DOVER-FOXCROFT — Harold Chase should know what kind of cars are available at Rowell’s Garage. Not only has Chase been a car salesman at the local dealership since 1983, he has also been one of its best customers. Chase has purchased 28 vehicles from Rowell’s starting in 1959 with a used 1949 Buick, he said.
Chase, who has seen the car business change from families being predominantly interested in purchasing a car to now wanting a truck as their primary vehicle, has decided to retire.
“I’ll be 70 on May 14 so by retiring it will give me more time to do some other things,” Chase said. “I’ve enjoyed my time here at Rowell’s. I’ve sold a lot of cars to my friends and to customers who later became my friends.”
Chase had worked previously for 13 years as a life insurance salesman. After taking a year off, in 1983, his longtime friend and Rowell’s general manager, Bob Pomeroy, approached him about selling cars. Chase accepted the offer and still remembers his first car sale: an AMC Spirit to another friend, Lou Dow.
As a car salesman, he believes his and Rowell’s success over the years is due to their commitment to the customer. He described the sales team at Rowell’s as being low key by not employing high-pressure sales tactics.
“That fits right in with me,” Chase said. “I’ve enjoyed the exchange with the public over the years. I’ve sold many cars to my friends. I’ve also sold to those who became my friend after purchasing a car here.”
Whether its selling life insurance or automobiles, Chase believes listening skills are an essential quality for any salesman.
“You’ve got to be a good listener. You need to hear what a customer wants and be able to find their need. I’ve sold a lot of cars to customers over the years by providing them with what they want,” Chase said.
As a retiree, Chase plans on working more with his church and volunteering at the Living Word Food Cupboard in Dover-Foxcroft. Chase also plans on playing a lot of tennis. He is best known on the tennis court for using an exaggerated, oversized racquet head and playing shirtless during a hot, summer’s day.
Chase’s career at Rowell’s will culminate on Saturday during the company’s annual Customer Appreciation Day. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Rowell’s will recognize their loyal employee and thank their past and present customers during the event.
Rowell’s will serve a barbecue lunch with grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, soft drinks, coffee and cookies.
At 11 a.m., there will be a presentation given by Bill Emery of the House in the Woods, Inc. which is a military and family outdoor retreat program which honors veterans. The program is designed to heal the mental and physical pain experienced by returning veterans.
Rowell’s will also provide on-site financing as part of their Customer Appreciation Day.