Tips for Creating a Winning Top 100 Entry

The entries for the Top 100 Dealer Awards are as unique as the companies that submit them. But the nominees and winning dealers tend to have some things in common: they know how to market themselves and create a clear and compelling entry. Here are some tips to help you do the same.

1. Decide What You Do Best

What’s your store known for? What are you most passionate about? If you believe you’ve done something innovative, creative, profitable, progressive or just downright brilliant, you need to enter your store in that particular category. Other than investing a bit of time and effort, it doesn’t cost a thing to enter, but the prestige and marketing potential of being Top 100 Dealer is limitless.

2. Enter More than One Category

Improve your odds for success by entering several Top 100 categories. And be sure to look over the category’s criteria and questions. Last year, several terrific entries didn’t make the cut because they either didn’t fit into the category they entered or didn’t provide the information requested. Remember, your entry doesn’t have to be a dissertation. In fact, it’s better to keep it concise, but impactful (see tip #3).

3. Try to Be Clear and Concise

The judges read hundreds of entries, so you need to make yours stand out. Write too little and you’re probably not providing enough information. Write too much and you’re diluting the message. So what’s a dealer to do? The same thing you would do when creating a brochure or flier for your store––make it clear, concise and reader friendly. Breaking up your submission into short, bulleted paragraphs (instead of filling an entire page with non-stop text) makes it a more compelling read.

4. Give Them the Bigger Picture

To help the judges get a better understanding of who you are and what you’ve done, start by providing them with a little of info about your company and its background.

5. Outline Your Goals, Strategy, Execution and Results 

Breaking up your submission into these four bulleted topics makes it easier for both you and the judges. It helps you to stay on track in outlining what you’ve achieved and helps the judges put everything in context.

6. Be Specific About Your Results

Judges want to know how and why an idea was successful, and how it improved your business in a measurable, tangible way. Be as specific as you can, remembering that details matter; numbers matter even more. The judges are sworn to confidentiality, so the more numbers, facts and objective proof you can provide them, the more likely you will grab their attention.

7. Don’t Just Tell Us…Show Us!

Nothing illustrates your story better than great images. If your store is selected as a category nominee, we will create a video telling your story—and the last thing you want is blurry, low-res images representing your brand. Take the time to make sure you have clear, colorful images that are eye-catching. Remember, there’s A LOT of competition out there.

8. Get Your Staff Involved

Brainstorm with your staff about which categories to enter and which best practices to share. By involving your employees, they become more invested in your store’s success.

9. Utilize Your Company’s Talent Pool to Create Your Winning Entry

If you’re not a natural writer or photographer, consider your team’s skills set. Do you have a creative marketer who can write your entry or someone who’s good with photography who can capture the images you need?

10. There’s Still Time to Achieve Your Top 100 Goals for 2017 If You Start Now

Want to take your business to the next level? Why not take the tips you learned from this year’s NAMM U sessions and incorporate them into your business? Then, in March, you should have some interesting best practices stories and compelling images to share when NAMM opens its 2017 Top 100 Dealer Awards submissions! 

Bottom line, you’ll never win if you don’t enter! And who knows? Maybe you’ll be one of the dealers on stage accepting an award at Summer NAMM! Be sure to enter your store when we open to entries on March 1, 2017 at 8 am PST.