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Discussion Starter #1
I have a new sales/marketing program that is something like an amplified referral program, with many benefits. I want to pitch it to Tesla but I haven't been able to get a response from a single one of their official channels. I have hit the last resort of tweeting Mr. Musk but I am not a Twitter user so I have no following. It would be awesome if you could view the proposal at this blog: remotedriver.home.blog and, if you approve of the idea, retweet my tweet to Elon, here:
Alex Chaney on Twitter

I really think it could help Tesla, consumers, and the transition to clean energy. Thank you for your time!

Sincerely,
Alex Chaney
 

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This service already exists in the UK.
TestDrives2U | Book a Test Drive Online From Home

What do you think your proposal does that is not already mentioned in this thread?;
A New Dealer Model
however that thread describes a process for the customer from test drive through to delivery and service. You are only looking at one small part of the test drive.

Do you think Tesla in the US has not already thought of such options?

Also, in the US, have you tried actually asking Tesla, as a customer, to provide you a loan car for a few days to test it out. What was their response? Do they not do this already?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's awesome! How do they make their money? Dealerships?

What do you think your proposal does that is not already mentioned in this thread?;
A New Dealer Model
however that thread describes a process for the customer from test drive through to delivery and service. You are only looking at one small part of the test drive.
I don't have time to read the whole thread right now but I'll respond to the initial post. First off, you may have only looked at half the proposal. Convenient test-drives are the first and smaller part, the second is actively promoting the cars and brand by being available for tours and test drives to consumers who don't even know enough to be interested yet. Apologies if that was mentioned later in the thread, it is quite long =p As for the test-drive portion, I don't think Tesla should leave it to third-parties, nor should it cost money. I think they should do it in-house and do it right, just like they've done with everything else. With full implementation, people should know they can get a test-drive delivered to their door anywhere (and use a map on the website for available coverage before then).

Do you think Tesla in the US has not already thought of such options?
I'm sure they have, as I specifically mentioned at the start of the proposal ;) Nevertheless, the plan seems extremely solid to me so I'm left wondering if I haven't thought of some benefits they did not or if the timing wasn't right before and a reminder is in order to review it. If they responded by saying that they've considered it and dismissed it, I would leave it. So far, I have not been able to get any response at all, hence the unusual approach. How many great ideas might be lost if we always assumed they were redundant or gave up on them too easily, right?

Also, in the US, have you tried actually asking Tesla, as a customer, to provide you a loan car for a few days to test it out. What was their response? Do they not do this already?
I have not asked for a loaner and I do not know whether they offer that as an option or not. What I will say is that the availability of such an option is irrelevant if it is not made known to the customer base and the fact that I've never heard of it, despite being rabidly interested in Tesla, means it either doesn't exist or may as well not exist, as far as most customers are concerned. I'd also consider that a much worse solution. I highly doubt the loaner car would be delivered, as that would require expensive and complicated logistics. You could consider the 7-day money-back guarantee to be a similar option but it requires actually paying for the car and I doubt Tesla likes the idea of it being treated as a test service, considering the hassle they would go through. So, I wouldn't say it's an equivalent solution, whether it exists or not.
 

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If we set aside everything that goes along with offering test drives once someone is interested enough to ask for one, what you seem to want to offer is to feed extra insight into the public so that they can better understand the benefits of the product to them, and the value proposition?

Yes?

Well, that is called 'advertisting', so basically where you are is that you want to sell Tesla some advertising?

I dare say Tesla have a department set aside to advertising and market strategy, and have an array of marketing consultants on retainer and 10 times that number offering their services.

So you arrive at the back of the queue to sell 'advertising' into Tesla, but you don't know much about your competitors (other advertising people) or even realise that they are your competition (which probably links to the fact that when you are offered links to alternative business routes you don't have time to read about them), and you don't even know what services Tesla would already offer?

heh... the business world is a tough place to sell an idea into, isn't it! ;)

Keep smiling, and good luck...
 

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I think Tesla’s advertising budget is currently zero and unlikely to change in the near future.

They seem to be shying away from test drives and even stores, relying on their website and word of mouth as their primary means of promotion.
 

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So your cunning plan is basically Please Elon give me a Tesla and I'll show it to people?

On the one hand they already have owners doing that for free, in cars they bought. Incentivised by the referral programme.

And on the other hand they have showrooms where this can happen at the customer's convenience to walk in and view or test drive and have the full trained show-and-tell.

Given that they have oodles of demand, waitlists for their products, and are aiming to spend zero on marketing to the point of scaling back those showrooms, why would they spend money on you?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If we set aside everything that goes along with offering test drives once someone is interested enough to ask for one, what you seem to want to offer is to feed extra insight into the public so that they can better understand the benefits of the product to them, and the value proposition?

Yes?

Well, that is called 'advertisting', so basically where you are is that you want to sell Tesla some advertising?

I dare say Tesla have a department set aside to advertising and market strategy, and have an array of marketing consultants on retainer and 10 times that number offering their services.

So you arrive at the back of the queue to sell 'advertising' into Tesla, but you don't know much about your competitors (other advertising people) or even realise that they are your competition (which probably links to the fact that when you are offered links to alternative business routes you don't have time to read about them), and you don't even know what services Tesla would already offer?

heh... the business world is a tough place to sell an idea into, isn't it! ;)

Keep smiling, and good luck...
So, you're saying ignore the first half of the proposal and all the other benefits that don't have to do with advertising... so, the majority of the proposal? And then you're just restating that I shouldn't offer ideas because Tesla should already have thought of everything themselves. I'm not hearing much constructive criticism here. You seem to just want to belittle my attempt at aiding Tesla's efforts. I will reiterate, once more, that just because they have people working in marketing does not mean they have thought of every single opportunity and, even if they have considered all of this, it might have been at a time when it didn't make as much sense. Unless you're suggesting that all those ideas Twitter users shot to Elon about improving features of the car were things they already planned to do and were just waiting for a community member to suggest it before they implemented it? No one thinks of everything on their own. There's no harm in letting them know we think it's worth looking into so all that should be in question here is whether it's a good idea or not. If you have any actual constructive criticism for the idea, I'm all ears :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think Tesla’s advertising budget is currently zero and unlikely to change in the near future.

They seem to be shying away from test drives and even stores, relying on their website and word of mouth as their primary means of promotion.
That's exactly one of the strengths of this plan; It would be much cheaper than their current test drive program (while also being far more effective) and much cheaper than traditional advertising (while also generating free press). It would still involve commissions on sales, yes, but it would be a very slight reduction in overall profit margin for an impressive list of benefits. Essentially, cheaper and more effective.
 

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So, you're saying ignore the first half of the proposal and all the other benefits that don't have to do with advertising... so, the majority of the proposal? And then you're just restating that I shouldn't offer ideas because Tesla should already have thought of everything themselves. I'm not hearing much constructive criticism here. You seem to just want to belittle my attempt at aiding Tesla's efforts. I will reiterate, once more, that just because they have people working in marketing does not mean they have thought of every single opportunity and, even if they have considered all of this, it might have been at a time when it didn't make as much sense. Unless you're suggesting that all those ideas Twitter users shot to Elon about improving features of the car were things they already planned to do and were just waiting for a community member to suggest it before they implemented it? No one thinks of everything on their own. There's no harm in letting them know we think it's worth looking into so all that should be in question here is whether it's a good idea or not. If you have any actual constructive criticism for the idea, I'm all ears :)
I am offering constructive feedback by testing your business ideas, because you don't seem to be wanting to do that yourself.

If people encourage you into something business-wise without holding your feet to the fire first then they are doing you no favours.

I boiled what you are doing down to wanting to sell Tesla some advertising. You seem to have accepted that. Adverting agencies have all sorts of ideas for clever campaigns. Sometimes their ideas are bad and sometimes they are great, but what they are all good at is competing with each other to get a client to sign them up.

I am just putting what you are proposing in context.

You have said you have got to your last resort asking people to retweet you, and yet you have not actually asked Tesla various questions about how they might support their customers. I constructively suggest you have bailed a bit early on putting all the effort in yourself before asking others to do it for you.

Just for clarity, perhaps I might be misunderstanding; are you expecting Tesla to pay for any of what you are suggesting or were you wanting to do it for free for them? If the latter, then that is a slightly different proposition and maybe I have misjudged the situation, but I am not sure you really want to give free test rides to people in your own Tesla?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So your cunning plan is basically Please Elon give me a Tesla and I'll show it to people?
If you read the proposal, you would know that I am specifically NOT suggesting Tesla give anything away for free. Drivers would either use a Tesla they already own or lease one from Tesla. Hence, if anything, Tesla would be getting paid for the Driver to have a vehicle.

On the one hand they already have owners doing that for free, in cars they bought. Incentivised by the referral programme.
The referral program is awesome, as far as it goes. Unfortunately, as far as it goes seems to be major cities, thus far. At least, the referral program certainly hasn't spread out where I live and I assume my area isn't the only place. The idea of the active promotion is to incentivize a select few enough that they can afford to do it as their job. These people would also be known, effective agents; knowledgeable and talented at conveying that knowledge, as opposed to relying solely on anyone with a Tesla.

And on the other hand they have showrooms where this can happen at the customer's convenience to walk in and view or test drive and have the full trained show-and-tell.
I'm beginning to wonder if you read the proposal. One of the main points is that the showrooms and dealerships are NOT at the convenience of much of the population, if any. I was clear regarding what my own experience of going for a test drive was like and it was far from ideal and far worse than the program I'm proposing would have. I also mentioned, at the end, that the rep I dealt with on my drive was not so well trained as you might assume, since he left out major selling points (including affordability!).

Given that they have oodles of demand, waitlists for their products, and are aiming to spend zero on marketing to the point of scaling back those showrooms, why would they spend money on you?
They are scaling back their showrooms because some of them were ineffective and they want to save money anywhere they can. The program I propose would have a low cost of operation and many valuable benefits beyond generating demand. Even generating demand could still be useful in preventing people from buying ICVs because they would wait for a Tesla instead, if they only knew they wanted one.
 

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I'm beginning to wonder if you read the proposal.
I half expect you've tweeted that same phrase to Mr Musk! That'll be a winner!

It's not for others to wade through your text, it is for you to write/illustrate something that grabs their attention within 5 words or less, and compels them to be drawn in further.
 

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That's exactly one of the strengths of this plan; It would be much cheaper than their current test drive program (while also being far more effective) and much cheaper than traditional advertising (while also generating free press). It would still involve commissions on sales, yes, but it would be a very slight reduction in overall profit margin for an impressive list of benefits. Essentially, cheaper and more effective.
Certainly your idea has some merit.

It’s not to disimilar to the idea of using rangers for servicing, rather than have owners take their cars in to service centres.

A few questions however:
  • Who would provide the test drive vehicles or would they use existing owner’s cars?
  • How much commission would be paid for each sale?
Maybe this could be an extension of the existing referral program - owners can sign up to offer test drives and earn extra Supercharger miles or other freebies.
 

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The referral program is awesome, as far as it goes. Unfortunately, as far as it goes seems to be major cities, thus far. At least, the referral program certainly hasn't spread out where I live and I assume my area isn't the only place. The idea of the active promotion is to incentivize a select few enough that they can afford to do it as their job.
The nature of referral marketing is that it will trickle down from major population hubs and spread. Similarly with showrooms, they're going to be where the people are. I guess you must be a long way out in the boondocks - here in the UK there are showrooms an hour away from me in three directions, and here in the village an old lady has a Model S that I see almost daily, and when I mentioned to a friend the other evening that I was buying a Tesla he told me he'd been given a ride in a Model X - so the referrals by owners are certainly happening.

I'm beginning to wonder if you read the proposal
I'm with Donald on this. I lost the will to live part-way through. You need to be less verbose when pitching.

I don't think your problem is needing to draw more attention to your idea in order to get Tesla to read it - I think they've read it and are politely ignoring it because it's not that great. Sorry to be direct.
 
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