What are they saying about YOU?
The method of marketing auctions is growing at a rapid pace. Notice how you can change auction method of marketing into what you really want to say? I just opened up a new can of worms for all of those graduates of 4-year marketing programs… How do you know the right way to go about spreading the word about your auctions so that a positive word is spread about you, your company and the job you do? Let’s examine a few of the available methods before we hit the root of this article: postcards, flyers, brochures, billboards, Internet, television, radio and the list goes on and on until the money runs out.
All of the listed methods are acceptable and widely used to get the word out about the two main areas of auction marketing: your business and your individual auctions. I have always said in seminars and classes that you should use a variety of methods to spread the news about your business. This way you can blanket the senses, so to speak. So, what did I leave out in listing the methods outlined above?
In a recent Affinity Research poll, the majority of the people surveyed listed word of mouth advertising as the most important outlet for marketing their small business (Entrepreneur Magazine, Feb. 2006). Word-of-mouth advertising was listed higher than online, direct sales, radio/TV, direct mail, print and the Yellow Pages. Does this surprise you? It does not surprise me- as a matter of fact, I know of several companies that get the majority of their auctions from word-of-mouth advertising. You can’t beat the value of being endorsed for a job well done.
Word-of-mouth advertising, by definition, means advertising that occurs when people share information about products or promotions with friends. Do you remember the shampoo commercial from the 70s that had a tag line “and she told two friends and they told two friends”? This illustrates the point exactly! If you make a good impression on that one person and keep them happy they will be a sounding board for you every time someone mentions the word auction. You cannot buy that type of advertising (have I said that already?).
Every adult has at least 250 people they know personally that they could sit down and name on a piece of paper. It may take you a little while to get the list moving, but this is called your Sphere of Influence. This list could include members of your church, your high school graduation class, your college buddies, members of your Rotary Club, Lion’s Club or your extended family. These people are the first ones- provided they like you- for spreading this type of advertising for you. Once you have established a good reputation within the business community, let your auctions (and actions) speak for you!
Now that we have the ingredients for word-of-mouth advertising, how do we produce the desired final product? That is where your ethics, morals and actions come into play. Yes, I know this is a touchy subject with some people, but it has to be covered. You have to realize that when you hold the microphone in your hand you are representing your company, your client and your profession. You cannot let any of the three fall to the wayside given that you need all three to survive in this business! Those of you that stand tall and do the job with character, ethics and a good moral foundation will find yourself surrounded by walking billboards that will follow you and add to your Sphere of Influence!
Author: Darron Meares