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family of 5 with BEV and no home charging access
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I think the writer just came across the normal problem you find in most car dealers. The salespeople are all on commission which varies with head office promotions, they have every pressure to sell you a car, any car. Add in the large number of time wasters they have to deal with and it is little wonder that standards can slip.
I was fortunate when I first went into a Nissan dealer, I spoke to a new employee who was keen to make his mark, at the same time as Nissan were promoting the LEAF, in a dealership with a Manager who liked the LEAF and had one as his company car. I went in to look at another model, but ended up buying a retread LEAF. When the Gen 2 came out they contacted me.
I know of two dealers who have specialist sales people for the LEAF who seem to know what is going on, and are proactive with customers.
Maybe the UK Nissan dealers are better selected and controlled than in the US
 

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Only had good dealings with Nissan dealers in the UK for the Leaf, even the ones we didn't buy from in the end, fair play to them.
 

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I'm not crazy, the attack has begun.
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I arranged a 7 day test drive direct with Nissan. A week before the due date had heard nothing at all so called the dealer it was supposedly arranged with and they knew nothing about it. Called Nissan again who simply said they'd rebook.... for 2 months later! Asked them to explain what happened and they hadn't got a clue. Asked if there was anything earlier for a few days and nothing in the whole country it seems.

I booked the two month slot... but cancelled. I bought an Ampera during the wait. After cancelling I get a call nearer the date asking if I was looking forward to my test drive.

That's a big F-Fat Fail by Nissan. Bunch of half-wits. If you want to sell cars, guys, try selling them.
 

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I'm not crazy, the attack has begun.
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Nissan are nothing special, mind.

I was ready to buy an e-Up. Set my heart on it at one point. Was willing to take a trip up to Chester to look at one and they guy says 'oh, we don't have it in just now'. OK I say, call me next week and we can arrange something. Nothing. I call again, no one to talk about it. Called another dealer. And another, never got a call back. Popped into a 'Johnsons' dealers who had one but were holding on to it at full list price. 'We're not going to take a loss on it' he says. OK, and several months later they took a loss on it. I must have been ignored at least 6 times by phone. No interest in selling one at all.

I asked for an i3 brochure, got that through, interested, then I start getting emails. Mostly 7-series for some reason (maybe that is my demographic?) and a few 3 series thrown in. I ignore it in the hope of seeing some i3 info, because I can either cancel all emails, or keep getting these. After a while I get an email saying 'if you are still interested in a BMW then let us know, else we'll stop emailing you' so I email straight back saying 'yes, I am interested, I will be looking at an i3 soon', and then the emails stop.
 

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family of 5 with BEV and no home charging access
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115 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I was fortunate when I first went into a Nissan dealer, I spoke to a new employee who was keen to make his mark, at the same time as Nissan were promoting the LEAF, in a dealership with a Manager who liked the LEAF and had one as his company car. I went in to look at another model, but ended up buying a retread LEAF. When the Gen 2 came out they contacted me.
I wonder whether we've got the same dealer! This was pretty much my experience too!
 

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BMW Derby were very good nearly convinced me to buy the i3. He was a nice lad and knew his stuff. Told him I worked odd hours he listened and emailed instead of ringing. Most Nissan dealers were useless and generally lied to me but found a good one at Chesterfield with a good ev specialist. Unfortunately he wasn't able to do the best deals but he got my business in the end.
 

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Of my recent experience I have found Volvo dealerships to be the worst, they seriously believe they are selling a premium marque...and will absolutely not budge on prices, when you can get a spec'd BMW for less than a bog standard Volvo there is something seriously wrong. The prices they came up with for the V60 PHEV had me laughing out of the showroom, "We can't let you out for a demo in it, its the dealer principals car and he wants to go home"

Best has to be Mitsu for fixing stuff that didn't really fall under their remit without any prompting.
 

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My brother, who was once a salesman, comments that 'People buy from people'.
As as salesman he always tried to keep up with every aspect of the products he was selling, if he didn't know he made certain that he found out and let the potential customer know. If the customer wanted a quote he made sure that one was in the post that day. (now e-mail) together with a full brochure/ spec. He was cold calling so had to work hard to persuade the customer to buy a product they had not even thought of. He won salesman of the year four times in a row, and is now selling entire factories.

Car salesmen in the main are passive sellers, customers mostly come to them, it's hardly difficult. So why do they fail so often? Why do so many not know their product, or even know where to find the information. Is there something wrong in the way in which cars are sold?
 

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Should we blame the salesperson? Does it come from a culture at the dealership? If the manager at the top is bad, it filters down. If they're good, it also filters down.

A sweeping statement but you get the gist. Look what happened at VW under the 'iron' leadership of Mr Winterkorn. Many successful companies are run by firm but fair directors/owners. Mediocre companies are run by iron fist bully boys.

So rather than blame the salesman on the shop floor totally, perhaps there's been a trickle down effect of shiteness?
 

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I think a certain Mr Musk has a view on that....
I found good, bad and truly terrible dealers over the years. I would agree the best are those who know the product and take an interest in what the customer wants rather than what they need to sell. The Tesla experience has been a revelation so far, all the sales centre staff seem very enthusiastic and fairly knowledgable. To my interest I was told they are not incentivised to see cars at all although they do have targets for getting people into demo drives. This is possible because the car sells itself brilliantly, but whatever the reason it's a breath of fresh air.
 

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I'm not crazy, the attack has begun.
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The Tesla salesman is also aided by having only one single product to sell. A fairly unique arrangement in the world of sales, anywhere. If they knew nothing about that one product, one might rightly thrown scorn around, whereas a salesman having to field enquiries over a range of products is a slightly different matter. Admittedly, if they claim to have specially trained 'EV staff' then that weighs against them, but all the same you have to wonder if that is all they are asked to sell.
 

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I do take on board what @donald says but a lot of this comes down to passion. In my career in sales & marketing, I've had to promote plenty of 'dull' products, including manhole covers! If you don't have passion for your products, at least feint it!

I'd wager that 80% of the members on this forum would make better sales people for cars (particularly EV ones) as 80% of existing car sales people. The majority either seem disinterested or pushy.

The best experiences I've had have been from Tesla and the i salesman at Stratstone, Derby. They have the right balance of showing interest and having knowledge, without being pushy. The worst experience I've had is at Motorpoint. I even walked away from a sale after having made a deposit due to their attitude. They reluctantly gave me my deposit back (after a week or so and repeated reminders). What do they think are the chances of me ever going back?
 

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So what's the problem with new car sales? Is it a culture passed down the generations? Is it the heavy and almost unobtainable targets? the wrong people (or the right ones in the dealership eyes?)?

Why are so many (not all) short sighted? Like the example at Motorpoint above. Is it they're in for the short term targets and thus treat customers in the same short term manner?

The industry keeps saying it'll change, but really doesn't seem to, at least not comprehensively. My Toyota dealers were professional and helpful and we bought two new cars off them because of it. The Nissan dealership tick the same boxes for service, but miss the mark by a mile; a professionally printed letter and satisfaction questionnaire on nice paper in a white envelope against a photocopied compliment slip and a satisfaction questionnaire that must have been photocopied about 10 times previously - lop sided, covered in dots and verticle lines and almost unreadable.

They both asked for my opinion after working on my car, but one gives a professional impression, the other gives the impression of a bunch of idiots. Guess which one was from Toyota and which was from Nissan?

@NissanGB it's not rocket science for your dealers to give a professional service.
 

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I'm not crazy, the attack has begun.
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I think the answer lies in something else Tesla do (not that it makes a difference in their case).

That is;- discounts from list price.

The best salesmen in the world will still always have in the back of their minds that you will milk them for information and then go find the cheapest deal. The best salesmen are not too concerned about that because they present themselves as the best 'value' by their professionalism, if not outright purchase price.

But that's the best ones. The 'average' wonder why they should bother if they know they are not the best on price.

I think the whole model of dealerships is broken. Dealers should be able to 'sell' a test drive/purchase contract that the vehicle manufacturer then pays. At that point it is in the dealer's interest to offer the best purchasing experience, rather than 'car'. The vehicle manufacturers should have faith that the best purchasing experience leads to the best sales, then fix the price of the car to something realistic and pay the dealers to process the car at point of sale. The dealers are then not involved in actually selling 'a car', they sell the purchasing, collection and ownership experience to the vehicle manufacturer who pays them for delivering that to the customer, who then actually pays the vehicle manufacturer directly.
 

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The likes carwow and drive the deal makes having expensive dealers just there for test drives for new car purchases. Great for the consumer though as the dealers are effectively competing with each other for the sale.

It would be interesting if carwow etc. expand to used cars, although its much more difficult to compare prices as no two used cars are exactly the same.
 

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The problem is that service costs money, be it a brochure, a nice glass fronted showroom with plenty of options on display, or whatever. It all has to be paid for somehow. We all use on-line shopping, especially for generic items. We all went in to Comet to look at freezers or tellys then when we found one we liked we looked online and bought it cheaper. What happened to Comet? When it comes to a new suit or a car, we need to try it on and see how it feels, do we like it? Does it meet our needs? Is it good quality/ value for money? That service costs.
At the end of the day, a car dealer is two things, a retailer and a workshop. They make more on repairs and maintenance than they do on new car sales. Historically car brands forced us to use their franchise for maintenance, especially on new(ish) vehicles. Now, they cant do that.
At the 'lower' end of the car market, sales staff move around very frequently. Pile 'em high and sell 'em cheap. Higher 'class' car salesmen tend to be better rewarded and stay loyal to a brand for longer, hence know their product and their customer profile. If i worked for Tesla, Merc, or Jaguar, i wouldn't leave to work for Citroen, Dacia or Kia.
 
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