Category Archives: National Auctioneers Foundation

Keynote speaker says branding is all about emotional engagement

Just because people know about you and your auction company doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll want to use your services.

Marketing or branding is more about emotions than awareness, says Scott Deming, professional speaker, consultant and author.

“It’s an emotional connection a person has with another person or with an entire organization based on an experience — based on a one-of-a-kind, relevant, emotional … experience,” Deming continued during his keynote presentation, “Managing Change and Your Brand for Sustainable Success,” at Conference and Show on July 18 in Spokane, Wash.

Branding, he says, is not just about coming up with creative ideas and marketing campaigns. Because they’re in the people business, Auctioneers must emotionally engage buyers and sellers — making them raving fans of their businesses.

He recommends that auction professionals focus on what people feel about them, not on what they think about them.

Companies such as Starbucks Coffee Co. and Harley-Davidson make people feel important, and they focus on relationships and experiences as opposed to the products they sell.

Auction professionals should follow those models, Deming says.

“You know what we remember? We remember powerful moments: good ones, bad ones. All you get is that one moment … make that moment an experience no one will ever forget,” he says.

In addition, he says today’s business leaders are innovators who must understand and embrace change. They inspire and empower their employees not to fear the outcome of the unknown, but rather to get excited about making progress.

Foundation donations

Also during the Opening Session, National Auctioneers Foundation President Benny Fisher, CAI, led National Auctioneers Association members in a 12×12 initiative designed to provide members with an easy, affordable way to give back to the auction industry.

The program encourages individual members to give $12 per month, or $144 annually.

Fisher says a tax-deductible, $12 donation once a month for a year will help the NAA improve its educational programming.

Members who attended the Opening Session pledged more than $35,000 through the program.


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NAA makes half-million dollar pledge to St. Jude to fund training program

The National Auctioneers Association is continuing its commitment to the life-saving mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with a new pledge to raise half a million dollars over five years to support the hospital’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.

The association’s dedication to funding the Postdoctoral Fellowship Program will help St. Jude train the next generation of its scientific and medical minds. Fellows from more than 31 countries work diligently in the program, supporting the bridge between research and treatment and helping St. Jude to speed discoveries from its laboratories to patients’ bedsides and doctors and researchers everywhere. The fellows are major contributors to the scientific and clinical mission of the hospital.

“Members of the National Auctioneers Association take great pride in supporting St. Jude,” says NAA President Christie King, CAI, AARE, BAS. “For more than 15 years, Auctioneers have promoted St. Jude to their customers and have raised millions of dollars to help the hospital continue to expand its important work and research.

“The NAA is excited to build on this partnership with our commitment to raise $500,000 over the next five years in support of the Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. It is an honor to financially support the training and equipment that aspiring doctors and scientists need for the future.”

Since partnering with St. Jude in 1995, NAA members have made a difference in the lives of children fighting cancer and other deadly diseases through their support of St. Jude. The association’s Auction for Hope program has raised more than half a million dollars since 2006 to help St. Jude provide the research and treatment that is saving the lives of children in communities everywhere.

The nation’s top Auctioneers also bring the high energy of a live auction to the hospital with the association’s annual Toy Auction that takes place each November. During the auction, St. Jude patients and their siblings enjoy the excitement of “bidding” on toys donated by members of the association.

“We are so grateful to the National Auctioneers Association for their support,” says Donna Young, coordinator of National Program Marketing at ALSAC, the fundraising organization for St. Jude. “Since 1995, the members have raised approximately $4 million for St. Jude and continue to provide wonderful moments of joy for the patients of St. Jude during their National Auctioneers Toy Auction at the hospital. The members of the NAA are so dedicated and are willing to do whatever they can to raise money for the research and care at St. Jude.”

The NAA’s commitment to St. Jude is supporting one of the world’s premier centers for the research and treatment of childhood cancer and other deadly diseases. That support also helps ensure that, true to the vision of St. Jude founder Danny Thomas, no family ever pays St. Jude for anything. And because St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with doctors and scientists everywhere, one child saved at St. Jude means thousands saved around the world.

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Hall of Fame member was humble leader

Friends and colleagues of former National Auctioneers Association President and Hall of Famer Jim Murphy remember him most for his generosity and work to help feed and shelter the homeless.

NAA members also say he was an Auctioneer who served as an example for the profession. He was personable, talented and ethical, says Kip Toner, BAS, of Kip Toner Benefit Auctions, Seattle.

Murphy died June 3. He was 82.

Toner also says Murphy was a great mentor to many Auctioneers. He had a good sense of humor, which especially prevailed during benefit auctions, many of which he conducted free of charge.

“People could see his passion and people loved his sense of humor and his very, very gentle voice,” Toner says. “They responded to that, and so his benefit auctions were very successful.”

At auction, he was skilled at selling commercial machinery and equipment. Toner says he knew the assets he was selling as well as he knew the buyers in the crowd.

Toner jokes that he and Murphy would measure the success of auctions they conducted together based on the presence of local police, who would sometimes show up to request the Auctioneers help clear nearby streets of auction attendees’ vehicles.

“I was with him one time when he auctioned 13 hours straight … never took a break … some of the people were there from the beginning to the end,” says Toner, who adds that Murphy treated buyers and sellers with a great sense of fairness.

As a leader, many colleagues remember him for the way he managed the National Auctioneers Foundation as its President. They say he was instrumental in turning the organization into one that contributed to NAA programs, as opposed to one that the NAA supported.

Robin Marshall, of Marshall Land Brokers & Auctioneers, Kearney, Neb., says Murphy made the motion that NAF Trustees pay for their own transportation to and from foundation meetings.

Marshall, also a former President and Hall of Fame member, says Murphy was a humble person who displayed a sense of calm and made other people want to follow him. He focused on the big picture; however, Murphy also concerned himself with the little things — such as clean restrooms at an auction facility — that Marshall says made a big difference.

“He was a true leader,” Marshall says. “He raised the bar for professionalism of Auctioneers both in the association and in his own business.”

Dick Keenan, of Keenan Auction Co., South Portland, Maine, agrees with Marshall’s assessment and says the integrity and professionalism with which Murphy ran his business has been passed down through his family.

His son, Tim Murphy, CAI, of James G. Murphy Co., Kenmore, Wash., and his grandson, Colin Murphy, CAI, GPPA, also of the family business, are NAA members.

“He led with his billfold,” Keenan says. “There was never a cause that if he believed in it he wasn’t the first to contribute to. He never asked for anything back.”

Another former President and Hall of Famer, Wil Hahn, CAI, of Hahn Auction Co., Bath, Pa., adds that Murphy was a well-organized person who was always prepared. He was selfless in his generosity, never looking to receive recognition for his charitable contributions.

A member of the NAA for more than 35 years, Murphy was President of the association in 1994-1995. He entered its Hall of Fame in 2000, along with Keenan.

He also was a President of the Washington Auctioneers Association and the founding member of the American National Bank in Edmonds, Wash., according to his obituary.

He was a longtime member of the Serra Club, Knights of Columbus and Crosier Society. For more than 30 years, he was the principal Auctioneer and member of the PONCHO organization, which focuses on funding arts education.

Murphy started several fundraising events and spent many hours supporting programs for the homeless. He gave his time to the Lazarus Day Center, St. Martins Programs Advisory Board and Catholic Community Service Board and Fundraising Committee.

He served the Holy Rosary Parish in Edmonds as a member of its school board, parish council and finance commission, according to the obituary.

Murphy and his wife, Norma, founded James G. Murphy Co. in 1970. The company helped liquidate real estate during the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.

In 1990, Murphy turned the business over to his son, Tim Murphy, and daughter, Julie Rice. He remained active in the business and conducted his last auction April 24.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years; four children, Lorrie Schlanser, Tim Murphy, Julie Rice and Jay Murphy; a brother, Patrick Murphy; and six grandchildren.

Murphy’s funeral took place June 8. Keenan says the 1,000-person capacity church had standing-room only. An Archbishop and 10 priests presided over the mass.

Remembrances may be made to Sno King Serra or St. Martins Programs, P.O. Box 504, Edmonds, WA, 98020.

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Task Force recommends major changes for the NAA

The National Auctioneers Association Vision 2015 Task Force has made several recommendations to the NAA Board of Directors.

The Task Force presented the suggestions with the belief that they will ensure the NAA continues to provide relevant and valuable educational opportunities and representation for the auction industry.

NAA President Christie King, CAI, AARE, BAS, says the Task Force recommends that educational opportunities are made available to auction professionals regardless of their role in the business.

She says that in order to make this a priority, there were two supporting recommendations:

1) The Task Force recommends that any auction professional be allowed to join the organization as a voting member; and 2) The Task Force recommends that the name of the organization be changed to the National Auction Association.

The Task Force presented the recommendations, and several others, to the NAA Board of Directors during the Board’s October meeting. The Task Force also discussed its suggestions with the NAF Board of Trustees, the Education Institute Trustees and the NAA Auxiliary Board of Trustees.

After taking into consideration feedback from the respective groups, the Task Force created and sent final recommendations to the NAA Board of Directors. The Board reviewed these during a conference call in November.

In summary, the recommendations are as follows:

1) Create one level of membership that allows all members to vote
2) Change the name of the organization to the National Auction Association
3) Eliminate the Immediate Past President position from the NAA Board of Directors
4) Make it a presidential decision whether or not to appoint an outside individual to the Board
5) Reduce the number of Education Institute Trustees by three (the NAA Treasurer would no longer serve and two other Trustee positions would be eliminated — reduction would occur through attrition)
6) Eliminate one year of service from the tenure of the EI Trustees (from four to three years)
7) Eliminate the Candidate Information Review Committee — create a Nominating Committee that would be responsible for submitting up to two candidates per vacant position (individuals who wish to serve without nominations could still run as long as they met the deadlines specified in the Bylaws)

Some of the recommendations would require a revision to the NAA Bylaws, which can be reviewed with appropriate notice to members. The name change and any revision to the composition of the NAA Board of Directors would require a revision to the Articles of Incorporation, which would require a vote at the Annual Meeting on July 19, 2012, in Spokane, Wash.

The recommendations will be discussed at the State Leadership Conference in March as well as in presentations from various Board members at state Auctioneer association meetings.

Members who wish to provide feedback may do so in an e-mail to NAA CEO Hannes Combest, CAE, at Feedback will be presented to the Board during its April meeting.

NAA President Christie King, CAI, AARE, BAS, says the Board has not finalized any decision or any revision. It is its goal to obtain as much feedback as possible on the Task Force’s recommendations. A white paper that discusses the group’s recommendations is located on the NAA’s website, Go to the “Member Resources” section and click on the “Downloads” link.

Please see supporting stories on Pages 8-9 of the January issue of Auctioneer magazine.

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Conference and Show site features wine tasting, several parks, shopping and many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors

If you plan to attend the 63rd International Auctioneers Conference and Show in Spokane, Wash., on July 17-21 at the Spokane Convention Center, you’ll find there’s almost as much to do outside the conference as there is at the show itself.

Downtown Spokane is packed with attractions within walking distance of the two conference hotels — the DoubleTree and the Red Lion at the Park.

“We have a very walkable, safe downtown,” says Dana Haynes, Communications Director for Visit Spokane.

From the hotels, you can easily walk to at least 60 restaurants and 14 wine-tasting rooms, she says.

Both hotels are on the banks of the cascading Spokane River, which flows through downtown Spokane. You can enjoy a relaxing walk through the paved Centennial Trail along the riverbank or take the SkyRide over Spokane Falls.

At 100-acre Riverfront Park, just a few steps from the hotels, you can ride on the 100-year-old Looff carousel or visit the I-Max Theater.

Spokane is a major shopping hub, with a large downtown mall and numerous boutiques, Haynes says.

And the city has a vibrant arts scene with a performing arts center and the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, where the “really fascinating” Smithsonian Dig It! The Secrets of Soil exhibit will be on display, Haynes says.

Hikers can walk along the 37-mile Centennial Trail, which stretches from Riverfront Park into Idaho. And Riverside State Park’s hiking and biking trails are within 10 minutes of downtown.

If you’re an amusement aficionado, consider the Silverwood theme park, just north of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, less than 50 miles from Spokane. It’s billed as the Pacific Northwest’s largest theme park and has more than 65 rides and attractions, with three roller coasters, including a vintage wooden ride and a water park, Haynes says.

Spokane is known for its superb wines, and guided tours are available of the 20 wineries in the region.

The weather should be just right during Conference and Show. The average high temperature during July is a comfortable 83 degrees.

The hotels are only a 10- to 15-minute drive from Spokane International Airport. Both hotels have courtesy shuttles available. A cab ride downtown costs about $20.

The airport is served by several major airlines, including Alaska, Delta, Frontier, Southwest, United and U.S. Airways. It has eight restaurants, free Wi-Fi and eight on-site rental car companies, says Todd Woodard, the airport’s Director of Business Development and Public Affairs.

To make your stay extra enjoyable, a couple of Northwest Auctioneers are planning some special activities for visiting National Auctioneers Association members.

At the Welcome Party, attendees will be treated to a Pacific Northwest barbecue.

Merle Booker, CAI, GPPA, of Booker Auction Co., Eltopia, Wash., and some of his agricultural clients, including Easterday Farms, Brad Boersma Farms and Sunny Farms, plan to treat visitors to some “Pacific Northwest hospitality” in the form of barbecued beef, lamb and pork along with a few surprises, Booker says.

The menu hasn’t been finalized, but Booker says one thing is certain: “It will be something more than just a hot dog or hamburger you’d get at a restaurant.”

He’s also planning a tasting event with wines from three or four local wineries.

And some top-notch entertainment has been called in.

Scott Musser, CAI, BAS, of Musser Bros. Inc., Pasco, Wash., has booked an appearance by the Chris Ward Band.

The six-piece group specializes in classic country and classic rock and plans to perform at the Welcome Party barbecue.

Booker also is working on some additional activities for later in the week.

He hopes to arrange a visit to Spokane’s DAA Northwest auto auction, and he’s planning a trip on the Snake River through Hell’s Canyon, North America’s deepest river gorge, on Sunday afternoon after Conference and Show.

“It’s a very historic, wild and scenic river,” he says.

Musser says golfers will enjoy playing a round on the Coeur d’Alene Golf Course with its famous floating green.

There should be even more to do in Spokane than there was at Conference and Show in Boise, Idaho, Booker says.

“I’m excited about my auction family coming to see me,” he says.


Plus, Don’t miss your opportunity to win BIG prizes and learn about the auction industry’s latest products and services during this year’s trade show. The Conference and Show schedule features trade show time that does not compete with educational sessions, providing every attendee an opportunity to visit with vendors and participate in prize drawings.

Similar to the past two years, prize drawings will again take place every day on the trade show floor. There will be several drawings Wednesday and Thursday beginning at 4:45 p.m. On Friday, prizes ranging in value from $100 to $500 will be drawn about every 15 minutes, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Conference and Show registrants who stay at one of the event’s two host hotels, the Red Lion at the Park or the DoubleTree, will receive $45 in complimentary lunch vouchers. The vouchers are available only to Full Pack and Supersaver 1 registrants.

Check out the full story from the January 2012 Auctioneer magazine.

Search for flights that allow you to cash in miles and points.

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Summit to focus on technology for increasing real estate sales

There are many ways real estate auction professionals could be leaving money on the table.

And the Real Estate Auction Summit on Feb. 7-8 in Atlanta might be one of the best resources for learning how to get it back.

Two well-known real estate trainers plan to discuss how to build successful, long-term relationships, how to properly use the latest technologies and how to increase sales and performance.

Verl Workman, technology and sales guru, says his presentations will provide auction professionals with the knowledge that they’re not alone — the tools, processes and people are out there to help them achieve at the highest levels.

“When I’m done, we’re going to blow them away with what they’re capable of doing,” Workman says. “There’s going to be a frenzy of Auctioneers that are going to raise their hands and say, ‘I want more.’”

Workman, known as the “Freaking Sales Animal,” has experience as a small business owner, entrepreneur and corporate executive. He’s a real estate sales expert who also specializes in marketing, self-promotion, management and technology.

He is co-founder of Pinnacle Quest Consulting and Automation Quest, a company sold to in 1999. Workman also has experience in online real estate auctions.

He says his training sessions focus on the following:

•    The proper application of technology
•    Sales tactics and client relationships
•    Business efficiencies and project management
•    Lead tracking, follow-up and conversion

A lot of people, Workman says, use technology just because it’s available, and that’s not the correct approach. Instead, salespeople should focus on practical applications of new technologies and ways in which they can maximize return on investment.

In his presentations, he plans to recommend software and web-based technologies, particularly those available through cloud computing, that will help auction professionals improve sales in a difficult real estate market.

Salespeople, he says, place too much focus on miscellaneous tasks within their businesses, and the most important part of their jobs — selling real estate — often gets the smallest percentage of attention. Like other entrepreneurs, he says auction professionals get bogged down in paperwork and spend too much time on $15 an hour tasks when they should be working for $1,000 an hour.

“This is an exciting speech for me to give,” Workman says. “It’s outside of my normal presentation, and it’s allowed me to do a deep dive into the Auctioneer business.”

He recommends that business owners rely more on assistants, virtual assistants and technology to take care of various tasks on which they could be losing money. At the Real Estate Auction Summit, he plans to share best practices for making this happen.

His humorous, hands-on presentations will help auction professionals learn how to create value for their clients and drive people to respond favorably to their messaging, he says. He plans to present practical marketing tactics that will keep clients engaged on an ongoing basis.

Engagement is a key topic for the summit’s other featured trainer, Terri Murphy, e-communications strategist and entrepreneur.

A real estate veteran with 28 years of experience, Murphy is a consultant to the National Association of Realtors and an author who recently penned a book with Donald Trump. She is a contributor for many national publications, and she has appeared as a guest on several national television news programs.

Murphy is Chief Information Officer for U.S. Learning Inc. and President of Terri Murphy Communications Inc.

She’s a proponent of creating long-term, meaningful strategic partnerships through the use of electronic communications.

“Strategic relationships are built on mutual respect, admiration and confidence,” she says. “Just asking people for referrals or just having your resources isn’t enough.”

During her Real Estate Auction Summit presentation, she says she will present auction professionals with a matrix that provides step-by-step instruction on identifying, engaging and creating relationships with new clients.

Online social networks can help salespeople build the trust necessary to foster current and future relationships; however, it’s still about people doing business with people, she says.

Therefore, it’s essential business owners understand that a simple Internet presence on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is not enough. Salespeople must be active online, and they must know how to use these tools effectively.

Content, including video, must be relevant in order to create rich relationships with clients and increase profits. Murphy recommends marketing and editorial content with a purpose — auction professionals must convince social media followers to check back with them on a regular basis.

Then, using several social media tools, clients should all be invited to a central location: a blog-based website at which the “party,” as she calls it, is occurring. At this site, auction professionals should serve as expert resources that provide concise and relevant information, such as tips for buying or selling a home at auction in a turbulent market.

She says she plans to offer summit attendees resources and best practices for making the most of their social media efforts. Her training sessions will include examples of real-world success stories, actionable ideas and instruction on communications strategies.

Murphy compares the opportunities in the auction market to those that retailers have during the holiday shopping season, in particular Black Friday.

“The basis for auctioning is competition,” she says. “That creates excitement. That creates a concern that you might not get what you want. You have to be able to create the energy around what you do.”

In addition to presentations from Workman and Murphy, the Real Estate Auction Summit program includes panel discussions with some of the auction industry’s top real estate professionals.

Stephen Karbelk, CAI, AARE, of National Commercial Auctioneers, Tulsa, Okla., plans to moderate “Real Estate or Information Technology: Which Business Are You In?”

This session will help auction professionals better understand how to balance the demands of real estate businesses while they manage information technology at the same time.

Another panel discussion, “From RFP to Closing the Deal on Complex Sales,” includes the following National Auctioneers Association members:

•    J. Craig King, CAI, AARE, of J.P. King Auction Co. Inc., Gadsden, Ala.
•    R.D. Schrader II, CAI, of Schrader Real Estate & Auction Co. Inc., Columbia City, Ind.
•    Max Spann Jr., CAI, of Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Co., Clinton, N.J.

Check out the complete schedule in Auctioneer magazine

Register for the event here.

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Professionals have opportunity to shine in easy-to-enter field

A web-savvy teenager, a 30-something entrepreneur and a retired couple have something in common: A computer and easy-to-use online auction software.

In a month, a week or maybe even tomorrow they can get their new businesses — Internet-only auction companies — up and running. They might ultimately leave buyers and sellers with an impression of the auction industry, good or bad.

How can auction professionals compete with other proprietors who might have less training, less experience and possibly lower ethical standards? How can she differentiate herself from would-be competitors, establish trust and convince sellers they will make more money in highly successful sales?

Enter Macro-Level Trend No. 2 — technology — from “Give Me Five, Now Ten … Years Into the Future,” a white paper produced by the National Auctioneers Association’s Council on Future Practices.

The paper focuses on trends its authors believe will have a significant effect on the auction business in the next five to 10 years. In addition to technology, these trends are economic uncertainty, the “freemium” concept and government regulations.

Specifically, the paper looks at the idea that “developing technology increases visibility into auction results, auction business practices and entry into the auction business.”

Online auctions, it seems, represent the biggest opportunity, and in some cases the greatest challenge, for auction professionals, according to the paper.

The paper emphasizes that auction professionals should cherish the tradition of the live auction, but it says Auctioneers must embrace online auctions. Many auction professionals, after all, are already using the Internet to promote and market their events.

NAA members, it asserts, now and into the future have to deal with the fact that auction results are more transparent — people all over the world, even competitors, can make judgments about auction businesses based solely on prices achieved.

Technology opens auction companies up to instant scrutiny; however, as the paper points out, this can improve the quality of auctions and ultimately weed out the poor performers.

Read the complete story in the November issue of Auctioneer magazine.

Read the Council’s White Paper.

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