Tag : conference

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201: What Do Auction Buyers Really Want From Us?

Have you ever seen or heard something you felt totally encapsulated your thoughts—maybe even a part of who you are? You’re probably now thinking of that song or album. Maybe it was a poem, a book, a movie. At times for me, it’s even been a tee shirt graphic, a photo from a vacation, or a moment in a conversation.

Recently for me, it was two sentences in a seminar.

My wife, a friend, and I were attending a multidisciplinary conference with scores of breakout sessions available between the ten big-stage talks. Topics ranged from self-care and emotional intelligence to organizing adventure sports communities and leading gender-specific subcultures. I hit several of the social media marketing presentations from passionate experts from the West Coast and Canada.

I’ll never forget the insight from one brand strategist. Amidst a bevy of slides appeared the now-indelible white words on a black screen. It was as if my last twelve years of blogging and thirteen years of teaching had been reduced to a single slide. It resonated so deeply in me that I wanted to shout, “Yes!” in the standing-room-only crowd. At the same time, it shocked me by how many words I’ve written and spoken around this truth without landing on such succinct summary.

“People don’t buy your product or service.
They buy a future version of themselves.”

Mic. Drop.

How Does This Make Me Feel?

We don’t buy houses.
We buy the tranquility that will accompany sunrises and Sunday mimosas on the back deck or the school system where our kids will get better opportunities.
We pay for dinner parties where our friends feel either at home or impressed.

We don’t buy vacations.
We buy escapes from reality or new tokens for the Keeping Up with the Jones’ game.
We pay to find a part of ourselves we knew was just previously out of reach.

We don’t buy antiques.
We buy nostalgia or fodder for conversations.
We pay for the reminders of grandma’s cookies, grandpa’s garage, or the summers of gathering hay.

We don’t buy sports hats or jerseys.
We buy belonging to a tribe, a connection with strangers.
We pay for a connection to greatness we don’t feel we’ve achieved in our personal arenas.

We don’t spend money for college.
We buy access to careers, time to figure out who we are, and/or a refuge from our parents.
We pay for a bigger potential list of future choices, a larger pool of potential spouses, and/or a sense of accomplishment.

We don’t write checks for a lawn mowing service.
We buy one fewer shower, one more hour on the golf course, one less load of laundry.
We pay for an enviable yard or more room in the garage.

We don’t pay for accounting services.
We buy confidence that the government didn’t take more money than it should.
We pay for a less-stressful weekend spent somewhere far from paperwork.

We don’t pay for gym memberships.
We buy flatter stomachs, firmer fannies, and/or bigger muscles.
We pay for the capability to complete a goal like a race, a climb, or an adventure.

What Do Consumers Want?

All of this is why my clients’ Facebook ads don’t read like newspaper ads or sale bills. People don’t buy auctions. They might not even buy things. People buy how those things make them feel, how those things solve a problem, how they assume those things will make their life better.

Those “people” includes your potential buyers, too—even the farmers and mid-level managers and commercial real estate brokers.

If you want to write headlines and subject lines that get more people to your website for less money, ask yourself the next time you spend money, “What am I hoping this purchase does for me?” Then, next time you have to sell something, ask yourself, “What is the potential buyer hoping this purchase does for them?” Then, adapt your advertising text to reflect those answers.

It’s okay if you don’t think this works. Well, maybe not okay for you—but for other auctioneers. My clients who’ve tried this approach have seen their commissions explode and don’t mind you passing on their secret.

Stock images purchased from iStockPhoto.com

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167: Beat Your Conference Education Hangover

Last week, the National Auctioneers Association (NAA) hosted a conference with more than 50 seminars along with more than 100 hours of designation education. Even after attending only a few hours’ worth of these offerings, it would be easy to come home overwhelmed. One of my clients told me he had typed five pages of notes—from just three of the seven days’ worth of content. Multiple attendees told me they felt “information overload.”

So, what do you do with this sense of confronted ignorance? How do you incorporate all this new knowledge into your daily life—especially when work is ramped up waiting for your return to the office?

Pick one takeaway from the new content.

You can’t implement everything you learned, especially not all at once. The complete list will rarely, if ever, stop being intimidating. When we’re overwhelmed, we procrastinate. So, sift through your notes (mental, physical, or digital); and determine what’s the most needed concept you need to incorporate. You might need to consult with a friend, family, or professional mentor to help you process what should have priority.

Break that one idea into manageable steps.

It’s easier to start and finish smaller steps than it is to try to eat the whole elephant in one sitting. Also, our body rewards even small successes with dopamine release. So, the more tasks we cross off the list, the more biochemical reward we build into the habit-forming process. Another benefit of deconstructing the process is finding places where you can outsource, customize, or automate.

Give yourself a manageable series of deadlines.

Wishes without deadlines are dreams—not goals. So, determine what you can do by specific benchmark dates. Set calendar notifications for your phone or computer. Use services like WhenSend to write and schedule emails to the future you—emails infused with the passion you feel during this goal-setting time.

Find an accountability mechanism.

This might be a friend or family member. It might be a paid life coach, counselor, or consultant. Or it might be a crowdsourced solution, using technology. Social scientists are finding that will power is a muscle that can be developed but that it also tires with use like a muscle. We all have finite determination and perseverance. So, it’s okay to ask for help and constructive criticism—just like a weight lifter would ask for a spotter in the gym.

Raise the stakes.

One of my fellow NAA instructors, Robert Mayo, also suggests adding a painful disincentive to your plans and deadlines. I’ve not tried this method yet, but it has worked for him and many others. Some people work better with a looming stick rather than a dangled carrot. Regardless, it’s important to raise the stakes proportional to the importance of your desired outcome.

You can read, watch, or listen to the less-pressing content again later. There’s value in refreshing your memory with quality content. You never know when that might fit a future conversation or decision matrix. In the meantime, focus only on what you have attention span, time, and energy to accomplish; and chase it with everything you have. By the time you attend your next conference, you’ll be an expert in that new strategy or habit.

Stock image purchased from iStockPhoto.com