The biggest difference between making the finals and not making the finals of an auctioneering or bid calling contest is often in the number of hours an auctioneer has spent with a microphone in his or her hand in the last 12 to 18 months. Of course there are always exceptions but generally a contestant who has had more recent, real world, experience will fair better than those who have less, all else being equal. This concept is not rocket science of course, those actively engaged in an activity are likely better at it than those who are not. Taking that chant, perfected in the shower, out into the real world is critical to contest success.
Below are 6 tips to increasing the number of opportunities to be on the block or at the very least gaining experience in a live auction setting:
- Network. In every region,every market and every specialty there are auctioneers and auction professionals who are in positions to recommend other auctioneers into bid calling and ring person positions. It is critical to network with those in positions of influence and let them know that you are eager to learn and are interested in any opportunities that might be available. This is not the only method to build a book of business and experience but it is a place to start.
- Contests. Many, many auctioneers have been offered try outs and opportunities by just competing in a contest (often not necessarily winning). Companies scout talent at a contests and you never know who is watching and what need might arise in their business. Competing in a contest shows drive, determination and courage, all qualities that make a GREAT auctioneer.
- Say YES. 2011 NAA Internatioal Auctioneer Champion Joseph Mast offers simple advice to both young and inexperienced auctioneers: “Say YES to everything you can to get the experience you need, you can always say NO later.” There is a lot of wisdom in this simple statement. There is always a danger in thinking activity equals accomplishment but when starting on your journey towards a successful career and the championships that might be a part of that saying YES and racking up hours on the mic are critical.
- Be Available. When the call comes to fill in at the auto auction on Thursday because an auctioneer is out sick or to be the relief auctioneer at the Sale Barn because there is more inventory than normal it is critical to be available and make those dates work. This often means have contingency plans in place so what when the phone rings you are ready to make it happen and take care of the home front.
- Be willing to work. Working the ring, clerking, cashiering are all important jobs at any auction and often there are spots available in these positions more regularly than there are on the mic. Be willing to accept the work that is available as a stepping stone to your goals.
- Don’t let setbacks be fatal. Frankly setbacks and failures are as much a part of the auction business as raging successes. They happen in contests (only one person will win) and they are a fact of life for auctioneers. It is tragic when a good auctioneer quits a contest or a career because something didn’t go as planned. Don’t let it happen to you.
This blog post accompanies “How to Win an Auctioneer Contest: Part 6 – Everyone Sounds Like a World Champion in the Shower” and is offered in partnership with the Fast Talking Podcast and IACInsider.com.
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