Jack Mitchell has been hugging his customers for years. Now the chairman of Mitchells Stores is switching gears by offering some of his tried-and-true selling tips as well.
Mitchells’ other books were “Hug Your Customers,” a Wall Street Journal bestseller, and “Hug Your People.” “You can learn to be a hugger and a seller,” he said.
In his third book, “Selling the Hug Your Customers Way,” the retailer-turned-author shares “the proven process for becoming a passionate and successful salesperson for life.”
“It’s a very easy read,” he said, explaining that the book details the “stages of selling. Most of my examples are the processes we use [at Mitchells Stores] but can also be applied to mutual funds, cars, anything.”
In the book, Mitchell outlines the five stages he believes lead to successful selling, which he learned early on in his career was a process “that can be broken down into steps,” he writes. It’s also a mindset of “getting close to your customers and truly understanding and connecting with them. Of showing them that you really care about them — making them feel great.”
To do that, Mitchell says you first have to Make a Connection. “Learn how to make a great first connection that engages customers immediately and keeps them coming back,” he said. The second stage is to Decode the Mission, which Mitchell interprets as determining what each customer wants and what is needed to fulfill their needs. Reading non-verbal signs is more important than merely asking, “Can I help you,” he said.
The third is Show and Share. Instead of a hard sales pitch, engage the customer in a genuine conversation that results in forming a personal connection. Next is Allowing the Buy, where trust is established and the customer feels they’re making the decision. The fifth stage is The Kiss Goodbye, where the customer leaves feeling valued and special.
Mitchell also tossed in one extra stage for good measure, suggesting salespeople go above and beyond by following up and working to create customers for life.
The book features endorsements from some bold-faced names in fashion including Leonard Lauder, Brunello Cucinelli, Gildo Zegna and other top executives from Merrill Lynch, Gillette, Pitney Bowes and IBM.
The new book is being published by McGraw-Hill and will be offered for sale beginning June 8 in stores and online. It will retail for $26 and Mitchell is available to autograph the book — and undoubtedly provide a bear hug — as well.