May is National Military Appreciation Month, honoring members of all military branches for their service as the country’s protectors. Across the nation, more than 2.2 million people are current members and countless others have served in the past, representing a large portion of the population, and a group worthy of recognition. 

As military personnel are celebrated this month, there are ways dealerships can get involved. Some may be simple community-focused events while others are large-scale opportunities that can garner national attention. Here are a few ways that auto dealers can support and recognize veterans this month. 

Serve up discounts veterans

Discounts tend to de-value a product or service, unless they are exclusive. For a set time, perhaps the last week of the month, offer a notable discount for current service members and vets. Apply the discount to any service or parts invoice, or offer a flat-rate discount on any vehicle purchased. By isolating the discount to only military personnel and their spouses, you acknowledge their service with a small token of appreciation. 

May is a great month to do special discounts, but there are plenty of organizations and dealers who offer a discount in some form year-round. Find a way to make your offering special at this time. 

Social media campaigns 

Social media platforms do not need to be about selling all the time. Use your capacity to promote a message on your social media channels simply to honor those who serve or have served in the military. It’s a great way to spread positive vibes to your followers, and it’s a fresh change from posting sales-y topics.

And if you have staff who previously served in the military, why not write a spotlight to honor them across your channels? It’s a brilliant way for people to recognize and connect with someone at your dealership. 

Participate in a vehicle giveaway 

One of the more costly actions a dealership can be involved with is a vehicle giveaway. Organizations like Wounded Warriors regularly participate in pairing vehicle donations to worthy recipients. With the price of vehicles today and the profit a retailer would be giving up, it’s a massive undertaking to give away a new or pre-owned vehicle. 

However, it’s more than simply giving away a car. While one veteran receives much-needed transportation, the giver often receives regional and national attention for their donation. Though it’s not the primary motive for such a gift, the reach from a donation of this magnitude can build goodwill in the community. 

Host an event for military personnel 

An opportunity give your personal support and thanks to a current or past service member is to host an event honoring them. Clear the showroom for a lavish catered dinner and invite local vets to attend with their families. Host a community picnic that spotlights the people who help keep the nation safe. Find ways to offer no-strings-attached support for a demographic that often gets sidelined and forgotten.

Of course, keep your ear to the ground for other opportunities to help out. During one of these events, you’ll inevitably come across out-of-work veterans. Tap into this group of individuals who can hone their skills and become a valuable member of your team. 

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