2014 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index
In a follow-up email, he elaborated a bit more:
Tesla had 49 locations that can sell cars (according to their web site) and we shopped every one of them.
From our perspective, if we had found that Tesla dealerships all followed the same steps to sell—even if different from what we normally find—we would have been able to conclude that they were following the approach they had purposefully chosen to sell. That is not what we found. We found much more variation in sales steps than for any other brand. My guess is that this is from being a new network more so than selling in a “new” way. [Emphasis ours]
To put this variation into numbers, one out of four Tesla dealerships performed well; scoring above the Mercedes-Benz PSI average of 110, but in contrast, one half of the Tesla dealerships had a PSI score below 60.
To be clear there are Tesla dealerships with salespeople who are brilliant; doing all they can to be helpful in turning a new Tesla shopper into a happy Tesla owner. On the other hand though, there are many more Tesla dealerships with salespeople who know their product inside and out, but don’t bother to figure out what’s important to their shoppers, or proactively take steps to help them become owners. Here’s a quote from one of the dealer visits, “The principal focus of the discussion was the car and its functions and its technology. This was it. Nothing else.”
Years ago we came up with the term, “Museum Curator” as a description of salespeople who are friendly and knowledgeable, but do nothing to proactively help car-shoppers become car-owners. In contrast, the very best salespeople are just as friendly and knowledgeable as the “museum curators,” but also get to know the needs of their customers and do all they can to be helpful in the customer’s effort to buy a car. Tesla has many of these brilliant salespeople, just not nearly as many as at dealer networks for some other brands.