Dec 24, 2013

Training Antiques Sales Associates to Succeed

I get a big kick out of my fellow auctioneers. Some of them (especially the newbies) think that auctioneers are such great salesmen. Wherever auctioneers gather, you will see a few of them assembled telling “war stories” and comparing notes about what they and others have sold. At some point in the conversation, someone will proclaim “(insert name here) was a great salesman! He could sell anything!”

Give me a break. How hard is it, really, to stand in front of a crowd, call bids and declare an item sold to the highest bidder, regardless of the price? Such sales are pre-ordained. In a no-reserve auction, every auctioneer is a great salesman. In an auction with reserves, successful selling depends on many factors outside of the control of the auctioneer: the item, the reserve amount, the size of the crowd and the number of items to be auctioned. In an estate with 600 lots to be sold, an auctioneer will sell a lot roughly every 20 seconds. There’s not much time for a big sales pitch. The “art” to auctioneering is what happens before the auction: the marketing, set-up and flow. Read More

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