Right now Tesla is probably happy with any report that does not mention any “crash” of its electric cars, even one that talks about its salesman, who are not up to par with its industry peers. Pied Piper, a market research firm, conducted a series of mystery shopping visits at various auto showrooms and asked the mystery shoppers to measure how well dealerships follow standard sales processes.
Tesla CEO won’t mind a low score
Electrek reported that marketing research firm Pied Piper tasked the mystery shoppers with measuring “how well dealerships follow sales processes, like asking qualifying questions and eventually asking for the sale.”
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Ultimately, the mystery shoppers gave Volvo a score of 96 points, making it the second worst auto brand. Pied Piper gave the highest score (114) to Infinity, whereas the mystery shoppers gave the lowest score of 86 points to Tesla. Pied Paper Chief Executive Officer Fran O’Hagan said the employees of the EV maker were akin to “museum curators,” adding that they gave a strong knowledge of the product but never asked for sale.
However, over the years, Tesla Chief Executive and Founder Elon Musk has made it clear that Tesla’s salespeople are not encouraged to ask for a sale and are actually referred to as “Product Specialists.” Sales are ultimately completed online. In 2012, Musk wrote in a blog post that the goal and the sole metric of their success is to have people enjoy the experience of visiting so much that they look forward to returning again.
Possible flaws in the survey
Some of the comments from the respondents, however, do reveal flaws in the survey, says Benzinga. The survey was placing more emphasis on the salespeople pushing a car.
One of the users commented, “Ah crud… I’m not buying a Tesla for sure now if i can’t have the pleasure of being mauled by a pushy, lying salesman trying to sell me things i don’t need [sic].”
Another user noted that the mystery shoppers were given a list of specific things to look for, such as whether they were approached immediately, whether the facility was clean, etc. The user added that these things have nothing to do with the actual success of the business and that “the shoppers are hired by the business to check on the performance of the employees.”
Unlike most automakers in the U.S., Tesla does not use a franchise dealership model and instead owns all of its stores.