Not winning? Maybe it’s you?

Losing at anything is painful. The harder you try, the greater the disappointment. When we don’t win an auctioneering or bid calling contest it is fashionable to assign blame to a number of causes. This is not unique to auctioneers but rather a symptom of the human condition. Common causes for not winning a contest include:

  1. Incompetent, inappropriate or biased judge(s)
  2. A contestant, typically the winner, had some previously unknown advantage, connection with the judges, etc
  3. Poor draw or placement in the selling order
  4. Incompatibility with contestant’s style and the judges sensibilities (the judge(s) just doesn’t like me)
  5. Poor participation by the bidding audience (the bidders fault)
  6. Previously undisclosed personal issue, bad day, dog died, family problem, etc (Life is unfair)

As much fun as is it to discuss and debate these happenings after a contest, typically the simplest explanation is the correct one. The very simplest explanation for why we did not win was: YOU. Further, and in the unlikely event that one of the above scenarios did in fact come to pass, the best plan is to be SO good the next year that even with such a head wind they simply cannot keep us from victory.

To quote Steve Martin: “Be so good they can’t ignore you”

If you lost a contest follow this ‘you’ centered check list:

  • Am I the best auctioneer I can be?
  • Am I the best auctioneer at the auctions I work at, in my circle of peers, in my sphere of influence?
  • Did I prepare as best I could leading up to this contest?
  • Was my heart in the right spot on contest day?
  • Had I won was I truly prepared to make the most out of the opportunity?

If the reason you lost wasn’t ‘you’ it doesn’t frankly matter; all you can work on going forward is ‘you’ anyway. Those judges are yesterday’s news and won’t be back next year. Surround yourself with auctioneers that are better than you. Work on improving your weaknesses, prepare more and focus on being the very best at being you. Sometimes it’s you, sometimes it wasn’t your day. Losing has one HUGE upside however: You get to compete again!

This blog post accompanies How to Win an Auctioneer Contest: Part 4 – It’s Not You, It’s Me” and is offered in partnership with the Fast Talking Podcast and

Listen to Episode 4:

Thank you to the series sponsor:AuctionFlexLogo
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If you are an auctioneer or auction professional or aspire to the same join the National Auctioneers Association TODAY. It will change your life.


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