First impressions are critical in life and of course in the world of competitive auctioneering and contests. A strong, confident introduction may not win you an auctioneering contest but a weak and disjointed effort will most certainly keep you from the winners circle. There are five common mistakes auctioneers make in the first 10 to 20 seconds of their contest run:
- Grab’n’go – In many contests the microphone is located on a microphone stand requiring contestants to collect the microphone to the left or right side of the stage. Many contestants make the mistake of beginning their introduction as soon as they have the microphone in their hand, often walking to the center of the stage while talking. It is important regardless of the setup of the stage or auction block to set yourself, your mind and your body than begin speaking. A running start seldom serves a contestant well.
- Academy Awards – Often a contestant will deliver a long list of thank you’s before beginning their item description and bid calling. Thank you to mom, wife, husband, children, mentors, association, judges, host, fellow contestants etc etc. Without a doubt genuine gratitude in life is critical to success. However in the contest setting a little goes a long way. Judges want to hear you, score your performance, but often the long Academy Awards style speech is counterproductive. Brief acknowledgments will trump the laundry list; save that for the victory speech!
- Rushing – Just as a long introduction is ill advised a brief introduction that does not allow the the judges time to score you is also a missed opportunity. Give the judges enough time to score your appearance, poise, command before staring into your chant.
- Only selling steak – Most contestants sell the steak. Be sure to also sell the sizzle. If you spend all your time in the item description talking about features you miss a critical salesmanship technique: selling the benefits. How will winning this lot or item improve the bidders life or business?
- Forgetting the Smile – Auctioneering Contests take focus and determination but they really should be fun. Don’t take yourself or the contest so seriously that you are not smiling and enjoying the moment.
This blog post accompanies “How to Win an Auctioneer Contest: Part 5 – How to Lose a Contest in 10 Seconds” and is offered in partnership with the Fast Talking Podcast and IACInsider.com.
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