Ten Frequently Asked ‘RVB Top 50’ Questions
Editor’s Note: The following reviews the Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions concerning the reasons behind the relaunch of the RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer Awards program, the nomination and selection process and details on the Nov. 12 event set in Las Vegas.
#1: What are the RV Business Top 50 Dealer Awards? The concept was actually borrowed about a decade ago – back when RVB was owned by Affinity Group Inc. — from AGI’s “Top 100” marine dealers awards program sponsored by the company’s “Boating Industry” magazine. We figured 100 was just too many, so we modified the concept and adapted it to the RV arena and started recognizing U.S. and Canadian dealers for their track records with respect to overall business operations, customer service, general professionalism and civic/charitable involvement. Then, we celebrated the Top 50 dealers during RVDA’s RV Dealers International Convention/Expo in Vegas.
#2: So, why are you relaunching the Top 50 after a 3-year hiatus? When we first purchased RVBusiness magazine in 2011, the political stars weren’t properly aligned. Now that’s an elusive way of saying that it just wasn’t the right time for us – based on signals we’d received from a couple of key stakeholders – so we backed off. To say that we’ve brought it back by popular demand, however, is no understatement. Dealers from far and wide, from Ron Kinsey at Modern Trailer Sales in Anderson, Ind., to Shannon Nill at Guaranty RV Super Centers in Junction City, Ore., had asked about it. So, now, along with BJ Thompson Associates, we’re getting the band back together.
#3: Are award recipients being ranked from 1-50? No, like before, dealers won’t be ranked from 1 to 50, although we do plan to focus extra attention on ten Blue Ribbon performers who will be honored (in alphabetical order) as the top finishers among the 50 award recipients.
#4: How does a dealership get nominated for the awards? RV manufacturers do the nominations, and it doesn’t matter how many times a dealer gets nominated by different OEM’s when it comes to making the final selections.
#5: So, how does RVBusiness make those final selections? A small committee of independent industry veterans – we call them our panel of experts – presides over all of the selections with an agenda that has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with the pursuit of excellence in RV retailing. And the Top 50 sponsors, including Ally Financial Inc., Blue Ox, Cummins Power Generation, Dometic Corp., Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp., GE Capital Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF), Lippert Components Inc., Protective Asset Protection and Stag-Parkway Inc., clearly have the same mindset.
#6: What’s the advantage of being named to the Top 50? Aside from the satisfaction of being recognized for running an exemplary operation, dealers will be recognized at an awards reception open to all badge-wearing convention attendees on the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 12, during RVDA’s Con/Expo at Bally’s on the Las Vegas Strip in cooperation with RVDA and RVDA of Canada. In addition to expansive trade coverage in RVBusiness magazine and in an array of consumer websites, Top 50 dealers get custom press releases to distribute to their local and regional media outlets and prestigious logos for use in advertising, showrooms and retail show displays.
#7: Is the July 31 deadline for the applications a “drop-dead” date? There might be a little wiggle room, especially if dealers let us know ahead of time that they’re still planning on submitting their applications so that we can plan around them.
#8: Are dealers expected to answer every question in the application? If a question or two on the application is problematic or perhaps too intrusive, they can skip it. That said, we trust that retailers will view the application itself as an opportunity to present their store(s) in the best possible light and that they’ll expand their answers where pertinent so that we can get a good handle on their general philosophies and approaches to business.
#9: Are multi-store dealers limited to entering only one of their facilities? The answer, in short, is yes. While a dealership may in fact promote only one of its stores, however, we can assume that the corporate philosophies and practices addressed in the application apply to all of a company’s stores and that the ultimate goodwill from the award should – in all reality – generally spill over into all of a dealer’s operations.
#10: What’s the deal with those two special awards? Because we and our sponsors wanted to specifically address these intangible elements of business — which dealers broach on a regular basis — Ally Financial representatives will present one exceptionally civic- or charity-minded Top 50 dealer with an “RVBusiness Spirit Award” at the reception, while Lippert Components personnel will recognize another dealer for outstanding business creativity and out-of-the-box thinking in bestowing an “RVBusiness Innovation Award.”
NOTE: If you still have questions regarding the Top 50 program, click on the Top 50 banner on the right side of the RVBUSINESS.com home page or personally contact Sherm Goldenberg (at (574) 457-3370 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or BJ Thompson ((574) 255-5000/ext. 501 or email@example.com) or Barb Riley ((574) 255-5000/ext. 505 or firstname.lastname@example.org).