Survey: Mercedes-Benz dealers know how to sell their cars

Article by Christian Andrei, on July 10, 2013

Dealers for luxury brands usually are the most effective deal-closers and the best in making customers happy, according to study of car dealership sales techniques by Pied Piper Management Co. Dealers for Mercedes-Benz topped the survey, followed by Infiniti and Lexus. Hyundai, Kia, Ford and Toyota were sitting atop volume brands on the 11-month mystery shopping study.

Pied Piper used 5,203 mystery shoppers to repeatedly visit dealerships to analyze their processes and techniques, with an aim to create its so-called Prospect Satisfaction Index. According to Pied Piper chief executive Fran O'Hagan, their survey is distinct from J.D. Power and Associates' Sales Satisfaction Index since the latter "only measures everything after the customer says, 'I'll take it.'"

He noted that Prospect Satisfaction Index measures "how effectively the sales team sells." A number of sales tactics proved to be working best across all brands. Some of the tactics include offering a test drive and trying to get the customers to the negotiating table. The survey, however, shows that a small percentage of dealerships do neither of those tactics.

O'Hagan said that if a salesman could discus leasing or financing options with customers, there is big chance to close a deal. He remarked while being a "friendly museum curator" is considered as an essential tactic for luxury brands, it doesn't sell cars. He noted that while many salespeople sell themselves and the car, fewer of them are providing customers a compelling reason to make a purchase from their dealership.

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