My wife and I are in the market for a new car. Her old Honda is now more trouble than it’s worth, and it’s time to get something else. Visiting car dealerships has been even less fun than expected.
Without exception, the salesmen have all been extremely nice and extraordinarily accommodating.
Can we take this one for a test drive?
“Absolutely! I’ll go get the keys.”
Will you wear an eye patch, put a parrot on your shoulder and make pirate noises?
“Arghhhh! You got it!”
There seems to be almost nothing they won’t do if they think there’s a chance you’ll leave — that same day — with something from their lot.
“What would I have to do to get you to buy today?”
The mind boggles.
And it makes my brain wander to the fishing retail market. What if tackle dealers used some of these same tactics?
A customer walks in and the clerk saunters over, eyeing him the way a Rottweiler looks at a raw steak.
“How are you today? Can I interest you in a new crankbait? Berkley’s got some great deals, but they’re going fast. Can’t keep ‘em in the store!”
Actually, I’m kind of in the market for a topwater lure. It’s getting to be that time of year.
“Right you are! And you’re in luck, too. I’ve got the new Savage Gear 3D Bat in every color. You know, it was the best new freshwater hard bait at ICAST last year!”
Yeah, I heard about that.
“I may even have a few of the 2016 3D Suicide Ducks left … but nothing in yellow.”
That’s OK. I think I’ll just look around.
“Suit yourself. But don’t hesitate to let me know if you need anything. I’m easy to find. I’ll be standing so close you’ll think I’m your shadow, and the sensation you feel on your neck will be my breath. I’m Dave!”
If the customer heads for the door empty-handed, Dave would be there to stop him.
“Hey, my manager would like to say hello.”
That’s OK, Dave. I need to be going.
“It would mean a lot to me. My job’s at stake here, and if you just walk away I’ll get in trouble.”
Out comes the manager of the tackle shop.
“Hello, sir. I’m Jerry. Thank you for coming in today. Did Dave show you the new topwaters?”
Yes, Dave was great. I guess I’m just looking for something else.
“Well, what about a jerkbait? You know, I can put you in a new jerkbait for about the same price as a topwater. Have you seen the new stuff from SPRO?”
It’s terrific, but I have several already.
“How about a swimbait? Have you seen the new triple-jointed Roman Mother? Do you have financing? You’re definitely gonna want financing for that lure!”
Actually, I’m OK on the financing…. And I wasn’t really looking for anything that big.
“Well, did Dave tell you that any bait you buy here today comes with a lifetime warranty on split rings? Nobody else offers that!”
That’s obviously a terrific deal. Definitely something to consider next time.
“I’d just hate to see you make a purchase decision without considering all the incentives. We can even re-spool your reel, check your rod guides and throw in some replacement trebles if you buy right now.”
That’s tempting, Jerry, but I really need to go.
“All right, but let me give you my card. And if you’ll just give me your name and number, I’ll call you every 30 minutes for the next month or until you get a restraining order.”