The holidays are here! As you mingle and jingle through the rest of December, keep this tip for auction procurement in mind.
Listen to the chatter.
Here’s the deal.
There’s not much auction committee work getting done between now and January 1. Instead, it’s a season for socializing.
Companies host holiday parties.
Friends host open houses.
Families reconvene at homesteads.
As your co-workers, friends, and relatives swap stories about what they’ve been doing, pay attention. Listen to their stories. Ask questions.
This is an excellent time to conduct some auction reconnaissance as it relates to procurement.
- Did brother Bill purchase a new vacation home on the lake? A weekend at the lake is a nice getaway for an auction.
- Is your co-worker’s husband boasting about snagging a sought-after bottle of bourbon? Perhaps he’d be willing to host a bourbon tasting at someone’s home.
- Is niece Emily interning at the television station? Maybe she could arrange a behind-the-scenes tour for 8 people.
- Did your neighbor inherit a North Carolina beach house when his Dad passed last summer? A week at the beach is a top seller in most auctions.
- Did your cousin get a promotion into senior management at that waste management company where she’s worked for years? That company probably owns a suite at your area NFL stadium. Getting some tickets in the suite (or the entire suite) for a game or concert is an easy sale at your gala.
- Is your husband’s boss a passionate grill master? Maybe he’d consider donating a drop-off BBQ feast for 10 people next summer.
You get the idea.
I’d refrain from asking anyone for a donation right then.
Let them talk and share. Ask questions and file the information away.
When you get serious about auction procurement a few weeks or months later, reach out with a note.
“I so enjoyed our conversation at the holiday party about your XYZ. Since then I’ve gotten involved with a charity that means a lot to me, and we are now preparing for the group’s May fundraiser. I was recalling your passion for BBQing and I thought of an idea …”
You might find that some of your freshest ideas for auction procurement naturally arose from the conversations you had at a holiday get-together.