My friend Barb and I used our lazy Sunday afternoon to run a few errands in Mesa, a suburb of Phoenix. Our errands included looking at RVs. I was so excited, I had butterflies in my stomach. I had spent many hours of my recent travels mulling over which type of RV or travel trailer I would get. I was leaning toward a travel trailer, because my Jeep is so wonderful I would rather pull something with it than get a smaller car to pull behind a Class C RV. However, by the time we were finished, I decided not to get anything.
In fact, by the time we left the place, I was feeling very frustrated and disillusioned about the whole prospect of any kind of RVing. The crazy thing is, earlier in our visit one of the salespeople was so positive and upbeat and helpful, I would’ve considered purchasing a used trailer they have on the lot. After we looked at the used trailer, we looked at some newer ones. I was feeling so enthusiastic, and the salesperson was sounding so positive about everything, including financing, I was even considering buying a new one.
Would I have ended up walking away with a contract? Honestly, probably not. I have some other financial goals that are priorities before I buy an RV. The point is that the salesperson was doing such a great job, that I was considering it. As far as he knew, whenever I was ready to buy, my experience was so positive I would be likely to go back to him.
Then his colleague, we’ll call him salesman number two, inserted himself into the situation. Salesman number two actually was the first person to talk to me when I came onto the lot. I had explained I was about six months away from purchasing an RV, because my business in an expansion mode and I wanted to make sure it went well. Part of the reason I said that was to keep him out of our hair as we looked. As soon as he heard it, he did leave us alone. To look at it from another perspective, he had no interest in us – we weren’t serious prospects, so he wasn’t going to lift a finger to help us.
Salesman number one, on the other hand, gave us lots of information without knowing whether or not we were serious buyers. He got into the spirit of our enthusiasm and shared it with us, showing us many different options and discussing the pros and cons of RVs versus trailers. He showed us a used trailer that was an outrageously good price. Suddenly I began thinking a little more seriously about buying.
In my opinion, salesman number one did a better job and was most likely to get my business. When salesman number two pushed into the situation later, presumably because he was the first one to meet us on the lot, he was really a jerk about the whole thing. He wanted to know why I was thinking about actually purchasing something when I had told him I wouldn’t him be interested for six months. He told me he thought I would be unlikely to qualify for a loan because I had already told him I don’t make that much money. I chuckled and said I make plenty of money – I’m just planning on making more.
He also wanted to know why we were looking at trailers when I had told him earlier I was interested in a class C RV. I explained I also was interested in the option of pulling a trailer behind my Jeep, which I love. What made him think what I told him when we first talked was my only possible reality? When we first pulled into the lot, he didn’t spend more than a minute with us before he decided we weren’t worth his time. So, how could he know?
He said he didn’t think the Jeep would pull a trailer. I said I think it will pull a trailer, because that’s why I bought the 5.7 L hemi engine. He had to go look it up in the manual, even though I told him that it would pull 7,200 pounds. Then, we had to go look at the trailer – the used one – to see if the Jeep would pull it. Lo and behold, it would have been perfect. THEN, he asked if I was serious about wanting to purchase one now. I just looked at him and said, “No, I don’t think so.” By then, I was totally disgusted, and it wasn’t fun anymore.
The truth is, I wouldn’t have bought an RV or trailer today. I’m not ready for that. But I can’t say for sure I would’ve passed up a $9000 really nice used model if it had been a little more my size. (The one on the lot was 27 feet – too long for me.)
I know. What can you expect from an RV salesman. Salesman number one really is the exception to the rule. Most RV salesmen, if you believe standard wisdom, are no better than slimy used car salesmen, right? It’s just that salesman number two wasn’t wearing his obnoxious plaid coat today. Otherwise, I would have recognized him and stayed far away.