Our inaugural educational podcast is long, but full of great information and anecdotes from three of K-BID's most successful affiliates. Watch/listen here:
If you don't have 90 minutes free to watch the entire thing, here is a summary of the key talking points:
What information do you try to get during a first contact with a potential seller?
- Who all will be involved in the auction and what are their roles? Who is the decision maker?
- Do they understand what an online auction entails and how K-BID's platform is different from a live auction, from eBay, etc.
- What expectations do they have - what do they "need" to get out of the process?
- What is their timeline?
How do you prepare for a sales call? What do you bring?
- Research similar items to what they have to sell so you have ballpark ideas of value (and can tell if the seller's expectations are reasonable).
- Over time, develop your own "library" of sales to reference
- Know/practice what to say to typical questions
- Bring your marketing materials: a pre auction checklist/tip sheet, K-BID marketing options, auction timeline handout, etc.
- Business cards, pens, blank contracts
Dressing for success at a sales call?
- Professionalism matters - clean (logoed?) shirt - don't go straight from a sweaty removal to a sales call
- Dress for the environment/weather at the location (think pasture-tromping boots for a farm call)
- Bring your own safety gear! Hard hat (scuff it up a bit if it's not part of your regular gear), gloves, good safety glasses, boots. It projects confidence and experience.
What is your quoting process?
- Consider the effort required for setup and removal - time, crew
- Consider offering ala carte/add-on pricing for extra staff or services - can the seller have their staff be available to drive heavy equipment (forklift etc.)? This is also a safety/liability/insurance concern.
- Be on the lookout for things that "sneak up and steal your money"
- Look at removal logistics - can removal be done in one day or will you need multiple days? How quickly can you get people in and out? Consider size of items as well as quantity of lots - if stuff needs to be moved with forklifts, make sure there are clear paths
- Consider the diversity of the lots - similar items draw similar buyers, simplifying your removal process
- Have a baseline in mind and adjust up or down for easer or more complicated circumstances, difficult sellers, etc.
- Remember: every time you touch something, it costs money. The less you have to handle each lot, the higher your profit will be.
How do you track your profitability over time?
- Do a quarterly review of all auctions held
- Do a "postgame wrap up" of each finished auction - did you outperform the expectations set for that auction?
- Constant eye on the bottom line throughout the auction timeline
What red flags do you look for, and how do you say no to an undesirable seller?
- Start with an internal mindset of "the seller needs to convince me to take their auction"
- Read between the lines - if a customer makes references to "things being tough" or mentions "the bank" they may have unrealistic expectations or complications
- Do they want a solution or are they just looking to dump their problem in your lap?
- Are their expectations logistically possible? Is their timeline realistic?
- If it's just a bad fit for your area of experience, refer to another affiliate
- Raise your rate - let them self-select out (or make it worth your time)
- Build your network in the industry. Join the MN State Auctioneers Association.
- The K-BID staff is a great resource
- Continue your education