Congrats, you finished auction school! Now what … ?

Fresh out of auction school or just new to the auction industry, podcast star Andy Imholte shares lessons he’s learned on starting something new and making it last.

By NAA Staff

Graphic designer by day. Auctioneer by night. The way Andy Imholte, AMM, BAS, confidently describes himself parallels a caped crusader. However, the second-generation auction professional and former NAA Education Institute Trustee wasn’t always this self-assured. Much like auction professionals before him, Imholte had to find his place after school.

Today he’s well-known as the founder and host of Fast Talking Podcast. The digital talk show blends news with Imholte’s unique perspective as an Auctioneer working both inside and outside the industry.

“The general goal of the podcast is to educate Auctioneers,” Imholte says. “If you are new to the auction profession, then you are my target audience because this is a tough profession.”

Andy Imholte.

In nearly 200 episodes, the podcast has grown into an educational resource. Here are ten lessons, presented from bottom to top, Imholte learned through his podcast.

10. You have no idea what will be popular.
When Imholte started the podcast a few years ago, he thought marketing and online auctions would be his niche. Not so. Episodes featuring bid calling are the most desired. With the help of Peter Gehres, CAI, CAS, CES, Imholte developed content that focuses on bid calling and contest recaps. Be ready to change strategies for success.

9. You are wrong.

In episode 87, Imholte discussed the top 5 reasons Auctioneers get sued with Mike Brandly, CAI, AARE. Not following the contract is the number one reason. Sometimes auctioneers think it’s okay to bend the rules because they have the best intentions. “We take a bid after the sold-high bid because we think oh, we missed that person. This is where you get sued!” Imholte says. Be careful and use common sense because liability is on the line and people are always watching.

8. Invest in your tool box.
An auction professional’s tool box contains many instruments. Most notable is the Auctioneer’s voice, yet image is another valuable tool. Imholte says posting a fun episode about the Pokémon Go trend to a Facebook group taught him a difficult lesson. The post garnered a lot of negativity, which made him realize he must take steps to ensure his image online is associated with positivity.

7. You are the average of the company you keep.
Who you are and who you will become depends on the people closest to you. Surround yourself with people that will push you to do better. Consider getting an accountability partner. A 30-minute phone call once a week with a person who will remind you of goals can help you reach greatness.

6. Look outside your bubble.
Reach out to peers even when it is outside your comfort zone. Embracing diversity can lead to new opportunities.

5. Define your audience.
Facing burnout around the 50-episode mark, Imholte leaned into his podcast struggles by identifying who he wanted the show to reach. The podcast became much more successful and enjoyable to produce after defining the audience and refocusing the content directly to them.

4. Auction Marketing Management
Imholte believes everyone should consider taking AMM. From bid callers to company leaders to marketing executives to auction professionals, AMM covers marketing and marketing technologies in a way that makes it relevant and applicable for everyone.

3. Practice marketing best practices.
It’s no surprise this topic lands high on the list. An Auctioneer’s branding is extremely important and goes well beyond the logo. Imholte collaborated with John Schultz, AMM, to produce a crash course in marketing in a series of episodes that explore best practices. The following episodes offer marketing instruction: 51, 69, 80, 103, 136, 137, 160, and 171.

2. Your time is valuable.
Figure out what you can move off your plate so you can go out and work on your business instead of in your business. What goes hand in hand with this lesson, Imholte stresses, is hiring professionals. Although it seems like an unneeded expense, you get what you pay for. Utilizing the services of a professional will make your business look good.

1. Don’t get set in your ways.
Challenge your established beliefs. Move forward by trying current ideas. Consider being a lifelong learner. “I continue to do the podcast because I want you to learn and come away with some great information,” he says. “But, listening isn’t enough. You’ve got to implement some of these ideas.”

This article was an excerpt from a presentation given at the 2017 NAA International Auctioneers Conference and Show. Want even more? Full audio from Andy’s presentation is available in the NAA Knowledge Center.

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