The merits of the Top 100 merit awards

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Of all the questions we receive from dealers entering the Top 100 competition, most of them have to do with the Merit Awards. In previous years, you would submit your entry and the Top 100 judges would handpick the finalists and winners of the Merit Awards.

That changed this year, when we enabled dealers to compete for the Merit Awards of their choice. So if you have a particularly unique store display, you might enter the competition for Best Display. Did you have an event this year that you’re particularly proud of? Consider competing for Best Event. There are over a dozen Merit Awards from which to choose.

Here’s how you can compete for one or more Merit Awards: First, complete your Top 100 nomination form on the mBlast site (visit the Top 100 page on www.dealernews.com for a direct link to the entry/nomination process). Then, once you complete your Top 100 entry, you will be e-mailed a link to the Merit Awards entry form.

Why do I have to complete my Top 100 entry form first?

We want to ensure that all dealers competing for the Merit Awards have already entered the Top 100 competition. You cannot compete for a Merit Award unless you have already entered the core Top 100 competition for 2011.

How many Merit Awards are there? Can I submit one entry for all of them?

There are 17 Merit categories this year (see box). Because each Merit category requires you to enter unique information to that category, you must submit separate entries for each Merit Award you wish to enter.

It’s a pretty short and straightforward process, and it’s easier than you might think. Merit Award entries require you to answer one question and upload accompanying material — for example, an image of a display if you’re entering for Best Display or Best Exterior, or perhaps a customer testimonial or CSI scoring result for Customer Service.

Do I have to compete for a Merit Award to be chosen for a Top 100 spot?

Nope. It’s optional.

What about the Consumers’ Choice Award? Can I just enter that one?

The Consumers’ Choice ballot will be populated only with those dealers who have completed and submitted a Top 100 entry by the Oct. 1, 2010, deadline.

When do the merit award entries need to be submitted?

All entries must be completed and submitted by the Oct. 1, 2010, deadline.

Remember, there are only a few weeks left to enter the largest and most prestigious retail competition in the powersports industry. You know how hard you and your team have worked — it’s time to show off what you’ve achieved. Good luck!

TOP 100 MERIT AWARD CATEGORIES for 2011

Best Community Involvement Initiative

Best Customer Service Program

Best Display

Best E-Commerce

Best Employee Incentive Program

Best Event

Best Independent

Best Media Campaign: Online

Best Media Campaign: Other (billboards, etc.)

Best Media Campaign: Print/Direct Mail

Best Media Campaign: Radio/TV

Best Promotion

Best Service Department

Best Store Exterior

Best Store Theme

Best Use of Space

Best Website

Special Awards:

Consumers’ Choice 2011

Don J. Brown Lifetime Achievement Award

This story originally appeared in the September 2010 issue of Dealernews,