Remember the television show, “Friends?” It was a top-rated show for years. Believe it or not, it was also a sales training and customer service TV show that taught us a very important lesson.

By now, you are saying, “Hal, you are nuts. TV has gone to your head.” Well, all I can say is, read on.

One of the best lessons you can learn in sales and customer service was derived from that sitcom. It was there almost every week and almost no one took advantage of it.If you did catch on, it could change your relationships not only in the world of business, but with your family and friends as well. Am I starting to pique your interest? Is this enough build-up already?

This is “The Joey.” “How you doing?” 

It was from the character on “Friends,” the good looking neighbor, Joey Tribbiani, that was played by Matt LeBlanc. When he met a girl (which was almost every episode), he used to always say with his fabulous smile, “How you doing?”

This can be used instantly on any customer to really find out what is going on. In a sales situation, you can easily find out where the customer stands by just asking, “how are they doing. But be direct right from the point. Let them know you are serious about making sure that they are a satisfied customer. Most salespeople don’t ask the real questions. Many times the salesperson is afraid the answer might be negative or the customer is truly unhappy, and they have a chance of losing the customer.

The key to asking this question is being real. Show that you care and are sincerely interested in their answer, no matter what the answer is. The key is to do this with every customer all the time. Not just a few or the ones you think will give you the answer you are looking for. This will be of particular interest to the customer that you do not know that well or where you might have a lack of any relationship.

Naturally, in a customer-service arena, this will work just the same, but it is even more important to do this all of the time. It is so much harder to get the customer, so since you now have them, it should be second nature to try to keep them.

This kind of phone call should be a regular part of doing business. Proactive, not reactive. Make the calls to your client base, and reach out to find their level of satisfaction and why they are doing business with you or your company.

I am still amazed that I even talk about this at seminars and people go “Yeah, he’s right, we forgot to stay in touch with our customers and truly find out if they are satisfied.” All I say is “Wow” to myself, since so many people forgot the basics and need to revisit them.

I hope you realize that you can start doing this as soon as you finish reading this article. In fact, I really want you to try it now. Nothing like the present to get into a good habit again, and letting the customer know that you care. 


Letters, commentaries and opinions appearing in the Cleveland Jewish News do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Cleveland Jewish Publication Company, its board, officers or staff.

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