As we wrap up an unforgettable year, it’s important to reflect on how the industry handled 2020. Through our monthly polls and a special form, we invited industry professionals to weigh in with their own anecdotes of COVID disruption over the course of the year. This month, I compiled our observations along with your stories into a new publication, 2020: A Retrospective. The themes I picked up on were stories of the industry pivoting, adapting and accelerating growth in response to challenges. Unfortunately, there simply wasn’t room for all the stories we received. Here are some of our favorite anecdotes that I had to leave out:

Pivoting Anecdotes

  • “Having to send a majority of personnel home to work during this time proved to be challenging. However, it brought to light the age old debate on ‘can we be efficient?’ It was very clear that the newer-age-thinking individuals had no issues working from home, were just as efficient (if not more) and found peace in that work/life balance. The older-age-thinking individuals had difficulty adapting and complained things could not get done if people were not physically in the office and being seen doing work. Leadership has to step up to the plate and realize that this pandemic really shows that if you cannot Pivot, you will Perish. Think outside the box, give employees the opportunities to find that balance (obviously by job description as not every position can do this. But at the same time, be a company that does not shy away just because of that), use your meetings wisely and stay in constant communication with your teams.

    “By doing this you not only open yourself up to enhancing your current employees mindsets and lives, you also attract the younger generation that is looking for this in a career. By not doing this, you risk losing valuable employees who see and adapt to the Pivot, and understand that thinking you have to physically have someone in the office is a very archaic way to run a business. Those employees eventually find something that will suit that efficient work style and will be gone quickly.”
  • “My company was not calling back in after I was furloughed so I ended up changing to another company. I had almost 5 months of furlough and am very happy to be working again.”
  • “I took advantage of time out of the field. Did a ton of on-line training. Got my Fiery Pro Certification and Idealliance CMP Master. When customers finally did open, I tried to visit everyone to PM and update firmware.”
  • “This is a difficult time for business. Techs are afraid to go on-site or are wanting hazard pay. Customers are making demands like coming after five so no one is around the techs while in their office. There are a ton of challenges to adapt to.”
  • “It may not be until fall, but things will bounce back. There will definitely be more people working from home, and a significant amount of people on the move as well. The business model, especially in Downtown areas, has undoubtedly been shaken, but our economy has the flexibility and innovative spirit to bend but not break.”

From his success on the sales floor of an automotive dealership  to becoming a veteran trainer and then the adoption of technology for Internet-based marketing, his career has evolved to deliver the skills and tools needed to help consumers. Richie Bello combined his automotive expertise with his robust desire to “take care of the customer first” to become an automotive influencer, published author, and renowned trainer.  Bello absorbed the wants and needs of consumers as he worked up the ladder of the automotive industry.

Over the thirty-five years of his career, he developed strong Internet marketing skills, leading him to developing software solutions that create ease for consumers, and helps dealers improve relationships with customers. Innovation drives success. And, for Bello, it’s in his DNA. took years to come to consumers and arrived in a timely manner, during the 2020 Pandemic. With over 6 million vehicles on the site, features that help consumers deliver, finance and warranty, Bello has met the retail digital age head on.

Bello also is founder of Richie Bello Institute of Leadership and Management, a 501C3 not for profit, dedicated to the recruitment, education and employment of veterans into the automotive industry. Visit


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