Russ: Dustin, you’re a lot of what many people want to be. You’re a bid
caller for some of the biggest companies selling equipment in the world.
If somebody wanted to follow in your footsteps, how should they do
Dustin: Contests are how I got started. I was spotted at a contest and
literally offered a job from that. Networking. I know people don’t want
to hear that, but it’s the truth. Find the lead auctioneer at any
company and talk to them. NAA now has the Contract Auction Specialist. I
sat through it earlier this week and took three pages of notes. It’s
If you want to be a contract auctioneer, sign up and take it. The next
time will be at the Designation Academy in December. NAA did not pay me
for that sales pitch. I’m a full-time auctioneer, but I’m always
learning. Even if you aren’t a contract auctioneer, CAS will benefit you
because they go over all the information that anyone in the auction
Russ: Harold, how do heavy equipment and real estate sales work together?
Harold: Whatever the items, sales should be the two legs of your ladder.
I like to look at our sales like solutions. Some people might call us
and have a problem that is selling their real estate. You can say what
are you doing with all your equipment? Or they call about their
equipment and I can say what are you doing with your property? My dad
went to auction school in 1956 then earned his real estate license in
1958 because he said, ‘it’s like ham and eggs, they just go together.’
I’ve also found there is a nice diversity in it. When interest rates
were way high, we weren’t selling a lot of real estate, but we were
having a lot of auctions on equipment. Then the inverse of that,
sometimes when equipment is down, real estate is selling high. It’s nice
to me to have the ham and egg deal. You always have something to eat.
Russ: How does your experience and product knowledge help when working with sellers?
Jeff: It’s important to use your product knowledge to be firm with a
seller to let them know what their product is worth today. However, I
tell all my staff to put themselves in the seller’s position. It’s
important to be personable and kind. Know the value of that piece of
equipment in how it relates to the seller’s net worth and their annual
yearly income. The larger the percentage that is, the greater importance
that machine carries to them.
With multinational corporations, one machine to them is nothing. But if
you’re selling for a small business and he’s got one backhoe, then
that’s their livelihood.
Tim: In my role, I get clients where this is their first heavy equipment
auction they’ve ever done. My experience from being a contractor who
has touched all parts of the process–from operating machinery to fixing
machinery to hauling machinery–allows me to lend sellers advice on all
I can tell a client how a machine should be set up or how it should be
photographed. If you’re not familiar with an estimator or don’t actually
know what auxiliary hydraulics are, I can show you where to look.
Russ: What are your thoughts on more people wanting to bid online?
Harold: Like Wayne Gretzky says, he doesn’t want to be where the puck
is, he wants to be where the puck is going to be. The puck is going to
be online. We’re seeing 50-60 percent of our bidders are mobile. They
aren’t sitting at their computer.
Tim: We’re seeing the exact same thing. I think one of the main drivers
it’s because technology has improved so much. Last month alone, 46
percent of the people that bid on any auction in BidSpotter did it from a
This article was an excerpt from a presentation given at the 2017 NAA
International Auctioneers Conference and Show. Full audio of the
presentation is available at the NAA Knowledge Center
You can find the #NAAPro in your area here.