megger5963
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:02 pm

Re: A Note From A Leaf Salesman

Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:29 am

Anyway, none of this is about the merits of the car business or the wealth car salesman can/cannot acrue.

I just wanted to educate the average Leaf customer on our side of things. I think that my fellow Leaf Sales Guys will appreciate it.

That pretty much concludes my participation in the thread.

xtremeflyer
Posts: 313
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:13 pm
Delivery Date: 03 Aug 2012
Location: Orange, CA

Re: A Note From A Leaf Salesman

Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:35 am

megger5963 wrote:
Now, not that $3600/mo is much to live on, but its more than your dramatic $1200-1500/month. This is why we don't like salesmen, they "spin" (get it) the numbers to get a reaction.
I don't get a spin on every car. Just Leafs. Betwen 1 and 3 a month in my market is a good month for a Leaf Salesman. We also sell other cars. Sorry I didn't clarify.
Ok, that makes more sense.. but I still couldn't imagine gambling for some of my salary. Also, the surveys shouldn't be the "majority" of your salary. Your pay shouldn't be determined by an inconsistent metric (ie different customers understanding a rating differently). I agree with an earlier poster, if Nissan wants it pass/fail, it shouldn't be 1-9 = fail, 10 = pass. I almost never give 10s on things, but I'm probably still a really happy returning customer if I put 8s or 9s. A 10 means perfect and I've never had a perfect sales experience (car sales or otherwise), except for the self-checkout line at the grocery store.

DaveinOlyWA
Posts: 14108
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:43 pm
Delivery Date: 16 Feb 2018
Leaf Number: 314199
Location: Olympia, WA
Contact: Website

Re: A Note From A Leaf Salesman

Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:40 am

xtremeflyer wrote:
megger5963 wrote:
Now, not that $3600/mo is much to live on, but its more than your dramatic $1200-1500/month. This is why we don't like salesmen, they "spin" (get it) the numbers to get a reaction.
I don't get a spin on every car. Just Leafs. Betwen 1 and 3 a month in my market is a good month for a Leaf Salesman. We also sell other cars. Sorry I didn't clarify.
Ok, that makes more sense.. but I still couldn't imagine gambling for some of my salary. Also, the surveys shouldn't be the "majority" of your salary. Your pay shouldn't be determined by an inconsistent metric (ie different customers understanding a rating differently). I agree with an earlier poster, if Nissan wants it pass/fail, it shouldn't be 1-9 = fail, 10 = pass. I almost never give 10s on things, but I'm probably still a really happy returning customer if I put 8s or 9s. A 10 means perfect and I've never had a perfect sales experience (car sales or otherwise), except for the self-checkout line at the grocery store.
the OP's example of the impact of surveys may seem extreme but I have personally witnessed people losing up to half their salary/bonuses due to having two low scores within a 30 day period.
2011 SL; 44,598 miles. 2013 S; 44,840 miles.2016 S30 deceased. 29,413 miles. 2018 S40; 15,000 miles, 478 GIDs, 37.0 kwh 109.81 Ahr , SOH 94.61, Hx 120.15
My Blog; http://daveinolywa.blogspot.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar
kikbuti
Posts: 101
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:28 pm
Delivery Date: 14 Apr 2017
Leaf Number: 311978
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: A Note From A Leaf Salesman

Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:06 pm

I appreciate the original post trying to educate us about the car business. The post helped some, but missed many. Some people will never be satisfied.

Consumers want it both ways. They don't want to do the sales dance... or at least that's what they say. They say that they like the Tesla sales model or the CARMAX model. Both these sellers charge retail and won't negotiate. CARMAX charges more than retail in my experience. But when these people come to your dealership, they don't want to pay the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). They ask you for "your best price." so that they can make a decision in the comfort and privacy of their own home. If you allow them to do that, you will be among 80% of underpaid and miserable salespeople who sell only 20% of auto sales. You have a choice of either lying to them or giving them a price with a reasonable/average profit. When you give them an honest fair price, any other dealer can beat it and you lose the sale. So much for not doing the dance. The one price model will not work for the auto business. Hello Saturn. This is the modern version of the horse trading business. People have cars to trade in. Don't hold your breath waiting for it to change.

For consumers, I recommend that you put on your big boy pants, do your research, and negotiate like an educated human being. You have plenty of tools. A lot of you like TrueCar. TrueCar charges the dealer $300 to $400 on each sale, so the dealer's cost on your car is $300 to $400 higher than if you didn't use TrueCar. It may make you feel better when buying a car, but I don't see it as a sustainable business model.

For salespeople, I recommend that you perfect your dance. Do whatever trickery you can to get the customer into your showroom. Don't lie to customers. Perfect your demonstration technique. Get them in the back seat to show them how much room is in there. Shut the door and keep them in the car. Get in the driver's seat and drive away. Take them to a secluded area away from the dealership and get them out so that they can get an undistracted view of the vehicle. They will surely want to drive it back to the dealership. If they like it, ask them to buy it. Give them the MSRP and your cost. Let them decide the profit. Who cares what the profit is? You just need to get them the car that they want. Most reasonable people will agree to a profit. They're just scared little children who have no idea what they should pay. Give them the information so that they can make an informed decision and ASK FOR THEIR BUSINESS. You will be among the 20% of salespeople who sell 80% of cars.

... and quit beating up on F&I managers. If you don't want super duper undercoating or $300 wheel locks, don't buy them. Just say no. Finance, insurance, extended service contracts etc. are valuable to some people and not others. Buy what you want. Don't buy what you don't want. Stop making it about the F&I manager. It's about you, isn't it?
2013 Cayenne Red Leaf SL ordered April 3rd Delivered April 17, 2013 2-yr lease ended

2016 Pearl White Leaf SL Premium April 14, 2017
Siemens VersiCharge 240V 30A EVSE

2017 Volvo XC60 Inscription

MikeinDenver
Posts: 329
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2014 10:40 am
Delivery Date: 03 May 2014
Leaf Number: 413923
Location: Columbus, OH

Re: A Note From A Leaf Salesman

Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:26 pm

kikbuti wrote:I appreciate the original post trying to educate us about the car business. The post helped some, but missed many. Some people will never be satisfied.

Consumers want it both ways. They don't want to do the sales dance... or at least that's what they say. They say that they like the Tesla sales model or the CARMAX model. Both these sellers charge retail and won't negotiate. CARMAX charges more than retail in my experience. But when these people come to your dealership, they don't want to pay the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). They ask you for "your best price." so that they can make a decision in the comfort and privacy of their own home. If you allow them to do that, you will be among 80% of underpaid and miserable salespeople who sell only 20% of auto sales. You have a choice of either lying to them or giving them a price with a reasonable/average profit. When you give them an honest fair price, any other dealer can beat it and you lose the sale. So much for not doing the dance. The one price model will not work for the auto business. Hello Saturn. This is the modern version of the horse trading business. People have cars to trade in. Don't hold your breath waiting for it to change.

For consumers, I recommend that you put on your big boy pants, do your research, and negotiate like an educated human being. You have plenty of tools. A lot of you like TrueCar. TrueCar charges the dealer $300 to $400 on each sale, so the dealer's cost on your car is $300 to $400 higher than if you didn't use TrueCar. It may make you feel better when buying a car, but I don't see it as a sustainable business model.

For salespeople, I recommend that you perfect your dance. Do whatever trickery you can to get the customer into your showroom. Don't lie to customers. Perfect your demonstration technique. Get them in the back seat to show them how much room is in there. Shut the door and keep them in the car. Get in the driver's seat and drive away. Take them to a secluded area away from the dealership and get them out so that they can get an undistracted view of the vehicle. They will surely want to drive it back to the dealership. If they like it, ask them to buy it. Give them the MSRP and your cost. Let them decide the profit. Who cares what the profit is? You just need to get them the car that they want. Most reasonable people will agree to a profit. They're just scared little children who have no idea what they should pay. Give them the information so that they can make an informed decision and ASK FOR THEIR BUSINESS. You will be among the 20% of salespeople who sell 80% of cars.

... and quit beating up on F&I managers. If you don't want super duper undercoating or $300 wheel locks, don't buy them. Just say no. Finance, insurance, extended service contracts etc. are valuable to some people and not others. Buy what you want. Don't buy what you don't want. Stop making it about the F&I manager. It's about you, isn't it?

You appear to be missing a lot. Customers are forced to do the dance. The dance is perpetuated by the dealers. If I know I cannot get the vehicle price any lower and it is fair I will pay that price. But dealers don't want that because they couldn't gouge so many people that way.

As for the F&I guys they deserve their bad rap. Despite saying no they will continue to push it or give you attitude etc. The car buying experience would be a lot better without them in the picture. If people want those things they can/will ask. If they don't you don't have to try to shove it down their throats or coerce them into paying way too much for something.
2013 SL

asemeco
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:05 am
Delivery Date: 13 May 2015
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: A Note From A Leaf Salesman

Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:22 pm

I had two experiences with Leaf salespeople:

Dealer #1: I showed at the dealership, talked to a salesman. Explained what I wanted: A straight quote on a specific model and set of features. He leaves me to "try to get the best deal from his manager." I see them through the glass, joking and having a good time. I wait for 35 minutes. I leave.

Dealer #2: I show up, ask for the same as before. He gives me a lease quote right away, in writing. I test drive. I go home, check it out with other dealers and this Web site. It's not the best, but close within a few dollars per month. I show up again, have 3 questions about federal and state tax credits, rollovers, battery warranty, further lease details. He gives me accurate info (I looked it up in advance). I close the deal. One hour after my second visit, I'm driving off. Three coworkers leased Leafs from the same dealer that day.

He insisted on pairing up my Bluetooth phone with the Leaf and do some other setup, but I had to go back to work and I knew how to do all that. I did it myself later.

He offered advice on EVSEs, but I already had one picked. I ran it by him, and he had no objections.

If you treat customers right, from time to time you will get some that are relatively quick to close a deal with.

User avatar
TomT
Posts: 10641
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:09 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Mar 2011
Leaf Number: 000360
Location: California, now Georgia
Contact: Website

Re: A Note From A Leaf Salesman

Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:49 pm

To this day, my experiences with Danny and Joanna at Fontana Nissan are the gold standard of what a sales and customer experience should be like!
Should I ever buy another Leaf, there is no question but that I would go back to them if Danny and/or Joanna are still there!
Last edited by TomT on Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
Leaf SL 2011 to 2016, Volt Premier 2016 to 2019, and now:
2019 Model 3; LR, RWD, FSD, 19" Sport Wheels, silver/black; built 3/17/19, delivered 3/29/19.

GRA
Posts: 10898
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: A Note From A Leaf Salesman

Tue Jun 24, 2014 7:44 pm

First I agree 100% with wbleaf's post above, which is why most of us hate dealing with car dealerships and salespeople. The only two new cars I bought, I knew far more about them than the salespeople, and that has continued to be my experience when considering EVs.
Zythryn wrote:
megger5963 wrote:...
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 think you have simply been told that and don't really know the specifics of their sales model.

The Tesla store employees I have met, and a few I know well, are more motivated than any other car salesman I have ever met.
They have, on average, a much higher level of knowledge about their own cars (granted, they only have two models, soon three).
They have set goals, but take their job as education, not sales.
I have seen "specialists" become leads, store managers, even regional managers. And of course, if owning a chunk of a disruptive company (stock) doesn't motivate you, I am not sure what would.

The excitement and enthusiasm shown by these people are unbelievable.

And...there is none of this, "let me go clear this with my manager" three times before you even get to do a dance with the finance guy.

If their business model "demotivates" sales staff, I would hate to see the Tesla staff I know when they were motivated.
I used to work commission-only designing and selling off-grid AE systems, and my experience of that was exactly like your description of Tesla "salespeople". Fortunately, neither my boss or I had any desire or need to sell people something they didn't need. As above, I didn't consider myself a salesman, I considered myself in customer service. I wanted to help the customer make the best, most informed choice they could, ideally by educating them enough so _they_ could design the system themselves with me only giving advice when asked of if I thought they were making a major mistake, and save them money in the process. If I didn't think a system would work for them, I was free to say that, too. Nor was I restricted to trying to push a single company's products; we always had at least three company's products in any particular area to choose from, so I was free to mix and match to best suit the customer's needs instead of pushing a particular line.

As far a straight commission sales go it was a dream job, and the only kind of sales job I'd take; I refuse to work for a company that prioritizes maximizing profit at the expense of customer satisfaction, i.e. requires me to lie to customers or sell them stuff they don't need or want. As others have said, the current car dealership model is broken, and the sooner we get rid of it, the better.
Last edited by GRA on Wed Jun 25, 2014 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

LeftieBiker
Moderator
Posts: 13017
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: A Note From A Leaf Salesman

Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:03 pm

Dealer #1: I showed at the dealership, talked to a salesman. Explained what I wanted: A straight quote on a specific model and set of features. He leaves me to "try to get the best deal from his manager." I see them through the glass, joking and having a good time. I wait for 35 minutes. I leave.
One of the worst tactics that dealerships use is the "make them wait" sales model, in which they both wear you down and increase your investment of time and effort, to the point where not buying or leasing a car seems like a huge personal loss. Worse yet, this carries over into service visits. Today I went to drop my Leaf off to have the recall reprogramming done, and the Leaf Service Manager suggested I wait for the car instead, as they'd do it immediately. I said fine, I'd be back in...an hour? He agreed. An hour later the car wasn't ready. Two hours later it still wasn't ready, my pain meds were long worn off, and my blood sugar was dropping because I hadn't eaten before leaving to drop it off. I asked him what the holdup was, and 20 minutes later I was finally leaving. While I was waiting, I asked a salesman what time it was:

"Daytime!"

"Time to buy a new car!"

"Just kidding. It's 4:05."

He seemed put out that I didn't enjoy the joke. Now when the post-visit survey arrives, the perfect score I would otherwise have given them will instead be a "fine except for unexplained two hour wait for 20 minute job" mixed score.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
BAFX OBDII Dongle
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

P71VIC
Posts: 96
Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 9:31 am
Location: Maryland

Re: A Note From A Leaf Salesman

Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:10 pm

This isn't going to sound polite, but I don't mean it that way to the individual who posted this. I just have a strong opinion about the car buying process from the consumer point of view. Thank you for your write up, it was interesting.


I don't care. I just don't care. I don't want to care about a sales man and what he makes or doesn't make. I care only about the car that I am either evaluating or after decision has been reached, purchasing.
  • When I am trying to find out information about a car I want to be able to do this in a way that I trust and on my own terms.
    When I am ready to hands on evaluate a car, I want to be able to do this quickly, conveniently and at my own pace.
    When I am ready to buy a car I need the process of trading money for vehicle to be easy, transparent, trouble free, and then have the car delivered quickly.
Never in this process do I want to think about the mechanics of the transaction, worrying if I have played the game right or wrong.

This is what is so fundamentally broken with the automotive dealer system in this country. It fails in nearly all of these ways.

I have had two extremely negative experiences at dealers.
#1 at a Chevy dealer, where they wouldn't let me test drive a sports car, because I was a young man I guess, type cast as someone who couldn't afford such as car and only wanted a joy ride. I bought a sports car from another manufacture in the same price range two weeks later.
#2 at a VW dealer. I told them I wanted a particular model, with particular options and that I was willing to pay appropriate for it. Dealer said "great Mr. P71, I have one exactly like that on a boat right now inbound for the dealer. It is due here in about 10 days. I'll give you a call." I ask if they want a deposit, they say no. 11 days later, no call and they sold the car out from under me. I bought a car from another manufacture in the same price range two weeks later.

Both of these times, incompetent independent dealers soured me from a whole brand. This whole terrible brand tarnishing system is what Tesla is trying to up end and I applaud them for it. They meet almost all of my requirements above, except delivering quickly after ordering with their whole reservation system.

I have been able to buy computers configured the way I want them and delivered shortly there after with no sales man involved for over 15 years now. Why can't I do this for a car?

So Mr. Sales man, I'm sorry, but I just don't care. Get out of my way and let me buy a car. Your employer hired you to preform a role in a sales process that is broken, and as car buyer I just don't care and don't want the transaction to work the way it does at all. You profession has been deprecated, at least for me, and other customers like me.

Return to “Buying / Leasing / Dealerships”