Let me help you with “Can I help you?”

Ever go into a store and have someone who worked there asked: “Can I help you?” Of course you have. And 9 times out of 10 you replied with a “No thanks, I’m just looking.”

That four-word question, “Can I help you?”, simply BEGS that response.

It’s programmed into our psyche.
We heard our parents say it, and they heard their parents say it, and your kids hear you say it.

Don’t you think it’s time to can the “Can I help you?”

My bet is it all started with a caveman who was checking out the fancy new “round thing” at the first Wheel Dealership and said it when the used-wheel salescaveman approached him when he walked into the showroom:

Caveman #1: Grok help you?

Caveman #2: Trog just looking…

I think we can be better than this stone age query being absentmindedly foisted upon our customers like hitting them over the head with a club. Here are 30 better things to ask someone than “Can I help you?”

Let’s get started…

Five Buck Brainstorm

30 Better Ways To Greet A Customer Than “Can I Help You?”

Note: Anywhere where I’ve written “this” or “which one” my intent is to indicate a product the customer is touching or looking at.

  1. What can I help you find? (slightly better than “can I help you” — but even a little better is still better.)
  2. What color were you trying to find?
  3. Which one is your favorite?
  4. This one is my favorite (indicating a specific item among the things the customer is viewing)
  5. Were you thinking about this for yourself or as a gift?
  6. The really good ones are in back — want me to check on the one you want?


Have another sales or service cliche you’d like some ideas for improving?
Drop me a line and tell me what it is. I’d love to help you with that…

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I wish you true success in executing your ideas, and hope you’ll contact me if I can be of further assistance in helping you put these ideas into action.
Keep Thinking BIG,