'Geek U' to educate mattress sales associates

Components supplier Leggett & Platt, based in Carthage, Mo., opened Geek University in May as a way to educate retail sales associates and managers. The free online course is part of L&P’s successful Sleep-Geek.com website, which launched a year ago.

“Geek U” is modeled after online university classes, complete with a class moderator, discussion boards and classmates. The program includes seven levels that feature short video lectures, reading material, in-store challenges and quizzes.

“There are places for retail sales associates to learn, but we are aware of no community that delivers what Geek U does,” said Mark Quinn, L&P segment vice president of marketing. “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.”

Quinn said L&P wants RSAs to think of themselves as “sleep consultants rather than salespeople.”

“We’re not trying to replace retailer training programs,” he said. “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.”

Sleep-Geek.com launched its first Geek University class May 14 and will offer the program again over the course of the next year. RSAs interested in the next session can register at www.sleep-geek.com.

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