April 10, 2015 Professional Auctioneer Assistants Equal Higher Bids at your Auction Event
I have had many conversations with professional Fundraising Auctioneers across the country about the use of professional Auctioneer Assistants and the value they bring during auctions. These professionals are called by many names – Bid(der) Assistants, Ringmen and Auctioneer Assistants, just to name a few. Let’s reference to them as Auctioneer Assistants for our purposes today.
Nonprofits who do not understand the value that Professional Auctioneer Assistants bring to their event are sometimes hesitant to pay the additional cost necessary to supply them for an auction. I’d like to detail what these people do to help you understand the return on your investment.
A professional Auctioneer Assistant is the person who works the floor during a benefit auction (or any auction) and encourages bidding by the guests. These men and women have been trained in auction psychology. What does “auction psychology” mean? Professional Auctioneer Assistants have the knowledge needed to read bidders, both their verbal and body language. They can sense when bidders say “No, I don’t want to bid again” but in fact are still in the game, so they continue to watch those participants. They know when to move away to give a bidder space and time to think or have conversation with their significant other about the item. They are aware of the proper interval to give the bidder a gentle word of encouragement. They provide humor in tense situations and they get back to business at just the right time, when the auctioneer is about to sell the item the guest wants. They are aware of the mission of the nonprofit and communicate to the guests to remind them why they are there. The Auctioneer Assistants also bring an entertainment factor to the event. They bring energy, action and fun – your guests are sure to be entertained by their presence at your event.
Equally important, Auctioneer Assistants have a unique way of communicating with the Auctioneer that is universal to the auction industry.
They are the eyes and ears of the Auctioneer. You’ll see hand signals between them that indicate to the Auctioneer that the bidder is finished bidding. Or maybe those hand signals communicate that the bidder is stalling and waiting until “the hammer is about to fall” before bidding again. Once an item is sold the Auctioneer Assistant relays winning bid numbers to the Auctioneer. When there is more than one package available of the same item (multiples), the Auctioneer Assistant knows how to facilitate selling the second package to the under bidder. In essence, they help raise more money for the nonprofit.
I have Auctioneer Assistants who work with me at every event. Do I use volunteer bid spotters supplied by the nonprofit? You betcha! These men and women work very well by complimenting the professional Auctioneer Assistant. In large venues these volunteers will be placed on the outer edges of the room to help identify guests who are bidding on an item who may not be easily seen by the auction team. Many times we arm them with red flags, flashlights or other easy-to-recognize tools that they use to alert the auction staff to a bid. At this point, as the bidding continues, the professional Auctioneer Assistant will move into place with the bidding guest to continue working their magic.
The Auctioneer Assistant is an extension of the Auctioneer and is invaluable to the auction process by helping generate more auction revenue for the nonprofit.
The next time your professional Fundraising Auctioneer recommends they bring Auctioneer Assistants to your event, make the small investment and watch your numbers climb!
Make every minute a revenue generating minute!
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