Despite a career in studstock, Davidson Cameron agent Luke Scicluna credits a start in commercial livestock for instilling a key market grounding, which underpins the very reason why clients buy bulls.
"Our job is to promote the bulls and encourage clients to come along to the sale," he says
Born the son of a builder in Western Sydney the agency game always interested Mr Scicluna, while the idea of picking up a hammer was almost foreign - at least according to his father.
"My first job as an auctioneer was selling a goat as a 14 year old at the McGrath Hill sales in Windsor," he recalls. From there it was selling pigs, sheep and cattle with William Inglis and Son at Camden.
After a winning rookie auctioneer of the year at the Calgary Stampede in 1999 he was offered a start with Davidson and Cameron and hasn't looked back.
Honing skills as an auctioneer involves a lot of talking to oneself, and while he doesn't admit to taking bids from roadside guideposts as a way to practice his craft, he does mutter away to himself to train his sound.
"If I'm not making phone calls when I'm in the car, I'll break out into a rhythm and patter," he says. "I made it a point to watch and learn off established auctioneers. I don't model off one but use multiple parts from many."
Cliff Harvey at Homebush told him to be aware when up on the rostrum and "don't put a pumpkin on your head".
"It's not just adding up the numbers it's watching the mannerisms of buyers. There' a lot of multi-tasking required. The buyer is trying to get the upper hand and our job is to get market value or better. To be an agent you've got to enjoy people. We're in a purple patch at the moment and the conversation is good but a couple seasons ago after drought everyone was decimated. In those tough times you become their counsellors. You live the highs and the lows with your client."
Mr Scicluna offered this advice to new recruits: "Even if you are running late, take your time with your goodbyes then drive off nice and steady. Once you hit the road you can floor it. There's nothing worse than leaving a plume of dust."
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