“Hello, Ma’am! What can I get for you today?”
The woman looks at the shiny new leg models on display in the store window and purses her lips in concentration.
“What’s the matter, can’t decide?” asks the salesman, his eye gleaming with visions of dollar signs dancing before him. He knows this customer well. He’s seen her here before.
“I’m not sure I really need an entire leg…,” hedges the middle-aged wallet before him. “My arthritis is only in my knees right now, and it really just acts up when it’s cold or it rains or snows. Do you have any models of just knee joints?”
“Well, I suppose I could get you just the knees, but then what happens when your arthritis starts in your feet? If you replace the leg now, you get the foot already attached. And with today’s biomechanical advances, you want to get the latest; plus you’ll know that the leg and foot are compatible, because they were literally–I know how pedantic some people can get about that word, but trust me I’m using it right, literally made for each other.”
“I don’t know,” continues his next sale. “I just came for a simple knee replacement. The arthritis isn’t that bad. I could just suffer through and save the money.”
The salesman can’t allow this fish to get away, no matter how much she struggles. As she turns toward the door, he calls out, “Sure, you could! I can show you some knees right now. I think they might even be on sale.” He makes sure she turns around before he puts his back to her and goes behind the register, fiddling with some boxes for the sake of appearances. Sometimes you need to let the fish think it’s getting away before reeling her back in.
He holds up a new box of biomechanical knee replacements. “Knees are a hot item right now, what with the weather and all. We guarantee these will feel just like your natural knees–naturally healthy and pain free ones, of course. Plus these can be customized to match your skin tone–virtually indistinguishable from your natural knees.”
The catch, err…woman is examining the flesh-toned items with interest. She suddenly looks up, worry creasing her puffed and tired face. “Virtually?”
“Well, of course, if we do the entire leg and foot, the single unit will naturally go together both aesthetically and functionally. But you said you don’t want to spend that kind of money-”
“Well, I don’t suppose it would hurt to just look at leg models. Would I need to buy a set? Or could I just get one to match my other leg?”
He’s got her.
He’s been doing this long enough to know when someone desperately needs an upgrade. She might protest about money, but really she just wanted to have no pain and plenty of energy to live her life. Like most people. She just wanted to reclaim her old life, a life free from the physical pain that set limits on her ability to live it.
He would save the best for last, quelling her financial worries with talk about insurance and payment plans and money-back guarantees, and within the hour he’d have her agreeing to an entire body upgrade with brain transplant. When the body is guaranteed for the next two centuries minimum, payment plans can be stretched to become affordable for even the most miserly of customers.
He decides not to tell her about the fine print; the reclamation program that kicks in if she fails to make her payments. With any luck, his own reclamation contract would be up soon. With just fifty more years or 14,000 sales, he would be free of his debt to the Company and own his own body free and clear.