The Barrett-Jackson was a new thing for me being the Midwest transplant that I am. Although I am not especially knowledgeable about cars, I do love to look at them and decided to go and see what it was all about.
It goes without saying that the automobiles there are out of this world but the real stars of the show—at least for me—were the auctioneers. I could not get over how fluid the entire process was, from the initial bid to the dropping the hammer. The auctioneers effortlessly facilitated the exchange of millions of dollars within a few minutes time and it was a remarkable thing to witness.
Stemming from the constant and methodical chanting that filled the bidding room, a continuous thought began to circle around my head—“What are they saying?”
The typical auctioneer uses bid calling to publicize two basic numbers—the have and the want. The have is the amount the bid is currently at and the want is the next number the auctioneer is looking to accept. In the meantime, the auctioneer must also keep in mind the next, the number that will become the new want as the bids continue to get increasingly higher. Auctioneers will usually announce the want 70-80 percent of the time and the have the remaining 20-30 percent.
Throughout the bidding process, the prices are separated with filler words. Although they sound like gibberish to us, the words aren’t careless and are strategically placed to entice buyers to continue to bid. The fillers are typically spin-offs from these main phrases, “what do you wanna give,” “how many dollars on it,” “I’m asking for,” and sometimes just simply, “please.”
An example of this would be, “I’m at $500 ‘n I wan’ $550, $550, bid on $550, I’m at $500 would you go $550, $550 …”
The have, the want and the next are terms that can be applied towards the public relations world, as well. It’s our job to facilitate all that is necessary to ensure that our client’s goals are met. In other words, we are the people who must establish what our client already has, what they want to achieve and where they hope to be in the future.
I’d like to think of ourselves as the auctioneers at our own car shows, in a metaphorical sense.
To see some of my favorite cars from the auction, click here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/6q958a7ih9w9a6g/AAA50YFhB704icz8ZVL2UZ-da?dl=0