Close your eyes and picture the state of mattress retail in the fall of 2010. It’s not too pretty of a picture, is it? Next, picture yourself working for a once successful mattress retailer nearing retirement who was in the midst of flat and declining sales due to the poor economic conditions and growing competition. Out of the blue, your boss (the struggling mattress retailer) comes to you, an 11-year employee and says that he’s lost his lease, thinking of retiring, and wants to sell his business to you. How do you feel?
Well, Automatic Mattress Profits co-founder and co-owner of Gardner’s Mattress & More, Ben McClure, knows exactly how that feels because that was him on October 10th, 2010. Ben had a choice to make – lets Gardner’s die when the lease expires and find a new career, or buy the business from his boss.
What would you do?
Luckily, Ben had a friend in the industry – Jeff Giagnocavo. Jeff was a manufacturer’s representative and had recently introduced Gardner’s to some very unique and effective direct response marketing concepts. Ben approached Jeff about partnering and investing in Gardner’s together with the mutual goal of approaching mattress retail in a far different way than had been tried previously. After all, sales were on the decline and they knew they had to come out of the gate swinging or be eaten by big mattress chain store competition.
Jeff and Ben started working on a business plan that included two main concepts, never before seen in the mattress industry – educational information-first selling and creating a customer experience so good, everyone would be talking about it. It was this business plan that secured Jeff and Ben the funding they needed to purchase the business, move to a new location and hit the ground running on day one in May of 2011.
The very first thing that Jeff and Ben worked on together is still the single greatest asset in the business, the Mattress Information Guide. It’s a step-by-step, education-first approach to helping a mattress shopper invest in the mattress that best suits their sleep needs. Available as a free download online or as an in-person handout, it’s the centerpiece of all of Gardner’s marketing efforts and creates a ready-to-buy customer who spends twice as much as the average mattress consumer.
Next, Jeff and Ben created an in-store experience so cool and effective it has been featured in national industry trade publications like Sleep Savvy and Furniture Today, as well as Success Magazine. The Gardner’s Dream Room is a “try before you buy” experience where a mattress shopper can test any mattress in private before the invest in it. There’s so much to tell about it, but the most important thing is that it closes sales at a 100% clip.
After launching the “new” Gardner’s and these new marketing tools, Jeff and Ben saw double digit sales growth in the first two years. While this was good, they were working harder than ever at keeping up with everything. They knew they needed to replicate themselves and automate their marketing if they were going to continue to grow and not burn themselves out. Finding no solution in the industry to accomplish this, they built their own – Automatic Mattress Profits.
Automatic Mattress Profits allows Ben and Jeff to create leads on their website, automatically drive them to visit the Gardner’s showroom, convert prospects into customers at two and three times the industry average, and build massive social proof on Google and Facebook. It also allowed Ben and Jeff to open a second location and permits them to work minimally in the Gardner’s showroom, each averaging less than 20 hours weekly in their stores.
Their ground-breaking marketing and automation strategies caught the attention of industry press, who have featured Jeff and Ben in a number of articles and tradeshow presentations. This in turn, put them in front of other mattress store owners, who started hiring Jeff and Ben to implement their proven tools, systems and automation in their business. In this capacity, they were able to help other like-minded mattress retailers succeed in an industry fraught with deception and corporate greed.
In 2014, Jeff and Ben joined forces with internationally recognized direct marketing expert, Mike Capuzzi and formed Infotail Systems, Inc. the parent company of Automatic Mattress Profits. Their goal is to make Automatic Mattress Profits available to the industry and it’s now used in over 55 retail showrooms nationwide. AMP allows any mattress retailer to become “like Gardner’s” nearly overnight, without investing thousands of hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars building it.