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Re: A Note From A Leaf Salesman

Posted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:33 pm
by pkulak
Great post, thanks! Reminds me of this I heard a few months back:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-a ... 3/129-cars" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

One of the best TAMs I've ever listened to. But I'll tell you, it doesn't make it sound like being a car dealer is all that much fun!

Re: A Note From A Leaf Salesman

Posted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:09 pm
by DaveinOlyWA
Great post and very descriptive of what car salesmen have to go thru to make a living. But there is more to it, or at least there can be. Most dealerships also pay out random cash bonuses or spiffs. This is based on a lot of things and all the examples below may not pertain to you but are simply what I have seen but they we got bonuses like

selling two or more cars in one day including $500 if we sold 4 in a day. obviously that does not happen much

we also had bonuses for selling the car that has sat on the lot the longest. we also had bonuses for selling cars that had been on the lot at least a year (ya, it was Ford...)

most sales in a month

biggest margin (profit) in the month (obviously you probably not in the running for this)

and so on and the survey thing?

ya, I agree that is broken mostly because if your survey score is below "nearly perfect" you don't qualify for spiffs of any kind no matter what.

were spiffs important? we had a sales meeting every Friday or Sat morning and there was $1500 to $2500 in cash handed out every week.

so the dealer you work for is not totally blameless either

Re: A Note From A Leaf Salesman

Posted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:15 pm
by megger5963
Yeah. Spiffs exist. Absolutely.

We get paid a couple of hundred dollars for selling the most cars over the weekend or $25 per sold appointment. Or something to that effect.

But at the end of the day, and what many people fail to understand:

If a "mini" (or minimum commission on a car) is $100, and I sell 12-15 units, I make $12-1500/month. Minus 30% tax.

When was the last time you heard of feeding a family on $12-1500/month? That's why surveys are crucial. That can be an extra $1200-$5000 we wouldn't get otherwise.

No they aren't all "mini's", but Leafs tend to be. That's the point. Get your good deal -- just take care of salespeople on the survey. It's a broken system... agreed... but we can't fix it. And we love our jobs (well, some of us anyway). Sometimes it's just the little things that make it hard.

In these markets like ATL and California, salesman can sell more Leafs than any other car because the incentives are so good. So they really get hurt.

Food for thought while you guys shop (or look to replace your current Leaf). :)

Re: A Note From A Leaf Salesman

Posted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:14 pm
by bbrowncods
It would be nice if this was explained by the salesman during the delivery process. I really liked my salesman and knew that she was doing all she could to not just make the sale, but make me happy. Luckily I did give all "10"s. I'm glad I did now.
Just to let you know, I was as you described an internet customer. I received most of my information from the Nissan website concerning rebates, incentives, and the VPP program. All I wanted for a "deal" was that the dealer at least give the same information that the Company was giving. I walked out of a dealer that was only giving me 750 off on the VPP program when the VPP site said it should have been 1000. The dealer I bought from matched the web site to the dollar on the complete deal. Refreshing!

Re: A Note From A Leaf Salesman

Posted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:24 pm
by TimLee
Thanks for the great post megger5963 :!:
Till now I thought only the purchasers that were tired of being lied to by Nissan for four years were really pi**ed off :!:

What happens when Nissan short response deadline surveys with no stated deadlines never get filled out :?:
I completed my first irate Nissan survey after three years of ownership.
Wasted multiple hours on Nissan surveys in the past that turned out to be already closed.

My salesman was great.
Only problem with the vehicle I advised him about on missing options he told me Nissan would have to address. Nissan insinuated I might be lieing and told me to go pound sand.
Not a good result.

Nissan is the problem.
Not the customers or the salesmen. :cry: :cry: :cry:

Re: A Note From A Leaf Salesman

Posted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:44 pm
by kubel
Good post megger5963. It was frank and a good read.

There has to be a better way to play this game where both the salesperson and the buyer get by with fair deals and the dealership still has its thirst for the blood quenched...

Is your commission tier dependent on customer survey results? Better surveys = higher tier = more commission per unit sold? Or is it more than that?

If I came to the table as a no-nonsense buyer and said, "you get me x deal on a LEAF, I'll get you a perfect survey", (where x deal gets you crap for commission) would that be an acceptable agreement? Could you make money that way? Or what about, "you get us x deal, and we will get you 5 sales in one day and 5 perfect survey" (group lease), would that work for you?

Is it possible to make money on back channel agreements for favorable surveys and volume sales alone? I know it's kind of playing the system that way, but is it doable? Would a Nissan salesperson laugh in my face if I suggested such an offer?

Re: A Note From A Leaf Salesman

Posted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 5:06 am
by apvbguy
this post is not a reflection on the OP.
the whole auto dealer/car selling format stinks. the consumer almost always comes out of the deal poorly.
it is time to evolve to a system that Tesla has, and that one isn't perfect either.
in this day and age people can do their car shopping online like almost any other product.
All the manufacturer needs is to provide a place to actually view the car and an adviser to assist in completion of the transaction.
People really despise the current way new cars are sold.

Re: A Note From A Leaf Salesman

Posted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 5:45 am
by CmdrThor
Although you may be one of the "good" ones working hard for the customer for a beggar's salary, I would say you are the exception rather than the rule. That incredibly complicated process you detailed is exactly why most salesman waste the buyers time trying to extract maximum profit. You mention never needing to pay for maintenance again, but then why are there reports of dealers selling expensive maintenance plans to unsuspecting customers? Why did the first dealer I talked to regarding my Leaf play the "four square" game with me trying to figure out which detail of the transaction I cared about and then screw me on the rest? Sadly for him I found a salesman more like you at another dealership. He indeed was in charge of internet sales. He was the only one out of 10+ dealers I contacted to quote a reasonable price over the internet.

Regarding emails vs phone, please admit the real reason you are told to communicate over phone is because your only goal in communicating with the customer is to get them in to the dealership. Over the phone, lies can be told then once the customer is in, it is bait and switch time. Over email? Oh look the customer brought a written copy of the email in and now you have to honor your promises.

My suggestion to you would be to quit your job if you do not like it and apply to work at Tesla. You can avoid all of the garbage you described and help everyone have a more positive car buying experience. I love my LEAF but I hated the process of leasing it. I am much looking forward to my next vehicle, the Tesla Model X.

Re: A Note From A Leaf Salesman

Posted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:49 am
by bbrowncods
CARMAX has a good model. No haggle sales and no haggle trade-in offer. I have used them twice and both times they gave me more for my trade-in than any other dealer, and the car I bought was cheaper than most other dealers.

The last time I used them I just sold them my vehicle and didn't buy from them. It was a great experience. I know that when they sold it they made 5000 over what they gave me. I have no problem with that. Talking to the salesman, she loved not having to "play the game" with customers. I don't know their compensation package.

I agree Thor, there are better models for selling cars. Especially with the information available to customers. Most do their homework!

Re: A Note From A Leaf Salesman

Posted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 7:14 am
by megger5963
Good post megger5963. It was frank and a good read.

There has to be a better way to play this game where both the salesperson and the buyer get by with fair deals and the dealership still has its thirst for the blood quenched...

Is your commission tier dependent on customer survey results? Better surveys = higher tier = more commission per unit sold? Or is it more than that?

If I came to the table as a no-nonsense buyer and said, "you get me x deal on a LEAF, I'll get you a perfect survey", (where x deal gets you crap for commission) would that be an acceptable agreement? Could you make money that way? Or what about, "you get us x deal, and we will get you 5 sales in one day and 5 perfect survey" (group lease), would that work for you?

Is it possible to make money on back channel agreements for favorable surveys and volume sales alone? I know it's kind of playing the system that way, but is it doable? Would a Nissan salesperson laugh in my face if I suggested such an offer?
This is pretty much the exact opposite of the point of my OP. But yes. Essentially, you could say, "I want my deal and in exchange I won't screw you on the survey". Sure. This post is meant to say -- don't hold the survey over salesmen's heads. It's the only reason we do it - let's be honest - You're going to get your deal anyway. The survey need not be a factor.

A lot of people are talking about VPP on here. It sounds like there are some dealers out there who aren't honoring VPP. VPP is a contract between your employer and Nissan. It has to be adhered to if you have proof of your employment there. And the dealer gets paid back a few sheckels for it anyway, so they might as well do it. The problem comes in when people try to negotiate FROM VPP as a starting point. That breaches your employer's contract with Nissan. If we reported all of you, there would be no more VPP.
You mention never needing to pay for maintenance again, but then why are there reports of dealers selling expensive maintenance plans to unsuspecting customers?
So we aren't even allowed to tryto make money is basically what you are saying? You are a free thinking human being, you can buy what you want. We don't need phone insurance, but we all pay the $10/mo. and forget about it just in case. Same principle.
Regarding emails vs phone, please admit the real reason you are told to communicate over phone is because your only goal in communicating with the customer is to get them in to the dealership. Over the phone, lies can be told then once the customer is in, it is bait and switch time. Over email? Oh look the customer brought a written copy of the email in and now you have to honor your promises.
Any Nissan dealer is REQUIRED to record all incoming and outgoing phone calls with customers. Do I want you to come in? Absolutely. I can't sell you a car over the phone. And bait and switch gets me NOWHERE on the Leaf. You've got three offers in your back pocket for around the same price anyway. Leaf customers have the ultimate buying power. I'm more than happy to communicate over email and put everything I say in writing - after we have discussed it on the phone. It takes me all day to draft emails that ask you what color, features, packages, etc you want on your new Leaf when I could just ask you a few questions on the phone.

All we're trying to do is save you time. If something seems fishy, don't buy there. It's a free market. Pretty simple stuff. It would cost you just a few hundred dollars more to buy from a dealer a little farther away, even if you are remote and they have to transport the car to you. And save you a lot of headache.
My suggestion to you would be to quit your job if you do not like it and apply to work at Tesla. You can avoid all of the garbage you described and help everyone have a more positive car buying experience. I love my LEAF but I hated the process of leasing it. I am much looking forward to my next vehicle, the Tesla Model X.
I love my job. I said that several times. I don't want to work for Tesla. Their business model demotivates salesman and leaves no room for growth. The "positive car buying experience" is a two-way street. We need your help to provide that.

I agree with all of you. 90% of customers have done enough research to know more about the Leaf than I do. Do your homework before, when we ask what you want, just tell us, don't play shopping games. We will try our best to get you the deal you want. We know damn good and well what we are getting into when we sit down with a Leaf customer.

If you have a bad experience, SHOP ELSEWHERE. We respect that. Trust me, we know when we f**k up.