Sunday, August 29, 2010

Advice for Sleep Number Salespeople

I encountered the worst salesperson ever at a Sleep Number bed store. What started out as as a fun shopping trip soon turned into me wishing to never return to this store again. The bright side is that Hubby and I laughed about this for hours. Part of his bad sales pitch was that the script he was given was way too involved. Here's how it went down.

First, he asked us what we wanted when we walked into a store. This is one of my pet peeves. We walked into a mattress store! What do you think we want? Can you at least start off by asking if we are interested in a mattress? Then we went to find out our sleep numbers and Hubby and I laid down on a bed. He started it at the top setting. He then asked us if we know the movie The Wizard of Oz. The most popular movie of all time? Nope, can't say I've ever seen that before. Look, if you want to tell us we will feel like we are melting away as you change the setting, you can just say that. No need to insult our movie-watching intelligence.

While he was finding out our numbers, he told us various features of the beds. That was fine by itself, but he insisted on touching me every time he mentioned the pressure points that the beds relieve. I was going to slap him if he touched my knee, hip, lower back, or shoulder one more time. Oh, did I mention he had bad breath? And that he was close enough that I could tell?

After we found our sleep number, we moved on to what I thought was an actual mattress. It turns out that the test bed is also something you can buy, even though it was more uncomfortable than the cheap-o beds we tried at a different store. But at the time I thought the first one was just a test bed and now we were getting to an actual mattress. But rather than telling us anything about the mattress, he started in on the pillows. He wanted to "build" us a perfect pillow. This whole pillow thing seemed way more complicated than we wanted to get into. And then he mentioned there are 24 different pillow options! I said the second one was perfect because there was no way I was going through all 24 options. It was my job to test out the comfort level and he was testing to make sure our neck was at exactly a 5 degree angle. At one point I thought he was going to get out a protractor to make sure. I look over at Hubby and he is barely suppressing a laugh.

With our sleep numbers and ideal pillows picked out, we moved over to a third bed. This bed was actually quite comfortable. The salesperson asked us if we sometimes sweat at night. Hubby (not me) said yes. The special feature of this (more expensive) bed was that it has some material that keeps it cool so your body stays a cooler, more consistent temperature and thus cuts down on sweating at night. So he tried to sell us on the virtues of the temperature control in this bed and mentioned how at certain times of the year when the temps vary widely between day and night, we are most likely to sweat. And then this older, creepy looking man (who is a complete stranger to me) said, "and for women there are certain times of the month when you are more likely to sweat." He literally winked and nudged me when he said this. I was speechless.

He kept going on and on about this feature and a few minutes later, made a second reference to sweating at certain points in my "cycle." I decided right then and there that I can't buy a bed from this guy. We started making our attempts to leave then because I just wanted out, but then he started in on the hard sell (why don't salespeople realize that making a hard sell makes people less likely to buy something from you?).

Neither Hubby nor I could believe what he said. Clearly his script was well coached, but had no one told him that men just can't talk about that with a stranger? I mean, no one should talk about that with a stranger, but I could see a female salesperson pulling it off in the right context. And men just don't use the term "cycle" so clearly someone was giving him this script.


  1. OH WOW. That is unbelievable! What a douche.

    We have that bed, btw, and while the bed itself is awesome, I think the fabric that's supposed to regulate your body temp is kind of a joke. I haven't noticed a difference.

    But I'd highly recommend a sleep number bed if you're in the market for a new bed!

  2. That was hilarious Missy- although I imagine at the time it was more a mix of awful and creepy!! I can't believe that salesperson or the sales script, terrible!


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