Dear Estate Sales Professionals,
I know you want the “Stuff” the Big Treasures - the “Finds.” But if you ever stop caring about the people who call you, and sort only for what they can do for you, and not what you can do for them – you will be missing the point of why clients call you in the first place.
They call because they need service.
They call because they are confused. They call because they have troubles. They call because they need your help.
The day you forget this, is the day that bells will toll the decline of your business.
Two Estate Sales Clients I saw this week:
The Gun Collector:
In a middle class suburb of San Francisco, my partner and I went to see a man, who we were told by his step daughter, had a collection of 800 antique Colt pistols.
We were very excited on the way there. We imagined that we were about to discover the mother load of antique firearms. Here is what we found instead: An interesting collection of 80 Colt Commemorative Black Powder pistols. They were nice. They had value, but they were not the mother load of Colt pistols we had been led to believe would be there – so big deal. It is what it is. Your clients have what they have, and at least for me that is OK.
Here is some back ground about this client.
A few months ago this client and a woman where driving on his motorcycle when a bee distracted him and he lost control of his motorcycle. He was severally injured and his passenger was killed.
The man we were talking too about his stuff was still bandaged, confused, and full of remorse. Because he was still confused, he tended to ramble a bit.
Estate Liquidators this is not the time to push for the consignment. This is not the time to try and buy. This is not the time to become impatient.
This is the time to listen and offer compassion.
What we found out was that this man was fascinating. Will we do business? I don’t know, we might; only time will tell.
The Caring Daughter:
In 1986 a woman for reasons not completely known to me put all of her things into a storage locker in a little place called Livermore Ca. She paid her monthly storage bill for 21 years. I got a call from her daughter about a week ago. The daughter told me that her plan was to ship her mother’s possessions to the old Alameda Naval Air Station which has now been converted to civilian purposes.
Her husband had a connection to one of the business’s there. She told me that her mom was a collector of glass, silver and antiques. She also told me that there had been an appraisal done before her mom had put everything into storage that stated the value of her possessions to be worth over $20,000.00. She wanted to know if I could help her find the best way to liquidate this property. I said that I could.
When I got there, what I saw were a lot of average household items and accessories.
My client was surrounded by half empty boxes and pieces of furniture. As a side note she had broken her wrist the day before, and searching through her mother’s boxes with this impairment was painful. Here is what she said at least three times in a row.
“I just don’t know what to do.”
I looked around at her boxes, the furniture, her mother’s lifetime of accumulations and I knew that there was not $20,000.00 worth of personal property there. I also knew that there was not much that I could do for her. The financial value wasn’t there. There was no real fee to be made.
My first advice to her was for her to donate her mom’s things and then go back to Los Angeles where she lived. Then I remembered a small regional auction house not far from the Alameda Air Station that would probably be happy to receive this consignment of property. So I gave her the name of the company and I even called them on her behalf.
Here is my point:
The treasures we seek as estate liquidators will come. We just don’t know when or where or from whom they might come. “Treasures” happen when we are consistently of service to our clients.
So begin today by accepting your first treasure – the gratitude from clients to whom you have given compassionate service.
My name is Martin Codina and I am an estate liquidator who loves my job.