Nominations are open for our seventh annual Dealership of the Year. Here’s why you deserve that honor and why you should seek it out.

Many of you have been in business for decades. You simply cannot last this long without doing a lot of things right. And, those who are relative newcomers must have something that separates you from the crowd or you would have never opened your doors.

Dealers have demonstrated to me over and over that a stand-out dealership isn’t defined by the color of the equipment on the lot, number of store locations, or how many VPs are listed on the company’s employee directory. It's about determination and drive.

You are a Dealership of the Year because you leverage your strengths, understand your market and pursue excellence. How you do that is shown in a thousand ways. Your strengths may come from the variety of lines you carry or that you’re the best at selling one or two major lines. You know your market because you live in the market. You’ve taken steps to uncover new ways to serve long-time customers or you’ve sought out unexpected customers. Your commitment to excellence is driven by the fact that your name is on the sign out front or that you have a long history of making the rural lifestyle better.

Now is not the time to be humble. Drought or not, rural lifestylers still need equipment to maintain their properties. You need them to know that you’re their rural lifestyle partner. National recognition will go a long way to building that awareness and credibility.

Better yet, the nomination process is simple and you can nominate yourself, one of your manufacturers can do it or even one of those long-time customers you work so hard to keep happy can nominate you. All you need to provide at this first step is provide dealership information, contact information and a couple of lines about why this dealership deserves to be Dealership of the Year. That’s it. You can download the nomination form here or complete an online form.

Take a look at some of our previous winners to see the group you will join.

2012 Dealership of the Year: Mid-State Equipment, Janesville, Wis.
2011 Dealership of the Year: S&H Farm Supply, Rogersville, Mo.
2010 Dealership of the Year: Kingline Equipment, Cantonment, Fla.
2009 Dealership of the Year: Jordan Sales & Service, Post Falls, Idaho
2008 Dealership of the Year: Little Tractor and Equipment, Metropolis, Ill.
2007 Dealership of the Year: Dave's Tractor, Red Bluff, Calif.

This maybe your year — and you deserve it.