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At the 2015 National Auctioneers Association (NAA) International Auctioneer Championship (IAC) recently held Friday, July 17 in Addison, Texas, three questions were asked of the contestants. Here, we note those three questions and our answers to them:

  • The auction method of marketing is often viewed as the last resort. What can be done to change this perception?
  • Media has been highlighting the auction industry more and more. How can you ensure the credibility of the NAA if you’re contacted by a producer or reporter?
  • The NAA Promotions Committee distributed an elevator speech on why consumers should use an NAA auction professional. What’s your elevator speech to answer this question?

The auction method of marketing is often viewed as the last resort. What can be done to change this perception?

    For centuries auctions were indeed used as the last resort and/or only when other sale methods were unsuccessful. Today, it is much the opposite. The highest priced real property, artwork, equipment and collectibles are sold at auction as the first and only choice. I believe the more the NAA promotes this basic tenet by words and examples, the more the public will know the reality that auctions are hardly the last resort, and rather the prudent way to sell virtually anything for the highest price.

Media has been highlighting the auction industry more and more. How can you ensure the credibility of the NAA if you’re contacted by a producer or reporter?

    It’s always a great opportunity for an auctioneer to be contacted by a producer or reporter — and at the same time potentially disastrous. What producers or reporters want today may well be basically … drama, which often isn’t in any NAA member’s interest. The key is preparation. Have at your immediate disposal facts, figures and other data which supports the actual auction industry and resist answering those questions which might feed the desire for the opposite effect. Ultimately avoiding such interviews or contacts is better than taking them on and resulting in less than desirable results, but be ready for that moment which can elevate our profession.

The NAA Promotions Committee distributed an elevator speech on why consumers should use an NAA auction professional. What’s your elevator speech to answer this question?

    Every single person in business today needs a brief, succinct explanation of their product or service and the clear advantage of working with him or her. If I was entering an elevator with you Joseph, I would introduce myself and tell you that I am one of a select group of auctioneers on the planet who is entrusted to sell at auction the most treasured and valued property on earth. Why do they hire us? We maximized value in the shortest amount of time in the most transparent marketplace on earth. And, we don’t only serve sellers, but allow access to a multitude of property for buyers who seek that desired treasure or needed product. As an auctioneer, I work in the greatest and most exciting marketplace; Joseph, what are you looking to buy or sell?

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, Keller Williams Auctions and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Adjunct Faculty at Hondros College of Business, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School and Faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University.