Who should make your list
Suppliers, vendors, delivery drivers: These professionals know which
companies are struggling and are about to close. For example, delivery
drivers know the companies that have dropped off 50 tons of material the
last year, and only two tons the last two months.
Commercial real estate brokers: Commercial real estate brokers want to
show clean buildings. Empty buildings sell, so they have different kind
of motivation than other sellers. They want to get rid of everything in
the building as fast as possible.
National industrial brokers: Large companies often seek local help for certain auctions.
Education workers: Teachers, school board members, and custodians:
Education produces a lot of surplus materials. Technical colleges
especially do this because they are always opening and closing
departments. “Saint Paul College decided they wanted to open a
department to fix watches, so they had Rolex send them $3 million worth
of equipment. I think it was open for three years, and they did 18
students. It was an incredible auction,” said Hilk.
Business brokers: Buying and selling businesses produce an abundance of leftover assets.
Business consultants: Hilk recommended using business consultants such
as the Turnaround Management Association and Investment Recover
Association to promote professional management of surplus assets and
utilize directories to introduce companies.
Bankruptcy trustees: Although bankruptcies are tough to get into,
websites such as businessbankrupties.com list companies in certain
communities that may need to sell their assets.
Make your website content intriguing
“If you don’t exist online or aren’t showcasing who you really are
online, you’re going to start costing yourself deals” said Hilk. He also
advised a website is the best tool to reflect what a company is trying
to do. To ensure that a website is intriguing to sellers, make sure to
include these kinds of important content:
– Include verifiable information and highlight experience: Demonstrate
expertise with commercial and industrial auctions by citing education,
qualifications, and experience. Use client testimonials to establish
credibility and showcase results by publishing case studies, past
clients, auction results. This will help leverage success into future
– Showcase people: Humanize a website by featuring “the team.” Include
pictures and personal anecdotes. This makes a website relatable and seem
honest and trustworthy.
Closing the deal
When closing an auction, it is important to give the seller what they want. Focus on these three steps to ensure success:
– Identify the need: Ask questions and determine the situation. Be
prepared to dig deep and build trust with the seller while solving their
– Isolate hot buttons: Know what is especially important to the seller
and use that to stand out and differentiate your business from other
– Provide a solution: Every solution is different for each seller.
Incorporate hot buttons and repeat back what the seller said their
This article was an excerpt from a presentation given at the 2016 NAA
International Auctioneers Conference and Show. Want even more tips
regarding this topic? NAA members can access the full audio of this
presentation and many others in the NAA Knowledge Center
. Also, you can access the NAA Auction Professionals Facebook group at: facebook.com/naaauctioneers