Leggett & Platt is taking new steps to educate today’s retail sales associates with this week’s launch of Geek University (Geek U). Geek U, an extension of the company’s Sleep Geek program, encourages RSAs to rethink their role in the bedding market.
“There are places for retail sales associates to learn, but we are aware of no community that delivers what Geek U does. We want people to interact and learn from each other so the industry can grow in the same direction. We have a beta test in session now, and we feel confident we’ve accomplished our goal based on the feedback we’ve received from participants," says Mark Quinn, Segment VP of Marketing at Leggett & Platt.
Quinn says the concept behind Geek U is simple. “We hope to help educate RSAs so they’ll think of themselves as sleep consultants rather than sales people. We’re not trying to replace retailer training programs. We only hope to supplement that in a way that will build great in-store experiences for the consumer. If we can enhance the focus on the consumer – really listen to what they need and want and know how to offer that – we’ll serve them better and end up increasing profits through repeat business and referrals.”
“Before I joined Sleep Geek, I never felt comfortable going into my store’s bedding department because I didn’t understand mattresses or sleep,” says beta participant Eugene Anderson from Ashley Furniture HomeStore in Grand Island, Neb. “Because of Geek U, I now think of myself as a sleep consultant and am confident on the sales floor. I believe that I have the necessary information and training to help our customers improve their quality of life through a great night’s sleep.”
Geek U is modeled after online university classes, complete with a class moderator, discussion boards and classmates. The program is comprised of seven levels that feature short video “lectures,” reading material, in-store challenges and quizzes.
Sleep-Geek.com launches its first class of RSAs on May 14, 2012, and plans to offer the program again over the course of the next year. Quinn says, though, that there is no time to hesitate. “We want to offer the best training we can to as many RSAs as possible. But in order to create high-quality education in this unique format, we have to limit class sizes.”
RSAs interested in Geek U should visit www.Sleep-Geek.com to enroll in the next class. The Missouri components manufacture provides the course free of charge.
About Leggett & Platt: Leggett & Platt (NYSE: LEG) is a diversified manufacturer (and member of the S&P 500) that conceives, designs, and produces a broad variety of engineered components and products that can be found in most homes, offices, and automobiles. Leggett & Platt serves a broad suite of customers that comprise a “Who’s Who” of U.S. manufacturers and retailers. The 129-year-old company (founded 1883) is made of 20 business units, 18,000 employee-partners and 130 facilities located in 18 countries. Leggett & Platt is the leading U.S. producer of: a) components for residential furniture and bedding; b) components for office furniture; c) drawn steel wire; d) automotive seat support and lumbar systems; e) carpet underlay; f) adjustable beds; and g) bedding industry machinery for wire forming, sewing, and quilting.