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BedTech President Darren Sparks: Dare to be Different and Stand Out

Struggling to stand out in the mattress industry?

Darren Sparks, president of BedTech, shares his playbook for success in this episode of The Sleep Summit Show.

Mark Kinsley, sat down with guest Darren Sparks, president of BedTech, to discuss the bedding industry and keys to success in retail mattress sales.

Darren spoke about the importance of customer service, providing value to the customer, and properly training sales staff. He emphasized being energetic, friendly, and solution-oriented when interacting with customers to create a memorable experience. Darren also talked about hiring top talent, treating employees well, understanding their motivations, and speaking their “love language” to get the best performance.

Three key takeaways from Darren:

1) Focus on speedy customer service. Jump on issues immediately and have a sense of urgency.

2) Offer high quality products at reasonable prices. Customers want to feel they are getting good value.

3) Invest in sales training. Employees won’t sell what they don’t understand. Make sure they are knowledgeable about products.

Darren highlighted the benefits of split head adjustable bases, a growing product category that allows couples to customize their sleep experience. He encouraged creativity, focusing on solving customers’ problems, and daring to be different to stand out in a competitive market.


Mark Kinsley: Darren Sparks is the president of BedTech and he’s here with an important message for mattress retailers. Dare to be different and dare to stand out. The sleep summit show begins right now.

Mark Kinsley: Welcome to the sleep summit show. What’s going on, Darren?

Darren Sparks: How you doing, buddy? Excited to be here, man. I’m excited to see you again.

It was awesome to see you at sleep summit. You and everybody from the fam. And everybody around this, this industry that we know and love, man, it’s good to see

Mark Kinsley: you. It was so fun. I mean, I feel like I didn’t have enough time with anybody at Sleep Summit. There were more than, gosh, we had 117 people that converged in Bentonville for Sleep Summit.

You guys, I got to spend a little bit of time with ahead of Sleep Summit because BedTech was so involved with just helping us get people there and raise awareness about Sleep Summit and the value that we hope to bring. So right out of the gates, I got to thank you because Uh, behind the scenes, like your team would work in the phones and contacting retailers and helping them understand that we are bringing real value in education and content in the presentation, in the speakers, it was really kind of a, an event by the industry for the industry.

So that we can elevate this category. And thank you to you and the BedTech team.

Darren Sparks: Man, we were so thrilled to be a part of it and be able to, you know, just really get the word out with some of our, our, our network, you know, and, uh, you certainly didn’t disappoint, man. We, we left there. With absolute, just, just thankfulness that we were a part of that.

Uh, there was so many things that we learned, so many things that we were able to meet some great individuals. You brought a bunch of great individuals from, from this, uh, industry that we know and love, and just, it was just nice to be able to collaborate some ideas with, with some of the best people that this industry has to offer, man.

We loved it.

Mark Kinsley: Well, okay. Give us your hot take for people that didn’t go to sleep summit. You know, you’ve been to a lot of industry events over the years, I’m sure. And this was the first event of its kind. This was the inaugural sleep summit. So what did you expect? And then what did you experience?

Darren Sparks: Well, you know what, I tell you what, I expected it to be absolutely first class in, in, in the content that was there.

Um, and you know, I saw all of the different speakers and representatives that were coming to, to share some, some great information. And so, and what I know about you is that you put on first class, uh, you know, everything that you do from your podcast to, to things of this nature were first class, that’s what I expected, you know, and it didn’t disappoint.

I probably my, my hot take that I would share with everybody is that. You know, from the content that these professionals had, Mark was able to curate some amazing, amazing talent. And a lot of people that really helped us to learn, you know, about the science of sleep and learning how that we need to educate, you know, every single person that comes into our stores, you know, You know, what they’re doing right now is they’re spending more money on sleep aids, you know, like pills and things of that nature than they are on actually true healthy sleep.

And we need to, we need, we really need to change people’s mindset. So that was, that was a great thing. But just all of the other, uh, presentations from how do we make. Our stores, our salespeople, uh, our organizations be, be better and more first class experiences for our, our individuals that we’re trying to reach.

And so there was so much content there. Uh, I mean, I had dozens and dozens of notes, uh, that just going back and forth that I’m going to bring all of my retail partners as well, so that I can help them to up their level. And next year they’ll be there because they’re going to not want to miss that.

Mark Kinsley: I love it.

I love it. Well, thank, thank you for being there. Um, you know, I’m, I’m hearing a lot, like I’m still piecing together the, the sleep summit event, because I was seeing it from like a hosting perspective and I’m, you know, connecting the dots between all the presentations, everything from, you know, sales leadership and sales training from, you know, to the best in the business, Steven Ferguson and Bob Munkle to Megan Anderson with mattress firm coming in and talking about the, uh, the three A’s of merchandising.

And there’s a big difference between merchandise. Gosh, And merchandising and being strategic with it. And she had such an amazing trip to France that informed the presentation she put together. I just thought it was so, so well done, uh, to, to all the, you talked about a terror, young blood, Nancy Watt, Dr.

Kimberly Lemke talking about sleep and how we can harness that for its maximum benefit. And I think you’re right. There’s a big disconnect for a lot of people that come in to buy a mattress. Between their, their actual knowledge based around sleep and what needs to be done to get better sleep. And so I think us as an industry, we need to contribute to closing that gap and helping them understand, you know, the science behind, but we have to know the science first.

We got to be a part of that

Darren Sparks: conversation. Absolutely. Yeah. We can’t teach them what we don’t know. And so, yeah, I loved all of those things. That just really helped me to, to up my level of, you know, professionalism and my approach, uh, when I’m talking to individuals about sleep. So yeah, it was a very well put together event.

The, the people that came in with their, their content, they were prepared. They, they gave very good presentations and really helped all of those. Like you said, 117 individuals to be better at their craft. And that’s the goal is we need to have everybody and then bring it back to our organizations and help all of our organizations be better at what they’re doing so that we can change the game and sleep.

Uh, and, and we started that you, you started something there that we’re going to keep going. And so it’s, it’s a really exciting way that we can start. A movement today with educating our, our customers, how to sleep better, be healthier. Uh, so that when they’re doing whatever it is that they’re doing, uh, that day, whether it’s work or play or whatever, they can be more healthy and be, uh, able to function, uh, you know, with a clearer mindset.

You know, when we, when we sleep, we just feel better on every accord. Well,

Mark Kinsley: and that’s the mission and the purpose behind what we do. And I know at BedTech, that’s critical to your mission. As you help people and help retailers get a better night’s sleep for those who don’t know. Okay. Let’s back up a little bit for those who don’t know.

So Darren, you’re the president of bed tech. Your brother is the CEO.

Darren Sparks: So he right now, his, his role is actually just founder. Uh, he, he took off all of his, uh, other. You know, titles, uh, but, uh, yeah, you could, you could say definitely, he’s definitely the CEO of the company. Uh, Brandon Sparks, he, he is the, you know, the founder of the company.

And it really had the vision, um, about, you know, 13 years ago to do something different. You know, it started, it started in a garage. You know, Mark, this, this thing started as, as small and as humbly as you could ever imagine. Um, and it’s just grown and evolved into a really, you know, great business that’s nationwide.

There’s seven distribution centers around the country. Um, and it’s grown into a nice size business that, that really serves, uh, the whole United States. Um, but it, it, it’s, it’s been a fun process, you know, for Brandon and I to, uh, do together. Uh, we’re brothers and, you know, we, uh, we’ve always done things together from birth.

And so doing a business together, that’s had absolutely great success. It’s been so fun to do a side by side with each other, but it’s not always been easy. It’s not always been fun. Uh, but, uh, we we’ve definitely, you know, being able to together have that same vision and the vision is, is very simple and it’s, it’s, it’s very unique because we, we come from retail.

We come from a family of retail that started with my grandpa in 1946. Uh, he started, you know, uh, our first family, uh, furniture and mattress and appliances and electronics, you know, in 46, my dad grew up in that store. We grew up in that store. And so. All of the,

Mark Kinsley: it was, was it in, in Arizona?

Darren Sparks: It was in Arizona.

Yeah, it was in Thatcher, Arizona, small town, Arizona. So we had a small town mentality, you know, and we wanted to make sure that, that we let all of our people know, we know what it feels like. To be on that side, you know, so all of, all of the ideas that we have, we always keep the retailer in mind because at our core, we were retailers.

And my family still is in the retail game right now. My two of my brothers own retail stores that are in Arizona and in Idaho. And so we always keep that in mind. How will our customers. Be able to benefit from this, whatever our decision is, we always have them in mind. And so it’s, uh, it’s been fun though, man, it’s, it’s, it’s a growing process and it’s a process that every day we’re thinking about how do we make ourselves better?

How do we make the lives of our customers better and easier for bed tech to be an easy company for them to deal

Mark Kinsley: with. Okay. Let’s go there for a minute. Let’s get in the weeds a little bit. So if you’re helping retailers and you have not only a retail background, but you have family members, you can call on to get.

The lay of the land as things stand today. What is it that retailers really need from manufacturers and suppliers?

Darren Sparks: What do you really need? It’s a fantastic question. Um, I, I truly believe in order to be successful, um, as a retailer and supplier, you have to have a relationship there, um, that. It kind of is going to be above and beyond the norm.

And so we try to make sure that every single customer of ours gets the same level of customer support. You know, when, when you have an issue, we want to jump on it immediately. So don’t want to delay. So this business is all about now. You know, our, our industry and people today, when they want it, they want it.

Now there’s very, very little time that, that customers will allow you to, you know, figure things out. So we jump on it immediately. So, uh, a great customer service experience. That’s, that’s, I think the most key. The other thing that, that is important in, in, as far as a relationship between the supplier

and a value. Thank you. You know, this industry today, maybe more than ever before, people are looking for value. People are wanting to feel good about a purchase and that it solves a need at the right price. And so being able to offer a customer something that has. A great, great value to it. And that’s what we feel that BedTech does is we offer products that we use high end materials at a very, very reasonable, reasonable and affordable price.

So that’s, that’s number two. And the third thing I think that, that, that. You know, a vendor and a retailer relationship needs is to have representation there from our company to make sure that the salespeople are adequately trained. People will not sell what they don’t know about because they’re going to shy away from it because they don’t want to look stupid.

And so we, we try to make sure that all of our stores see representatives from BedTech so that they can be confident in selling the products and so that they can give. To the customer sleep solutions, uh, because they, they know the product in and out. And so I think those are some of the, the, the three keys in having a really good vendor relationship between the vendor and, and the, the retail store.

Mark Kinsley: Let’s talk about the training piece for a minute, because in an industry where we know there’s a high churn rate, meaning lots of times, to hire new people because their sales. Staff leaves and it maybe takes another job. And I think the churn rate at one point was at least 50 percent annually. So whenever you’re coming in to train, it sounds like number one training that becomes just like a core competency that always has to be moving within an organization.

As part of training, how important are let’s call it like incentives to the salespeople to really like move programs? And how valuable is that to retailers?

Darren Sparks: Are you talking about incentives in what way, Mark? What would

Mark Kinsley: you? Just incentivize. So for a manufacturer to incentivize a sales staff or the, you know, the SPF, PM, whatever you want to call it, like.


Darren Sparks: Yeah. That’s so, so PMs are, you know, definitely have, have some great relevance and there’s, you can really put some, uh. A little bit of a fuel to the fire for sure with a PM. Um, and so, yeah, if that’s something that can help to motivate, we, we get kind of creative in those veins as well, you know, to be able to start a program or to be able to make sure that, uh, our, our people are, are properly motivated.

But yeah, those definitely have some, uh, really good sticking points because people want to sell, you know, in this industry, something that they can make a little money on. And so those definitely have a, a way in this industry of adding some, some power for sure. What do

Mark Kinsley: you think are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen, uh, over your time as president of BedTech on the retail front, on the retail front that you’ve had to help, you know, support as a manufacturer?

Darren Sparks: Man, I love, I love that question. It’s a perfect lead into, you know, daring to be different and daring to stand out, right? And so one of the biggest things we’ve, we’ve been. Uh, doing this split head, uh, mattress and, uh, adjustable basis for, for years now, you know, and so the industry is kind of starting to catch up to it, but we have, um, A really great option in things that will help you to stand out and help you to, to be unique and to be different.

Um. And so I think it’s very important as, as a retailer to do something that’s different, do something that sets you apart, uh, from the mattress store that’s down the street, helping you to, uh, give them a better experience, uh, when they come into your store on, on every level, whether it be from a merchandising standpoint, um, or whether it just be the overall experience that you’re giving that customer, uh, helping them to, you know, To, to put the, put those walls down, you know, being able to, um, be fun, be friendly, be energetic, uh, be a human, right?

Be somebody who they can laugh with and just enjoy that process. And so just being different and being fun and not being like what we, you know, that term was thrown around a lot in, uh, the summit. And I love it, man. A sleep weirdo. You know, we, we, we see the mattress weirdo, excuse me, you know, let’s not be one of those.

Let’s be fun and energetic and help that customer to remember us. And to be somebody that Matt, I like that person because we buy, I buy from people that I like. I don’t know if you do. I like to buy from people that I like and people that helped me, you know, to, to, to, you know, like fix a solution, it’ll have a solution to a problem that is created.

And so just be different, you know, do something that helps you to stand

Mark Kinsley: out. I love when I see somebody that really is energetic, like you said, um, about their job. And, you know, somebody walks into a store and they’re like. All right. Like, we’re doing this. Like you are here. It’s like, let’s get you some good sleep.

I’m excited about this. Like, you know, people that love to truly help people, that enthusiasm and that effervescence goes a long way. And then, like you said, you got to have the chops, right? You got to be able to ask the right questions and open up a conversation and be a human being and not be transactional with people.

Um, but gosh, man, when you see somebody that does it really well, it’s, it’s an amazing thing to witness. And I love when our, when our industry is represented like that.

Darren Sparks: Yeah, it makes, it just makes the whole buying experience. So, so key. And I think, I think, you know, Steven Ferguson talked about this and hit the nail on the head.

Well, we need to hire top notch individuals. We need to hire people that can just make that experience in our stores. That’s what will set you apart from anybody else. If you’ll, if you’ll really be able to create an atmosphere in your stores, uh, with top notch salespeople, people that. I mean, that you would want to be helped with if you were going in there, if you’ll, if you’ll create that in your store for people who are energetic, fun, friendly, and can do that for your stores, you will succeed.

And that will set you apart from somebody that’s hiring somebody that’s just okay, just average, just they’ll do, you know, you got to hire somebody that man, you, that, that person’s coming for the top. Like Steven said, you gotta, you gotta find those people. There’s no way to find those people. If you don’t treat them right, you’ve, you have to treat your people like they’re gold.

That’s the key. You can’t find and retain amazing people. If you treat them like crap, you have to treat them like gold. And so, cause they, they are. Uh, the lifeblood of your company. So you find them, you treat them like gold. You will retain them because they will, they will feel edified in what they’re, what they’re doing and they’ll, you’ll give them that fuel to their fire that they want to keep succeeding for you and for your customer.

And so that’s one of the absolute keys. We’ve got to be different in that way.

Mark Kinsley: It seems like a lot of people are having trouble attracting that top tier talent and I say attracting because if you’re going to get somebody that’s really good, you have to have an environment that they can feel enriched.

Um, you know, I think a lot about purpose of a business versus You know, somebody that just comes in and, you know, is coin operated, you know, I think, yeah, you got to make money. If you’re, if you’re super talented, you should have the opportunity to make a lot of money. Um, how do you think about the purpose of a business and communicating that to your employees?

Darren Sparks: Gosh, you know, I, I think you just gotta be authentic. You’re right. You gotta, you have to be, you know, at your core, you truly have to just care about people. You know, and that’s one thing that, that, uh, you know, years and years ago when I was a young 20 something, uh, kid managing one of our family’s stores.

Um, I had a, I had an experience, uh, where, where one of my sales staff just literally was just creating a horrible culture within the company that was creating people walking around on eggshells. And so I realized at that moment, I need to make some changes. Um, and, and, and from that moment on, we made some absolute changes to the company to make sure that our people came first, not just one person.

Every, every single person. And I, and I, in my mind, and I said to myself, I will never ever run an organization that people can’t come to work and enjoy the process. And so I believe it’s very important that we need to, we need to think about people. As individuals, as human beings, as somebody who, who has a family, they have goals, they have aspirations of becoming better and, and, you know, and being cognizant of the fact that those people, you know, are just like us.

The people that are running these, these companies that they want to be better and they want to be appreciated and they want to be recognized for doing their best job and if we’ll, if we’ll do that and if we’ll recognize their talent and their effort and their energy. And find out about their family and, you know, what, what is it, you know, that, that, um, drives them and motivates them, what, what keeps them up at night, you know, and then we find those things out about them when we help them and we help them to succeed on every level, those people.

Are our best employees, those people want to, and we’ll do anything for you. They’ll be in the trenches with you because they know you care deep down inside. You better care. You better care because you can see through that, right? You got to be authentic. You have to authentically care about people and about their successes.

Because when we do, when we start doing that, people will up their level of professionalism because they want to, they want to do it for you. They’re doing it for themselves as well, but when they want to do it from themselves and for you, man, you get, you get absolutely amazing things happening in an organization.

And so that’s the one thing I, I, I love our people and I want to make sure that they know it. And so I think that if we as leaders can, can show it. We, we, we tell them, we appreciate them, but then we show it by the way that we act and the things that we do, man, those people will, will do anything for you and they’ll do everything they can to make your business succeed.

Mark Kinsley: Yeah, because who wouldn’t, I mean, you or I would do it for somebody that, you know, we were able to work with and serve if they truly were that type of person. You know, I, I remember the saying, probably all heard it, treat people the way you want to be treated. That’s probably wrong. Treat people the way they want to be treated.

And, you know, to bring it down to a tactical level to figure out, you know, you as a manager or as a leader, how can you actually figure out somebody’s motivation? There’s a great book that you should consider reading and it’s, and it’s really about relationships between couples and it’s called the five languages of love.

And what that does is it helps you understand. What is that person’s language that shows them true love? And there’s things like words of affirmation and there’s gifts and acts of service. Well, if your love language, you as a leader is words of affirmation and somebody tells you you’re doing a good job and you decide, well, that’s how I want to be treated.

So I’m going to tell everybody they’re doing a great job and give them lots of praise. What if your top employees, their love language is gifts. Well, the words of affirmation are fine, and I’m sure it doesn’t hurt, but every once in a while, you know, giving them just a little bitty something is going to tell them that you love what they’re doing.

And people do what they are rewarded and recognized for. And so that little bit of recognition that’s in their language, you know, a friend of mine, his name is Joseph Blair. He’s a coach for the Washington Wizards. And I think it’s a great example of, of love language. So every game day, Joseph Blair, um, who played, you know, 13 years overseas, he was, uh, one of the top players in Italy.

Um, and he’s got some amazing stories about, uh, Giorgio Armani designing his tuxedo for his, for his wedding. Uh, but this guy’s just, he’s a great leader. And so now as a coach for the Washington wizards. He has players from all over the world that are playing professional basketball here in the United States and Every game day he walks up and I think he had 13 different languages and he says game day Game day in everybody’s individual language So he’s speaking their language of love to get them excited and pumped up to play that game so I think us as leaders have to sit back and be like what if this piece of person is speaking a foreign language and I take the time To speak in their native tongue.

How meaningful is that going to be to that person, that employee?

Darren Sparks: So much more, so much more to your point, man, that we, in order for us to know what that, that language is, that love language, how, how they like to be recognized, we got to know them. We got to spend time, man. We gotta, we gotta know these people.

And so I love, I love that approach though, that he, in their language, 13 different languages, he said. You know, game day or game time, you know, that’s, that is classic, man. But yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s exactly what we need to do as leaders is, is find out and get on, get on the people’s level that are in our organizations and help them to realize that, you know, we’re just like they are, you know, and, uh, and, and speak their love language.

How do they want to be recognized? That’s, that’s an, that’s an awesome example of


Mark Kinsley: mark. Hey, speaking of, uh, talking somebody’s love language, let’s actually talk about couples for a minute. And I’m going to read you an email I just got, okay? Yeah. And it’s from a couple and they were trying to figure out a mattress situation.

They’re considering changing out their king mattress with two twin XLs. So they currently have two, um, well, twin XL adjustable bases. So they have a, a twin, a twin adjustable bases that are paired together. Okay. So it’s paired up. No split and what’s going on right now, the wife has allergy issues. She needs to be elevated most of the night.

He’s got back issues and it’s better when he’s flat most of the night on his side. But they’re waking each other up at night, adjusting the mattress, adjusting the base up and down. And this is a family member of mine that reached out to me and I’m like, I mean, literally today, and I was like, this is a perfect conversation to talk about this like new category of, of split head.

It really is one of those things that retailers are like, no, this solves a real problem for a lot of people who want that independent head up, but they want to feel connected. They don’t want to feel that big seam down the middle. And what, have you heard any stories

Darren Sparks: like that? Did we hear it all the time?

Right? I mean, it’s funny that, you know, a family member of yours reached out today about it, but you know, when you’re in retail stores, that’s the big thing. People come in and they’re like, you know, I want to be able to be in my own comfortable position. I don’t sleep. Um, at the same elevation as my, my husband, but we were constantly, we’re fighting about, you know, what should we, should we be up?

Should we be down? You know, he goes to sleep before I do. I want to read in my bed. They’re like, I mean, the stories are endless, right? And so this split head, uh, feature is just the absolute best feature that you can have for individuals, uh, that want to sleep. in a different position than their significant other.

Um, but they don’t want to, like you said, have that big divide, you know, when it’s cuddle time, you know, they want to be able to be close to their partner. And so this split head, uh, you know, mattresses that are out there, we have those, but we have all of our adjustable bases are split head compatible. We revamped our entire, um, application, our BedTech app, and literally you can control where you can sink the feet together.

And, and have the heads move independently. And so every single adjustable base that we have is compatible with split head. And then we have two adjustable bases that are literally split head bases where the feet automatically come up and the heads have a different remote for each base. And so, um, yeah, this split head thing is, is not something that’s a fad.

It is not going away. A lot of times in the industry, we. We try to solve problems that aren’t really there, right? Like the Olympic queen. Okay. That’s that, that was a fact, you know, it came, it came in and it’s gone, you know, but the split head people will always sleep with, you know, significant other, other, if they have one.

Um, and they’re always for the most part, going to want to sleep. differently than that person because we’re all individual. We have unique needs as far as comfort levels. And so this, this is not going away. And so selling sleep solutions as a package, you know, the adjustable bases, the mattresses, the sheets, the protectors, I mean, we have everything for this sleep solution.

This split head out there. You don’t have to send people off to Amazon to buy sheets that will be customized for a split head. You don’t have to send them off for a protector. We have all of these things, uh, as a one stop shop to solve this big problem. That’s, uh, that has everybody wants to have individualized comfort.

This gives you a way to do it and not to have a divide. It’s

Mark Kinsley: actually is one of the things that about this category, which we participate in, like it’s a category where I’m like, look. Yeah. You, you guarantee sell the adjustable base and the mattress. And if you carry the sheets and the protector, you’re guaranteed, guaranteed to get that level of ticket with this purchase because you can’t adjust it without the base.

So it’s not like they’re just going to buy the mattress and not the base or vice versa. So it’s like such a big ticket item. And like you said, For the person that has that problem, they want to solve it. And I think all too often, it’s just what you described. You got, you got a product looking for a problem instead of a problem looking for a product.

So sometimes that’s where engineering and sales get a little bit disconnected. You know, the engineers are like, I wonder if we can do this. And they figured out a way to do something. Well, is there a real need in the marketplace for that? Well, I think over on the split head side of things, I mean, I just read you an email from family members of mine.

that are having this very specific issue. And if you look at, especially an aging population, I think you’re only going to see more of this. People want to be in bed together, 10, 000 people a day, a day, turn 65 years old. And the number of people like over 85 is, is going to more than double within 10 years.

Because people are living longer, healthier lives, lifespan and healthspan. But this is part of people keeping people at home and then giving them solutions to those problems.

Darren Sparks: And your family members aren’t unique in this. This is, this is something that’s every single couple, you know, around this world has this exact same problem.

They’re not unique in this. And that’s the one way, you know, way that we can dare to be different. And we can dare to stand out. And we can weather this storm. Uh, right now, you know, it’s no secret. Uh, things are slow. It’s tough. The economy is, is hard. Um, we’re getting less people through our doors, you know, at retail right now.

You know, and so we need to take advantage of every single customer that comes in and sell them something that we can, you know, the stores can make money on and they can survive with, you know, half the traffic and half the sales, uh, being able to sell a sleep solution for a higher ticketed, you know, amount, because you’re selling the base, you’re selling the mattress, you’re selling all of these things that go along with it.

And you’re, you’re, you’re actually, you have a solution that makes sense. And so we can, we can be different, you know, how many stores in in a town have have split head, not a lot. And so they’ll remember you. You’re standing out above the crowd. You’re doing something that’s different, but it’s also helping you you to be unique and to weather that storm and to be able to survive off less traffic and less cells.

Mark Kinsley: Yeah, what you’re doing is you’re walking up to your friend from Spain and you’re saying Dia de Juego. Game day. Love it, dude. I love it. I love it, man. Darren. Hey, man, thank you so much for being a part of the show. Thanks you so much for being a part of the inaugural Sleep Summit and going hard in the paint with it.

I think everybody loved the BedTech lounge space. It looked really beautiful and I thought it was just a nice way to be able to connect with people. Uh, in a different way, you know, I, I told people this, that we’re at sleep summit, um, you know, the days of, you know, clinking glasses and swinging golf clubs, that’s all fine and dandy.

I mean, nothing against it, but I would rather go from moment, a moment with a person to momentum and from momentum to a movement. And so those are the ways I’m thinking about the industry these days. How do we go from this moment, winning this moment together to momentum to a movement? That changes the entire world.

And so I just appreciate you guys saying yes to something that was unproven and unknown. And I, I know that in the bed tech history, you probably had people do the same thing. Retailers are like, Hey man, we don’t know that we’re going to say yes to this. We’re in. And that’s a special thing with somebody who does that.

Darren Sparks: It really is, man. We were thrilled Mark to be a part of the first ever sleep summit. Um, to be able to, to participate in a big way and to be one of the sponsors and to have, you know, the, you know, have that bed tech lounge there. Um, that, that was, that was special. We, we, we thought, you know, we have two spaces, one, one for product.

We can put another product in there to create some, you know, attention on some of our product, or we can have a lounge where we can all meet together and just kind of be able to get to know each other and relax and to be able to. Conversate and that was that was for us. That was the best movie we could have done is because we brought people in and we established connections that we would have never done otherwise.

But, uh, yeah, the ability to go from a moment to a movement is is is key for us. All of us. You know, let’s let’s up the level of. Our professionalism. Let’s let’s make sure that we do our part in this industry to make sure that, that we keep innovating and that we keep hiring good people. And we keep helping everybody in the United States and the world really to understand that sleep is so important.

Don’t skimp on your sleep. Don’t, don’t, don’t just get by with an okay mattress, invest in yourself, invest in your health. So that you can feel better in everything that you’re doing from playing with your kids to working, to skiing, to playing sports, whatever it is, you will feel better doing whatever that is.

If you, if we’ll help to educate our customers to invest in themselves, to sleep better and to sleep healthier. And I, I, I’m just thankful to you and to the people at the fam and sleep summit for putting that on, and we were thrilled to be a part of it. So thank you for, for all of that, Mark. Appreciate you, man.

It was an

Mark Kinsley: absolute pleasure and I can’t thank you guys enough again for being a part of it. Thank you to everybody that came to sleep summit. And if you weren’t there, Hey, we’re going to have some information coming out. Just make sure you’re on the fam’s newsletter. So go to fam, FAM dot news. And that means for all things mattress, right?

Fam dot news and you can pop on, get our podium number, text us, get on the email list, all the fun stuff. And we’ll be sending out some really cool information to recap sleep summit with. Hot takes and tips and strategies and tactics so that you get some of the benefit, even if you weren’t there and you can start getting yourself prepared and ready for

Darren Sparks: next year.

Hopefully. Don’t, don’t make a mistake though. Do not miss the next one. Do not make that mistake again. Yeah. Cause we’re

Mark Kinsley: going to be coming in hot, man. We’re going to go from 117 to probably 517. That’s what we should do. I believe it,

Darren Sparks: man. People, people need to come see this stuff. It’s, it’s, it’s invaluable to their, their brand and their mission.


Mark Kinsley: I have found personally that transformation happens in person. It doesn’t, I mean, you can have, um, you can have some things that build inside you with professionalism and with relationships, but man, you really tip those dominoes and you, you get over humps and you start this process of real transformation.

Whenever you meet in person, whenever you’re there with your people, it’s in person on purpose. So I couldn’t agree more. That’s, I mean, that’s one of the reasons I’m like, no, we, we have to gather. And we have to gather with more purpose and with more intention and with more opportunity for fewer dead ends.

And I hope we did that. I think we did. I think we’re off to a good start and I appreciate the bed tech team, uh, going hard in the paint.

Darren Sparks: Absolutely, man. I look forward to the next one, my friend. All right,

Mark Kinsley: Darren Sparks. Thanks so much. Thank you so much for being on the show. If you want to check out more about BedTech, just go to BedTech.

com. It’s as easy as that. How can people get a hold of you if they want to get in touch with you, Darren? Yeah,

Darren Sparks: my email is Darren, D A R R E N, at. Bedtech. com. Shoot me an email. I’d love to connect, man. I appreciate you guys all so much. Our, our, our people out there in the industry. We love you guys all. We hope that you can weather the storm and just be successful.

Do something different. Make yourself unique and make sure that the customer, they feel unique and special when they’re in your store.

Mark Kinsley: Darren, thanks again. Be sure to subscribe to the show. Give us a review on Apple podcast or on Spotify and share this episode with Darren Sparks with your friends and we’ll see on the next sleep summit show.

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