Tip No. 14 and 15 – Cater to buyers’ needs to solve pick-up problems

Once an auction has ended and it’s time for buyers to pick up their items, panelists offered a few best practices to ensure orderly processes.

LL Auctions, Dickinson, Texas, now has buyers schedule their own pick-up times, though it still allows nonscheduled buyers to get their items on pick-up day, says the company’s Lisa Gay, CAI.

The difference is LL Auctions gives scheduled customers priority over those who don’t set up times. This allows the company to more adequately staff for pick-up, and it eliminates long lines.

Another panelist, Kurt Mingerink, of Orbitbid.com, Byron Center, Mich., talked about his company’s decision to provide customers with a three-day pick-up window. Three days allows Orbitbid.com customers to verify purchases, arrange transportation and not feel rushed by the pick-up process.

Will McLemore’s company separates the payment and pick-up processes, which has made removal more efficient and secure, McLemore, CAI, says.

After concluding a sale, McLemore Auction has a day for payment during which no one is allowed on the property to pick up their items. A lot of money changes hands on these days.

Then, a separate day for pick-up allows buyers to focus on one thing: acquiring their items by showing a paid invoice.

These tips are adapted from “25 tips for your auction business,” a story in the March 2013 issue of Auctioneer magazine. This blog features the top 15 tips.

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Tip No. 13 – Give registrants a phone call

Daniel West says once bidder information is collected via website forms, auction professionals should call all new bidders to welcome them to the company and verify their information.

It’s important to establish a relationship with clients right away, as this method dramatically reduces buyer back out and default.

Will McLemore, CAI, of McLemore Auction Co. LLC, Nashville, also recommends keeping in touch with online registrants via telephone. Phone calls establish closer relationships with buyers, which in the end can make for smoother auctions from start the finish.

This tip is adapted from “25 tips for your auction business,” a story in the March 2013 issue of Auctioneer magazine. This blog will feature the top 15 tips.

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Nominating Committee endorses candidates for annual election

The National Auctioneers Association Nominating Committee has endorsed candidates for the 2013 Board of Directors election.

Board of Directors election 2013The Committee, formed in July as a result of revisions to the NAA Bylaws approved by the Board of Directors, endorses the following candidates:

•    For the office of Vice President, Tom Saturley, CAI
•    For the office of Treasurer, Chris Pracht, CAI, AARE, CES
•    For Director positions, Mark Manley, CAI, AARE, CES, MPPA; Joseph Mast, CAI; and Scott Shuman, CAI

The Bylaws change, Article XII. 2, charges Nominating Committee members with these responsibilities:

•    Work with the Board to identify the optimal Board matrix based on the strengths and needs of the Board (including the need for diversity as defined by the organization).
•    Screen candidates’ eligibility and assess qualifications for service.
•    Recommend up to two nominations for each vacancy.

Committee Chairman, NAA Vice President Paul C. Behr, CAI, BAS, says the Committee worked with the 2012-2013 NAA Board of Directors to create a survey identifying the competencies needed for the 2013-2014 Board.

Candidates then completed the survey, which showed how their skills aligned with the requirements outlined by the Board. The Committee also reviewed the candidates’ letters of intent and their résumés before conducting phone interviews with each person.

Committee support

“We are pleased to have candidates who submitted applications that met the majority of the skills we need to have a strong Board of Directors,” Behr says. “The candidates who have applied went through a rigorous process, and the Committee is confident that they all meet the required competencies.”

As a result, Behr says the Nominating Committee was supportive of endorsing all candidates who applied.

In addition to Behr, Committee members are Past President Christie King, CAI, AARE, BAS; Chairman of the Education Institute Trustees Marc Geyer, CAI, AARE, BAS, CES; National Auctioneers Foundation Vice President Sandy Alderfer, CAI, MPPA, and state Auctioneer association representative Jason Miller, CAI, President of the Ohio Auctioneers Association.

The NAA’s Bylaws note that the Committee “will consist of the Vice President, the Past President, the NAF Representative to the Board, the Chair of the Education Institute Trustees and a member leader from a state association.”

Absentee ballots

Candidate profiles will be included in the May issue of Auctioneer.

The election will take place July 18 at the 2013 Annual Meeting in Indianapolis. Members who will not be able to participate in that meeting may request an absentee ballot from May 1-31 by sending an email to 2013election@auctioneers.org or by postal mail to 2013 Election, 8880 Ballentine, Overland Park, KS, 66214.

Absentee ballots must be returned by postal mail and must be postmarked by July 1. An NAA member’s name and membership number must be written on the outside of the envelope.

If an individual submits an absentee ballot and then determines they are able to attend the 2013 Annual Meeting, they may proceed to the ballot pick-up area July 18 and request their previously submitted ballot. Once that ballot is produced and destroyed, the member may then request a new ballot for voting in the onsite election.

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Tip No. 12 – Simplify your website

For an auction company’s own online presence, Daniel West, of West Auctions Inc., Woodland, Calif., recommends auction professionals keep websites as simple as possible.

He says the registration forms he sees on auction websites are often unnecessarily complex. The whole point of these forms, he says, should be to gather basic client information.

Bidders appreciate simplicity and convenience, giving up limited details such as name, email, address, phone number and credit card information.

And when it comes to website content, West recommends publishing auction results, as this content is often what’s of most interest to visitors.

This tip is adapted from “25 tips for your auction business,” a story in the March 2013 issue of Auctioneer magazine. This blog will feature the top 15 tips.

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Tip No. 11 – Establish yourself as an expert

In the world of LinkedIn, Susan Rasmus, CAI, says auction professionals should establish themselves as thought leaders in the auction industry. She says LinkedIn is just as important as Facebook.

LinkedIn is where high-level executives and decision makers hang out, and therefore it should be used as an important social media marketing tool. The conversations are more professional in nature, and auction professionals have the opportunity to join specific groups related to the industry.

This tip is adapted from “25 tips for your auction business,” a story in the March 2013 issue of Auctioneer magazine. This blog will feature the top 15 tips.

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Tip No. 10 – Get more “likes,” find more buyers

Also on Facebook, Jason Hanks, ATS, GPPA, of Cal Auctions, El Cajon, Calif., says he tries to get as many of the social network’s “likes” as possible on his company’s page.

The more eyes he can get on the merchandise he’s selling, the more likely the items will catch the interest of potential buyers or future sellers, he says.

As an example of how he gets “likes” on his company page, Hanks shared with attendees how he marketed a gun auction.

Instead of solely focusing on marketing the auction or auction calendar, Hanks purchased promoted posts and Facebook advertising. He also picked certain items from the auction and promoted them individually — sometimes targeting potential buyers.

He says Facebook promotions allow his company to get in front of potential buyers and sellers because his messages are more likely to appear in their news feeds.

This method earned him as many as 400 to 600 likes per day during his marketing campaign. The company had nearly 20,000 likes in late February.

This tip is adapted from “25 tips for your auction business,” a story in the March 2013 issue of Auctioneer magazine. This blog will feature the top 15 tips.

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Tips No. 8 and No. 9 – Social media marketing

Use social media to form brand ambassadors

To promote auction items electronically, Susan Rasmus, of Rasmus Asset Advisors, Alexandria, Va., says auction professionals should look at Facebook as a cocktail party.

Here, marketers should make small talk and start “liking” what others write and post to the social network. She says it’s important not to talk business in the cocktail party but rather to become “real” friends with people in online communities.

Then, to engage friends in the auction process, she recommends telling stories about auction items as they move through the process of being marketed and sold.

Over time, she says this approach will help social network friends better understand the auction company for which a person works, and ultimately, they will become brand ambassadors.

Tip No. 9 – Develop rich conversations through social media

Similar to Susan Rasmus, Robert Mayo, CAI, AARE, ATS, GPPA, of Mayo Auction & Realty, Kansas City, Mo., talks about business very little on his personal social media presence.

He has a company page for business; however, he says sellers still reach out to him on his personal Facebook page because he has developed genuine friendships through the site, even if he hasn’t met some of his “friends.”

On his personal profile, Mayo talks about the things that are important in his life, and his friends talk about what’s important to them. This helps him develop richer conversations in the aforementioned “cocktail party” of social media networks.

These tips are adapted from “25 tips for your auction business,” a story in the March 2013 issue of Auctioneer magazine. This blog will feature the top 15 tips.

Read the last tip.

Read the complete article here.

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