“The commercial said $150 a month,” said Frank Palacio.
“The commercial said ‘as low as $150 a month.’ Everybody’s situation is different and not everyone is eligible for all the available savings.”
“You’re saying I’m not eligible?”
“Let it go, Frank,” said his wife, Rhonda. “We can afford $200 a month.”
“That’s not the point. The point is this man doesn’t think I’m worthy of all the available savings.”
“It has nothing to do with being worthy,” said the salesman, whose name happened to be Zack.
“Oh, it doesn’t? Then tell me, what is ‘eligible’ if not another word for ‘worthy’?”
“All it means is some people’s financial situations line up with certain savings while other people’s financial situations line up with other savings. Very few people qualify for all the savings we offer.”
“There it is again: ‘qualify.’ Another word for ‘worthy’. Tell me how I do not ‘qualify’ for your savings. My credit score is near perfect. I make more money in a year than you’ll probably ever see in your life.”
Zack didn’t move his head, but his eyes moved up sharply to look at Frank and Frank knew he had hit the sweet spot. Glancing at a picture behind the man’s desk, Frank decided to work that sweet spot.
“Those are some lovely kids there. Yours?”
Without looking, Zack reached behind him and put the framed photo face down.
“Aw, don’t be like that. I was giving you an honest compliment. They’re adorable. And you have a beautiful wife. I assume that was your wife in the picture with them?”
Zack didn’t answer.
Frank clasped his hands together, resting his elbows on his knees. “I know how hard it can be to provide for a family. Like I told you, I make good money, but it wasn’t always that way. I remember the lean times. I remember taking jobs I hated that hardly paid anything because a little money was better than no money.”
Frank paused for dramatic effect before continuing. “There’s nothing worse than having to tell a hungry child you don’t have any more food.”
Frank chanced a peek at Zack and saw he was glaring at him. Frank suppressed a smile, knowing it meant he had guessed right about the sweet spot.
Zack turned to his computer, typed a few things on his keyboard, and said, “Well, what do you know, Mr. Palacio? It looks like you qualify for all our available savings after all. I’d be happy to provide you with a contract for $150 a month.”
Frank beamed and extended his hand to shake on it. “You drive a hard bargain, sir.” The two men shook before moving on to the paperwork that’s always involved in buying a new car.
“You didn’t have to say that about his family,” Rhonda said as they walked across the parking lot.
“Of course I didn’t have to, but it was right there. Just begging to be used. It’s all part of the game, Rhonda.”
“It may be a game to you, but it’s that man’s livelihood.”
“It’s not my fault he’s not better at his job.”
“No, it’s your fault you drove him so hard. It’s not like we don’t have the money, Frank.”
“It’s not about the money. It’s about letting them know you won’t be taken for a fool. Showing you know what you’re worth and fighting for it.”
Rhonda stopped walking and turned to face her husband, one hand on her hip. “And you don’t think you’re worth his asking price for the car? Wouldn’t you like to show him you can afford to pay it?”
“Not if I can get the same car at a lower price.”
“Frank Palacio, you are impossible!”
To be continued …
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Photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/22526198@N07/”>Axion23</a> / <a href=”http://foter.com/”>Foter</a> / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>CC BY</a>