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Wards Auto Tesla Salespeople Would Make Great Museum Curators

Wards Auto
Tesla Salespeople Would Make Great Museum Curators

July 2014

I ask Fran O'Hagan for a point of clarification after he says he would have been impressed if his consulting firm's study showed Tesla dealerships were consistent “regardless of whether I believe they're doing the right thing.”

Wait? Does that mean he might think it is wrong for Tesla to bypass the traditional franchised dealership system and instead run its own stores? A lot of state dealer associations think it's wrong. They cite various state franchise laws as they fight the legality of Tesla's factory-outlet setup.

But O'Hagan, president of Pied Piper Management which did an annual mystery-shopping analysis of dealership sales effectiveness by brand, says he wasn't weighing in on whether upstart Tesla should or shouldn't sell its electric cars through franchised dealers like other brands do.

“We're Switzerland,” he says, referring to the neutrality of that nation. “When I say I'd be impressed if Tesla dealerships were all doing the same thing, right or wrong, I'm referring to there being at least a consistency to the sales process.”

But there isn't, according to the latest Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index. For the first time, it included 50 Tesla dealerships in states where the automaker is permitted to sell factory-direct. In other states, tough dealer-franchise laws prevent that.

Tesla dealership staffers on average did a couple of things right but enough wrong to finish dead last in the index ranking. Tesla scored 86. The industry average is 100. Mercedes-Benz topped the list with 110, followed by Infiniti (108), Lexus (105) and Cadillac, Hyundai, Smart and Toyota in a 4-way tie for fourth with 104.

Some individual Tesla salespeople made all the right moves, such as demonstrating product knowledge, engaging with customers, offering a test drive, giving compelling reasons to buy and pointing out features distinct from the competition.

But those showroom standouts were rarities. “We found huge variations with Tesla stores,” O'Hagan says. “There were examples of brilliant salespeople doing everything perfectly.”

And then there was everyone else, a legion of workers that hasn't mastered the fine art of car salesmanship.

Tesla scored low mainly because too many dealership staffers acted like museum curators, O'Hagan says. “They were friendly, knowledgeable and answered questions, but they didn't find out what is important to the buyer and they stopped short of asking for the sale.”

That's fine for conducting gallery tours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. But the stuff there isn't for sale. Dealership cars are.

One mystery shopper's field report describes an encounter with a Tesla salesman:

“He didn't really ask any questions about me. The majority of the conversation was me asking him questions and trying to keep the conversation going while he provided answers. He didn't get into specifics or attempt to get me to buy a vehicle. He was just answering questions.”

Ironically, Tesla led all brands in following up with customers after their store visits. “That's great behavior, but if you stop short of selling the car in the first place, following up seems contradictory,” O'Hagan says.

The study spotlights other contrasts. For example, Lincoln dealership salespeople were among the least likely to approach a customer and say: “Can I help you?” On the other hand, sister-brand Ford salespeople were among the most likely to do that.

The question may seem like one of those innocuous little things humans say to each other to get the ball rolling, like asking how someone is doing.

But at a dealership, a seemingly harmless “Can I help you?” typically triggers the deadly response of “I'm just looking.”

An open-ended starter question is much better, O'Hagan says. “We measure it. Salespeople who don't say, ‘Can I help you?' are more successful. They might instead say, ‘I saw you pull up in a Ford F-350 dualie, do you tow?' That builds rapport. The answer to that is never ‘I'm just looking.'”

There's a right and wrong way to sell cars whether a brand runs its own stores or uses the franchise system, he says. “What we consider right is what the math says turns shoppers into buyers.”

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The Detroit Bureau Following the Pied Piper: Study Shows Which Dealers Best at Closing the Deal

The Detroit Bureau
Following the Pied Piper: Study Shows Which Dealers Best at Closing the Deal
Despite claims of doing things better, Tesla falls far short of rivals

July 2014

For many – perhaps most – motorists, buying a car is a process only slightly less painful than having a root canal. Yet some dealers do a markedly better job not only keeping potential customers satisfied but also making sure they close the deal. Who's doing the best job is the subject of a new study that puts Mercedes-Benz at the top of the list, and battery-car start-up Tesla way down at the bottom.
It's the first time Tesla has been included in the annual Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index, and it raises serious questions about the California carmaker's claims to be doing things a better way with an approach that relies on factory-owned, rather than franchised, showrooms.

“Today, car salespersons have become a lot more helpful” than they were barely a decade ago, said Fran O'Hagan, the analyst behind the Pied Piper study. But he cautions that it takes more than just a friendly attitude and the ability to answer a customer's questions to close a deal while also keeping buyers happy.

“We're measuring how effectively a dealer turns a car shopper into a car buyer,” added O'Hagan.

The 2014 Pied Piper Satisfaction Index, or PPSI, looks in detail at the sales process, tracking how retailers and their sales staff follow what might be described as best practices. Do they greet a customer walking into the showroom? Do they outline specific and relevant features of a vehicle and compare it to the competition? Do they take the appropriate steps to close a sale rather than stand back as a potential buyer leaves the showroom?

By and large, the answer is yes at Mercedes-Benz stores, the German brand leading the PPSI as it has consistently over recent years – reflecting a concerted corporate effort to develop a best-practices approach to sales that O'Hagan says most Mercedes dealers now follow. Infiniti comes in a close second, followed by Lexus and, in a four-way tie, Cadillac, Hyundai, Smart and Toyota.
In general, there have been major – and generally positive – changes in the way dealers operate since O'Hagan launched the Pied Piper study in 2007. On the whole, it echoes the results of other studies that have found car shopping has become a bit less of a tedious chore. There's less of what O'Hagan calls the “Wild West” practices that created a layer of anxiety for shoppers.

But while today's salespeople tend to be more professional, some, he says, “fall into what I call the museum curator category. They answer your questions but they don't proactively help turn you into a car buyer.” Surprisingly, a majority of those working at Tesla showrooms “fell into that category,” O'Hagan's team of mystery shoppers discovered after visiting every single one of the maker's stores around the U.S. Where benchmark Mercedes scored 110 on the PPSI scale, with an industry-average score of 100, Tesla slumped to the bottom, at just 86.

Tesla salespeople, said O'Hagan, “are far less likely to give reasons to buy or offer a test drive or talk about financing options. They're much more likely to fall into the museum curator category. They're friendly and knowledgeable, but don't do anything proactively to turn a shopper into a Tesla owner.” The low score is all the more surprising considering the start-up maker's argument that it can do a better job by owning its own stores rather than going the traditional franchise route – a position that has run it afoul of dealer groups and franchise laws in a number of states.

While dealers are generally doing a better job working with customers on the showroom floor, the latest Pied Piper study did find the old Wild West mentality remains, ironically, when it comes to working with customers online. Among other things, dealers often tend to be slow to respond to email requests from customers, a delay that can send a potential buyer scurrying to another store. Lexus topped the industry in terms of Internet practices, said O'Hagan, though he quickly added that, “Even the top brands were only average at best.”

Asked why it matters to follow best-practice policies, O'Hagan said there is a direct correlation between those stores that top the PPSI chart and those at the bottom. The best dealers continuously outsell the poorer stores by 16%. For a manufacturer, that can translate into significant lost sales and market share and translate into higher incentives and advertising expenses.

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MERCEDES-BENZ DEALERS RANKED HIGHEST BY 2014 PIED PIPER PSI(R)

MERCEDES-BENZ DEALERS RANKED HIGHEST BY 2014 PIED PIPER PSI(R)

July 2014

MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA – July 7, 2014 – Mercedes-Benz dealerships ranked highest in the newly released 2014 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index(R) (PSI(R)) U.S. Auto Industry Benchmarking Study, which measured treatment of car-shoppers who visited 5,671 dealerships throughout the country. Study rankings by brand were determined by the patent-pending Pied Piper PSI process, which ties “mystery shopping” measurement and scoring to industry sales success. For the second consecutive year, Infiniti and Lexus dealerships, the luxury brands from Nissan and Toyota respectively, were ranked second and third.

Twenty-two of the thirty-four different auto brands led the industry in at least one PSI sales process category, while fifteen brands finished last in at least one category. Tesla dealerships, included in the study for the first time this year, led the industry in seven PSI sales process categories, such as involving the prospect with visual aids, and following-up after the visit. However, the Tesla dealerships also finished last in thirty-two categories, such as asking the prospect's name, offering a test ride, or mentioning the availability of financing options.

Brands showing the most improvement year-to-year were Scion, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Lincoln, Cadillac, Chrysler and Nissan. Brands with the greatest declines year-to-year were GMC, Jeep, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Chevrolet, Infiniti and Ram. Three brands have been consistently ranked within the top 10 brands over the past five years: Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Jaguar.

Performance varied substantially by brand within some categories. For example, salespeople are often taught to try to build rapport and ask open-ended questions instead of just saying, “Can I help you?” Lincoln, Chrysler, Honda, Volvo and Fiat salespeople were least likely to start a shopper's visit by saying, “Can I help you?” In contrast, the salespeople most likely to ask, “Can I help you?” worked for Ford, Mazda, Ram, Scion and Chevrolet dealerships. Another example is whether or not the salesperson suggested sitting down at a desk; a step often used to transition from talking about the product to talking about buying the product. Salespeople from, Nissan, Hyundai, Ford and Kia dealerships were most likely to suggest sitting down at a desk, while Tesla, Mitsubishi, Volkswagen, Land Rover and Audi salespeople were least likely to make the suggestion.

Industry average dealership performance was mixed when comparing 2014 with the previous year.

Salesperson behaviors more likely in 2014 than 2013 include the following:

• Gave compelling reason to buy from this dealership (now 50% of the time)
• Discussed features unique from the competition (now 59% of the time)
• Mentioned maintenance program and associated costs (now 58% of the time)

Salesperson behaviors less likely in 2014 than 2013 include the following:

• Offered a brochure (now 50% of the time)
• Asked why prospect considered brand (now 60% of the time)
• Involved prospect with visual aids (now 36% of the time)

“Great products are the key to strong sales,” said Fran O'Hagan, President and CEO of Pied Piper Management Company LLC. “But the only way to make the most of a product's sales potential is a capable sales team, following a consistent sales process.” Pied Piper has found that on average, when auto dealerships are ranked by their PSI score, dealerships in the top quarter sell 16% more vehicles than the dealerships in the bottom quarter.

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Wards Auto What Do Customers Know?

Wards Auto
What Do Customers Know?

August 2013

Ask car shoppers how a dealership salesperson should act, and they'll tell you this and that. Trouble is, they might not really know what makes for good salesmanship.

Henry Ford said if he had asked his original customers what they wanted, they would have requested a faster horse. “The same could be said of asking people about their car-buying experience,” says Fran O'Hagan, CEO of Pied Piper Management.

His consultancy recently completed its seventh-annual prospect-satisfaction index. It uses mystery shopping to rank by brand how effectively dealerships handle customers and convert shoppers into buyers.

Pied Piper has learned a lot about dealerships in seven years. It also has discovered it needed to adjust its approach to better tie mystery-shopping measurements to actual sales success.

Smart salespeople build rapport and ask fact-finding questions to understand customer needs. But real customers are focused less on the sales process and more on other things.

“We learned people are thinking about what color car to buy, if they should lease or buy, what they'll get on a trade-in, what option package to get and if this is the right dealership,” O'Hagan says.

“They aren't thinking about whether the salesperson smiled or if the restrooms were clean,” he says. Yet, mystery shoppers often score high for friendliness and cleanliness.

Although real customers are vague in their ability to gauge salesperson performance, they are precise when measuring time spent (or wasted) at a dealership.

“If a salesperson says it will take 20 minutes to finish up, and you are still there two hours later, you will be very aware of that and tell me all about it,” O'Hagan tells me.

Several auto makers lately have prodded their dealers to upgrade facilities. That's prompted some dealers to wonder whether constructing new and elaborate stores actually sells more cars. Facilities can make a difference, but perhaps not in the way auto makers think, O'Hagan says.

“It is not that the facility is unimportant,” he says. “But if a person already is at the dealership and it has the right vehicle in stock and the salesperson is brilliant, then the sale has almost nothing to do with the facility. A nice-looking dealership has more to do with keeping good employees.”

Pied Piper has toned done some parts of its evaluation and expanded others. It no longer poses some questions it once asked.

Among specific questions it asks of its mystery shoppers is this one: “Was the first thing the salesperson said was: ‘May I help you?'” If the answer is “yes,” the dealership loses points.

“We know that is the wrong thing to say because half the time the customer response is, ‘I'm just looking,'” O'Hagan says.

Good salespeople avoid that trap by instead striking up a conversation. They say something like: “I saw you pull up in a ‘dualie' pickup truck. Does that mean you tow a lot?” That gets the selling started.

Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti, Lexus, Audi and GMC respectively occupy the top five spots of Pied Piper's 2013 dealership performance index. Scoring low are Chrysler, Mazda and Mitsubishi. Scion is in the cellar.

Dealers in the top quarter sell 16% more vehicles than dealerships in the bottom quarter, O'Hagan says.

Jaguar, Volvo and Audi salespeople were more likely to discuss vehicle features unique from the competition. Infiniti, Land Rover and Smart salespeople scored high for more often doing walk-around demonstrations.

Kia, Fiat and Hyundai salespeople were most apt to cite compelling buy-now reasons.

Mercedes capturing the top spot is no coincidence. The win reflects a concerted Mercedes-Benz USA effort of the last few years for its dealerships to sell more effectively and follow a defined process, O'Hagan says.

“In 2007, visiting a Mercedes dealership was like visiting a museum,” he says. “Salespeople were friendly and answered questions but they did not take the next step of actually selling the car. They stopped short of saying, ‘I know you want to buy a car, and I want to work with you on figuring out how to make that happen.'”

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Washington Post Study: Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti Dealerships Treat Shoppers Best

Washington Post
Study: Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti Dealerships Treat Shoppers Best

July 2013

Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti, and Lexus dealerships treat car shoppers the best, while at least some Scion and Mitsubishi dealerships have a lot to work on.

These results are some of the top-level findings of the new 2013 Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI), from the California sales and service consulting firm Pied Piper.

This is the seventh consecutive year that Pied Piper has conducted the PSI studies, and for 2013 it's reset the industry-average score to 100. That leaves an industry low of 88 and 89, for Scion and Mitsubishi, respectively, while Mercedes-Benz stands at the top at 113.

Other top-performing brands included Audi, GMC, Hyundai, Jaguar, and Kia. And according to the firm, 19 of the 33 brands led in at least one PSI sales process. For instance, Infiniti, Land Rover, and Smart were most likely to give a walk-around demo.

Comparing the 2013 results to those of last year, salespeople are now more likely to mention different finance or leasing options, ask about a trade-in, or ask about factors preventing purchase, while they're less likely to offer a brochure, use visual aids, or discuss features that are unique versus the competition.

The company says that, on an individual dealership basis, the PSI survey is closely correlated to sales success. A good point to remember for some of these dealerships that are struggling is that while products might be relatively slow to change, the sales process can change virtually overnight.

The survey was conducted with 5,203 hired “mystery shoppers,” who visited dealerships through the U.S. between July 2012 and June 2013.



Automotive News First Shift Mystery Win for Benz

Automotive News First Shift
Mystery Win for Benz

July 2013

For the fifth straight year, Mercedes-Benz dealerships ranked first in Pied Piper's annual survey which rates how car dealers treat car-shoppers in person.

Pied Piper's annual study sends thousands of mystery shoppers to dealerships nationwide to see how effectively salespeople sell.



The Car Connection Study: Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti Dealerships Treat Shoppers Best

The Car Connection
Study: Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti Dealerships Treat Shoppers Best

July 2013

Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti, and Lexus dealerships treat car shoppers the best, while at least some Scion and Mitsubishi dealerships have a lot to work on.
These results are some of the top-level findings of the new 2013 Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI), from the California sales and service consulting firm Pied Piper.

This is the seventh consecutive year that Pied Piper has conducted the PSI studies, and for 2013 it's reset the industry-average score to 100. That leaves an industry low of 88 and 89, for Scion and Mitsubishi, respectively, while Mercedes-Benz stands at the top at 113.

Other top-performing brands included Audi, GMC, Hyundai, Jaguar, and Kia. And according to the firm, 19 of the 33 brands led in at least one PSI sales process. For instance, Infiniti, Land Rover, and Smart were most likely to give a walk-around demo.

Comparing the 2013 results to those of last year, salespeople are now more likely to mention different finance or leasing options, ask about a trade-in, or ask about factors preventing purchase, while they're less likely to offer a brochure, use visual aids, or discuss features that are unique versus the competition.

The company says that, on an individual dealership basis, the PSI survey is closely correlated to sales success. A good point to remember for some of these dealerships that are struggling is that while products might be relatively slow to change, the sales process can change virtually overnight.

The survey was conducted with 5,203 hired “mystery shoppers,” who visited dealerships through the U.S. between July 2012 and June 2013.



The Detroit Bureau Mercedes-Benz Tops New Car Shopper Satisfaction Survey

The Detroit Bureau
Mercedes-Benz Tops New Car Shopper Satisfaction Survey

July 2013

Showroom policies likely to close – or lose – deals.

When she began looking for a new car, Chris Anderson had her heart set on a midsize Ford sedan. But in the end, she wound up buying from the Detroit maker's cross-town rival General Motors. It wasn't that she liked her new car better. It was the dealer she liked – or more precisely, the Ford dealer she didn't want to buy from.

And the Detroit saleswoman is not alone. What happens when a customer walks into the showroom can have a big impact on what they buy – or where they buy – says Fran O'Hagan, an automotive analyst whose annual Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index is aimed at measuring which dealers and brands do the best job in treating prospective car shoppers. And this year, the study found Mercedes-Benz repeating as the industry leader.

The Pied Piper study relies on so-called “mystery shoppers” who go through the car buying process at thousands of U.S. showrooms each year subtly notating how well salespeople handle such basics as providing buyers with a vehicle walk-around, brochures and test drives, things O'Hagan explains “correlate highly with whether a customer buys.”

Not surprisingly, he adds, manufacturers who have carefully defined the sales process and who have convinced dealers to consistently adopt those practices tend to have a significantly higher closing rate – the percentage of customers who walk into a showroom who actually drive off with a new vehicle. For the industry, as a whole, the figure is a mere 15 to 20%.

The good news, contends California-based O'Hagan, is that, on the whole, “dealerships all over the U.S. do a better job selling cars today” than they did when the first Pied Piper Satisfaction Index, or PPSI, was released in 2007. That said, there's a big gap between the best and worst brands and showrooms and, the analyst cautions, there have actually been some setbacks in recent years.

O'Hagan revised the study this year but found those brands that have traditional done well continued to lead the pack, while marques that previously fell to the bottom continued to lag. Mercedes-Benz came in at the top with a score of 113, followed by Infiniti at 110, Lexus at 106, and Audi and GMC tied at 104.

Mercedes, O'Hagan notes, has been the industry leader for four years running – after long being a mid-pack brand. That reflects a conscious corporate decision to improve the way the German maker's U.S. dealers treated customers – and it was reflected in not only improve PPSI scores but improved closing rates.

“The way your salespeople sell is relatively simple to change,” the analyst suggests, “and the payoff is more sales.”

So, perhaps, it's not surprising that some of the market's poorer-performing brands lag in the dealer survey, Scion at the bottom with a score of 88, Mitsubishi at 89, and Mazda and Chrysler following with scores tied at 94. It's perhaps less of a surprise that Lincoln, rounding out the bottom five with a score of 96, has said it wants to transform the sales experience at its showrooms as it rebuilds the brand.

Part of the challenge, however, is to not just lay out a better sales process on paper, O'Hagan stresses, but actually to get dealers to buy in – consistently.

“There are some Scion and Mitsubishi dealers who perform brilliantly,” he explains, but they don't do so consistently.”

Some of the things that distinguish a good dealer from a bad appear unexpectedly simple. It starts with the way shoppers are greeted when they walk into a showroom. Pied Piper's mystery shoppers are told to record whether they are given brochures and offered test drives. Putting a shopper behind the wheel, O'Hagan notes, is one of the most effective ways to clinch a deal. Yet, one of the biggest surprises is how often sales people fail to ask the most basic question: “Are you ready to buy?”

While the PPSI suggests the car buying process has, on the whole, improved, there were some setbacks and weak points. O'Hagan says the biggest problem is the Internet. About 80% of U.S. car shoppers now begin the buying process online, he notes. But there's a big difference between the way good and bad dealers respond. Among those in the top quartile of the 2013 survey, 93% will respond to a customer's online query within 24 hours. Among dealers in the bottom quartile, only 16% respond.

“The internet side of the business is the wild west,” O'Hagan says. “There's a huge difference between dealers that do a good job and a bad job selling online,” and in the long run, that can make the difference between not only success or failure for a showroom but for the brand it represents.



Automotive News Survey: Mercedes stores have the most effective salespeople

Automotive News
Survey: Mercedes stores have the most effective salespeople

July 2013

LOS ANGELES -- A study of car dealership sales techniques shows that luxury brands often are the most effective deal-closers and also are best at making customers happy. Among mass-market brands, Hyundai, Kia, Ford and Toyota were the leaders.

Among all brands, Mercedes-Benz dealers finished atop the 11-month mystery shopping study by Pied Piper Management Co. of Monterey, Calif. Infiniti finished second, while last year's winner, Lexus, finished third.

Using 5,203 mystery shoppers, Pied Piper repeatedly visited dealerships to analyze their processes and techniques to create the Prospect Satisfaction Index.

Pied Piper CEO Fran O'Hagan said his survey is different from J.D. Power and Associates' Sales Satisfaction Index because Power "only measures everything after the customer says, 'I'll take it.'

"It's all the stuff before then that matters. We're measuring how effectively the sales team sells," O'Hagan said.

Tactics for all brands

Some tactics seem to work best across all brands. Offering a test drive, as well as trying to get the customers to the negotiating table, are more effective at closing a deal. Yet a small percentage of dealerships do neither.

If a salesman is empowered to talk about leasing or financing options — instead of making the customer wait to talk to the F&I department — that's even better at closing the deal. And while being a "friendly museum curator" is seen as an essential tactic for a genteel luxury brands, it doesn't sell cars, O'Hagan said.

Not that everything has improved on the showroom floor, though. While many salespeople sell themselves and the car, fewer salespeople are giving customers a compelling reason to buy from their specific dealership

"The best dealerships have a process. It's not the Wild West where you get to sell the way you want to," O'Hagan said.



Press Release: MERCEDES-BENZ, INFINITI AND LEXUS DEALERS RANKED HIGHEST BY 2013 PIED PIPER PSI(R)

Press Release: MERCEDES-BENZ, INFINITI AND LEXUS DEALERS RANKED HIGHEST BY 2013 PIED PIPER PSI(R)

July 2013

MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA – July 8, 2013 – Mercedes-Benz dealerships ranked highest in the newly released 2013 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index(R) (PSI(R)) U.S. Auto Industry Benchmarking Study, which measured dealership treatment of car-shoppers. Study rankings by brand were determined by the patent-pending Pied Piper PSI process, which ties “mystery shopping” measurement and scoring to industry sales success. Infiniti and Lexus dealerships, the luxury brands from Nissan and Toyota respectively, finished ranked second and third.

Nineteen of the thirty-three different brands led at least one PSI sales process category, and performance varied by brand within each category. For example, Jaguar, Volvo and Audi salespeople were most likely to discuss features unique from the competition. Infiniti, Land Rover and smart salespeople were most likely to conduct a vehicle “walk-around” demonstration. Kia, Fiat and Hyundai salespeople were most likely to give compelling reasons to buy now.

Industry average dealership performance was mixed when comparing 2013 with the previous year.

Salesperson behaviors more likely in 2013 than 2012 include the following:
• Mentioning the availability of different finance or lease options (now 67% of the time)
• Asking about factors preventing purchase (now 71% of the time)
• Asking if the prospect has a trade-in (now 83% of the time)

Salesperson behaviors less likely in 2013 than 2012 include the following:
• Offering a brochure (now 52% of the time)
• Discussing features unique from the competition (now 55% of the time)
• Involving prospect with visual aids (now 38% of the time)

2013 marks the seventh consecutive year of Pied Piper PSI auto industry benchmarking studies. With seven years of data gathered from tens of thousands of auto PSI evaluations nationwide, Pied Piper was able to fine-tune the study questions, weightings and scoring for 2013. As a result, Pied Piper reset the 2013 auto industry average PSI score to “100.”

The resulting “second generation” PSI scoring is now even more closely correlated to auto dealership sales success. Pied Piper has found that on average, when auto dealerships are ranked by their PSI score, dealerships in the top quarter sell 16% more vehicles than the dealerships in the bottom quarter. “Any dealership faces plenty of challenges that are difficult, if not impossible, to change, such as product-line sold or dealership location,” said Fran O'Hagan, President and CEO of Pied Piper Management Company LLC. “In contrast, how a sales team sells is something a dealership can improve immediately.”

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