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There is an old cliché about mattress and furniture salespeople, that they will do or say anything to make a buck. I think that well trained commission driven salespeople are a thing of the past and now believe that the pendulum has swung the other direction. Next time you shop furniture ask what kind of dovetail construction a drawer is built with or specific construction details about a mattress and watch for the dear in the headlights reaction.
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Recently I read an ad for a platform bed we sell. It was an Espresso finished bed with a padded black headboard for $429.00. Theirs was on sale and ours sells for that price everyday. The difference between our advertisement and our competitors… their sale read,“Espresso finished leather padded black platform bed”. I asked the salesman about it and he confirmed that it was leather. When I pointed out it wasn’t leather he acted like it was no big deal. I felt sorry for those who bought this bed believing they had purchased leather. When advertising something as leather it better be leather not vinyl or even simulated leather. Retailers and sales people have an obligation to know what they are selling.
Sales people – Should be well trained and versed on the products they sell. Their job is to educate the consumer about a product, explaining various alternative options, differences, answer questions, and finally is trained to ask the shopper the important questions making sure they ultimately go home with the item they need, want, and are expecting to get.
Order takers- Fulfill the customers’ request. Selling what is asked for with out question regardless of whether it is what the consumer is really needing, wanting, or if there is a better solution. Telling the consumer they don’t make something when they really haven’t a clue, giving BS answers, and telling people how much they are saving because something is on sale is ripping people off. My frustration peeks when they focus on over all money saving, rather than whether or not it is the best overall price apples to apples. I don’t care if I’m saving $400.00 if I can by it down the street for $30.00 less any old day of the year.
What some people might call pushy salespeople is often misinterpreted and is nothing more than a salesperson being helpful and doing their job. With so much selection these days narrowing down our choices during the buying process is often confusing and overwhelming for instance a mattress isn’t just a mattress when you must select just one from 40 or 50 plus different models. Whether we realize it or not everyone shopping for a chest of drawers needs to know why one chest of drawers costs $199.00 while another costs $399.00 and still others can cost $800.00 or more. The fact is we don’t get a $800.00 dresser for $200.00 we get a $200.00 dresser for $200.00 A good salesperson in this case can be very helpful.
The next time you decide to shoo your sales person away you might consider them a helpful resource rather than a predator. Instead look at it as taking advantage of their “predatory ways”. Use them to gather industry knowledge, learn about construction and other significant differences. Most importantly use them to help you find products that will fit your budget. Consumers and sales people need to work together and in the end everyone wins sale person, retail store, and most of all, the consumer.