New car and truck dealers are uniquely positioned to build long-term grassroots relationships with members of Congress. The average dealership has roughly 55 employees, and most members of Congress would welcome the opportunity to visit a dealership and interact with those whose livelihoods depend on the continued success of the franchised dealers. Opportunities for dealers to create and expand upon such relationships are everywhere and the value of taking advantage of them is priceless. Click here to learn how you can better inform your legislators simply by inviting them into your store.
Locate your elected officials.
To locate and contact your Senators and Representatives, visit House.gov and Senate.gov.
Welcome Members of Congress into the dealer community.
- Initiate a Member of Congress to drop by your dealership for an informal visit. Initiate this request through the district office of the Member of Congress. Click here for more information on a dealership drop-by program.
- Ask the Member of Congress to “cut the ribbon” at your new showroom.
- Ask the Member of Congress to attend customer appreciation day or employee/family picnic.
- Invite a Member of Congress to a Dealer Association Event. Invite a Member of Congress to speak at a state/metro convention, association meeting, or play in a local golf tournament.
Promote Members of Congress within your local community.
- Invite a Member of Congress to be the Honorary Chair at the major charity dinner in your hometown.
- Ask the Member of Congress to be the Grand Marshall in a community parade. You could provide the car.
- If a Member of Congress sides with dealers on a politically sensitive vote, send a supportive letter-to-the-editor of your local newspaper.
- Include a favorable story regarding a Member in the association newsletter.
- Ask the Member of Congress to participate in a local pro-am golf or tennis tournament. The Member of Congress could present the trophies and you could provide the hole-in-one car.
Here are series of steps to consider prior to arranging such an event:
- Write a letter of invitation detailing the event, i.e. date, time, location, number of participants.
Provide the Member’s staff with all necessary contact information.
- Coordinate press coverage before the event.
- Inform your employees of the special guest. Hand out a brief biography of the Member.
- Record the event by taking photos.
- Send the Member a thank you note and include photos and any press coverage the event received.
Develop a relationship with the congressional staff in your area.
U.S. Senators and Representatives often use the staff of their home state offices to remain connected to their constituents. These staffers live and work in your community, yet many have daily contact with the Washington office. As such, they are well positioned to set up appointments or convey messages directly to the Member of Congress.
If you have already established a long-term relationship with your Senator or Representative, let us know.
NADA Legislative Affairs can be reached directly by calling (202) 547-5500, toll-free: (800) 563-1556, fax: (202) 479-0168, or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.