The Fitness Club Owner Who Bought A Grand Piano From Me

It was my 2nd year selling pianos in 2003. At that time our chain of 10 stores had an agreement with the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), that in exchange for providing pianos in the student classrooms, we could do a once a year piano sale to the alumni . I had no clue that I’d make a $17,000.00 sale this go around. But I didn’t sell it to a University student.

Anyhow, on the day I decided to go casual and wear sweatpants, a tall muscular built individual came into the showroom and started looking hastily at the grand pianos. When I inquired on which one he had the most interest in, he looked at the high polished mahogany (beautiful redish color) Chickering grand piano and said, “Can you come down on the $23,000.00 price any? Pianos are like a boat to me.” I was astonished that he wasn’t even intending on playing it, despite the fact that it is a player piano. Somehow during the conversation he brought up owning a fitness company in town (guess he took a lot of pride in it). For some reason, my manager didn’t want to budge on the price, and I told him if anything changes I’ll get back to him. I held onto the number real good.

So weeks later the university piano sale happened. My luck turned when one of the company execs made a decision to slash the Chickering price from $23,000.00 to $17,000.00 ; I knew the fitness owner couldn’t resist this. After calling him up he immediately said, “I’ll be right there with a check”. Wow! This was one of those instances where ‘dressing nice’ had nothing to do with making a big business transaction.

-Ryan David Dwyer