I had a pretty remarkable bike sale experience last week. Some bike sales get you jacked up because of the sweet build, some because of the price of the sale, but this one was different. Remarkable in its own way…
Two weeks ago, a lady and her son came in to the bike shop. I didn’t recall who she was at first, but when she told me that she was Tim’s wife and she wanted to order him a bike as a surprise, even I got excited.
Tim sent me an e-mail about six or seven months ago and explained his situation. It went a little something like this:
“I rode a road bike in Germany 82-86 (Gitane w/Shimano Dura-Ace) just for exercise, and although I will be 50 in about five days, I have decided to get back into cycling, mainly for heart health. I would like to have a BG FIT done. I do not have a bike yet and would rely on your expertise in suggesting a nice entry level bike that could be upgraded in the future. I would eventually like to ride on the group ride on Saturdays and possibly begin riding to work, 24 mile round trip. I don’t need a Tour De France bike but I refuse to buy a junker bike from Walmart. I know that getting the correct size bike is very important, I don’t know enough about bikes to carry on a conversation about the subject so I am all ears. I look forward to meeting your staff and I know you can help me.”
Tim enquired a little bit more about BG FIT and pricing, and we exchanged e-mails for a while. He visited the store with his family, developed a friendship with us at the shop, but unfortunately, with the economy in the tank, his bicycle wasn’t a necessity and had to be put on the back burner for a little while. That didn’t stop Tim and the kids from stopping by every few weeks to look around and to dream about that 52cm Specialized Allez Elite that he had his eye on.
Tim’s wife, his son and I knew he needed a 52cm bike, but the 2010 models were out of stock. Upon checking the online availability of the bikes, I noticed that the 2011 Allez Comp (formerly Elite) bikes were available. Tim’s wife and son selected the white and blue bike, equipped with the new SRAM Apex road group as his new bike. We ordered it on the spot. Upon delivery, we built the bike and put it on the sales floor with Tim’s name on the handlebars, marked “SOLD.”
Last Saturday afternoon, Tim and his family rolled in. As usual, he started to look at the bikes on the sales floor, when he came across a shiny new 2011 Specialized Allez Comp. It was his size. He looked at the spec on the bike, then glanced at the ticket and noticed that HIS name was on the tag. Instantly, tears welled up in Tim’s eyes. He was overcome with the amazing generosity and love that his wife and kids had shown to him. It was hard for ME to keep it together when I saw how happy he was about his new bike.
After the emotions had settled, we outfitted his bike with new pedals, bottles and cages, and got him fitted for a pair of cycling shoes. We went to my bike fitting station to do a basic bike sizing on Tim’s new bike, just so he would be in a nice, balanced position on his bike. The whole time, Tim was grinning from ear to ear, and kept saying, “I can’t believe this…” He was obviously still rocked, emotionally.
I have had the opportunity to sell and build some pretty amazing bikes. The bike Tim got was not a high-end racing bike. It didn’t have the lightest components on it. It didn’t even have a carbon frame. The bike that Tim got made him happy. Every time he gets on the bike, he’ll think about how happy he was when he received that gift from his family. That was a very unique sales experience, and I’m glad I got to be a part of it. Thanks, Tim.