David Adcock

Executive Vice President | Binary Auto

David Adcock comes to Binary Automotive Solutions with more than two decades of industry experience, working with automotive dealerships as well as manufacturers. Early in his career, Adcock served as a national sales trainer for Pat Ryan and Resource Automotive Group and later leveraged that experience into helping dealerships all over the country to develop the employee training programs necessary to drive a dealership’s financial growth. He can be reached at david.adcock@binaryauto.com
The Chip Shortage Is Coming! Is Your Used Inventory Ready?

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By now, the entire industry and many consumers have heard about the chip shortage ready to hit automotive showrooms about the time our summer kicks off. A shortage of semi-conductor chips due to COVID slowdowns with production hit auto makers in the early part of 2021, and dealers are now bracing for impact. Popular vehicles like Ford F-150 trucks and other models are harder to come by right at a time when vaccinations and a lessening of restrictions are bringing car buyers nationwide back to dealership lots in droves.  While there are a lot of ideas on how dealerships can work around the shortage and continue to turn a profit, one theme that continues to resonate throughout the industry is to have dealers look to their used car inventory to shore up sales before the event. As we look to the summer buying season, what are some things you can work on now to ensure you're ready?  1. Build Trust A recent Marchex report shows more than 91% of people surveyed said they rate trust just as, if not more, important than the price of a vehicle. This becomes even more crucial when it's time to look across your used car inventory. What products can you use to your advantage to help build that trust with the customer? One of our favorite ways to show dealerships how to do this is with a Lifetime Powertrain Warranty. By offering a Lifetime Powertrain Warranty as an additional safeguard for the used vehicles in your inventory, you're adding another layer of trust to your guest's purchase.  2. Use Extras Just like our example with the Lifetime Powertrain Warranty suggestion above, throwing in extras to entice customers to move forward with a used vehicle has shown to be an effective way to move the needle toward a sale. Some of the add-ins we've seen that work well are: Warranties Free oil changes Complimentary tickets to a local sporting or arts event Even a contribution to the buyer's local charitable organization of choice  3. Do a Complete F&I Audit  Now is the time to look through and audit your current F&I offerings. Used vehicle buyers tend to purchase more ancillary products like dent and ding protection and paint repair. Some things to look at as you go through your audit – look over your disclosures to ensure you are up to date with compliance. Important terms to check include stating the purchase of products is not required to obtain financing, and the agreement or declining of products will not affect APR. Lastly, ensure every F&I product you offer is properly displayed on your presentation page with benefit statements for each.  4. Increase Promotion of Popular Used Vehicles Several models, like Ford F Series pick-ups, will continue to drive demand. The longer the chip shortage lasts, the harder these popular used models will be to find on dealer lots. Ensure you are identifying the most popular models on each of your lots and promoting them heavily as we move into the summer months.  While the chip shortage is not ideal, you can act now to shore up your used inventory and build trust to push buyers toward the used vehicles on your lot. A combination of promoting high-demand vehicles, auditing your F&I products, and offering incentives like Lifetime Powertrain Warranties can go a long way when building the buyer confidence needed to push you to the finish line this summer. 
Master the Art of Seeing Clearly to Create a Culture of Success

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The Forest and The Trees In the unforgettable words of New York Yankees legend Yogi Berra, "You can observe a lot by just watching." Perhaps hidden within that bit of classic nonsense is a more meaningful lesson: keep your eyes on the prize.  If you own or run a dealership or you are a vendor supporting dealerships, the prize is to gain and sustain market share. And the best way to do that is to understand, promote and deliver your Unique Value Proposition (UVP) to your employees, customers and partners, helping to clearly separate your business from the competition.  However, winning this prize requires a deep dive into your business. Whether it's an effort solely done by your in-house staff or with the assistance of an outside vendor, you will need to take an up-close and personal, as well as an over-the-horizon, look at all aspects of your operation.  I call this putting your business  under the scope , and, whether you're a dealership or a vendor, there are three perspectives you must first observe and then analyze to help ensure success: individual performance (microscope), teamwork across the board (binoculars) and long-term vision (telescope). Microscopes Dealers -- Be grounded in data and metrics. Know your team's key performance indicators and manage to them. For instance, are your sales agents sandbagging their efforts for the next month to take advantage of a more favorable plan in place? Are their behaviors trending towards your goal or away from it? Look carefully at each performance, as well as your compensation plans and adjust as needed.  Vendors -- Be prepared. Don't just show up at your client's dealership. Make sure you understand their needs and pain points. Try to understand their goals and how they or their customers perceive value before offering a solution. Understanding a client's culture requires words matched to intentions and actions. Binoculars Dealers – This is the field general's 3-D view of what's happening in your store. Do Sales know what's going on in Service or Finance and vice-versa? Does everyone understand your brand and do they stay on message? When a customer talks to someone in your store is that information passed on to the rest of your team? Are you still operating within department silos instead of as a single team? In the words of Laurie Foster of Foster Strategies Group, "Locked doors only lead to divisiveness." Vendors – To cite Laurie Foster once more, here's her insightful hashtag, which to me best summarizes the dealership-vendor relationship: "Better Together." As a vendor, you'll want to understand a dealership's strategy and how your client is executing on it, as well as how you can help their strategy succeed. Remember to look at how all the client's pieces fit together. Promote a culture of sharing. You want to be viewed not just as a line item in the relationship but truly as a partner. Whatever you seek to achieve, make sure it's a win-win-win and everyone emerges with a positive attitude of working together.  Telescopes Dealers –The unexpected rise of Covid-19 propelled the dealership community to consider online retailing , perhaps sooner than many dealerships expected. However, a telescopic look isn't just about the technology ahead; it's also understanding what your employees and customers want to remain loyal. For an employee, it may mean the chance to work more from home; for a customer, it could be to travel further down the sales funnel on their own. A telescopic view also extends to how you support the local community. When a community is in trouble, there's always a dealer raising his or her hand to help out. Investing in your community is investing in your future. Vendors – Ask yourself, what can you do to help your client increase revenues today, and, more importantly, over the long-haul? How can you provide more value to the dealership? Is it by offering a lifetime warranty? A reinsurance program to help them earn 100 percent of underwriting profits? Customized Sales and F&I products? When it comes to applying a telescope to a business, I like to think of the book and movie "Moneyball"; it was about drilling down on baseball metrics to help better set draft expectations and better predict career success.  I opened with words from the great Yogi Berra, the mystical sage of baseball. Better still are these wise words from another baseball player of yore, Satchel Paige: "Don't look back, something might be gaining on you."  Seeing is believing.
Your Plan B in the Middle of a Rising Tide

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Contrary to popular belief, our industry did not crash and burn during the depths of the pandemic recession. As an industry, we found new ways to bring touchless delivery to customers, we introduced white glove services to customers across the board, we took our stores to digital overnight.  As a result of our great industry's ingenuity, we are now experiencing a quickly rising tide. Gross is as high as it's ever been, low supply and emerging markets are pushing sales to new heights, and there is a sense of prosperity across the nation. And while I am certainly thrilled to see the way our industry is rebounding, as physicists say, "What goes up, must come down."  Is Your Plan B Ready?  While no one could have guessed a pandemic would close our economy, we can predict what will happen next. The pandemic created a high demand for vehicles, and as a result, sales surged when dealerships came back online. Add waning inventory and a slowdown in production at the OEM level, and you have the perfect drivers of a booming sales cycle.  Fast forward to today, manufacturers are now saying they are producing more vehicles than they were in February of this year before COVID shut dealerships across the country down. Dealers are seeing fewer people running to sign up for their first car because that first surge from the summer has mostly dried up.  The surge is gone, the low inventory is gone. Many dealerships are now faced with the question of how they will differentiate themselves from the dealers in their market to conquest more sales. How will your store hold more gross, sell more cars, and do better in your finance department? The answer lies within your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and the ability to bring additional value to the customers walking in your doors today.  Defining Your Unique Selling Proposition The easiest and quickest way to promote value is to understand and commit to your USP, which we know must be something other than price. Now is an excellent time to get your team together and brainstorm ideas for a new USP. Perhaps your new USP is a lifetime warranty program or free oil changes for life, or free roadside assistance. What separates your store might be the number of awards it has won or how long it's been an integral part of the local community.  Whatever you decide is your USP, your messaging about that brand promise must be consistent across your dealership--both online and in the store. Your USP should become the driving force behind your culture.  Bringing the Value  Once you have determined and established your USP, It's time to bring the value. I believe  value  instead of  price  can distinguish your store. One of the best opportunities a dealership has to separate itself while ensuring a purchased vehicle's reliability is through the warranties it offers.  It's important to look for the best warranty programs and use those programs to drive more business. Instead of looking at just price, these dealers choose to work with a quality warranty program that offers training and marketing. They promote their warranty program at every touchpoint in the store and in their advertising.  In this way, the dealership is establishing value that will outride any surge. By giving customers more than they expect, and promoting it in your training, your culture, and across your store, you're setting your team up for a lifetime customer.  While we have been riding a wave of good news recently with all of the wins in automotive, it's important to take this time to look at what sets you apart from competitors. What is your USP, and how can you make it work to bring additional opportunities into your store?  How can you set yourself up now to not just bring in business when we're in the middle of a rising tide, but to bring the value when that tide is also on its way out? 
4 Ways to Rebuild Your Dealership's Culture Post-COVID-19

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A recent report by McKinsey and Company entitled "Reimaging the office and work-life after COVID-19", found 80% of people reported enjoying working from home during the COVID pandemic. With so many companies deciding how, when, and whether they will bring their employees back to work, now is a great time to examine your dealership's culture and determine if your original store values are still a fit for your organization. Below are four ways to revive your company culture, whether your employees come back to work or stay remote.  1. Don't Try to Shoehorn Old Ways Into a New System  A look at your culture should happen internally across your employees and externally regarding whether your values still stand up with customers. If an old mission or value statement no longer feels valid or true, it's time to freshen the language up to reflect your post-COVID world better.  2. Ask Your Employees What is Working and What Isn't "Sounds great," you're thinking. "But how do we go about changing our culture, especially amid the massive changes happening in auto right now?" I have great news for you. The answers you're seeking are closer than you think. In fact, they may be working at your store right now. Have a brainstorming session with your employees. Ask them what lessons they've learned during the pandemic and what has stood out the most about your organization's approach during the shutdown. Ask them how your environment makes them feel and what they talk about with their friends and family when discussing working at your store. These are the truths that will help propel your mission statement, values, and ultimately store culture. 3. Train, Train, and Train Some More  You've looked at your mission statement, reassessed your values (if needed), and examined your company culture. Perfect. You've checked with your employees and together have come up with an awesome idea of what you want the culture to look like in your store. Now is where the proverbial rubber meets the road. How will you ensure this cultural shift and message are carried out throughout your organization and filter its way down to your customers? Train, train, and train some more. Much like sales techniques, your culture is something that needs to be reiterated time and again. And it can't just be lip service. Show your employees how that culture permeates everything you do. For example, if your culture is "servant leadership", train on what that looks like when your staff answers the phone. How does that affect your sales processes? What does that mean for service scheduling? Show through your training how the new culture will flow through every single interaction of your organization.  4. Don't Just Say It, Show It  Another easy way to remind both staff and customers of your values is to spread it across your store messaging. For instance, we work with the Titus Will Group, and they ran a #WashingtonStrong theme during COVID-19. The group did an excellent job of marketing their hashtag across store banners, ads running in publications, even public service announcements. But the important part is they didn't end it with the promotions; they carried the message throughout their store by offering their customers lifetime powertrain warranties, 48-hour "risk-free exchanges, and ten-year roadside assistance. They didn't just say they were #WashingtonStrong, and they proved it with specific customer benefits that helped set them apart from their competitors.  The world has changed since your doors were last opened to the public, and it might be time to bring out your mission and value statements, dust them off, and ensure they truly represent the culture you want as your legacy moving forward. Follow the four steps above, and you will be well on your way to a strong culture coming out of this pandemic. 
5 Ways to Put Reliability at the Center of Your Store’s Success

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On the old classic TV show "Lassie," Timmy never fell down a well, contrary to popular belief. But viewers knew if Timmy did, he could rely on Lassie to get help. According to a J.D. Power conclusion based on a survey of 85,000 respondents, the #1 attribute car buyers look for in their next vehicle purchase is reliability. But what exactly do they mean? The dictionary defines reliability as "the quality of being trustworthy or of performing consistently well."  Reliability is one of those simple words with many applications. Mail delivery is reliable when it's delivered on time. Reliable vendors show up on time and do the work as requested. A restaurant is reliable when it serves the same high-quality food and provides the same great level of service. Reliable friends do what they say and can be counted on in a pinch. And reliable major league pinch hitters will deliver a hit when most needed.  Reliability to a car buyer, however, can mean more than saving time and money on a car's total cost of ownership or more than a vehicle's dependable road performance. Reliability can refer to the sales process, how consumers felt they were treated, how their car is serviced post-purchase and, above all, their on-going relationship with a dealership.  Here are five areas where you can make your dealership brand synonymous with reliability. Products – Consumer Reports publishes an annual list of the most reliable cars of the year. If any of the vehicles you carry are on the list, remember to spread the word. Don't be shy. Post the news on your website and third-party sites, as well as on social media. The same is true for any other vehicle rating services, such as U.S. News & World Report, AutoGuide.com, Edmunds, and so on. Banners inside your showroom should promote any reliability or safety awards. Warranties – A manufacturer's warranty, either bumper-to-bumper or powertrain, typically covers the first three years or 36,000 miles of ownership. However, such a manufacturer's warranty may not be enough, especially since the average new-car buyer keeps the car for six years or longer. To ensure their customers are covered, some dealerships offer a lifetime power train warranty, along with other guarantees, such as free lifetime oil changes. Lifetime warranties help reinforce the concept of reliability and can give consumers great peace of mind knowing they're covered. Make lifetime warranties part of your USP. Sales Transactions – A car sales transaction between dealer and consumer historically gets a bad rap. But these days, thanks to the Internet, there should be no surprises. Consumers are as informed about their preferred vehicle as are your salespeople. Let's face it, no dealership has an edge in product, pricing or financing. If your dealership doesn't currently offer transparent pricing, you might consider doing so. Honesty is a key attribute of reliability. Keep your word. Promise, but don't overpromise.  Service Appointments – Respect everyone's time. For example, if a car in your service bay will not be ready for pick up at the time promised, contact the customer and explain the delay. Keep them current about the repair or service work being performed; text them photos. Above all, don't leave your customers hanging.  Your Store's Culture – If your store has been selected as one of the top places to work in your community or state, let people know. Share the good news on social media and in your advertising. How employees – and customers – rate a dealership is a good indicator of whether consumers will feel comfortable shopping there. When car shoppers seek reliability, who they gonna call ? Make sure it's your store.