The Power of an Addendum

The current supply issues are creating a unique ‘sellers’ environment for dealers of all types these days and it is unlike any market I have experienced in my 27 years in the retail industry. Whether you are currently selling cars, RVs, or powersports you are seeing customer demand potentially higher than you’ve ever seen and are rightfully enjoying the fruits of scarcity. We all know this is a cycle, and at some point, we will again see rebates, negotiating, and discounts. The fruits dealers are currently harvesting are well deserved after surviving nearly a decade of margin erosion and a continuous sprint to the bottom of the price chain.

I recently attended a couple of industry events and heard story after story about customers agreeing to purchase, and pay top dollar, for their third or even fourth choice of vehicle. On the surface, this seems like an ideal, highly successful model for dealers to live in. While it has been bountiful, I feel there are some adverse effects as well as some missed opportunities worthy of addressing.

There is an old adage, ‘when perceived value exceeds price, you have a sale.’ Right now, the perceived value is the raw availability to conduct a transaction instead of the traditional checklist of wants and needs. Simply having something to sell is all the value a customer needs to see in a retailer. The dealers I know and work with, want more; they want a customer to see value in the transaction, not just being able to conduct a transaction. Of course, dealers want to maximize on the current opportunity, but they also want to perform the balancing act of earning the well-deserved profit, as well as providing long-term value in doing business with their dealership but for years to come.

Assuming dealers are exceeding their customers experience expectations, then we’ll move on to the value of the vehicle. By value, I am not referring to the features and benefits the customer has spent hours online pouring over, but the additional value a dealer can provide by protecting some of the customers risk exposure. Customers often get caught up in the euphoria of the purchase and forget the reality of owning a car, RV or powersport toy. They forget cars get dirty. They forget RV’s get lived in and spills and accidents occur. They forget their side by side could catch the eye of a thief. The risks of these forgotten realities can be mitigated by dealers including protection products on an addendum.

An addendum allows a dealer to enhance the value of a transaction by pre-selecting one or more value-based consumer products and adding them to a ‘Why Buy Here’ of the dealership. These addendums create a unique presentation opportunity for the sales consultant and most likely leads the customer away from a decision based solely on availability, or worse price. Instead of talking about discounts to meet a competitor’s price, the sales consultant can direct the conversation to the benefit of having a vehicle location device with years of monitoring included, as well as the cash benefit to assist in the event of an unrecovered stolen vehicle. Customers will value peace-of-mind over price if they are educated on the benefits before being ‘sold’ the item or being asked to pay a higher price with no explanation of benefits.

There are a few addendums I have seen backfire on dealers. Pinstripes, although spectacular to some, generally don’t command a $1,495 increase to the cost of the vehicle. And believe it or not, there are some that don’t see $999 of value in a set of plastic mudflaps for their Honda Accord. Whereas customers do see value in knowing their vehicle is protected from everyday spills and stains, as well as having some coverage against the environmental effects to today’s modern painted exteriors. Who out there doesn’t relate to a soda, or ketchup packet spilling on their seats or floorboards at some point in their driving history?

The great part about an addendum is it helps clarify the customers value in the vehicle as well as reminding them of the unavoidable perils of owning a vehicle in today’s world. If the customer doesn’t see value, then the addendum can be removed, and you have a sold vehicle at or near MSRP. If the sales consultant properly conveys the value of each item on the addendum, then it is likely the customer will at least purchase one, if not everything the dealer includes on the addendum. Either way, the dealer and customer are in winning situations; value exceeds cost!

A few suggestions:

  • Make the addendum something of true value to your customers. Leave out frivolous outdated items nobody sees value in. Today’s buyer is too sophisticated and will see through the gimmicks of what is being attempted.
  • The success of an addendum is directly correlated in the confidence of the presentation by the sales consultant. If the dealership staff doesn’t believe in what is being offered, it will fail and most likely backfire on the dealer.
  • Disclose anything and everything. Don’t sneak anything in. Proudly display the addendum and additional cost on the vehicle. Give your team the tools to demonstrate the value of each product being offered. Value based protection products sell themselves when explained properly.
  • Live it. Like most rewarding actions in life, you cannot be passive. You must be active with your value-added items each and every day. Here are a couple ways to keep everyone focused on the value on in the addendum:
    • Walk around competitions for some additional Saturday spiff money.
    • Product knowledge quizzes focused on what makes this product so valuable.
  • Retain the customer. The addendum should have some form of tie back to the selling dealer. Don’t just sell a vehicle, win a lifelong customer. The real gains come from the harnessed lifetime value of a family in the dealership’s community. Believe it or not, people still like doing business with people they know and trust.

About the author: Ryan Nelson has over 25 years of experience in the retail industry and is a Partner at Advanced Dealer Solutions, a leading independent agency specializing in dealership development in the auto, RV and powersports industry.

To learn more about how the right addendum can benefit your dealership, please reach out to Advanced Dealer Solutions at 844-320-3722 or

November Newsletter

1/6th, that is all we have left of this wild year. Are you prepared to go into the final 6th more determined than you started? Can you and your team accelerate past the competition as mental and physical fatigue begin to set in? Can you put the finishing touches on the masterpiece of work you have been working on your whole career?

Advanced Dealer Solutions November Newsletter

Later this month most Americans will take time to give thanks. For the ADS team, we are thankful each and everyday for the level of confidence and trust our dealer partners grant us, and for the best in class vendors we are fortunate enough to do business with. 

In this edition, you will find a summary of our new product offering Brake Plus, the newest employee Eddie Rains, and what’s new on APP.

We welcome any feedback and will seek to continually improve with each issue. It is through this ongoing experiment that we look to gain more knowledge, insight, and ideas that we will pass along to our current and future dealers.

To read the full newsletter and subscribe follow the link below.

Advanced Dealer Solutions Welcomes Eddie Rains

For Immediate Release


Richfield, OhioAdvanced Dealer Solutions is proud to welcome Eddie Rains in Training & Development.

Eddie has been in the automotive space for 30 years working his way up through the dealership space. He has spent most of his career traveling the country delivering sales and F&I training for dealers that has helped grow sales and F&I results. With his extensive background in developing people, Eddie will be a great resource for ADS and their dealer clients.

“Eddie’s personal values align effortlessly with our company values, and I know his vast experience will have a positive impact for our dealers. “– says Bob Mancuso – President of Advanced Dealer Solutions.

“Given the opportunity to join such a great team does not come along very often. I believe this will be a perfect fit for me based on their core values their team lives by and represents.”  – says Eddie Rains – Training & Development at Advanced Dealer Solutions.

“We are excited to welcome Eddie and his many talents to our team. We know the value he brings to a team as well to the many dealers he has worked alongside over the years.” – says Ryan Nelson – EVP of Advanced Dealer Solutions.

Eddie will be based in Abilene, TX and will be focused on growing our training & development platform as well as being a resource for the ADS team and its dealer clients.

Advanced Dealer Solutions is a full-service, dealer development agency focused on automotive, RV, and powersports dealers across the United States. Please contact 844-320-3722 or for any inquiries.

Advanced Dealer Solutions September Newsletter

As summer unofficially draws to a close with the passing of Labor Day, we turn our attention to fall and its many splendors. Before we do, let us call attention to the summer of 2021 and how incredible it has been for our industry. Despite the many calls for sales to run dry due to inventory shortages, the surge of the Delta variant, staffing issues, etc. our dealers have continued to find a way to thrive amidst all the volatility. Additionally, the summer of 2021 saw many families and individuals hit the road for new adventures and exploration. 

We welcome any feedback and will seek to continually improve with each issue. It is through this ongoing experiment that we look to gain more knowledge, insight, and ideas that we will pass along to our current and future clients.

To read the full newsletter and subscribe follow the link below.

Advanced Dealer Solutions August Newsletter

In this month’s issue of The Advanced News, we feature a way to support the athletes who represent the USA at the Olympics and Paralympics, a way for Dealers to gain control of all their F&I products, and we get to learn more about one of our own, Chad Bullock.

The Dog Days of Summer are fully upon us. For many of us, this summer has marked a return to normal life and the long lines at airports are proof that Americans are getting back on the road. With the Summer Solstice and 4th of July in the rearview mirror, many families are wrapping up their summer vacation schedules and are preparing for kids to go back to school. We hope everyone had an adventurous and safe summer of family time, relaxation, and a bit of exploration. 

We welcome any feedback and will seek to continually improve with each issue. It is through this ongoing experiment that we look to gain more knowledge, insight, and ideas that we will pass along to our current and future clients.

To read the full newsletter and subscribe follow the link below.

The Futuristic Twist on Vehicle Service Contracts

If I asked you how many computers the average vehicle today has, what do you think that number would be? Would you be surprised if I told you that number was 30, or even 50? How does that compare to high-end luxury vehicles? Try doubling or even tripling that number!

Now, what do these computers do for us? The simple answer, EVERYTHING! At any given second, these super-computer vehicles calculate an obscene amount of data (in milliseconds) telling the vehicle how to steer, accelerate, parallel park, or even slam on the brakes to avoid a collision. We are talking Gigabits of data in milliseconds, truly a modern marvel supercomputer on four wheels.

Today’s vehicles are the most advanced machines that have ever been on the road. Most dealers offer an array of service contract coverages, from full exclusionary all the way down to powertrain only components. Industry statistics show us 50% or more consumers decline the extended protections available to them. So, why doesn’t every consumer buy an extended service contract if they plan on owning the vehicle past the manufacturer’s warranty expiration date? Is it the cost? Is it the product? Could it be both?

Let us say we have a hypothetical customer who declines exclusionary protection on their vehicle, which would cover all components (except wearable items). What is the next option? Some might say, “reduce the cost”. Well, that would devalue the product, wouldn’t it? Perhaps you could reduce the coverage to a more affordable option, but typically these reductions eliminate the items consumers need coverage on the most, the technology and computer components.

ADS has a solution for you, and the solution is simple. Extreme Tech. Extreme Tech is a stand-alone coverage for high-tech OEM components. Extreme Tech includes components such as navigation systems, adaptive cruise control, self-parking systems, collision avoidance systems, head-up displays, and more.

As independent agents, we see the value of customers insuring and protecting their investments with extended service contracts every day. Service contracts protect the consumer and enhance their ownership experience. In contrast, dealers can ensure their customers are leaving fully protected and can increase their retention through a positive ownership experience.

It is 2021 and it is time we evolve with the industry! Consumers are telling us they want protection on their technology, think how many people are willing to spend $10-$15 monthly to protect their cell phone.

Extreme Tech is the answer! It offers you a valuable solution to present to the consumers declining full protection. The biggest question to ask yourself is, “what could your extended service contract penetrations look like if you had a product that wasn’t competing or displacing to your current service contract offering? 60%? Perhaps more?”

Reach out to your ADS representative or visit our contact page for more information on the program.

Chad Bullock – Account Specialist – Advanced Dealer Solutions

Advanced Dealer Solutions Welcomes Buddy Nelson

Richfield, OhioAdvanced Dealer Solutions is proud to welcome Buddy Nelson as Account Specialist.

Buddy received his finance degree in December of 2020 from Elmhurst College.  While completing his degree, Buddy played soccer, completed an internship with a major administration company, and worked at the largest volume Kia dealership in Illinois.

“Some of Buddy’s best attributes is his personable skills and willingness to learn quickly which fits right in with the culture we have at ADS. Buddy will be a tremendous benefit to our dealers. “– says Bob Mancuso – President of Advanced Dealer Solutions.

“I am thrilled to be a part of such a great team. I look forward to learning and growing into my new role. I believe my personality and charisma will be a great fit for the ADS culture.”  – says Buddy Nelson – Account Specialist of Advanced Dealer Solutions.

“It is remarkable how much industry experience Buddy has gained so early in his career. I am excited to be able to add Buddy to our expanding roster of talented developmental professionals and I am eager to see him grow his book of business here at ADS.” – says Ryan Nelson – EVP of Advanced Dealer Solutions.

Buddy will be based in the corporate office in Richfield and will be focusing on assisting dealer’s needs throughout the country. 

Follow the link below to view the article in Autodealer Today.

Advanced Dealer Solutions December Newsletter

Advanced Dealer Solutions December newsletter features our ONE Touch approach, new office location, and information on how to give back during the holidays.

We have a jeep featured nicknamed “The Grinch” which is perfect timing for the holidays. The jeep owner also belongs to a Jeep club in Indiana called Hoosiers Cruisers who are passionate Jeep owners that is focused on giving back to their community.

We welcome any feedback and will seek to continually improve with each issue. It is through this ongoing experiment that we look to gain more knowledge, insight and ideas that we will pass along to our current and future clients.

To get subscribed and view our newsletter click the link below.