Seeing Things Differently: Bob Sanford, president of Unionville, Conn.-based Sanford & Hawley, has good reason to smile now that a revamp of the dealer's information systems has cut costs, boosted efficiency, and provided new insights into his business. Those achievements earned Sanford & Hawley an Excellence Award.
Gale Zucker / www.gzucker.com / www.auroraselect.com Seeing Things Differently: Bob Sanford, president of Unionville, Conn.-based Sanford & Hawley, has good reason to smile now that a revamp of the dealer's information systems has cut costs, boosted efficiency, and provided new insights into his business. Those achievements earned Sanford & Hawley an Excellence Award.

Some dealers joke that they've refused to participate in the recession, but others truly are living those words. They've upgraded computer systems, found new ways to bring in customers, and distinguished themselves through clever advertising. They're this year's winners of the ProSales Excellence Awards

for achievements in marketing, technology, and facility design. For 2011, out of several dozen entries, we asked our panel of judges to pick the achievements that they felt went far above and beyond what typical dealers do. The judges took that request to heart. They could have picked as many as six winners, but instead chose just three dealers for grand prizes, while five more won merit awards. Here are their winning stories.