Let me help you buy . . .

“Can I help you find anything?”

I hate shopping in retail stores.

I know that “hate” is a strong word, but it is very descriptive of my true sentiment.

Why do I hate shopping in retail stores?

Because pretty much ALL of the employees only ask one question:

“Can I help you find anything?”

or maybe another version of the same:

“Are you finding what you need?”

My problem with that is that I seldom know what I want (yet) because I don’t know what they have . . . so I just bark:

“No! Thank you! I’m just browsing!”

and then they leave me alone . . . for too long . . . because . . .

after a few minutes of browsing, I know enough to know if I’m liking what I’m seeing, but I have questions . . .

but they’re GONE . . . VAMOOSE!

They heard “Just Browsing” and wrote me off as dead to them.

Today, I called Carrabba’s in Green Hills to order food for our “Pareto Christmas” Party next week.

Manager Matt answered the phone with great energy and did all the things that I wish these retail folks would learn.

He took immediate control of the conversation and began by establishing if I already knew what I wanted.

I said I had looked on-line but wasn’t sure!

“GREAT! How many people are you feeding Tuesday night?


“Would you like to start with Salad?”


“I recommend Caesar Salad – 2 orders of Catering prortions would easily serve 25 people”

“OK! Let’s do that”

“Are all of the guests adults?”

“No! We will have some children also”

“I recommend 2 orders of Marsala chicken and 1 order of Cavatappi Pomodoro”

“That sounds good”

“Of course, you’d do well with a couple of Sides – How ’bout Steamed Broccoli and Garlic Mashed potatoes?”


“We’ll be sure you have Bread and Olive oil and Seasonings and Plates and utensils . . . Will you need Chafing dishes to keep the food warm?”


“Thank you for calling – We’ll have you ready for pickup Tuesday at 5:00”

How many decisions did I have to make during that exchange?

(Very Few)

How long was that conversation?

(3 minutes)

Was I completely satisfied when I hung up the phone?



Your customers are silently begging for you to LEAD them through their process.

Most of them want you to help them with their choices.

When they say they are “Just Browsing” don’t abandon them.


and prosper!


Published by Barry Owen

Strategist-CEO of Pareto Realty Real estate sales Professional Inviter-Facilitator-Practicer of Open Space Technology Opening safe space for people & organizations to self-organize around issues & opportunities BarryOwen.US Invite-Listen-Love

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