In the past I had the little foam samples (10 x 10 x 4 OR 12 x 12 x 4) that the foam supplier supplied for free. I had neve thought of doing it any other way. While, on occasion, a client might want a very firm foam, I used to mostly just sell the same firmness of foam to everyone. In effect I kind only offered one grade of foam. Most clients wouldn't even ask about the firmness, but just knew they would get new foam. For the few that would ask, I let them "feel" the small foam samples with their hands, but that is not the same as having them actually sit on the foam. Now that I have the large samples, and let the clients try out the different foams, I wonder why I didn't do this years agos. It's so much better for me and for the client.
I've change the way that I sell foam, because of an experience I had with a foam client explained here: (Challenging Foam Client)
That experience encouraged me to get bigger foam samples, which I keep in a cabinet, shown below. I had to purchase all those foam samples, but it has been well worth it.
When we ordered the foam samples, we bought them all in a cushion-size of 20" X 20" in 5 different grades from soft to extra firm (2521, 2528, 2535, 2743, & 2952). We got each grade in 3 different thickness, 1", 2" & 4". By combining the different thicknesses we could have any thickness from 1" up to 7" thick (1", 2", 2 +1=3", 4", 4 + 1= 5", 4 + 2 = 6", 4 + 2 + 1 = 7")
Client Testing of Foam
I also have a sturdy coffee table that I use to let the client try out the different firmnesses of foam. The coffee table is large enough to put two foam samples side by side. So, I usually put two foam samples side by side. I usually put a 2535 and a 2743 on the table and have the client try out both pieces of foam. If she likes the firmer 2743, then I remove the 2535 from the table and replace it with the 2951. Then I have her compare the 2743 with the 2951. Now, I realize that having the client sitting on the foam on the table will be firmer than when it gets on the furniture, but that is just the way it is. However, whenever they bring their furniture in to me for an estimate (or if I go out to their home) I have them try the foam samples on their own furniture.
Click on picture to enlarge
I find that no amount of my explanations to the client, no amount of information that I might give them about foam, or info that I might get from them about their needs, does nearly as well as just having them try out the the various firmnesses of the cushion-size foam samples.
Sometimes, when appropriate, I also let them try out what layered foam would feel like. For instance, putting 1" medium (2535 on top of 3" or 4" firm (2743 or 2952 (extra firm) etc.).
This way of selling foam really empowers the client to make their own choices about what's best for them, and it takes the stress away from me "trying to figure out what is best for the client."
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