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Tesla ranked last on a survey ranking auto salespeople

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tesla model 3
Tesla’s sales strategy is
unique in the auto industry.

Lucy
Nicholson / Reuters



  • Tesla
    ranked 34th out of 34 auto brands included in a survey that
    evaluated how helpful their salespeople are to customers and
    experienced one of the survey’s biggest year-to-year
    declines.
  • Pied Piper CEO Fran O’Hagan told
    The Los Angeles Times
    that Tesla‘s
    stores displayed a high degree of variance, with some stores
    featuring “excellent, helpful salespeople,” and others
    whose employees seemed indifferent over whether customers
    purchased a vehicle.
  • Audi finished first in the survey, followed by Lexus
    and Toyota.

Tesla ranked 34th out of 34 auto brands included in a survey that
evaluated how helpful their salespeople are to customers and
experienced one of the survey’s biggest year-to-year declines.
Audi finished first in the survey, followed by Lexus and Toyota.

The survey was conducted by the auto sales and service research
firm Pied Piper, which hired 3,466 people to shop at 3,466
dealerships across the US between July 2017 and June 2018 and
evaluated the brands on over 50 criteria, including how
frequently salespeople asked customers questions about how they
might use a vehicle, if they described how a vehicle was
different from its competitors, and if they explained why
customers should buy from their dealership or store.

Tesla was among the top brands by some measures, including how
often they used visual aids in the sales process and how little
they left customers to consult with an unseen manager.

When asked for comment, a Tesla representative referred Business
Insider to a 2016 tweet from CEO Elon
Musk
commenting on Pied Piper’s 2016 customer satisfaction
survey, in which Tesla ranked 33rd out of 33 brands.

“Tesla finishes last in being salesy! Good,” Musk said.

Pied Piper CEO Fran O’Hagan told
The Los Angeles Times
that Tesla’s stores displayed a high
degree of variance, with some stores featuring
“excellent, helpful salespeople,” and others whose employees
seemed indifferent over whether customers purchased a vehicle.

Unlike other auto companies, Tesla does not sell its
vehicles through licensed dealerships. Instead it sells them
through its website and company-owned stores. Avoiding the
dealership model gives Tesla more control over the sales process,
but the company has run into opposition from state governments,
some of which have laws that prohibit automakers from selling
vehicles directly to their customers. 

Musk has previously described a sales philosophy that
contrasts against car dealership stereotypes. In 2012, Musk wrote
a
blog post
on Tesla’s website describing his preference for
Tesla employees to be informative, rather than aggressive in
pushing for sales.

“They are not on commission and they will never pressure
you to buy a car,” Musk said of Tesla salespeople. “Their goal
and the sole metric of their success is to have you enjoy the
experience of visiting so much that you look forward to returning
again.”


If you’ve worked for Tesla and have a story to share,
you can contact this reporter at
[email protected]

Get the latest Tesla stock price here.

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