RONAN - Fast-talking Reed Tobol has been entertaining and selling at auctions around the Treasure State for the past few decades. He is a self-taught auctioneer. If you've ever wondered how he does it, he says the answer is simple.
"A lot of people think it's just really really fast, and it's just a lot of words. Really what it is just numbers. It's what I have, and what I am asking. I have ten, I'm asking twelve. That's all it is." says Reed Tobol, the 2018 Montana Auctioneer Champion.
On a recent day at Rivers West Auction in Arlee, Reed and his team are liquidating farm equipment.
"Speed is good, clarity is a lot better. There are a lot of auctioneers in this business that are very fast," Tobol says. "But they are hard to understand, and that is not what you want. That is not what you want to be as an auctioneer. You want to be clear, and once you are clear, the speed with come after that."
In 2018, he was named the Montana Auctioneer Champion, and competed at the World Auctioneer Championships this last summer.
And back on the farm, this Ronan native and his 300 words a minute are whipping up a buying frenzy among neighbors and friends.
But Tobol did not just show up on the auction block and start rolling. It's a process to get his mind, body, and his all-important vocal cords ready to run.
"This morning in the shower, it's warm. No one is ready to hop out of the bed and go 100 miles per hour. You just start talking, and you start slow, and you talk numbers. One, two, three, four, five, and you open your mouth a lot, and you stretch.” says Tobol.
Tobol and his team are not only selling farm equipment, but providing a community the opportunity to mingle, an important aspect of life in a small Montana town.
"They know that they are going to see every neighbor they haven't seen in a long time, and they are going to catch up on the latest gossip in the valley, and it's just like a service in a way." Tobol says.
And Tobol knows he has a very unique job.
"I will say this profession is probably the only profession where you can get on an airplane, and someone will ask what you do for a living, and you say you're an auctioneer, and they will say, 'can you talk fast for me?' A dentist never gets on a plane and says that he says that he is a dentist for a living, and the person asks them how do my teeth look?"
Reed Tobol, this week’s Montana Treasure.