Stock mechanic car

How many of you feel the same way I do? It seems everywhere we go, we are being sold.

In retail, it seems we get “pushed a bit,” and when we go online, it seems we are steered to join a mailing list or add another item to our order. Even when we are on the phone with a utility company or service provider, we are asked about other services that we might “want.”

It seems that we are being sold at every turn during our day.

Now, I do not know about you, but rather than being sold, I would much rather be helped. It seems that everyone has a script these days to get you to do something that you did not previously consider. Trust me, this is not new stuff. Remember back in the 1960s (if you are old enough) when you went to McDonald’s and you ordered a hamburger, fries and a Coke. What came next? The person who took your order asked, “Would you like an apple or cherry turnover with your order?”

I do not mind being asked questions if it will help or benefit me, but I think we are all tired of being pushed or sold.

Instead, an example of being helped would be going to the car dealership or a location that offers car repairs, etc. Let’s assume I am going in for a lube, oil and filter. It is typically a $39 to $49 repair order. If they ask me, “Hey Hal, did you hit any potholes or curbs over the last six months? If you want us to check to see if your car needs an alignment, we can do that for you.” Now, I am being helped, especially if I would like my tires to last longer, even with tread loss.

If you are a business owner or manager, here are a few points to consider:

• Always thank the customer for their business and make clear you do care about them.

• Start with the past and ask how they have been treated as a customer. If the customer is not presently happy, why would they want to do more business with you?

• It is OK to “up-sell” by asking a few questions rather than talking and reading from a pre-prepared script.

• Be genuine and treat people the way you would treat your mother, friends and how you would like to be treated as well.

• Don’t push the customer and sell them, but always remember they want to be helped and have someone that listens to them as well.

• Oh yeah, listen to the customer rather than just incessantly talking to them.

It is not difficult to continue to please your customer by asking about their experience with you and your company, and it’s definitely OK to sell more services or products if you do it through questions and not just dumping information.

I have to run – I am on my way to take my car in for service.

Hal Becker is a nationally known speaker on sales and customer service. He is the author of numerous business books including two national best sellers, “Can I Have 5 Minutes Of Your Time?” and “Lip Service.” Hal’s newest book on sales is titled “Ultimate Sales Book.” He can be reached at


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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