Since winning the 2017 Australian Livestock & Property Agents Association (ALPA) Victorian Young Auctioneers Competition, Murray Bennett has advanced from being a junior to a senior Landmark auctioneer.
And it was third time lucky for the Wangaratta account manager and auctioneer last year, who finally took home the first place ribbon after three years trying.
But he was “totally chuffed” by the win, which he said was unexpected given the strength of the competition.
In comparing his three years in the competition, Mr Bennett realised what got him over the line last year – being himself.
“A lot of the competitors sell on a weekly basis, but then put too much pressure on themselves when they get up there and say things they wouldn’t normally say,” Mr Bennett said.
“And that’s what I did my first two goes, but on my last go, I just stuck to the basics and treated it like a normal sale, and it worked.”
He said being able to control his nerves was what enabled him to do this.
“It was easier the third go because I put less pressure on myself,” he said.
“The first two years I really let the nerves get the best of me, but this time I knew what sort of nerves to expect and I didn’t let them control me.”
He said participating in auctioneer training prior to the competition helped him develop skills that he still uses today.
And these skills were backed up at saleyards, where his colleagues gave him a go with the hammer.
“My mentors were happy to stand aside and give me the opportunity to get the experience I needed, and it was the exposure to those buyers and sellers that doesn’t come from practicing at home, that really helped me stand apart,” he said.
Mr Bennett has now clocked over six years at Landmark, and said auctioneering is only one per cent of his diverse job.
The main part, and the part that gets him out of bed in the morning, is working with clients to assist with their livestock selling and buying.
“I have a family farm but it wasn’t big enough for me to work on it full-time, so this was the closest thing I could have to being on the farm,” he said.
“One day I’d like to go back to the farm but I’d hope to find a good balance so I can still do this.”
He said mentors are incredibly important for the careers of young industry professionals.
“A lot can depend on your mentor, and I was really lucky that Landmark has a good amount of mentors to support young people,” he said.
Mr Bennett will kick off the Young Auctioneers Competition on Monday.