There are some sales processes which you can assume might just last forever. But now thanks to the internet, many of these “given” ways of doing business are being up-ended, possibly forever.
One great example of this is mattress shopping. It’s an awful experience. You walk into a store, and steel yourself to spend upwards of $1000 on something you will be on every day, for 8 hours a day. The only option you have is to lay on numerous mattresses, trying desperately to mimic to your sleep habits, while there are shoppers and salespeople milling around. You are told that the number of springs is incredibly important, but secretly you can’t really tell the difference between anything you try.
The founders of Casper mattress felt the same way as you. They started their company with an aim to make a better mattress, one that truly solved the most common sleeping problems, such as back pain. They decided to create only one model, make it affordable using the best materials available, and create a shipping and purchase experience that is as painless as possible. And after 100 days, if you don’t love the mattress, they will take it back and give you a refund.
As a company, Casper decided rather than using confusion and intimidation as a sales pressure tactic, they would genuinely listen to the buyer’s aggravations and try to solve them. They keep the sales process highly personal, by keeping track of things like anniversaries and pet’s names. They don’t look at the transaction as a one-time purchase. They go out of their way to produce customer loyalty such that people will, unprompted, happily sing their praises to anyone who will listen.
The idea clicked immediately, and the company had $1 million in sales in its first month, and was worth $100 million after two years.
Casper’s marketing tactics are not trying to sell you on their features, which in their case is a great mattress, at a good price, delivered quickly; but rather on the idea that a good mattress is part of a holistic system that lends to good sleep, which ultimately leads to an improved life. By going way beyond the mattress and considering good sleep to be an entire science, their message has resonated with thousands. And through creating an entire category around sleep, the company has plenty of room to grow, and it has, by adding pillows, sheets and even dog beds to their product line.
Naturally there are plenty of copycats on the market now, once people woke up to the huge success story behind their business model. But you know what they say about imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, and Casper’s owners seem undaunted by the threats.
Have you thought about the pain points of your customers and what you can do to make their lives truly easier? Not just as a sales tactic (as most people can sniff inauthenticity from a mile away), but rather as a real problem your company has dedicated itself to solving?