owners, but my first question would be:

      Why should I come to your store to buy a mattress instead of going to one of the big box stores?

      I assume they also offer the brand mattresses, the 10 year guarantees, the similar prices etc. So what do you offer that will make me want to buy from you, rather than the big box store I'm so used to buying everything else from?

      I think if you can offer something here that no one else can,

      (I'm thinking off the top of my head here - maybe you can offer a bigger guarantee, maybe its free delivery on all your mattresses, maybe you give people the opportunity to return their mattress for up to 3 months if they don't like it and get a different one etc)

      then you can start promoting that selling proposition to get people coming into your store, and not the big boxes.

      What do you think?
      TP
      Thanks TP84 for the response,

      I would say the best thing we can offer is excellent customer service, but I suspect almost every store will say they do the same. We do have about 40-50 reviews on Google and they are all 5 out of 5 stars so that is something. We offer a 120 day exchange policy where if they purchased a mattress they can exchange it in 120 days and swap to a different mattress, but I suspect other places have similar. We can't do free delivery as delivery makes up most of our cost on the inexpensive mattresses, and seriously would hinder our ability to sell the higher end mattresses.

      However, maybe next month we could start a big promotion, make signs and what not for FREE Sheets, FREE Frame, and FREE Delivery and post it on the glass at the front of the store, and see what happens. Either way thanks for the advice.
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  • Profile picture of the author animal44
    Was any promotion done at the beginning - e.g. "grand opening day"?

    Who are your customers? Are your customers actually in the footfall? As an example opening a Gucci store in a poor area is unlikely to be successful...

    Take a trip to the other stores. Find out who their customers are. Find out who their most profitable customers are. If you can, talk to some of their customers. Find out why they're buying there. Find out what they like and what they don't like about the other stores.Then ask yourself, do these people frequent your area?

    If not, then you will need to attract people from further away. Or close the store.

    Once you know who your customers are, then you can target them more specifically.

    And/or set up JVs. JVs are great if you have low budget. Find what else your customers are buying and JV with the stores selling those products. You only pay when a sale is made.

    And also consider what else people need after buying your mattresses and JV with other stores selling those goods. These sales are all profit for you.

    $200 is laughable as an advertising budget. And I'm dubious that Facebook is a good place to spend your advertising budget.

    Oh, and take a read of Obvious Adams:
    The Story of Obvious Adams | Abraham.com
    Page 8 might be relevant :-)
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    I stayed up all night trying to figure out where the Sun went.
    Then it dawned on me...
    What I do for a living

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    • Profile picture of the author Goliathstwin
      Originally Posted by animal44 View Post

      Was any promotion done at the beginning - e.g. "grand opening day"?

      Who are your customers? Are your customers actually in the footfall? As an example opening a Gucci store in a poor area is unlikely to be successful...

      Take a trip to the other stores. Find out who their customers are. Find out who their most profitable customers are. If you can, talk to some of their customers. Find out why they're buying there. Find out what they like and what they don't like about the other stores.Then ask yourself, do these people frequent your area?

      If not, then you will need to attract people from further away. Or close the store.

      Once you know who your customers are, then you can target them more specifically.

      And/or set up JVs. JVs are great if you have low budget. Find what else your customers are buying and JV with the stores selling those products. You only pay when a ale is made.

      And also consider what else people need after buying your mattresses and JV with other stores selling those goods. These sales are all profit for you.

      $200 is laughable as an advertising budget. And I'm dubious that Facebook is a good place to spend your advertising budget.

      Oh, and take a read of Obvious Adams:
      The Story of Obvious Adams | Abraham.com
      Page 8 might be relevant :-)
      Thank you animal44 for the reply,

      This Obvious Adams guy really knows what he's doing. I guess sometimes the most obvious answer is the best one.

      The other stores in this shopping strip are Subway, Pizza Hut, A local Chines Restaurant, a 3 dot alcohol store, Publix, an investment firm, Barber Shop, Kickboxing, and then us on the corner towards the busy intersection. After reading page 8, I think I might put out a giant RED Arrow sign that just points at our store that would be easily seen by everyone coming in from the intersection, and it can point to our storefront windows that mention what sale is going on. Also I should probably get in good with all the stores that are on my side of Publix as we are not food, and can only help each other.

      Thanks!

      P.S. As for the $200 I know isn't much but it's better than the last place I worked at for 3 years selling mattresses. It had a budget of 0 for me to make changes lol, so something however small, is better than nothing
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  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    First reactions:
    you are in the wrong place (either because the people walking around are looking for something cheaper / more expensive or because your store is not easy to see when you walk/drive by)

    you need to advertise and $200 a month is not advertising, it's more like thinking about thinking about starting to start advertising.

    People often buy new furniture (mattresses, included) when they move. Make friends with real estate agents and home insurance agents, real estate appraisers and home inspectors. They often buy furniture when they refinance their homes, so make friends with some loan officers (not as good as real estate agents and insurance agents).

    Anyway, from what you said, it seems the problem is visibility.

    Like Animal said, what did the other store managers do to get it?

    To add to Animal's great advice, $200 will allow you to print some flyers for some nearby store for that store that's going to let you use part of the flyer for your store in their store. Let me rephrase, when I order pizza, the box has a flyer with a few offers on top. You can offer to pay the pizza place to print their fliers as long as they let you stick your info and offer there too. They stick the fliers with your info on every pizza box that goes out.

    By the way, you never mention if you have any offers they can't resist. You need one.
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  • Profile picture of the author mojo1
    Several of the national brand named mattress companies you mentioned may have free co-op advertising money available for your retail establishment. Reach out to each of the product lines and ask if they offer any form of co-op marketing money.

    An example of co-op marketing on a larger scale:
    1. Digital campaign boosts in-store mattress sales | Furniture Today

    2. Co-op creative way to increase your advertising budget. | PNJ Media Solutions - Pensacola (This company will help you discover if there's any co-op funding available to your store. Check out the last paragraph)

    3. Get More Advertising Without Investing More Money!

    4. http://www.guntalk.com/uploads/Compa...ering_COOP.pdf (*one mattress brand listed, not sure if you carry this brand)

    5. MEGA Group USA - Categories ( The MEGA Group program includes attractive advertising co-op, national pricing schedule, volume rebates, and corporate circular support. It provides the dealer with a program to drive traffic in the store and increases sales in related categories.


    Please report back and let us know if any of these resources proved helpful to you.

    Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by Goliathstwin View Post

    Hey All,

    I am the store manager of a struggling mattress store. We offer quality products, name brand (Serta, Simmons Beautyrest, Sterns and Foster, Tempurpedic) all new, and 10 year warranties on everything, and the products are the same if not less expensive then big box stores(Sears, Rooms to Go etc.). We are just a small business trying to make it.

    The other locations(3 others) are pretty successful but this store (Which is next to a publix in a very populated area) just doesn't seem to get any traction.(It has only been open for 6 months, but they were hoping for more than 4 or 5 people in the store total each week by now) We do facebook ads regularly, and have recently added signs at all the Publix entrances along with big signs on the windows.(And a Chalk Sign right outside on the sidewalk with balloons attached) We have an up-to-date website, and even started going around to businesses to pass out discount cards to local business owners. But the owner is relying on me to turn the store around(I have been here for just over 1 month), and I just don't know what else to do. I suggested a mattress costume and I could go outside and wear it, till people came in but that could be a bad idea as well, I just don't really know what else to try. They have given me some money to spend on the store(Ideally less than $200)

    My ability to sell the mattresses is decent(I have done sales for several years, though in the past I would see lots of people during the day), because they are all quality products and I can feel good about them, especially since the prices are truly fair, but I just can't seem to get people in the door.

    Do any of y'all have any ideas. I have always relied on WF in the past, and have usually gotten some great advice with other things.

    Thanks for anything you can think of. No idea will be discouraged!

    P.S. The Store is locked in a 3 year lease so we can't just lock it up and try another location.
    Maybe I mis read this. But, your boss owns three other stores? And they are successful?

    First off, HE already knows about C0-op ads, those namebrands make sure he does. Then, what research did he do? You saying he just opened a store willy nilly, threw a dart on a board? Where is his traffic count?

    And 200 bux for promotion? LAUGHABLE. Either he is an idiot and I'll be glad to tell him that or he is pulling a Trump, losing money on this one operation so he saves tens lf thousands in taxes depending on how he goes bankrupt.

    OR, we aren't getting the details. You may be the guy he blames so he can either close or try to weasel out of his lease, who signs a three year deal.
    without a lot of retail research?

    Show me a mattress store (other than the ones that make their own on location) who don't compete on price. Big boxes can carry their own credit, offer a better financing plan, but apples to apples, there is someone in your area killing you on price.

    GordonJ
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  • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
    Hi Goliasthstwin,

    There is a *small* mattress company that is always kicking some goals here in Oz.

    You may want to study some of their material.

    Early on they branded their premium product as "Belissimo" and used a young attractive character as their voice in the marketplace.

    Every promotion they attacked one of the market leaders in subtle ways.

    The company - Makin Mattresses homepage-new - Makin Mattresses

    I would also suggest searching out some of Ewen Mack's older posts [Dr E Vile] in relation to marketing mattresses and beds.

    In some of his and other's observations in relation to purchasing a new bed the purchase occurred shortly after a vacation.

    Logic is that people have slept on a new (or comfortable) bed whilst on vacation and upon returning home they find their bed less than adequate.

    You might like to look at local travel agents for leads.

    You might want to look at buying leads from reputable list brokers [think acxiom.com] who can give you the returning vacationer market. People who have recently travelled and are 55 years plus. - They deserve a new bed now that the kids have left home and they now have money to spend on their comfort.

    Focus your attention.

    Contact the ideal prospect.

    Grabbing attention isn't really the right approach.

    Approaching the right prospect might work better.

    Best regards,

    Ozi
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  • Originally Posted by Goliathstwin View Post

    Hey All,

    I am the store manager of a struggling mattress store. We offer quality products, name brand (Serta, Simmons Beautyrest, Sterns and Foster, Tempurpedic) all new, and 10 year warranties on everything, and the products are the same if not less expensive then big box stores(Sears, Rooms to Go etc.). We are just a small business trying to make it.

    The other locations(3 others) are pretty successful but this store (Which is next to a publix in a very populated area) just doesn't seem to get any traction.(It has only been open for 6 months, but they were hoping for more than 4 or 5 people in the store total each week by now) We do facebook ads regularly, and have recently added signs at all the Publix entrances along with big signs on the windows.(And a Chalk Sign right outside on the sidewalk with balloons attached) We have an up-to-date website, and even started going around to businesses to pass out discount cards to local business owners. But the owner is relying on me to turn the store around(I have been here for just over 1 month), and I just don't know what else to do. I suggested a mattress costume and I could go outside and wear it, till people came in but that could be a bad idea as well, I just don't really know what else to try. They have given me some money to spend on the store(Ideally less than $200)

    My ability to sell the mattresses is decent(I have done sales for several years, though in the past I would see lots of people during the day), because they are all quality products and I can feel good about them, especially since the prices are truly fair, but I just can't seem to get people in the door.

    Do any of y'all have any ideas. I have always relied on WF in the past, and have usually gotten some great advice with other things.

    Thanks for anything you can think of. No idea will be discouraged!

    P.S. The Store is locked in a 3 year lease so we can't just lock it up and try another location.

    I've worked with mattress store, promoting them online. No, you can't afford me...you'll have to do this yourself;

    Get a video camera, create lots of short videos, showing the features of your different types of mattresses. Upload these videos to Youtube.

    In the title of the video, be sure to use the words; Mattress, (brand of mattress), your City and State. This is important, or your videos won't show up in the Google searches.

    These videos are not ads, they are product demonstrations. Make sure the phone number and city is at the end of the video (along with store name)


    Right now, in your town, every day, there are people shopping for a mattress. They just don't know you exist...and they don't know what you sell. And they are going online to find a place they can buy what you sell.

    When people go online to buy something (or get information on a product they want to buy) they are going on Google and Youtube. They are not searching on Facebook, friends groups, forums, and other social media. You need your videos on Youtube, because Youtube videos show up in local searches...as long as the city and state are in the title and descripton.

    These videos will be seen by more people than your Yellow Pages ads, will be virtually free, and will stay online forever.


    I own a retail store. This is the single most profitable thing I do to promote my store. Here's an example;

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    • Profile picture of the author animal44
      This comment raised a smile...
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      I own a retail store. This is the single most profitable thing I do to promote my store. Here's an example;
      Let's look at some figures...

      That video has just short of 9,000 views.

      I think I'd be generous in guessing that 10% of those view turned into sales - 900 sales in 6 years.

      Last year I did a single JV deal where we made over 38,000 sales in around a month.... If you combine the other deals we did, then easily double that figure...

      Single most profitable thing...?

      Goliathstwin, learn how to put together JV deals with other businesses. It's the single most profitable thing you can do... by far.

      JVs have made me rich. And in the process have provided exponential growth for my clients... In 39 years in business, I've never found anything that comes close...
      Signature

      I stayed up all night trying to figure out where the Sun went.
      Then it dawned on me...
      What I do for a living

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      • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
        Originally Posted by animal44 View Post

        Single most profitable thing...?
        Just remember there is a bigger play involved which might just be the eventual sale of the business.

        Ultimately that might be the single most profitable thing . . .

        . . . so one of those viewers might just be the one.

        Best regards,

        Ozi
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        • Profile picture of the author animal44
          Originally Posted by Oziboomer View Post

          Just remember there is a bigger play involved which might just be the eventual sale of the business.

          Ultimately that might be the single most profitable thing . . .

          . . . so one of those viewers might just be the one.
          This thread is about helping a struggling mattress store to sell more mattresses... OP doesn't have the authority to sell...
          Signature

          I stayed up all night trying to figure out where the Sun went.
          Then it dawned on me...
          What I do for a living

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      • Originally Posted by animal44 View Post

        This comment raised a smile...


        Let's look at some figures...

        That video has just short of 9,000 views.
        I have a few hundred videos over several Youtube accounts. I also have videos on several other video websites, but Youtube is the most active.

        Each video is promoting one aspect of my business, or one specific model of vacuum cleaner....or one part or item sold by my store.

        But 9,000 views is about average per video. It's a small town, but I draw customers from all over the state of Ohio.

        This doesn't include the mail order sales I make, when people call us because they saw a video of ours.

        Possibly you could give the OP some tips on how a mattress store manager could do a Joint Venture. I know the only reason you are here is to help.
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        • Profile picture of the author Joan Altz
          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          But 9,000 views is about average per video. It's a small town, but I draw customers from all over the state of Ohio.
          9000 per video is a lot for a small town vacuum store channel! Plenty of videos like that never break 1000 in however-many years (unless you're paying for the views). That's pretty impressive results, imo.
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          • Originally Posted by Joan Altz View Post

            9000 per video is a lot for a small town vacuum store channel! Plenty of videos like that never break 1000 in however-many years (unless you're paying for the views). That's pretty impressive results, imo.
            To be candid, many of the views come from way out of our area. Even different countries. The videos have good enough ranking (depending on search terms) to show up across the country.

            Maybe 75% of the calls we receive (from the videos) are from out of our market area.

            And most of the videos are embedded in websites I own, to increase viewership and help with SEO.

            Originally Posted by Goliathstwin View Post

            Claude your videos are awesome. I made an intro video based on your example, and the boss liked it enough that he is going to provide a camcorder so that I can re-record it and start filming higher quality and increased content videos.
            I would produce one video for each mattress you sell, and a few videos just answering regular customer questions. People will come in, thinking they know you, and ready to buy.

            Added later;

            Some great titles (subjects) for each video in a mattress store;
            Do you have trouble sleeping?
            Does your back ache? It may be your mattress.
            What's the best mattress for you?
            Consumer tips when mattress shopping.
            How to select a quality mattress.
            Seven features to look for in your next mattress.

            And have a separate video for each brand you carry, even if it's not in your store. Also, have a video or two targeting consumers in nearby large cities.
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            • Profile picture of the author chemo38
              Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

              To be candid, many of the views come from way out of our area. Even different countries. The videos have good enough ranking (depending on search terms) to show up across the country.

              Maybe 75% of the calls we receive (from the videos) are from out of our market area.

              And most of the videos are embedded in websites I own, to increase viewership and help with SEO.



              I would produce one video for each mattress you sell, and a few videos just answering regular customer questions. People will come in, thinking they know you, and ready to buy.

              Added later;

              Some great titles (subjects) for each video in a mattress store;
              Do you have trouble sleeping?
              Does your back ache? It may be your mattress.
              What's the best mattress for you?
              Consumer tips when mattress shopping.
              How to select a quality mattress.
              Seven features to look for in your next mattress.

              And have a separate video for each brand you carry, even if it's not in your store. Also, have a video or two targeting consumers in nearby large cities.

              These video titles are AWESOME! I would think they will garner a lot of views!
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            • Profile picture of the author Kurt
              Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

              Added later;

              Some great titles (subjects) for each video in a mattress store;
              Do you have trouble sleeping?
              Does your back ache? It may be your mattress.
              What's the best mattress for you?
              Consumer tips when mattress shopping.
              How to select a quality mattress.
              Seven features to look for in your next mattress.

              And have a separate video for each brand you carry, even if it's not in your store. Also, have a video or two targeting consumers in nearby large cities.
              Here's a site called Answer The Public that will give a ton of questions about various topics. This link may take you to a query for "mattress", if not just enter it as a keyword. I like to click the "data" view.


              'Mattress' US visual keyword research & content ideas : AnswerThePublic.com
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  • Profile picture of the author sunsetcoder
    For such marketing you should concentrate on local market first, you should use fb specially and try to post it using local friends group and ask them to share. News papers advertisements and pamphlets are good option for you too
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  • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
    What Claude demonstrated is being in the right place when people are ready
    to buy and go looking.

    Another place to get em' when they are ready but aren't looking,
    is when they have returned home after staying in hotels.

    Why?

    Because it's most likely their mattress isn't as comfy as when
    they stayed at a hotel.

    I mentioned this to a friend and it was true from his experience because his wife had recently got home and complained about their bed at home and wanted a new one.

    But how do we find these people?

    Facebook.

    You can put an ad in front of those who recently returned home
    from different types of travel who live in a radius of your location.

    Having a spot on message when your market is ready to buy is key.

    Best,
    Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author Goliathstwin
    This is a lot of awesome stuff guys. Thank you all so much! I am trying to put together a video like you suggested Mr. Whitacre. GordonJ I don't really know how successful the other stores really are. I pulled up our numbers in the past year and 1 store is stellar but it has been there for many years, however the other stores are only slightly(a few thousand in sales) more than mine, so maybe it seems like we are doing horrific when actually it's only slightly less than average.

    The boss has offered me a commission instead of salary to boost my motivation to sell, though I have been trying very hard as it was, of course that requires me to get people in the store, or do it over the phone. I may try to cold call, but I don't want to come off as spammy.

    All great ideas everyone, just trying to take one, run with it for a while, and if it doesn't work will try more later. The boss already likes videos so I figure Mr. Whitacre's approach may be best for the now, and we shall see where it goes from there.
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    • Profile picture of the author mojo1
      Originally Posted by Goliathstwin View Post


      The boss has offered me a commission instead of salary
      Is this legal in your state? You may want to check with your local Department of Labor or other legal professional. .
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      • Profile picture of the author Goliathstwin
        Originally Posted by mojo1 View Post

        Is this legal in your state? You may want to check with your local Department of Labor or other legal professional. .
        It is, He is offering me a commission but if I don't meet a certain amount I can still get the original Salary it's whatever the greater of the two is. But in my state you can get paid commission only, and it's legal
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  • Profile picture of the author Goliathstwin
    No I can't sell the business, or even this store, just trying to make ends meet as a manager of the store. I have started to take several pieces of advice, and it's very encouraging to know of people who have done it successfully.

    Animal 44 you mention Joint Ventures. I have approached business owners and suggested their customers could get 10% off a mattress and our customers could get 10% off kickboxing(It's next door). Are there any resources you personally know of that would boost my knowledge on JV. Sometimes it's hard for me to sift through what's good, and what's only an interesting idea, but hasn't been tried. Thankfully all the advice here on this thread has been EXCELLENT! Again thank you all, I greatly appreciate it!
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  • Profile picture of the author FuNwiThChRiS
    You need a serious marketing budget to move the needle...

    Then, do the following:

    Who is your target audience? Local homeowners.
    What do they want? Great price. Great mattress. Easy Delivery / Convenience.
    Why should they buy from you? Price? Free delivery? Etc...
    What will get them in the store? Hint: It's not kick-boxing lessons... Try a One Day Only Sale or maybe Donate to Local Charity
    How will you reach them? You need a one-to-one marketing channel. I'd suggest a giant postcard or flyer sent via Every Door Direct Mail. That way you can completely saturate the neighborhoods that your business depends on.

    You've got to get a serious plan and a serious budget to make this happen.
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  • Profile picture of the author Goliathstwin
    Claude your videos are awesome. I made an intro video based on your example, and the boss liked it enough that he is going to provide a camcorder so that I can re-record it and start filming higher quality and increased content videos.
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  • Profile picture of the author animal44
    Originally Posted by Goliathstwin View Post

    Animal 44 you mention Joint Ventures. I have approached business owners and suggested their customers could get 10% off a mattress and our customers could get 10% off kickboxing(It's next door).
    As FuNwiThChRiS says, there's not really a close association with Kickboxers, so unlikely to be very successful. (I suppose they might want a mattress to fall on... )
    You really need to examine who is buying and why. And then break that even further into who out of those you want as customers - who buys the most with the least hassle...
    Then find associated businesses who have those customers.

    I don't desperately look for just any customers, I look for ideal customers - the most profitable, the easiest to deal with, the easiest to sell to... When you make a compelling offer to a targeted audience, sales come easily...

    Also remember that you can JV with others to sell their stuff to your own customer base (when you get one). These are very profitable because you have no fulfilment costs.

    And there doesn't necessarily have to be an exchange of money. I got me a supercar from one of my deals... We often do deals to get a bonus to give away, where no money is exchanged...
    Originally Posted by Goliathstwin View Post

    Are there any resources you personally know of that would boost my knowledge on JV.
    I don't think much of the few courses out there. The guys who are best at JVs are making so much off them, that making a course isn't worthwhile.

    I've been trying to make one - I'm recording sessions with my proteges and trying to turn that into a course - and it is coming along, but don't hold your breath...

    The only resource I'd recommend is Jay Abraham. Not so much a course but lessons in creative thinking. I learnt about JVs way back - 1977 - but it wasn't until I came across Jay Abraham a couple of years ago that I really expanded my thinking. As an example, I'd never have thought of collaborating with competitors... that was pure Jay Abraham...

    Here's his 50 shades of Jay. Not just about JVs but all Jay's marketing philosophy. His protege course (you need to pay for that...) goes into stuff more deeply. Sign up for his newsletter. You'll get additional free stuff. And his Youtube channel.

    And don't forget Obvious Adams (not about JVs, more about marketing, and it's fiction BTW) - It's rumoured that Jay Abraham requires all his employees to read Obvious Adams 10 times before they're allowed to do any work...

    Ultimately, with JV's, best way to learn is just to get out there and do them. That's how I learnt...

    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

    I know the only reason you are here is to help.
    Nah. my raison d'etre is to annoy you, Claude.
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    • Originally Posted by animal44 View Post


      The only resource I'd recommend is Jay Abraham. Not so much a course but lessons in creative thinking. I learnt about JVs way back - 1977 - but it wasn't until I came across Jay Abraham a couple of years ago that I really expanded my thinking. As an example, I'd never have thought of collaborating with competitors... that was pure Jay Abraham...

      Here's his 50 shades of Jay. Not just about JVs but all Jay's marketing philosophy. His protege course (you need to pay for that...) goes into stuff more deeply. Sign up for his newsletter. You'll get additional free stuff. And his Youtube channel.
      I also recommend Jay Abraham's book Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You've Got. It talks about joint ventures, and has a nice chapter on Telemarketing, and how it can multiply sales. You can get the book on Amazon.com for about a few dollars now.

      As an experiment, for a speech I was giving, I decided to call a list of customers cold...on the phone..and invite them in to see my new vacuum cleaner models.

      I don't enjoy talking on the phone (or really talking to customers at all), but I slogged through a couple hours a day, over several days.

      I don't remember the exact figures , but it was several hundred dollars in profit per hour spent on the phone. Maybe $500 an hour.

      Now, These were customers that knew me, trusted me, and welcomed my call. These weren't cold calls.

      But years ago, I would call customers of competitive companies (they gave me the list, and I paid them per sale), and made plenty of sales that way.
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      • Profile picture of the author animal44
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        I also recommend Jay Abraham's book Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You've Got.
        The definitive Jay Abraham book on JVs is "From-Mediocrity-to-Millions" It's full of examples of different types of JVs he's done. However, I'm pretty certain it's not for sale anywhere. He gives it away as a bonus when you buy some of his stuff - such as his protege course.

        There's lots of other paid for stuff he does and I'd recommend it all...

        However, it's important to understand that his stuff tends to be more conceptual, not a WSO type step by step blueprint. You have to do the hard work of "thinking" and interpreting to put into a practical plan of action...

        Edit: Google is your friend...
        https://www.google.co.uk/search?site...k1.cfKR3ZinsBU

        Download at your own risk...
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    I think my first focus would be on businesses that buy more than one mattress, like hotels, motels, hospitals, senior living centers, time shares, rental agents and furnished apartments. At the very least, make sure every similar business in your area knows you exist. Isolate the decision makers for each and make sure they receive a personalized mailing at least once a month.

    You can also try the "coffee mug trick". Once you isolate the decision makers at your targeted businesses, go to a site like CafePress and get custom coffee mugs printed with your branding and contact info and give them as gifts to the decision makers. Make sure you give them good quality mugs that they'll actually use. Keep your business in front of these folks as much as possible.

    I would do some research and find out when National "holidays" are...there has to be something like "National Good Sleep Day". Send out info-packed press releases around these dates, especially to local media outlets.

    Sign up at www.haro.com, which is "Help a Reporter Out" and become the go to expert on sleep and mattresses.

    JV with moving services. Have them hand out flyers for you and you do the same for them.

    JV with chiropractic, massage and therapy services. People with backaches probably need a new mattress.

    Do you sell pillows? Be a snoring and head ache problem solver. I used to get migraines 2-3 times a week until I switched to a memory foam pillow.

    Can you create some type of charitable program that gives reconditioned mattresses to local charities and people of need? If so, create a media campaign around this.

    Possibly consider some type of "barnumizing", named after PT Barnum. This is where you make something so outrageous it draws attention. Think of the Oscar Meyer "Weiner Mobile". This concept may conflict with some of the other strategies I posted, so give it some thought, but if those things don't work, see if you can't do something to attract attention. Is there some kind of "stunt" that can be done with mattresses that you can do to get local press coverage?

    Learn local SEO and make sure your website ranks well for mattress stores in your area. This includes "citation management".

    Network with other local business owners through the Chamber of Commerce and organizations like Toastmasters.

    How about teaching about things like bed bugs and dust mites? Can you JV with a Dr. that specializes in allergies? Do you have hypoallergenic mattresses, bedding and pillows? How do you protect mattresses from bed bugs? Write articles for local media and go on local radio/tv to discuss these things.

    Can you sponsor a youth sports team, like a Little League or youth soccer team? See which local leagues have their scores posted in the local papers so you can get publicity for your store that way.

    How about a refer-a-friend program where you pay people $10-20 for each friend they refer that buys a mattress? Include their name on a coupon where the customer also gets a discount to help track results. Get some really cool and unique business cards that really stand out so people will pass them around.

    Advertise on Craigslist. Learn the limits and post photo ads as often as you can. Include good sales copy with calls to action to call you or come in. Create urgency with time limited deals and coupons. Are there other local classified ads in your area?

    You need some kind of branding in place to use everywhere you can so people will remember you as you advertise and promote in various places. People buy from businesses they are familiar with. Branding can be colors, a logo and maybe a mascot.

    Ask everyone that comes into the store how they heard of you so you can get an idea of what's working.
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    • Profile picture of the author animal44
      Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

      I think my first focus would be on businesses that buy more than one mattress, like hotels, motels, hospitals, senior living centers, time shares, rental agents and furnished apartments. At the very least, make sure every similar business in your area knows you exist. Isolate the decision makers for each and make sure they receive a personalized mailing at least once a month.
      I don't know the mattress market that well, but I would think hotels, motels, hospitals, senior living centers, time shares, rental agents would buy from specialists rather than retail outlets...

      Shouldn't stop OP from enquiring, of course...

      I'd be looking for large groups of individual buyers. I'd think Chiropractors, as back pain can be caused by a poor mattress... Talking to the other stores should give OP more clues as to who he should be looking for...
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    • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
      Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

      Possibly consider some type of "barnumizing", named after PT Barnum. This is where you make something so outrageous it draws attention. Think of the Oscar Meyer "Weiner Mobile". This concept may conflict with some of the other strategies I posted, so give it some thought, but if those things don't work, see if you can't do something to attract attention. Is there some kind of "stunt" that can be done with mattresses that you can do to get local press coverage?
      Reminds me of two things.

      Evil Knievel.

      and of a guy that wrapped himself in five and a half rolls of 60" bubble wrap and threw himself off a 30 foot cliff to prove he'd survive.

      Not that I'm advocating this idea but there could be a media angle to leverage the products.

      You might not want a monster truck driving over you whilst sandwiched between two mattresses but a couple of kids on BMX's pretty much simulates what every parent with young kids goes through every other night so you could get some traction on social media with that idea.

      There are so many promotional ideas you could try out.

      I remember a sleep-in promotion back in the 1980's when Richard Branson just opened Virgin records and he put some people in the window of the store sleeping in public and they remained there to try to break a record or something.

      You could run a promotion where you took an X percentage off up to a certain amount if someone who needs a bed would attempt the world record for not falling asleep or for not lying down on the bed in question etc.

      You could get a large amount of free publicity using something along those lines.

      Heck...Claude calls me "Capt. Boomerang" because I have the World record for the World's longest throw of anything - happens to be a boomerang (427.2m - 3 football pitches+)

      I leverage that record over and over when I need to.

      You could hold a celebrity sleep over for charity.

      You could give out "swags" for homeless. . .anything that is good and will generate publicity.

      Something you can sit well with as a company but will boost your profile.

      Partner up with an anti-violence organisation to top violence against women. We have White ribbon day here in Australia. Perhaps you can have. "White Mattress Night" where men show their support against violence.

      Best regards,

      Ozi
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      • Profile picture of the author eccj
        Originally Posted by Oziboomer View Post

        Reminds me of two things.

        Evil Knievel.

        and of a guy that wrapped himself in five and a half rolls of 60" bubble wrap and threw himself off a 30 foot cliff to prove he'd survive.

        Not that I'm advocating this idea but there could be a media angle to leverage the products.

        You might not want a monster truck driving over you whilst sandwiched between two mattresses but a couple of kids on BMX's pretty much simulates what every parent with young kids goes through every other night so you could get some traction on social media with that idea.

        There are so many promotional ideas you could try out.

        I remember a sleep-in promotion back in the 1980's when Richard Branson just opened Virgin records and he put some people in the window of the store sleeping in public and they remained there to try to break a record or something.

        You could run a promotion where you took an X percentage off up to a certain amount if someone who needs a bed would attempt the world record for not falling asleep or for not lying down on the bed in question etc.

        You could get a large amount of free publicity using something along those lines.

        Heck...Claude calls me "Capt. Boomerang" because I have the World record for the World's longest throw of anything - happens to be a boomerang (427.2m - 3 football pitches+)

        I leverage that record over and over when I need to.

        You could hold a celebrity sleep over for charity.

        You could give out "swags" for homeless. . .anything that is good and will generate publicity.

        Something you can sit well with as a company but will boost your profile.

        Partner up with an anti-violence organisation to top violence against women. We have White ribbon day here in Australia. Perhaps you can have. "White Mattress Night" where men show their support against violence.

        Best regards,

        Ozi

        I like the monster truck idea personally.

        Something else that will grab attention is sex.

        When I was looking for a new mattress I was worried with the fancy mattresses. They didn't have any spring, they absorbed too much "energy." Not good for fooling around.

        Maybe have a "try it before you buy it" type campaign.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    Somethings I don't understand...why does a retail business have basically zero money budgeted for marketing and promotion? This is a very common mistake. IMO, businesses should allocate 10-20% of their budgets for marketing. If you don't have money for marketing, then you probably don't have money to start a business Marketing shouldn't be considered spending, it should be considered an investment.


    The other issue I have, and this ties in with my first, is why is this store considered "separate" from the others? How come this store gets $200 a month for marketing that's separate from the other 3 stores? Why not create marketing campaigns funded by all 4 stores to promote all 4 stores?


    For example, if it were me and I was creating ads for Craigslist, I'd include addresses for all 4 shops in my ads.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    Here's a couple of more suggestions for JVs:

    Team up with interior decorators as well as bed and bath stores for cross promotion.

    Create a FB group and fan page, as well as a Youtube channel for the local area. Add content like the "5 best hamburgers", "5 best things for kids to do"...the number of things that can be rated is just about endless. Then add something like "Sponsored by Matt's Mattresses" to each. Everyone in your local area that sleeps is a potential customer and this offers a good opportunity for branding. It also encourages engagement with people who will want to add their own recommendations.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    I find it hard to believe a business owner would struggle with one store while they have other successful store locations.

    The owner needs to bring in all the other management from the other stores and turn the store around so it's profitable.

    Don't make it difficult by guessing. You already fave facts and experience in each of the other stores. Stop wasting your resources.
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  • Profile picture of the author Goliathstwin
    So many wonderful suggestions guys, all of you are awesome! To answer one question that seems to be asked a lot, about budget for marketing. The owner told me that to build up the main store, and the other satellite stores he would spend hours each day going from business to business passing out business cards and building relations. We had a serious talk about this store just yesterday, and he suggests at the end of this month closing Mon-Thursday(Where we only make about 1/4 of our sales anyway) and just b2b marketing with several thousand business cards. Then open only on Friday and Saturday, and see if that works. I think he's also okay with still paying the rent(As we have a 3 year lease on the store) and keeping this store closed until we have a more permanent part-time staff(if that makes sense) to fill the hours here.

    I have a 75% to 90% closing rate, but that still requires me to have more than 1 person inside every 3 days, so he is thinking of moving me to another store, but I would love to be able to turn this store around. I picked up an inflatable minion( from Despicable Me) and it has helped boost traffic, or at least parents now bring their kids to the front of my door to take a picture with the minion, gives me some amount of hope. I told the owner I would be willing to dress up as Gru everyday if it would bring in more people. Time will tell.

    I am taking into account all you all have said, it's SO much of AWESOME information. Please keep it coming!
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    • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
      Originally Posted by Goliathstwin View Post

      The owner told me that to build up the main store, and the other satellite stores he would spend hours each day going from business to business passing out business cards and building relations.
      This works. Make sure that you have a good offer of some kind, plainly visible, on the card. I have used this very method to help more than one struggling business.

      You may need to test a couple of offers to see what works best, but let me tell you, this one alone will "rock your socks", if you do it right.

      Good Luck!

      Ron
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    Other than targeting businesses that buy multiple mattresses (or deal with multiple people that need new mattresses), I think the first thing I would do is start posting photo ads to Craigslist and include something like "Ask for Goliath". CL is free and fast.

    In some ads I'd also let people know how gross used mattresses are...and the body fluids and bugs that can come with them.

    I'd also try to research mattress and sleep jokes and use them when I could:


    So this morning my son tells me "Dad, you'd be proud of me. I slept all night without wetting the bed".
    I'm sure his wife was very happy about that.

    This Week Only: Get 20% Off All Mattress Protectors and Pads!
    (Ask for Goliath)



    You could spin this joke another way...say something like "and now she's selling their mattress on Craigslist! You deserve better. Get a brand new, CLEAN mattress from us. Ask for Goliath."


    Come up with 31 jokes/ads and post one a day every month.

    I used to be a cab driver and I can tell you that if I could get my passengers to laugh, it meant an extra $2-3 tip every time. Get people to laugh and they will like you. And if people like you, they'll buy from you.

    The point is to stand out from all the other CL ads and be creative and different.
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    • Profile picture of the author DURABLEOILCOM
      Have you tried putting news paper ads in the surrounding areas most popular papers. Getting the business information registered everywhere, social media, directories, online classifieds, also having the other store locations hand out flyers about the struggling location. LED signs tend to catch customers attention as well. Use Offer Up and Let go apps.
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  • Profile picture of the author Goliathstwin
    The offer right now is 20% off any purchase for the store personnel that work there, and we can give a 2nd card they can offer to their clients for $15 Set of 820 thread count sheets.(King, Queen, Full, Twin) We don't make any money off the sheets but it could be another way to get people in the door, while having business owners being able to offer something else of value to their clients.
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  • Profile picture of the author Goliathstwin
    Today was a decent Saturday. Had 5 total people in, which was the amount of people for the past 6 days combined. 2 Sales with 2 just browsing/wasting time(teenagers, and a friend looking at sheets but we didn't have the color they prefer) which I am okay with as whenever someone is in the store, other people seem to come in like moths to a flame. The fifth is a possible sale who I was able to get a nice quote to.

    Next week the boss suggested, and I agree it's a good idea to get me out to meet as many local businesses in the area as possible. So we are closing the store on Tuesday-Thursday(We have only had 1 sale on those days in the past month) and I will be spending Tuesday and Thursday meeting and greeting.(I'm off on Wednesdays) Hopefully I will be able to drive enough business on those 2 days to get an extra sale or two. Even one sale would be worth it, heck even one person coming in from it would probably be worth it.

    I will be sure to post updates on the progress, since you guys have been so awesome-ly helpful. Thanks again for all the suggestions and on days I am in the store I am working on them.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
      Thanks for keeping us updated.

      Many years ago, I sold lighting products to local, small businesses, door to door. One day a business owner, who I stopped in to see, said to me, "I wish I could do, what you are doing."

      His place was empty, in the middle of the day and he was located on a very busy main street.

      He didn't elaborate on his statement, and I didn't ask him to explain what he meant. But, what he said has stuck with me.

      All I did, in a nutshell, was to build up a route of small business owners who got to know me "the lightbulb guy" and bought from me on a regular basis.

      I answered their questions. Made suggestions. But, the most important thing I did, was listen to them. They told me everything I needed to know, to sell to them. And, I did.

      I wasn't smart enough at that time, to ask for referrals. Those came anyway.

      Business owners know other business owners. If they like you, they want to recommend you. Some will even do it without you asking them to.

      Soon I found myself quoting jobs for parking lot lighting. That led to other things. It grew from there. I learned as I went, but it all happened because I was willing to go out there door to door, and talk to people.

      "I wish I could do, what you are doing", is the kind of thinking that stops people from being successful. They never give it a chance.

      That's why you won't have much competition - if any, as you stop in to talk to business owners. You'll become "the mattress guy". The one they buy from. The one they recommend.

      Those same business owners, who you've come to know, will support you when you do your "mattress sale fundraiser" for a local school or charity.

      Good things will happen, when you get out there talking to people.

      Ah Garoontee!

      Ron
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  • Profile picture of the author dburk
    Hi Goliathstwin,

    Be Exactly Where You customers Expect To Find You

    The reason you store traffic is so low, is that you are either in a poor location, or you are not being found where people expect to find you. Being located next to a Publix is great because a lot of people see you, however that is not good enough, you need to be exactly where people expect to find you whenever they start shopping for mattresses.

    Advertising on Facebook is fine, you will be able to reach your target market there, however, Facebook is not where people generally go when they are shopping for mattresses. You need to be found where shoppers are looking for mattresses.

    Probably at least 9 out of 10 people that are actively shopping for a mattress are looking for a sale, or a dealer location in Google. That is where you need to be, go where you customers are expecting to find you. Get on Google AdWords, target a small radius around your store and make sure you have all the buying keywords people use whenever shopping for a local place to purchase a mattress.

    Avoid the temptation to use a target radius for your ads that is more than a few miles from your location. Conversion rates decrease rapidly the farther your target audience is located from your retail location. Anything beyond 5 miles is probably a total waste, 2 miles or closer will be the most effective range. There may be some exceptions for a business located on a busy interstate highway corridor but you should still limit those exceptions to a small radius around the nearest highway exits.

    Don't limit your ads to just search. You also need to be in the Google Shopping directory. Those ads are featured prominently in Google and the bulk of all purchases are a direct result of advertising in Google.

    Facebook, and other social media sites are a good supplement to your marketing campaigns, but not the main place that your customers are shopping for mattresses. You need to be where your potential customers expect to find you and that is in the top ads on Google Search and in the Shopping ads on Google Search. Getting a top organic listing can be very helpful as well, but the Search ads are the top business generators in your niche.

    If there is a high enough volume of searches in your local market then be sure to add Remarketing tags to your website so that you can re-engage shoppers that are comparison shopping.

    Right-Sized Marketing Plan

    A $200 budget for marketing is not going to get you very far. You need to put together a marketing plan that includes a strategy with the potential to generate a lot of traffic to your store, and then sell the owner on your plan. He will likely spend a lot more money, but only if he sees that you have a well thought out plan. $1500-$2500 per month would be a more realistic advertising budget.

    Make sure you marketing plan includes a reasonable budget to launch an initial online local advertising campaign for the first 90 days, and then adjust the ad spend to a percentage of sales so that profitability is likely, and any traction you get from the initial campaign can be parlayed into a greater success.

    If you are not already experienced at setting up, and optimizing, Paid Search Ad campaigns, team up with an AdWords agency to ensure a better chance of success. There is a steep learning curve to mastering Paid Search advertising, and mistakes can be very costly. A good AdWords agency will save you way more money than the service costs. You can always watch over-the-shoulder to see how they manage campaigns if this is something that you want to learn and do for yourself.

    Local Outreach

    Outreach to major customers in your local market is a great idea. Locally owned motels and hotels are a natural. Also, any extended stay resorts ( I assume you are in Florida since you are in a Publix shopping center). Retirements centers, and large rental apartment complexes will often have community billboards and may be a great place to post ads or flyers.

    I'm not sure that closing for 3 days a week is good idea for a retail store. Perhaps 1 day a week would be enough and doesn't severely reduce your retail availability.

    Marketing Messages Need To Be Specific To Be Effective

    Make sure your marketing messages differentiate your business in some way from the competition. You are right that merely saying you have "excellent customer service" is not actually differentiating your business from your competitors. People will not take such statements as credible when presented in such a general way. You need to be more specific.

    List the very specific ways that you provide "excellent customer service". It is those specific details that potential customers want to know, generalized messages are useless to shoppers. It could be something as specific as "old mattress disposal included at no extra charge", or "free delivery to any location within a 10 mile radius", or whatever you know people like about your service, you know those specific things, just make a list of very specific details, and nothing general.

    After you have a list of specific things you do to provide excellent customer service, select one item from the list that you think your customers will find very compelling and make that part of your brand image. Include that very specific differentiation message in all of your advertising and messaging. That is how your differentiate your business.

    If your not sure which specific customer service item your customers will find most compelling, then run a Search Ad campaign to test them on your local audience. Create multiple ads for each ad group, within each ad group create one ad for each the top 2-4 potential marketing messages to see which your target audience clicks on the most frequently. That will tell you right away which specific customer service item your customers find most compelling.

    Effective marketing is always specific, be specific to be effective.

    HTH,

    Don Burk
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    • Originally Posted by dburk View Post

      Hi Goliathstwin,

      Be Exactly Where You customers Expect To Find You

      The reason you store traffic is so low, is that you are either in a poor location, or you are not being found where people expect to find you. Being located next to a Publix is great because a lot of people see you, however that is not good enough, you need to be exactly where people expect to find you whenever they start shopping for mattresses.

      Advertising on Facebook is fine, you will be able to reach your target market there, however, Facebook is not where people generally go when they are shopping for mattresses. You need to be found where shoppers are looking for mattresses.

      Probably at least 9 out of 10 people that are actively shopping for a mattress are looking for a sale, or a dealer location in Google. That is where you need to be, go where you customers are expecting to find you.
      Outreach to major customers in your local market is a great idea. Locally owned motels and hotels are a natural. Also, any extended stay resorts ( I assume you are in Florida since you are in a Publix shopping center). Retirements centers, and large rental apartment complexes will often have community billboards and may be a great place to post ads or flyers.

      I'm not sure that closing for 3 days a week is good idea for a retail store. Perhaps 1 day a week would be enough and doesn't severely reduce your retail availability.

      Marketing Messages Need To Be Specific To Be Effective

      Make sure your marketing messages differentiate your business in some way from the competition. You are right that merely saying you have "excellent customer service" is not actually differentiating your business from your competitors. People will not take such statements as credible when presented in such a general way. You need to be more specific.

      List the very specific ways that you provide "excellent customer service". It is those specific details that potential customers want to know, generalized messages are useless to shoppers. It could be something as specific as "old mattress disposal included at no extra charge", or "free delivery to any location within a 10 mile radius", or whatever you know people like about your service, you know those specific things, just make a list of very specific details, and nothing general.
      Great ideas about going on Google, advertising free delivery-take old mattress. Advertising financing would be smart. It would sure increase the premium mattress sales.

      But Goliathstwin; You don't need PPC ads. Videos will show us on the first page of a Google search (95% of searchers don't go past the first page.) And videos are far more visible tan any ad on Google. Just make sure the city and state are in the title. You need a dozen or more videos. If your store doesn't have a Facebook page, you need one. It's FREE and sill show up high in a search. Post your videos on your Facebook page. People don't go to Facebook looking for mattresses. But they go to Google, and Facebook shows up on Google. Do you have a store website? If not, get one. Any kid can build you one for $50. It just needs a Contact Us page, an About Us Page, and a page with (guess what?) your videos. You need to put your videos on your Facebook page, your website, and on Youtube. On your website, paste articles about the brands of mattresses you sell. find articles on Ezinearticles.com, and post them on your website..and on your Facebook page.

      And advertise;
      Free financing
      VISA MC accepted
      Free delivery
      Low price guaranteed (on advertised prices)
      Free disposal of your old mattress.
      Believe me, customers don't assume you do these things.

      You have a lot of time in the store waiting for customers. Use that time building an online presence that will dominate the Google search results for your town...when people search for mattresses.
      But don't spend money on PPC ads. Don't pay companies for SEO, and never pay for a Facebook page. It's almost effortless. A day or two with a viseo camera, an few hours on your computer, and you'll be set. Spend the $200 a month on a part time kid that can build websites. They are almost free, and he can post your videos, update your pasted articles, and create new videos.

      And don't pay for Yellow Page advertising.

      Got do it.

      And you need to be open 6 days a week. Real businesses are open 6 days a week. A half day on Saturday is OK, but do you know who is open 4 days a week? Businesses that are going out of business.
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  • Profile picture of the author Goliathstwin
    We have a good website, and decent SEO. if you search our area and mattresses we are number 1 on organic google searches. We don't have any videos besides that intro one I made, it was going to be something in the works I think but with the way things have been, if this strategy of going to every business and passing out cards doesn't work, then I do believe the alternative will be him closing this store. It's a Hail Mary Pass.

    Sunday is my personal busiest day, so one of the stores downtown(the one with the most traffic) is open for 4 hours on Sunday, but we are a pioneer of having any hours open on Sunday in my area.(It's not something I would seek out lol)
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    • Profile picture of the author Kurt
      Originally Posted by Goliathstwin View Post

      We have a good website, and decent SEO. if you search our area and mattresses we are number 1 on organic google searches. We don't have any videos besides that intro one I made, it was going to be something in the works I think but with the way things have been, if this strategy of going to every business and passing out cards doesn't work, then I do believe the alternative will be him closing this store. It's a Hail Mary Pass.

      Sunday is my personal busiest day, so one of the stores downtown(the one with the most traffic) is open for 4 hours on Sunday, but we are a pioneer of having any hours open on Sunday in my area.(It's not something I would seek out lol)
      In other words, we wasted our time trying to help out? Like the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but...
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  • Profile picture of the author Goliathstwin
    No Kurt, several of you guys have mentioned going business to business, and that's what I am going to do. The boss only told me this yesterday, so it's not like I was misleading trying to work with a struggling mattress store. I figure if I can turn around some of the sales by going door to door, then I can implement videos, and then Joint Ventures or Google Ads with more revenue. I wouldn't have any plan of action if it weren't for the help of you guys here at WF.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kurt
      Originally Posted by Goliathstwin View Post

      No Kurt, several of you guys have mentioned going business to business, and that's what I am going to do. The boss only told me this yesterday, so it's not like I was misleading trying to work with a struggling mattress store. I figure if I can turn around some of the sales by going door to door, then I can implement videos, and then Joint Ventures or Google Ads with more revenue. I wouldn't have any plan of action if it weren't for the help of you guys here at WF.
      I'm not blaming you, the buck stops with the "boss". In marketing you don't do something, you do EVERYTHING.


      I really don't see any reason not to post to Craigslist? I see a mattress store that has posted in Denver CL for months. I assume they wouldn't waste their time if it wasn't working. I know I'd try for at least a month if I had a retail shop.


      For barnumizing, how about a Cloud Mobile? How much would it cost to have a big cloud created that can be mounted on the top of a car kind of like how pizza delivery services do? A luggage rack, a bunch of that spray foam in a can, some white and light blue spray paint along with someone with a little artistic talent can probably create something pretty inexpensively. Include a way to add a sign with store details and you'll surely draw attention.


      I agree with Claude about staying open at least 6 days a week. Being closed for 3 days midweek is like putting a retail business in a coma, just waiting for someone to pull the plug.
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      • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
        Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

        I agree with Claude about staying open at least 6 days a week. Being closed for 3 days midweek is like putting a retail business in a coma, just waiting for someone to pull the plug.
        Personally where I am we have extreme weekend and overtime rates so we use family to man the stores when the costs are highest.

        Maybe you can find someone who likes to "sleep on the job"

        I can picture the ad. . .

        Wan't to lay down whilst you work?

        Well you can!. . . and earn a free bed doing it.

        Not that you want to attract a lay-a-bout but maybe you can find someone who is prepared to man the store in return for a mattress + commission.

        There would be many stay at home moms who would be prepared to work the 9am - 3pm shift just to help meet the bills and if you GAVE them a free bed they might just work for free.

        Just a thought.

        Best regards,

        Ozi
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        • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
          Although I'm dubious of the boss and his mindset, all I have to go on is what the OP posts. Smelled fishy at first, hasn't lost any of that smell to me.

          BUT, I want to thank everyone for participating, this may be the best thread currently running at WF, some old timers, experienced marketers, new views...one could easily take this thread as a mini lesson on how to promote any brick and mortar store...

          Some very good advice here, I learned a couple of new tricks.

          As for the store closing a few days, there is a franchise which operates by APPOINTMENT ONLY, AND some independents, here is a Facebook group, NO affiliation

          https://www.facebook.com/mattressbyappointmentWooster/

          Maybe those three days could be used to set appointments, get some intel, do some homework.

          Another issue in S. FL could be a transitioning from midwestern to a more Hispanic community, the Publix will be the indicator. From Palm Beach county south to Dade, this progression has taken place from East to West, from the coast to the Everglades.

          Some of those older Publix strip malls have a high vacancy, or are in need of repair, and the LOCATION does matter. I'll give you an exact example.

          The Winn Dixie at the corner of Cresthaven and Military Trail is today, mostly Hispanic, and that strip plaza has changed in the last decade. It is now a "price" mall, with the stores of a discount nature, like Dollar Tree. A mattress store in this area has to compete on price alone, There is a Sears Outlet nearby, and several of those little "minimum stock" (where the mattress is delivered from a central warehouse) type places too.

          You just ain't gonna sell many 1000 buck mattresses in this location.

          If, however you go west to Wellington, there are two Mattress Firm locations within a mile of each other and other upper scale stores.

          So, location and clientele does play a role. There is so much competition in this industry, and again, my dispersions are cast toward the owner based on information here, but 200 bux and wanting to close for days at a time...again, something ain't right in Denmark.

          But the ideas and experience presented in this thread are gold, which is getting harder and harder to find here at WF mines, which has hit a vein of fool's gold lately.

          GordonJ
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        • Profile picture of the author DABK
          I have never marketed mattresses. But I bought a few. So, I went incognito inside my mind, as one of our politicians once said.

          We bought mattresses at the time of or right after refinancing, after remodeling, after buying a property.

          We means me and my relatives.

          So, I also looked at friends and acquaintances. Most did the same.

          Do your own research. If you find that what people in my world did is what people in your world do, you can talk to either property insurance agents, real estate agents, mortgage brokers/loan officers and convince them to give you access to their clients/ do a JV.

          Maybe you could do a JV with people who rehab houses for other people... I'm thinking that many people who do extensive remodeling buy some / a lot of new furniture.
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          • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
            Originally Posted by DABK View Post

            We bought mattresses at the time of or right after refinancing, after remodeling, after buying a property.

            We means me and my relatives.

            So, I also looked at friends and acquaintances. Most did the same.

            Do your own research. If you find that what people in my world did is what people in your world do, you can talk to either property insurance agents, real estate agents, mortgage brokers/loan officers and convince them to give you access to their clients/ do a JV.

            Maybe you could do a JV with people who rehab houses for other people... I'm thinking that many people who do extensive remodeling buy some / a lot of new furniture.
            There is an increase in spend on certain household items after separation. (divorce)

            We get a lot of the post-separation business as people clear out the old and renovate.

            Often these customers are released from the burden of constrained expenditure. Not that they necessarily have the fund immediately but they have the motivation to spend without consulting their partner and they often have freed up capital if they have sold property as part of the settlement.

            Another trigger is when the kids leave home.

            At that point some people downsize and others renovate.

            It may not be as much as any increased disposable income but just the change is a catalyst for purchasing new items.

            Often after a fight between partners there will be a time of reconciliation and during those times is another opportunity to sell new bedding amongst selling other items related to comfort, security and affection.

            As is any time of change. Kid starts school. Wife falls pregnant. etc

            Significant moments in anyone's lives can prompt increased expenditure in certain areas.

            Identify those precursors in your industry and locality and then market to each accordingly.

            Best regards,

            Ozi
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            • Profile picture of the author DABK
              Very true. I don't have any other life events that led me to buy a mattress, though.

              But, if the OP can figure out a few for the people in their area, the OP's gonna be a happy camper.

              Originally Posted by Oziboomer View Post

              There is an increase in spend on certain household items after separation. (divorce)

              We get a lot of the post-separation business as people clear out the old and renovate.

              Often these customers are released from the burden of constrained expenditure. Not that they necessarily have the fund immediately but they have the motivation to spend without consulting their partner and they often have freed up capital if they have sold property as part of the settlement.

              Another trigger is when the kids leave home.

              At that point some people downsize and others renovate.

              It may not be as much as any increased disposable income but just the change is a catalyst for purchasing new items.

              Often after a fight between partners there will be a time of reconciliation and during those times is another opportunity to sell new bedding amongst selling other items related to comfort, security and affection.

              As is any time of change. Kid starts school. Wife falls pregnant. etc

              Significant moments in anyone's lives can prompt increased expenditure in certain areas.

              Identify those precursors in your industry and locality and then market to each accordingly.

              Best regards,

              Ozi
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        • Profile picture of the author savidge4
          So where exactly in SC do you live? ( I lived in Myrtle Beach for many years ) SC in general is a different market than most in many regions. In Myrtle Beach as an example... 40% of all real property is owned from out of state owners.... That means that 40% of the potential mattress buying market doesn't even live there.

          Me personally.. I would be communicating with property management companies. They would be the direct connection between the actual home owner and you.... Offering a kick back on each mattress sold I would suggest as an incentive. Need some ammo to communicate with the property managers and hopefully the home owners? How Often should Hotels Change Mattresses?

          For those of you that did not read the article... EVERY 6 MONTHS is the suggested mattress replacement interval. EVERY 6 MONTHS.

          In terms of some other things... If I am reading correctly.. you are one of the few stores open on Sunday? ( and only for 4 hours ) STOP that nonsense now! close Sunday. YES it is a Southern thing.. yes you are located in small town America and Sunday is the last vestige of a time gone by. IF you are open Sunday.. you may as well be as liked as Walmart. just saying.

          Every small community has a breakfast joint were everyone worth seeing can be seen at be it for breakfast or lunch. In Myrtle Beach it was Breakfast on Monday and Wednesday mornings at a local diner. #1 figure out where that place is and when.. #2 start setting appointments with local business owners there during those times. This allows you to be seen as a player in the local community - a BIG thing in small town USA.

          So I have to ask... what does the store look like from the outside? how bout the inside? was there any money invested at all in these 2 areas? Are we talking empty windows and concrete floors? I understand at this point you are in a store that is closed 2 3 days a week, and there is no budget for this stuff...

          Something that caught my eye.. you said kids came in and were looking for sheets but you didn't have the color they were looking for. SO where you are located there is no Walmart Kmart or Target. but the flip side of that is sheets are basically a loss leader - find a cheaper source for sheets and carry every freakin color you can get your hands on.... be a sheet store that happens to sell beds... offer a free set of sheets with every bed purchase.
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        • Profile picture of the author Chris Grable
          Great thread! Goliathstwin, you might want to add sleep centers to the list of businesses you might JV with. I just had a sleep study earlier this eek. Some advice on mattresses wold have fit right into the conversation. Likewise, they could provide you with some literature and you could have folks knocking down their door.

          Cheers,
          Chris
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        • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
          This just in...it reinforces my earlier post,
          use Facebook ads to reach those just returned from a
          trip/vacation.

          Why?

          In the last 2 conversations with other marketers about how to sell mattresses,
          they both went out and bought a new bed soon after returning home from staying in hotels.

          Their partners couldn't stand their sleepless nights anymore due to their old bed.

          It was a classic case of the contrast effect of experiencing good and bad
          and not wanting to go back to the bad.

          Best,
          Ewen
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          • Profile picture of the author jimbo13
            Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

            In the last 2 conversations with other marketers about how to sell mattresses, they both went out and bought a new bed soon after returning home from staying in hotels.

            Their partners couldn't stand their sleepless nights anymore due to their old bed.

            It was a classic case of the contrast effect of experiencing good and bad
            and not wanting to go back to the bad.

            Best,
            Ewen
            The Savoy hotel in London have known this for over 100 years.

            Which is why in 1905 they set up Savoir Beds Luxury beds | Bespoke Beds | Savoir Beds

            Another upmarket mattress company, Hypnos, actually get named in a hotel chains adverts. The chain guarantee the best night sleep or your money back.

            The radio Ad starts with 'Man that Hypnos bed is comfortable' and the TV Ad has 'Starring Hypnos King-sized Beds' like a film would have credits.

            You can even buy the Hypnos beds through the hotel chain.

            Our Best Ever Bed | Sleep | Premier Inn

            Joint Ventures as animal (WF user) would call it.

            Dan
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            • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
              Originally Posted by jimbo13 View Post

              The Savoy hotel in London have known this for over 100 years.

              Which is why in 1905 they set up Savoir Beds Luxury beds | Bespoke Beds | Savoir Beds

              Another upmarket mattress company, Hypnos, actually get named in a hotel chains adverts. The chain guarantee the best night sleep or your money back.

              The radio Ad starts with 'Man that Hypnos bed is comfortable' and the TV Ad has 'Starring Hypnos King-sized Beds' like a film would have credits.

              You can even buy the Hypnos beds through the hotel chain.

              Our Best Ever Bed | Sleep | Premier Inn

              Joint Ventures as animal (WF user) would call it.

              Dan
              Excellent resource, thank you, Dan.

              The beauty of Facebook, we can advertise only to those
              in which have recently arrived home.

              Best,
              Ewen
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
      Originally Posted by Goliathstwin View Post

      ...several of you guys have mentioned going business to business, and that's what I am going to do.



      B2B is a good plan but the other stores from your business are doing OK selling directly to the public, right?

      Do you people not communicate with each other and share notes? If not, why not and why would an owner allow one store to fail why other stores succeed?
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  • Profile picture of the author Goliathstwin
    My hope would be that I can boost the sales from b2b, and then re-open everyday(As Claude mentioned) minus Sunday(unless we found a part-timer that wouldn't mind being there on that day, but most people around here don't like working on Sunday, might just be a small town southern thing lol) But no, all of your suggestions have been invaluable, and I am very grateful for them. If I can produce any sales in the next few weeks then I can really start to boost the store with your suggestions(and anything else you can think of)
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
    A lot of the folks you'll be talking to would dearly love a good night's sleep. Make it as easy as you can for them to own your product.

    Some will have not had a good night's sleep in a long time. Some will have back, neck, shoulder, hip or knee pain, which a new, firm mattress would resolve or at least help them to sleep better, more comfortably.


    As an aside, I went on a cross country road trip that included a stop at the Grand Canyon. We stayed overnight at the facility there. They must have bought used mattresses for the place, as the mattress I slept on sagged and buckled everywhere.

    I woke up with back pain like I hadn't experienced in years.

    I was in miserable pain, by the time we arrived back home. If a guy selling mattresses door to door would have knocked, I would have invited him in and locked the door behind him. Then, I would have held him at gunpoint until he agreed to sell me a new mattress and deliver it promptly.

    The people you talk to may not be that desperate, but they will have their own stories about their struggles for a good night's sleep.

    Let them tell you about it, so that you can help them.

    Good Luck!

    Ron


    P.S. I want to thank you for starting this thread. I just started a new project that involves business cards.
    It's different from other things that I have done and I was stuck, looking for a solution to a problem I encountered.

    You provided that solution.

    So, I felt obligated to contribute to your thread, from my own experience with door to door sales, and help where I could. Go get 'em tiger!
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  • Profile picture of the author Goliathstwin
    Thanks guys, though I am not in Florida, I am in South Carolina, and the people around us are a mix between lower middle class and a few miles up the road much upper middle classes. All the stores on my side of Publix are filled, and the parking lot stays filled all through the day. I am actually sending this note from my phone, as I had a minute between talking to businesses. Thank you voice to text. Please keep all suggestions coming they are appreciated!
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  • Profile picture of the author Goliathstwin
    I have asked the owner about putting an ad in the local paper(7800 circulations and it's in every business in the small town we are closest to) He let me in on the real and true situation. His business partner told him to close my store down. The only reason he didn't is I said I would put everything into it to try and get business. This is my livelihood and I feel like a store closure would not help me in that endeavor. So passing out cards is my way out, and if I can turn a profit, or really turn anything then we will have money to spend on advertising and the such.

    On a second note, UPDATE I passed out cards to a number of businesses on Tuesday(About 50 or so since I would stop and talking to the owners for a good deal of time whenever I could), and I have already gotten a call about a mattress purchase from the mother of a pharmacist that I gave a card to. I will take it as a promising step in the right direction. Please keep the suggestions coming. Hopefully in a few weeks I will be able to really put some money into the business, instead of just time.
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  • Profile picture of the author NateOlsen
    Local SEO, Check on your Google My Business listing make sure it's optimized and showing up in results.
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    Nathan Olsen
    http://www.ndoseo.com

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  • Profile picture of the author gingerninjas
    Hi

    I have a few ideas, which you may or may not be doing in your business.

    From personal experience I purchased our mattress through a program that recommended furniture stores and household items - we logged on and got a discount - you might want to check out these types of referral partnerships as you could get some extra expose.

    Second option, I would consider doing some local advertising in the area - discounts for the postcode around your store that sort of thing. Locals discounts are always popular.

    You might also consider an open day or special offer on a weekend - along the lines of a carpark sale. A local mattress store in Australia did this only a few weeks ago and had a huge promotion with it. Offer special deals and attract buyers who may not have noticed your store.

    Maybe if the Facebook advertising isn't working, you could consider changing to test out Google Adwords - this could be a better target market for you and may bring in some new customer enquiries.

    You might also want to do a bit of a competitor analysis of the local area, who else is selling mattresses, are they cheaper, what's your point of difference.

    Finally, if you don't already have one of the interest-free programs set up like many businesses do these days I would suggest this is something to look into. Mattresses and furniture can be expensive and setting up a home and people who can get an interest-free program are pretty keen to go with this as they look at this as basically 'free'.
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  • Profile picture of the author marktman571
    Originally Posted by Goliathstwin View Post

    Hey All,

    I am the store manager of a struggling mattress store. We offer quality products, name brand (Serta, Simmons Beautyrest, Sterns and Foster, Tempurpedic) all new, and 10 year warranties on everything, and the products are the same if not less expensive then big box stores(Sears, Rooms to Go etc.). We are just a small business trying to make it.

    The other locations(3 others) are pretty successful but this store (Which is next to a publix in a very populated area) just doesn't seem to get any traction.(It has only been open for 6 months, but they were hoping for more than 4 or 5 people in the store total each week by now) We do facebook ads regularly, and have recently added signs at all the Publix entrances along with big signs on the windows.(And a Chalk Sign right outside on the sidewalk with balloons attached) We have an up-to-date website, and even started going around to businesses to pass out discount cards to local business owners. But the owner is relying on me to turn the store around(I have been here for just over 1 month), and I just don't know what else to do. I suggested a mattress costume and I could go outside and wear it, till people came in but that could be a bad idea as well, I just don't really know what else to try. They have given me some money to spend on the store(Ideally less than $200)

    My ability to sell the mattresses is decent(I have done sales for several years, though in the past I would see lots of people during the day), because they are all quality products and I can feel good about them, especially since the prices are truly fair, but I just can't seem to get people in the door.

    Do any of y'all have any ideas. I have always relied on WF in the past, and have usually gotten some great advice with other things.

    Thanks for anything you can think of. No idea will be discouraged!

    P.S. The Store is locked in a 3 year lease so we can't just lock it up and try another location.
    Start of school year is the best time to bump up your business because a lot of college students look out for sales on mattresses. Best way to target them is to put up ads in the student unions, setting up booths during frosh events and sponsoring local club events. You can achieve bulk sale from these kind of customers pretty easily and meet your target without any hurdle..
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  • Profile picture of the author gemmom24
    Claude, I have to say that your video is genius. You come across as trying to help, not trying to sell -- and I think that's the key.

    Goliath, in addition to the great suggestions by everyone else, it sounds like you simply need to get customers in the door. Steal an auto dealer's shtick --test drive a mattress and get a free pillow, or something like that. Direct marketing is also very effective for your product.

    Good luck!
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    • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
      Originally Posted by gemmom24 View Post

      Claude, I have to say that your video is genius. You come across as trying to help, not trying to sell -- and I think that's the key.

      Goliath, in addition to the great suggestions by everyone else, it sounds like you simply need to get customers in the door. Steal an auto dealer's shtick --test drive a mattress and get a free pillow, or something like that. Direct marketing is also very effective for your product.

      Good luck!
      And if they don't purchase, how do you sell it to someone else?
      There are possible health issues with used mattresses
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      • Profile picture of the author DABK
        There's someone in my area that's been advertising on the radio just that: you can test their mattress in your home for 120 days. They pick it up for free, no questions asked, if, at the end of 120 days, you do not like it.

        So, there must be a way to deal with returns in such a way that you're still profitable. Or, else, the 120 days reduces returns so much that it's profitable to do it and just toss the returned ones.

        Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

        And if they don't purchase, how do you sell it to someone else?
        There are possible health issues with used mattresses
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  • Profile picture of the author Goliathstwin
    Thank you all for your many wonderful suggestions. Despite my best efforts to follow through with most of them, the store ended up closing at the end of the year. I am now at a different location, and we do the exact same amount of advertising, marketing, etc. but the traffic has changed from one person every few days, to several people per day. I guess the old saying of location location location does truly come into play. Though now with all these suggestions I can apply them to this store and hopefully boost us even further.

    If you have any other ideas feel free to leave them, as I believe this thread has been a help to others in addition to myself.

    Thanks again,



    Goliath
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  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    remember you are not selling a mattress etc...you are selling a good nights sleep, you are selling a vehicle for people to wake up refreshed etc....

    look at mypillow. the guy is making a fortune selling pillows for 90+ bucks each. he isn't selling pillows. he's selling the benefits and establishing credibility and trust.
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    In a moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing. ~ Theodore Roosevelt "Trust, BUT VERIFY" ~ Ronald Reagan

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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
      Originally Posted by NewParadigm View Post

      remember you are not selling a mattress etc...you are selling a good nights sleep, you are selling a vehicle for people to wake up refreshed etc...


      Sometimes you're just selling a mattress, like to a hotel, military base, hospital, etc...
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  • Profile picture of the author TMets5
    This is a challenging industry I'm sure since mattresses are probably only purchased every 8-10 years. Perhaps targeting new homeowners or people who are moving in your ads may bring in new prospects. Maybe you can partner with other stores that compliment mattresses and cross promote, although it sounds like you have tried that approach. Also maybe you can reverse engineer other successful campaigns of your competitors and apply it to your store.

    Best Wishes
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