Bill has a day job
Bill Playford serves as Vice President and Partner (resident data nerd, Red Bull drinker, and all around utility player) at DealerKnows Consulting. He’s principally responsible for the daily operations of DealerKnows Consulting, overseeing the Virtual Dealer Training and TaskTeacher programs. He spends his Mondays researching, writing, and performing non-core consulting.
Bill is still not your typical car guy
Despite being a fourth-generation auto worker, amazing (/annoying) his friends with endless car facts, writing a dissertation on the overreach of emissions laws, and spending his adult life focusing on evolving the retail side of the car business, Bill still thinks like a customer. If Nicola Tesla and Margaret Thatcher had a child at the United States Grand Prix, it would probably look and sound (and likely smell) like Bill.
Bill solves problems
If a complex problem needs to be solved, Bill is your man. He was your buddy that you went to when your parents needed a legitimate explanation of why you came home late. He grew into the trusted partner that optimized divestiture timelines during the dot-com bubble, pioneered techniques for selling vehicles over the Internet at the local, regional, and international level, along with successfully implementing automotive lead scoring and grading technology. He’s quietly built the reputation as the consultant’s consultant.
Bill is a homebody
While other people are out hobnobbing at conferences, Bill likes to stay and work from his homestead in rural Jackson, MI. Well, that’s not entirely true. Bill’s three gifted sons, queen bee daughter, and brilliant wife are the center of his life. The menagerie of pets and livestock come with marrying a veterinarian. He lives close enough to Detroit to get his conference fix and loves passing along the information he gets from the automotive mother ship.
Bill feels fortunate
Growing up in Cornfield County, Bill wasn’t expected to go too far. One teacher, in particular, was shocked when she had found out that Bill graduated college with honors. She may have suffered a small seizure when she learned that he earned his master’s degree by 23. More people were shocked when he decided to sell cars. Throughout the last fifteen years, Bill has worked with the likes of Kelly Blue Book, Hyundai, BMW, Google, AutoNation, Asbury Automotive, along with countless smaller dealers and organizations you’ve never heard of. In all, he’s worked in half of the US states and Canadian provinces. It’s not all milk and honey, but the Car Gods do give back.
Random Facts About Bill
- He still carries the key to his great grandfather’s shoe store, where he started working at the ripe old age of 11.
- He’s never met 99% of his car customers. Bills delivered well over a thousand vehicles, from very used junkers to brand new six-figure luxury vehicles, across 19 states, while being based in three different regions, and spending two years commuting from Michigan to Texas.
- He has probably annoyed almost every coworker at some point by drumming his fingers on his desk while tapping his feet (see music section).
- He’s been granted honorary Canadian citizen status because of his profound love of hockey (and apologizing; Let’s go Red Wings!).
- He’s participated in two Catholic World Youth Days celebrated by then Pope John II, and can therefore say, has been to church with a Saint.
- Born: Jackson, MI
- Hometown(s): Hillsdale, MI and Austin, TX
- School: BA, Political Science, St. Edwards University, Austin, TX and MBA, Entrepreneurship/eCommerce, Texas Christian University, Ft. Worth, TX
Bill’s 5 Favorite Movies
- Blues Brothers
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- Animal House
- Die Hard
- Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Favorite TV Shows
- Mad Men
- Breaking Bad
- Basically, anything HBO produces
- Andy’s Coney Island (Jackson, MI)
- Spagnuolo’s (Okemos, MI)
- Hula Hut (Austin, TX)
- Evangeline Cafe (Austin, TX)
Bill’s Favorite Music
- Golden Age Hip-Hop
- Free Jazz
- Progressive Rock
- The kind of metal your mom would call devil music
Places to Visit Bucket List
- Vatican City
- Galapagos Islands