SAVE THE DATE: Sleep Summit Oct 8-11, 2024

7 Habits of Super Successful Mattress Retailers

How do mattress retailers reclaim their position as experts in their marketplace? Jeff Giagnocavo's new book has answers and action items. Dos Marcos dig in.!bfe08

How do mattress retailers reclaim their position as experts in their marketplace? Jeff Giagnocavo’s new book has answers and action items.

Jeff is the owner of Gardner’s Mattress & More in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He’s authored a new book called 7 Habits of Super Successful Mattress Retailers. It’s a short book designed to be read in about an hour and put into action immediately.

Jeff says mattress retailers can begin leveraging the habits outlined in the book to create the type of business they love owning. 

The book also introduces the opportunity for mattress retailers to join the National Association of Sleep Better Specialists.

Jeff said the goal of the association is for retailers to build and maintain their own 5-Star Authority Platform. Click here to get the book

A special thanks to Jeff for putting so much energy and innovation into the mattress industry. 

Nationwide Help Center 

Nationwide Marketing Group has launched a BACK TO BUSINESS HUB packed with useful information for independent retailers.

For Dos Marcos listeners seeking expert advice as they navigate the changing environment, we have an email address for you to use:

Thank you to our headline sponsor Nationwide Marketing Group.

As a member of Nationwide Marketing group, you instantly have access to over 200+ ambitious, entrepreneurial-minded advocates who are dedicated to helping your business thrive. Nationwide serves more than 5,500 independent retail members with tools, resources, training, and technology to help their businesses grow.


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Full Transcription:

Mark Quinn: Dos Marcos podcast, it’s the greatest mattress industry podcast on the planet. Wait, isn’t this the only mattress industry podcast? He’s Mark Kinsley, 

Mark Kinsley: I truly felt bad for you at the time. 

Mark KinsleyHe’s Mark Quinn. 

Mark QuinnI think Victor was actually very pleasant. 

Mark Kinsley: So, guys, I got the greatest compliment, probably, at least in 10 years. I got a phone call through the Englander corporate line, and somebody wanted to talk to me personally. And so, I called them back and it was a furniture mattress store in the New England area. They did not carry our products, but they had been reading sleep retailer, and we had an Englander ad in sleep retailer that said, would you rather have eight minutes of great sex or eight hours of great sleep? Either way, Englander is the answer. And so, Quinn actually fact checks me on this. And the actual amount of time people spend during intercourse itself was about five and a half minutes. So, the lady had called me to say this was vile, it was reprehensible. And she was offended by it, and her entire staff was offended by it. And I was actually shocked. And I thought to myself, at first, I was you my feathers felt a little bit ruffled. And I’m like, this is not that risky. And then and then the advertiser marketer, and he said, so it got your attention and created a reaction. And I’m like, that’s the greatest compliment I could have gotten. Because the job of advertising, as we know is to grab people’s attention, so that you could tell them anything else you want to tell them. So that was a huge compliment. 

Mark Quinn:What up, Senator, I don’t understand that she not have sex, or has she not ever had sex? Or 

Mark Kinsley: I asked her. I said, how do you handle 

Mark Quinn: You asked her? She had sex before?

Mark Kinsley: She said, Yeah, I’m like, first of all, lady. Have you ever had sex in your life? Not insane. 

Mark Quinn: You may be there 

Mark Kinsley: I wanted to know, Mark, I don’t want to be asking that

Mark Quinn: If that bothered you, may be doing it wrong. I’m just saying. 

Mark Kinsley: I asked her. I said, how do you deal with questions about sex whenever it comes up on the sales floor? And she goes, well, it doesn’t come up. This is a family store. Well, it, it comes up every once in a while. And we just answered the questions and move on. I was like, Oh, so you? It does come up. Okay. I go well, I’ll sure take your feedback into account. And I appreciate the phone call. And what I appreciated about it was the fact that it actually grabs somebody’s attention and made him react to it. Jeff Janaka Vo is on the show. 

Mark Quinn: I know. But before we get into Jeff, I just 

Mark Kinsley: Quinn cuts me off during my perfect transition. Hey, well, it’s not the first time that will happen.

Mark Quinn: You can’t you cannot move past this. And I’m going to transition into Jeff, in a much better way than you did. 

Mark Kinsley: But I’m going to transition into Jeff right now. 

Mark Quinn: Don’t you do that. I think what you should have said to that lady, though, when she was saying, you know, so you said to her doesn’t ever come up on the sales floor? And then she says Yes, it does. And we handle them. And then you should sit. So why are you talking about sex with your customer? Like flip it on and go? Why? Why would you do that? That’s horrible. You’re like, I thought you had a family store like really be offended by the fact that she’s talking to sex and great sex and speaking of great sex, you know, who is a great sex person and knowledgeable on the topic, is Jeff Janaka Vo. Then Jeff be honest with me? Did you like my transition better into your introduction? Or did Kinsley did it better?

Jeff Giagnocavo: I’m going to have to I’m happy to give the point to Quinn on that one. But I’m like I said, He’s going to love it back.

Mark Kinsley: Well, you guys know how it is. We’re in this business. And whenever people ask me, well, what do you do? I just tell them I’m in the mattress business. And they go, huh? I, what do you do? And they go and then I tell them, you know, we make mattresses and they go, oh, it could have went either way in my mind, porn star or and they say that and I’m like, No, no, I’m not in any adult entertainment. I, we actually make mattresses and we sell to retailers and sell so. 

Jeff Giagnocavo: So, I have an email, personal email that I use, bedroom guru. That’s the handle. And it’s always interesting giving that one like at a hotel reservation or a restaurant. And depending on who I’m giving it to, I might just play along for a little bit. But it’s always fun. It’s always fun to see where that conversation takes you. 

Mark Kinsley: Like, what’s your what’s your website? Should I check this out really quick? 

Jeff Giagnocavo: Yeah, yeah.

Mark Kinsley: Haven’t you ever heard the joke of when people say what kind of business are you in you simply say I sell indoor recreational equipment.

Jeff Giagnocavo: Hmm, that’s a good one too. 

Mark Kinsley: And then they say I like what like what is that mega mattresses they go, see that? So, one thing I got to I got to squeeze in here is So Jeff Janaka Vo, a friend of the show, actually, he was on the show, I think, between Episode 10 and 20. And now we’re up to over 160. So, it’s been a long time ago. But recently, the last time we saw each other was at Nationwide’s primetime event in in Houston, and you’re a nationwide member. And I thought, okay, so nationwide is our headline sponsor we love nationwide. We love the members, we love the advocacy what tell us what value you get at a nationwide like, what’s your nationwide story.

Jeff Giagnocavo: So, my nationwide story is I kind of inherited the relationship by buying the business originally as a mega number. And then we got we nationwide roll that’s all up. And you know, they’re no doubt the service, I saw a tremendous difference in the service levels, which I think is cool. And great. You know, like most things in my life, I’m a hunter and seeker. So, I’m not your typical nationwide dealer, where nationwide is my like, like, I don’t do my shopping, I just primetime. I know on past episodes; you’ve talked about where a lot of retailers like that’s their shopping journey. I get the Primetime but I also get to the markets. Because I’m that hunter seeker, always looking for the slight edge. Where nationwide works for me is obviously I mean financing is just a no brainer. If you sign up for a nationwide membership in justed financing, you would more than pay your dues, but that would be foolish to just rely on him for that. Where I would give them a massive Attaboy pat on the back would be their navigation of the whole COVID crisis. The amount of content, the amount of help, the amount of leadership, expertise and guidance they brought to the table was just astounding. And I think if you look at it as a member, you should be saying, I want these guys and gals in my hip pocket. From here on out, I’m never going to leave. It might be frustrating if the lines change, the merchandise changes, there’s a million reasons why that’s going to happen. But the people that are there, I think genuinely care about the fact that your four walls, your doors need to stay up and open. And they’re going to do everything they can to help you. And that’s why I’m a nationwide.

Mark Kinsley: Yeah, that’s uh, that that really captures it. I mean that the people make such a huge difference. We’ve seen them fight tooth and nail for independent retailers. And then we see how whenever we do gather up at primetime, which is going to be October 18, to the 21st in Vegas, like when we gather up these primetime events, just the love and genuine connection that’s there between nationwide staff and dealers is real, you can see it so. It’s cool. That’s a great, that’s great feedback. So, Jeff, Jeff Janaka Vo, the last name that is so difficult to spell, so wonderful to say. You own gardener’s mattress and more Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Your partner is Ben but you’ve got your you get your hands on some other things that serve the mattress industry. And recently, you launched a book. And we thought let’s bring on Jeff to talk about the Seven Habits of super successful mattress retailers.

Mark Quinn: We bought your book, Jeff, thanks for putting it out there we love. 

Jeff Giagnocavo: Thank you for buying it. 

Mark Quinn: Of course. 

Jeff Giagnocavo: Yeah. I saw the 

Mark Quinn: Do you know why, do you know why we bought it? 

Jeff Giagnocavo:What’s that?

Mark Quinn: Because we didn’t get a signed autographed copy sent to us in the mail. That’s why we had to buy it. 

Jeff Giagnocavo: Nice. Well, I’ll make it. 

Mark Quinn: Yeah, next book you have to sign a copy, sign it. 

Jeff Giagnocavo: This is for you Mark Quinn, signed the sexpert. There we go.

Mark Kinsley: Well, you wrote this book co-authored with a guy named Mike Posey, that’s a friend and apart business partner of yours, and you’ll take people through the Seven Habits of super successful mattress retailers. And I got to jump around a little bit because one of the coolest stories I think, that came out of this focused on affluent customers and I think it’s kind of a good entry point because this guy that you know, named Dan Kennedy, who is a well-known marketing expert. I don’t know if you’ve worked with Dan, you’re now friends with Dan but Dan hopped on a private jet and Dan flew to Lancaster pa to your, to visit your store and make roughly a $30,000 mattress purchase. And Dan isn’t a fluent customer. And he knows about affluent customers. And that’s an area that you say people should focus. So, take us through your experience with Dan and what that means to start tapping into affluent customers.

Jeff Giagnocavo: Yeah, I mean, so Dan Kennedy, if you don’t know by name, you know, and by the companies that he’s worked with. If you’ve got a teenager, he’s in your house and your medicine cabinet was proactive in your, in your kids, teenagers medicine cabinet. He has got the rankers like go to guy for sales copy, infomercial structure, phone bank, process, procedure, retention, you name it. He’s, their guy. Tupperware weightwatchers, it’s just lunch, the list goes on. So, he’s not one of these like, you know, Ty Lopez, Gary Vayner Chuk type of people, which sometimes I really wonder what they even really do. But anyway, Dan, has just a tremendous amount of substance, and tremendous amount of pedigree in the business of marketing a business and really getting the affluent customers. So, I’ve known Dan, for probably nine years now. He got on his radar, subscribing to his newsletter, that he produces and just sent them some marketing stuff. And then we just kind of started a communication that way, and just started pitching them, basically, like, hey, I noticed on stage, I noticed that events you really hobble around, I’ve read about how you broke your back horse racing. I really think an adjustable bed base can help. And here’s the reasons why. And it was an 18-month long, micro of micro of micro craft brew distilled marketing campaign to one person to get him to fly in my office to Pennsylvania, and buy that mattress and it was a corporate deal was at the MAR strand. I forget. But it was a carpet ad on adjustable bed base set. And lumbar adjustments, head adjustment all like every Bell and whistle you could possibly think of. So, he can soar bought it and really helped them and actually, as of recently went through a lot of health troubles almost lost his life over it. And we refreshed the toppers, for him to kind of give him a little more comfort as of late. But yeah, that’s how I got to know Dan and a short story. It’s a lot longer. But Dan is definitely a customer of mine.

Mark Kinsley: 

What was what was it about Dan, that made you want to pitch him specifically?

Jeff Giagnocavo: Well, I mean, he is somebody that, you know, has a lot of notoriety, at least as far as I see it. And I could see that we help, you know, we could we could help this guy. Did I know it was going to lead to big ticket sale like that? No. But I knew he could afford it. But ultimately, it was about being able to help the problem. And, you know, having the ability to target and focus in on him for that time was just the, you know, something I decided to do, and we accomplished it.

Mark Kinsley: So, talk about that relationship with Dan, you’ve since recorded maybe some podcasts with them, you put them in the book. And in the book, Dan really kind of puts on a school clinic on why you should be focusing as a mattress retailer on affluent customers. Now, my assessment of the industry is, you know, online sales are driving ticket down for people that are buying online. So, when people do come into a store, it seems to be a more considered purchase, which gives you a chance to sell a more expensive product. But what’s, talk about what Dan says and your assessment and your real-world application which you have running a mattress store with this focus on affluent customers, like why should people be focusing there instead of trying to sell a mattress to everybody? Everybody sleeps?

Jeff Giagnocavo: Right, right? Well, I mean, it it’s that you kind of give me a nice lead in here with the comment of everybody sleeps. Well, everybody does sleep, but not everybody values sleep in the same way. Right? And not everybody has the same aches and pains. And not everybody experiences a mattress in the same way. Not everybody looks at a mattress the same way. You know, I’m a big guy. I’m a gruff guy. I’m abrupt. I’ve got a way about myself. That would lead people to believe what I’m about to share would never ever happen and Jeff Janaka, but it does, when I go to bed, the mattress set that I sleep on is fantastic. And I love it because I can have anything I want, and I do. And when I get into bed, I do what I call twinkle toes. And I literally like rub my feet and my calves, in part because I had a lot of muscle issue at the surface intention as a result of motorcycle accident from years by but I do this thing called twinkle toes. And I love the way the mattress feels. I love the way the sheets feel. I love the way the topper feels. And it’s how I relax. And I look at my mattress in a different way than what most people look at their mattress as they just look at it as this utilitarian rectangle device that they’ve never put thought into. So, when you’re going to the affluent people, and I’m surprised that Quinn hasn’t chimed in on Twinkle Toes like I thought that would be like 

Mark Quinn: I’m waiting my turn I got punished earlier for interrupting Kinsley so I’m trying to be a good boy and wait till you finish.

Mark Kinsley: I think Jeff is saying that he’s surprised you didn’t interrupt him. 

Jeff Giagnocavo: Yeah, that’s one.

Mark Quinn: Anyway, continue, Jeff, I’m sorry for Kinsley interrupting, you go right ahead.

Jeff Giagnocavo: So, when you know when we get focused on your affluent customer, it really becomes about positioning. And that’s if you take one thing away from that part in the Seven Habits book. It’s about positioning. And really, the entire Seven Habits book is about how you position yourself in your business. The affluent customer isn’t going to respond to an ad that has 80% of the space focus on price points sub-999. Which by the way, here’s the abrupt non twinkle toes, part of Jeff Janaka Vo, I think you’re dumbing if you’re putting 80% of your ad space and the price points 999 or below, folks, the average mattress sold in this country, screen set is 950 bucks. So, you’re advertising to 80% at Princeton undergrad space is targeting a less than average mattress purchase? 

Mark Quinn: Yes, Jeff, I agree. 1,000%. No question. 

Jeff Giagnocavo: I think that’s, I think that’s one of the silliest things our industry does. So, the affluent customer is not going to respond to that in any way, shape, or form at all. They want somebody that, you know, guarantees, the outcome they’re looking for what’s the outcome, people want, when they really want to invest in sleep, they want to wake up happy, they want to sleep better, they want their aches and pain solved. That’s what I proved to Kennedy over 18 months of marketing 10. But that’s what the affluent customers looking for. They don’t care about price; they don’t care so much about construction. They care about value. They never want to overpay. But understand overpay doesn’t mean, a 399 Queen set, it just means if they’re going to drop seven grand in your pocket, okay, they want to know that it didn’t have to be 6500. Okay, they’re happy to spend the money. But they don’t want to be taken advantage of.

Mark Quinn: I do want I do want to push on this a little bit. And go a little further with it. So, when we have done segmentation research, right, so there’s different buckets for consumers. So, is an example of that there’s the customer that can sleep anywhere, right? So, they just yeah, whatever, I’ll take whatever. There’s the customer has value focus; they want the best deal. There’s the customer has the luxury seeker; they want a fancy thing. I think something Tempur-Pedic did a while back was really interesting. They kind of said in research that they had done, it’s not rich people who liked Tempur-Pedic, necessarily, although people who have means are certainly better able to buy a Tempur-Pedic because of the price points in many cases. But it’s the truck driver or the teacher, the you said, Jeff, it’s the people that value sleep. So just because you have money doesn’t mean you value sleep. Just because you don’t have money doesn’t mean that you will buy an expensive bed because you may value sleep. So having money is not an indicator of valuing sleep, although I do agree with you that the affluent customer might be more dialed into other because an affluent customer. I got a neighbor who’s got all kinds of money and he’s the biggest value shopper I know I can’t get him to buy anything like you know, go get yourself this is like no I so there is that too. How do you react to that part of the conversation?

Jeff Giagnocavo: Well, I mean, to me, it’s about proving it’s that assurance of outcome. People want they want a guarantee, right they want to know whatever they’re going to spend their money on whether it’s $1 or a million dollars. They want to know it’s going to give them the result they want. And we have to prove that right? There’s no like the cliched saying is we can’t show and sell, we have to show and tell. Or we can’t. I always butcher these quotes. That’s one thing that I’m not. Right. But we can’t just show and sell, we have to show, tell and demonstrate. Right. And, you know, presentation without demonstration is just a conversation. There we go. Nailed it. 

Mark Quinn: Well done. Well done. 

Jeff Giagnocavo: Right. So, if we’re not demonstrating how the products feel, lead to that assurance of outcome. If you can’t give the twinkle toes, to you to your person in front of you, they’re not going to buy. Like that outcome has to be proven. And to me, it starts with that, how do you get that good person in front of you, it starts with the positioning your business right? Again, and you’re not going to get them thrown out 399 baits. You know, my boys, we got back from camping. My oldest son, he wants to use all these different fishing rods. Meanwhile, my youngest is just like throwing hooks with worms out and he’s just catching rock bass like crazy. Ethan’s got all these big lures and spinners and things. I’m like, no, just hook a worm man. The right bait for the right fish, we are not out far enough to catch the big fish, they’re going to swallow. You know, the crab, or the crayfish gummy lore that you have. That’s not bad. We’re not that far out. It’s not going to work. We’re not in the right position. So, we have to position our businesses in a right way to attract that affluent customer. They just, they’re just going to look by those ads that have 399-590-9799 free bad days. I mean, that’s just like the most meaty stuff that’s out there right now. Plus, how do you possibly, how can you possibly spend any money on scratching out in existence on sales tickets like that. You need to make quality sales to spend quality money to get the right marketing messages or the right media out there. You have to be able to spend and the way you spend money is it comes from your sales and you need profit dollars to do that.

Mark Kinsley: Give us some examples, Jeff, of positioning your business? Because I think this turns into kind of an opaque term for people. When I think about positioning, I think where can you be first in your marketplace? Even if you have to create a new category? How do you think about positioning? And what might be some examples that would be helpful?

Jeff Giagnocavo: Yep. I mean, how you decide to open up the discussion with the customer, right? I mean, again, so much of our industry is on the price product promotion, hamster wheel. Right? We open up the discussion with our customer now with the sleep better book. Right? What do people want, they want to sleep better? Well, here’s the book. And this entire book, 100 pages is all geared to here’s how we help you sleep better and tips. Here’s some routines develop. We have a 30 day sleep better challenge bolted onto this book, we’re going to text and email everybody that jumps on to the challenge twice a day. And we get to talk to them in a way that no one else talks to them. So, that’s one way

Mark Kinsley: I think you actually in the book, The Seven Habits book you have the first habit is mindset. The second habit is big ideas. And he talked about advertising goober, David Ogilvy, but you mentioned shucks, and that was a shuck. That’s not a book, that’s a shuck. 

Jeff Giagnocavo: Sleep better is a shuck. Shuck, shuck, helpful book. Shuck. 

Mark Kinsley: You think shucks, are a part of positioning your business and you think more retailers should be using those? 

Jeff Giagnocavo:  100%. I mean, 110%. I mean, in a world I mean, you know, Mark Quinn you said, where was my signed copy, right? I would put this challenge out to anybody who thinks about content and marketing today. There’s never been a book signing ever, where an author, this is a USB drive. This is the best physical representation I can give right now of a digital product. There’s never been a book author anywhere that sat at a table at the back of a room from a speaking gig or Barnes and Noble and has signed the USB drive. Never happened, never will happen. Because they’re going to sit there and they’re going to sign the copy of their book. Right? because it’s a physical product that has value has intrinsic value has meaning has substance that in itself is going to position a business unlike any other. So, when you have but helpful book like sleep better, automatically, you’re one step ahead, one run above everyone else in the marketplace. Simply by having set aside what’s in just the position of having it. For that a former customer who’s looking for that assurance of outcome, you position a book like this with some tips or some call outs of what’s inside how it helps you were immediately ahead. Forget the product, forget the price, you’re ahead, you’re one step closer to that assurance of outcome.

Mark Quinn: Which Jeff, takes us to your fifth habit, which is leveraging authority and status. Right. And so, I Kardashian effect. Yeah, and I think so I want you to talk about that, I think what you’re talking about, so true. In terms of you’re playing your game, you’re not playing anyone else’s game. And you’re creating content that number one is helpful for people. So that when you serve people there, you make a connection to them. So, I think that’s really great that when they come in, they understand that your intention, the purpose behind what you do, is to legitimately help them improve quality of life through better sleep. So that’s what you’re about. And that’s what your books are saying to these people. So, I’m investing in you, I’m giving you something, this is a gift, this is from us to you to actually help you do what you’re trying to do better. It’s not just about us selling you something. But when you do that, it does give you an authority status, because now you’re not just a guy selling a bed. You’re an author of a book with a really good content, multiple books, that has positioned yourself as a thought leader, and authority in the category. So, talk to us a little bit about, you know, what kind of impact does that have on the consumer? And how does it help your own people selling to your customers kind of rethink their job? You know what I’m saying?

Jeff Giagnocavo: Right, right. So, I’ll answer the last question first, and then get into the positioning. So, the team, I mean, they work for a part of a group that has this position, like they don’t need to apologize for anything. Yeah, we’ve had an Ashley home store, open up down the street, February of this year, we had another, you know, low end, you know, really like, you know, 599, five-piece bedroom set type retailer open up between the Ashley store and our store. We have an audience that sells mattresses. We used to have a bond on furniture gallery, now we don’t. But literally, I can throw a baseball into five parking lots of people who sell mattresses from the front, front, from my front parking lot into theirs. We don’t have to apologize for anything, because we are the experts. We’re the people that are going to assure the outcome and we prove that you know, not just with the books, but with the social proof and the reviews that we have. I mean, in the store, I have wallpaper of handwritten reviews, handwritten essay form, tacked to the wall. And we just say, listen, where you refer to reviewed? Did you read our reviews? Are you referring to our store? And it changes the conversation? Because if they say neither we say, oh, wow, that’s, that’s interesting, because most people have either read our reviews, seeing them and said, Wow, that’s really great. I need to be here. Or they have their friends. Tell them not to go anywhere else. That’s okay. We’ll catch you up. Like, again, we don’t apologize for anything. That’s the power of positioning. And that’s how I would answer that for our team. Right? When we’re talking about what I call the Kardashian effect, I have a line in the book, you’re paid for who you are, not what you do. That came from Kennedy. That’s a Kennedy quote, I’m pretty sure I gave him attribution in the book. Now I’m thinking maybe I didn’t, but if I didn’t, I need to fix that. Either way. It’s his quote. I’ll correct the record right here. But the real-life application of this is look at the Kardashian family. Right? You know, maybe guys like yourself. I’ve never really had this consternation, but a lot of people especially business owners, that struggle to balance checkbook, make payroll, bring money home, little extra money on themselves. They’re like, man, I do. I work. I work hard. I make an honest living. I do good. And these people, they just get on TV, and they like our billionaires. That’s ridiculous. I can’t stand that. Well, they know who their market is. And they go right out on the people. People who want to look fabulous, who want to be fabulous, who want to live a fabulous lifestyle, and they’re paid for who they are not really what they do at all, who they are, is the product, the product they’re delivering is for you to be like them. Right? And that’s, that’s a very big shift in your mindset. Like you don’t just sell mattresses like when people ask me what business I’m in my mind is, I help people, I help people wake up happy. Oh, what do you mean by that? Well, I help them sleep better fix their aches and pains. Oh, you’re like a doctor? No, I sell something that they spend more time with the doctor. I sell mattresses? You know, and that’s how I’ll answer that question. But again, that positioning of putting yourself where you just don’t have to apologize for anything. Like that store opened up. The only thing I did to address it was put, it reminded me, we got to get the new banner out front on a friend sign into this, you know, we’re digging deep into a two-sided push in our business or retail business. I got to get that out. Because they’re going to be selling the cheap twin mattresses, you know, at least now, if somebody comes in crush up, and we said, well, yeah, there’s only a half a mattress. So, it begs logic says, now our two-sided mattress is at least 50% more, if not twice the price, right, folks? You know, like at least bags, that logical reasoning. If we’re going to sell you half of the mattress, like that’s the only thing I did. I didn’t flip out. Meanwhile, the other Ashley guide behind the store a mile up the road. He’s like last is not. He’s got 499 five-piece bedroom sets out on the market. Like I don’t know, I guess if you’re in a position where you got to make 50 bucks. I guess you go make it because that’s what you need to feed your family that day. But you needed to ask yourself, put yourself in your in that position, where you got to make 50 bucks that day selling a $500 Queen bedroom. You know, again, the positioning fix, fixes so many things.

Mark Kinsley: And you’re actually shutting down your outlet location. You’re we are because you were trying to be in that fray that mosh pit for a while. It sounds like and well further focus your business. You’re shutting down the outlet or what? What’s your thought process there?

Jeff Giagnocavo: Yeah. I mean, the outlet store started, as we looked at, like, here’s the geography we’re serving, we’re missing a big chunk of our county. And we thought, well, let’s move there. And I when I tell you I did research, I did research. I mean, I cashed in a big chip with Julius fine boom, who was like, the guy that grew sleepies from 100 stores and 700 stores. He was the real estate guy. He gave me the binder. On the location I leased like Jeff, what it was that location, the one they were at, the one they were at, they just gave us a little better deal up front. And it just made the deal. So that’s why we but we wouldn’t want equally we wouldn’t want to you don’t want. Long story short, what we do at the main store is so special. We may as well never even opened there. People just kept driving right by and came to the premiere store. You know, they don’t they want like they want a full experience. They don’t want what they thought was half the experience. So, we tried a few different things over the years, and we just said, coming out of this COVID crisis. We just said know what your absolute clarity and focus, we can’t like this barbell effect that exists affluent customers here. I guess people are going to listen to this podcast, they’re not going to see my hands, but they might see the zoom recording. But for those listening look your barbell effect because you got affluence on one side, you got really low, inexpensive beds on the other side, you got this middle? Well, the problem is the middle is becoming just stretched out further and further and further and further. And the marketing messages to run both locations. It’s just not something that I want to do anymore. So, we’re actively deciding, we’re going to focus on what we do best, close that out, let location just drop it and be done with it. And focus on our premier business and just do what we do well, and stay focused on that.

Mark Kinsley: Oh, yeah, there’s no doubt in my mind action folk music is the official soundtrack of door counts, because door counts is all about taking action to get out of that funk. The funk of not knowing. Door counts is the smartest way to count retail traffic, and then do something with that traffic and have proof and tie it to sales results. Our friend Luis Lopez actually won the door count system, installed in one of his stores saw how well it worked. He went out and purchased the system for all of his other stores. He said, as soon as that camera went in boom, the difference maker,

Jeff Giagnocavo: I knew that the minute I would install that camera in my store, I was going to be able to see why people were coming in, where were they coming from, I was going to make better decisions on my marketing tools, I was going to make that person accountable to show the importance of to our salesman, or every person that comes through the door and how much it cost us to bring that person in. All of that stuff ties in together, and then you know, the CRM to follow up with the customers and after they come in the store, has elevated ourselves, incredibly. It’s been a couple of months that we’ve had it and I can already see the results. I’ve seen a 60% growth in ourselves for the entire year.

Mark Kinsley: Right now, on your phone or computer, go to door and book a demo. Tell them dos Marcos, right. Yeah. We’re talking with Jeff Janaka Vo, owner of gardeners’ mattress and more. He’s an author of a new book, the seven habits of highly successful mattress retailers. And Jeff, I love just kind of digging into some of the nuts and bolts because I think you’re really good at presenting principles that tend to be more timeless. But you can also talk tactics like you can get down into, you know, punching those buttons and what actually kind of makes the needle move at. What would you know, I know as part of this book, it looks like you’ve started the National Alliance of sleep better specialists tell us tell us about that? What does that mean? Is that kind of a toolkit for people, it’s an association, what’s going on?

Jeff Giagnocavo: Well, it’s both really, you know, people who know me who have been following me for the seven years that I’ve been saying, look, our industry brick and mortar mattress retailer needs help. And I’m here to be that guy. I’m here to be the guy that’s going to tell you what you need to hear, what you should be doing. Not the easy cliched throw it out words that we hear from a lot of people in our industry. I’ve been doing that for seven years. And on a side note, constancies important. It goes back to positioning constantly being somebody that puts back, you know, pushes back the desire to go promote low prices, the desire to do what everybody else is doing with me to offers, right. Constancies important one, one shout out to you guys constantly. And that’s in the Dos Marcos podcast. I mean, 160 plus episodes is fantastic. And I just want to say right now, thank you for doing that for our industry, because I think that’s very cool. So, thank you to both of you for continuing to do this. And I can’t imagine it’s been easy, because, you know, when you’ve had a different you’ve had a career trajectory change, Kinsley, you’ve had a change, you know, and you don’t need to answer it. But I’m sure I’m talking with the Englander folks that you had to like address like, hey, some of my time, I want to still go back into the industry through this podcast. So that’s really cool, constancies important. So, thanks for continuing to do the podcast. So, for seven years back to the national alliance of asleep better specialists. As we got on to the episode, Mark, you and I were talking about what I’ve been doing well, the last year, I kind of took a step back from the software gig software stuff and realize what the retailers really need. We’ve got a lot of headwinds, you’ve got online retailers, you’ve got big brands going right after the customer now. So, what do people need? Where do we go as an independent retailer? And for me, it was about? Well, let’s do let’s take the best parts, you know, our short help books, our buyer’s guides, which we have three magic asleep blocks, which is our book for customers. Remember, I said earlier on I forget if this was in the recording or in the preamble, but like we love on our customers. So, my, our customers get this little sleep book, little like kind of meditation book about sleep. We give that to them, too. I said, well, what do we you know, what can we do? What can we create to really shore up independent mattress retail? and we came up with the National Alliance to sleep better specialists. The idea being let’s give you your expert and authority platform. So, you can say look, if I’m the guy or gal saying sleep better if I’m putting this book out. What I can’t do is be like everyone else. On the price product promotion hamster wheel, I have to now shift my marketing shift my messaging to expert and authority. And that’s what the entire Alliance is about. This is the platform, right? This is the toolkit. Everything else we do all the content, all the training, the newsletters, everything is about taking that class. And adding much more 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and just shoring it up and making you that expert and authority in the marketplace, alliances about.

Mark Quinn: Jeff. So, a lot of people a lot of people aren’t going to write a book, right? So, the retail sales associates out there. So, what can they do to kind of own some of that authority position? And, and kind of come off or present themselves in similar way.

Jeff Giagnocavo: So, if we’re answering for RSA specifically, hmm, you know, selfishly, and this is crap, self-promotion, you can go to your owner and say, look, you need to be a member of the Alliance, right? Because I want to be part of a team that gets to say, look, my owner wrote the book. Because it becomes your book, like we personalize all these books for your business. It is your, it’s your book, it’s your thing. And every store has an exclusive area. So that’s cool, too, right. But as an RSA, you get to say to your customer, look, my owner wrote the book, because he’s so he or she so believes in helping you get what you want, wake up happy, sleep better, that we just decided we’re going to actually do that. And that’s what our company does. That’s why we are XYZ mattress company. That’s what we’re here to do. And I know, we know of no better way to do that than to just give you all our best information right up front, and then help you find the right fit. See if your needs that are solutions. And we think they will.

Mark Kinsley: I’m curious, Jeff, whenever you talk to retailers who are thinking about making the shift, is this still so new that you don’t have any kind of case study examples where people have made that shift from price an item mattress retailer over to authority mattress retailer? Or do you have some examples of people are like, Yeah, I got to go all in on this. And here’s what that looks like.

Jeff Giagnocavo: Yeah, I mean, listen, we have a dozen or so members right now, we’re still on like, kind of the launch of this group. But if I look back to the things that we did, over the years, I mean, there’s many people that have said, look, I, you know, we use your buying guides, because we’ve licensed the buying guides for a number of years, the shorter, you know, more tactical, you know, like, tips to buy a mattress, tip on a bed base, tip on a natural latex mattress like we’ve had people use those. And we’ve seen their natural business explode. We’ve seen people using like our selling process that we include, and talk about, which is all about authority and positioning to write. Again, you can’t be the sleep better book author, and part of that team. And then do the old school yakety Yak used car salesman sales habits, right. So, like our sales process, and selling process includes if we’re not making the sale today, let’s have a quote. And then subsequent follow up, we had a 50-store chain that was a client of ours, where their prospects that followed our information, followed our path, got our Buyer’s Guide, and we were able to track all of it, when they came back to buy their sales ticket was 24% higher than their average company ticket. And I think that’s, that’s a pretty big testament to how this positioning works. When you simply enter jack, here’s how you buy a mattress, here’s how we assure the outcome. Here’s how we conduct ourselves with you to find the right fit for your needs. We boost that ticket 24% just by doing those simple things. That’s pretty profound. You know, you’re making money, still the same cost to acquire that customer. But you’re making a lot more money. So, things like that happen all the time. 

Mark Quinn: Jeff, what I what I like about what you’re talking, what you’re saying is that it’s an acknowledgement that there’s an education process that the consumer really should be put through in in remember some early research we had done. When a consumer comes into a store to buy a bed. They’re not coming into the store saying I need to get this new mattress because the one I have now is no longer any good. But I’m looking to replace this item in my bedroom that allows me to sleep better get a great quality of life, get a great quality of life, helps me think more clearly helps me get sick less often improves my sex life. And that’s the item I’m about to buy. That’s not at all where the consumers head is when they come in to buy a bed. The consumer’s head is my bed sucks. I hate this because now I’m going to have this in $2,000, or $1,000, or whatever their preconceived notion is on the price of that product. It’s like buying tires, right? It’s that grudge purchase, so I have to replace it, and I have to spend my money on something other than the vacation that I wanted to take. So, what you’re doing is helping them understand when they come into your store, hey, man, this isn’t about that this, this decision you’re about to make is way different than replacing something that you’re uncomfortable on at the moment, what you’re about to do, is to buy something that can literally impact the quality of your life. And number one, the authoritative position you put yourself in because of the books and the content you create. That’s number one, that helps credibility, then it because of the credibility, you’re able then to share a message with them that’s important. So that they make a good decision. And in the evidence of it, the social proof of it, is that 24% increase that you talked about with those 50 stores. So, I just I really think that is such an important thing for this audience to hear.

Jeff Giagnocavo: Yep. Yep. I mean, it’s, it really comes down to you can’t, if you’re going to go after affluent customers, truly, completely, you have to go after it consistently, with the right approach from start to finish. It’s you’re advertising the way you precondition that consumer, right from that begrudging tire purchase to, hey, I’m ready to impact my life and I want to sleep better. If you put the sleep better bait right in front of them. You’ve got to nibble on the hook, right? Like they’re there. And then everything else just needs to follow. You just need to stay on this, right? It’s why in our store, we’re actually getting the store. Graphics put around the store. Being up happy starts right here. And there’s going to be an arrow on the floor pointing to our customer lounge. And we sit down and have a conversation. We want to understand how your needs that our solutions. Most of the times they’re fit, but we’re going to quickly understand if they are and if there were not a fit, that’s okay. Our business isn’t a fit for everybody. But we’re a fit for most, the open to that conversation. And that’s where we start. And then all throughout the showroom, about 10 up on the wall is going to be steps and our seven steps wake up patterns and our sales team. I’ve been saying we need to re commit we need to content, we need to continue to improve slight edge on top of slide edge on top a slight edge, because we’re going to get this done. And gone the reason hadn’t been done as our guy that did it was very busy pre COVID collapse. And then obviously we could do anything. And now we’re finally getting it done. Right. So that’s, that’s where this really has to happen. That has to be consistent from start to finish. You can’t interject any of the old school stuff anymore. The other thing I put forth to retailers is, you know who’s the person and I would I would value your opinion. And you can challenge me on this right here on the call. I feel I’m the only guy speaking to brick-and-mortar independent main street mattress store owners right now in a way that says, here’s a different way a better path forward. You have a lot of people and I think you really need to question one, one of the chapters is about discernment and wisdom. Right? You need to question the goals of the people giving you the advice. You know, so if they’re saying get online, well, okay, yes, you need an online presence. That’s a simple statement to a massively complex thing in your business, right, like getting online and doing e commerce. I mean, these companies tough to needle Casper purple. I mean, there are teams of just people that work top of the funnel are bigger than the entire team of your store. Right? There’s like 7, 8, 9 people just work on top of the funnel to get sales.

Mark Kinsley: We talked to, we talked about Makayla on one of the campfire calls and Bob works for resident home which is the nectar brand. Bob told us on the call. They have an entire team at nectar dedicated to abandoned cart recovery. And he said let me tell you, there’s gold in then their hills. So, if just what you’re saying I really want to put a big railroad spike right in this coffin because if you think you’re going to compete with teams that now have segmented down to abandoned cart only? You’re way off.

Jeff Giagnocavo:  Well, I mean, there’s teams, web page copy, web page, landing page from the click add. Okay, there’s, there’s probably a couple people working on coupon code copy. There’s teams of people working on overall website layout structure, teams of people on desktop design versus mobile design. So, when people say get online, yes, you need to be online. But it needs to serve your purpose as a local retailer. Right. And our whole goal is getting that person to get some piece of our information, whether it’s the book, whether it’s the guides, whether it’s opting in for the 30 days sleep better challenge. No matter how you’re going to find us, it’s all going to be about assuring your outcome and sleeping better. From there, we’re going to guide you into our world and begin to suggest how you make this purchase really incredible, and how we give you that five-star experience and give you the outcome you’re looking for. When you think about the online space, you know, when was the last time you either of you guys click on page to Google for anything?

Mark Kinsley: That’s really high bodies? It’s the best place that people, 

Jeff Giagnocavo: Right, exactly. I mean, it could be, there could be the recipe for gold and your kitchen sank on search result number 11. But because it’s the top of page two, who cares? Right? You’d never go there. The intensity of focus that’s on page one is astounding. The independent retailer cannot win it, going head-to-head, just cannot. So, your strategy needs to be about how do I get to the people? How do I find, you know, use my camping fishing analogy? How do I find the right pool of fish to throw the right bait into to get them out? Well, you have to shift the battlefield, right. So that’s what that’s what the Alliance is about. That’s what publishing the books is about. It’s about going right after an only after the people who want to wake up happy and sleep better. And just leaving everyone else out. Look, you have a store that’s open seven days a week, those people who aren’t taking the time, who are just looking at this as a utilitarian purchase, you’re going to get some of them stumbling into your door anyway, go ahead and sell them. I don’t care. Because you’re going to do that you do that well anyway. But if you want to do things better, I think, my team, I’m the guy, we’ve got the things to help you do that better to help you get after those affluent customers. It might my question was who’s really speaking to independent mainstream retailers right now? I don’t see I have a lot of stuff come across my desk. You guys probably have more, especially on the industry side. But I’m not aware of anybody that’s really going after saying, look, there’s an independent mainstream mattress retailer. Here’s what you need to do. Here’s the roadmap. And here’s the group that we’re putting together. So, the cool thing about the alliance is it’s not just about me. I’m intentionally going after people with different skill sets and experiences like one of our members, there’s McCroskey mattress, which I think is really cool. Right? 

Mark Quinn: You know, that I was I was I was attacked at McCroskey’s mattress. 

Jeff Giagnocavo: You were attacked? 

Mark Quinn: Yep. Bigfoot attacked me. And then Kinsley laughed at me, by the way, stood over me and laughed at me after I was tackled by a big fight. 

Mark Kinsley: I was making sure that he was he was breathing, but then like any good friend, I went ahead snapped a photo.

Mark Quinn: Anyway, that the point is saying that is we are big fans of Robin. We were there. We actually did some really cool stuff with her in geek and yeah, man is guys. They did some good stuff. So anyway, keep going with that. So, you’re out there. Yeah, so they’re a member. Oh, how did you know there’s photos? 

Mark Kinsley: I keep in handy. So, if you’re watching on the video, you see, there’s a Yeti in the background holding some sort of horse unicorn on a mattress at McCroskey. This is in their front window. Quinn is apparently writhing in pain holding his ankle you can’t even see his face.

Mark Quinn: Kinsley, I just want to point out for this audience that literally in under seven seconds, you were somehow able to I thought we lost feet. Oh, what’s that, Jeff? 

Jeff Giagnocavo: I felt like something broke. 

Mark Quinn: But let me tell you I have bad ankles when I go down. Like I stepped on a quarter of something when I go down. It’s not pretty. I’m in like serious pain right there. But I’m just I’m just grateful that my good friend Mark Kinsley was able to 

Jeff Giagnocavo: I liked the title coin down. 

Mark Quinn: Shrink is concerned enough to pull his phone out and record the moment so that we can relive it here together on this podcast. 

Mark Kinsley: All by having that proof. 

Mark Quinn: Yep. So anyway, Jeff finishes up with their story there.

Jeff Giagnocavo: Yeah. So, the Alliance, my vision for this alliance is, it’s big because I want, to me main street retails important. I got a little story I’ll share in a minute about that and why. But bringing together smart retailers that operate a brick-and-mortar store. To me as important, I think we’re in this right time, because we’ve had enough of these black swan events, like what a retailers need, you need another COVID crisis, you need another like allocation period where your trucks aren’t getting there in normal times. You know, what other event do you need to be out there alone. Right, like once you rather have a group that’s so intentionally focused on how your business operates. And that’s what the Alliance is really about. So, bringing in people like McCroskey with manufacturing experience, bringing in people like Wes Harrington bed doctors in Arizona, Pablo at mattress makers in San Diego, other independents across the country, like bringing in a unique group of people, because my vision is I want the alliance to be a play conduit that connects consumers, we’re really looking for that goal. So, the better, it’s a really great retailers. That’s what the Alliance is really about along the way, maybe we make some products, maybe we develop some things for ourselves. And together as 100, 150 members, we’re swinging a pretty big baseball bat around in the industry now. Right. And I’m not saying I’m trying to make my own binder; this is our own positioning group. Right. Because the bind groups, they do their thing, and they do it very well. This is about positioning. This is a hole in the world where I see in the buying groups plan. This is where the Alliance can fill my story on why Main Street retail is important. When I was a kid, and I tell this in the book, I would go uptown, my grandmother would send me up town to pick up, you know, butcher shop to order some stuff for the hardware store for my grandfather, because it was a cabinet maker. And I would stop at the ice cream shop. And those experiences are so cool. People, people look out for me, they knew me, there was a human connection that was there that was profound. And for me, I think there’s no bigger time in place right now that people are looking for human connection. Think about right now. If you shake shaking somebody’s hand, I’ve done it four times in the last 120 days, four times. Other than my kids and my wife, I haven’t given anybody a hug. Right? If we’re looking for human connection, we’re going to be starved for it. When we’re finally able to get back to that, why not? Why not move the battlefield there? Why not move the battlefield to your brick-and-mortar store? And be that expert where people can come in looking for that assurance of outcome. That’s what the Alliance is about?

Mark Kinsley:  Jeff, I think that, you know, there’s a, you’re right, and I and I think we can put a big exclamation point on top of that people are starved for human connection. And then I think whenever people do go into the buying process, more and more people want to find a trusted resource. And so, when they get online, and they see anything that begins to feel like confusion, they do want to rely on somebody. And when you talk to somebody and you see him face to face, you get a good feeling pretty quickly if this is a trustworthy person or not. And if we have more and more trustworthy people that first get presented to the people who are coming into the shopping phase, we stand to have an impact on the world by helping people get better sleep, because it impacts every moment of your day and your night sleep bad at night, you’re up and awake. And then the next day you feel awful. And then you can’t be a good husband, wife, brother, you can’t go out and have the positive impact on the world you want to have. So, I like this thought process because I do think that the internet does represent an opportunity in terms of growing confusion. And people, like I said earlier coming into the marketplace then to make a considered purchase. Because I think the momentum and track, I think we’re seeing traction around sleeping, the third leg of the health stool attraction leads to momentum. And we want to be positioned not the pill companies, not a sugar juice company. We want to own being awake and happy. You know, in 

Jeff Giagnocavo:  100% 

Mark Quinn:  Anything, Jeff, you’re saying that you’re out there talking to independent retailers? We are too. And that’s why you’re on this show. There’s some of us out there that are trying to shine the light on good behavior nationwide. Another great group doing that. By the way, you mentioned Wes and Pablo, those guys are great guys. It doesn’t surprise me at all that they’re involved in what you’re doing. So, if you’re listening to this and you’re still stuck in the product, price and promotion, business and you’re still selling mattresses and still sell instead of selling the benefits asleep, check out what Jeff’s doing. It’s really the way to go. By the way, it’s not him saying either that you have to stop promoting products in your business. It’s saying that you can do both. But be about something more than a price and a promotion, serve that consumer with information and have purpose in what you do in terms of making sure they get the best solution for them. And that all pays off in really, really big ways. And Jeff, thanks for bringing that message to this audience. Thanks for your passion for this industry. Thanks for your friendship to Mark and I and for being on this show now two times. And in being here to represent the good stuff that’s going on in this business.

Mark Kinsley: I want to say thank you for being this expert. There’s that. 

Mark Quinn:  Yeah. In telling us this really cool thing that I don’t know if we were recording but a little fun thing for you guys, if you’re out there, write down ID 10 T. We’re going to wrap this Well, that’s Jeff was making a comment to me and he’s like Quinn,

Mark Kinsley: And then right Mark Quinn right after it and they are K QUIN and right after you write that down. I just like to see what it comes. See what it comes out as this is. 

Mark Quinn:  That’s my middle name id 10. But it is. 

Mark Kinsley:  So, Jeff. Before we go though, I we got to make sure and get this how do people find out more about you get connected to you in the book? Is there a good like URL people should go to?

Jeff Giagnocavo: Absolutely. So National Alliance of sleep better specialists, right. That’s the group. So, the website is slash book. NAOSBS the initials of National Alliance sleep better specialists. slash book, you go there, you can get the book. And we’ll ship it to you. And you get some other great bonuses that Dan Kennedy interview, you get my other books, 77 tips, low budget tips to sell more mattresses, you get that book, the PDF of that. So, there’s some cool stuff there. And that gets you started on the way.

Mark Kinsley: Awesome. Well, Jeff Janaka Vo Thanks, buddy. Appreciate your time today. Thanks for sharing your passion and your wisdom. And you know, not very many people have been on the show twice that I know of. So, we’re going to have to bring you back for the hat trick at some point. 

Jeff Giagnocavo:  I love it. I love it. Thanks, guys. Appreciate you having me. Thank you so much. And for all you do for our industry.

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