What to say when knocking for permission?

DiamondDan

Sr. Member
Apr 21, 2016
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Robbinsdale, MN
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I'll be honest... I'm not the most socially-graceful person, and I've been told that I am somewhat intimidating, and not least of all, very blunt. With most of the obvious spots around here being hunted to virtual extinction decades ago, I want to start getting permission on more private property, but I don't know what to say.

What do you come out with when a homeowner opens the door? I've thought it over a thousand times, but all my ideas seem very stupid and/or desperate. Also, what do THEY get out of it? Any silver-tounged permission-winners that can set me off on the right foot? Thanks!
 
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Terry Soloman

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May 28, 2010
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First, every door is a different, individual experience. My approach is the same every time. I have a business card that says "History Explorer," with my name, phone number, email, and website. It is a plain, tan card with black ink. I say, "Hello, my name is Terry Soloman (handing them my card which some will refuse to take), and I want to talk to the property owner about doing a search of the yard/grounds/fields for historical relics and old coins. Are you the property owner?" If they say no, then I ask for contact info. Sometimes they give it, sometimes they just shut the door.

If they say they own the property, I talk to them about the history of the area, and how their relatives tie into that history. I ask them if THEY have questions about what I do. That is when I explain that I would like to metal detect their property, keeping any buttons, buckles, firearms, antique/colonial tools. If jewelry or silver coins are found the property owner may claim them or give it to me, but I get photo's of the finds.

When they ask, "Are you going to dig up my yard?" I explain that I have the proper experience, tools, and techniques to keep the property in pristine condition, and offer to dig an example plug for the owner. You will have to adjust your pitch slightly each time, but if you have a core script to work from you are half way home.

Good Luck! :occasion14:
 
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DiamondDan

DiamondDan

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Apr 21, 2016
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Robbinsdale, MN
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White's M6; Tesoro Compadre; Minelab E-trac; Bounty Hunter QD2
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Metal Detecting
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Thanks, Terry! Some good suggestions. I was actually just talking with my wife about maybe getting some business cards. I wanted "Treasure Stud Recovery Services. Where the finders ARE keepers!" She wasn't too hot on it, though! :laughing7:

In all seriousness; I'll give it a shot. Probably have to work on my salesman routine a bit, however. There's a reason I'm a welder by trade and not selling Kirbys! Lol
 

Terry Soloman

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May 28, 2010
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Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
Thanks, Terry! Some good suggestions. I was actually just talking with my wife about maybe getting some business cards. I wanted "Treasure Stud Recovery Services. Where the finders ARE keepers!" She wasn't too hot on it, though! :laughing7:

In all seriousness; I'll give it a shot. Probably have to work on my salesman routine a bit, however. There's a reason I'm a welder by trade and not selling Kirbys! Lol

Everybody is nervous walking up to their first few houses or farms. The key is to project enthusiasm, knowledge, and honesty. In other words, just be yourself. :occasion14:
 

cudamark

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There are several threads on this subject here on Tnet. You might do a search for tips on what to say. 1st is to have your wife or other female come with you if possible. People are much less intimidated by women. 2nd, try to catch the homeowner outside doing yard work or sitting on the porch, rather than ringing the bell and interrupting their dinner/soap opera/bath/shower. 3rd, keep the words: dig, liability, and treasure out of your vocabulary. No point in giving them ideas they don't already have. Use "recover", "responsibility", and "relic" instead. 4th, have agreement forms handy, but don't offer them until asked (they rarely do) I also keep the permission, liability, and division of finds forms separate for the same reason. I agree with Terry on knowing some history of the area, and if possible, the property itself. Having a mutual friend, neighbor, or interest is always a help too. Good luck!
 

Rob.IV

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Jan 14, 2015
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Everybody is nervous walking up to their first few houses or farms. The key is to project enthusiasm, knowledge, and honesty. In other words, just be yourself. :occasion14:

I always found pulling up with a front end loader or back hoe on a trailer works really good...




...really good at having the door slammed, a gun pulled out on you, and the cops called. Haha!!!
Just funnin...!![emoji23]


Bloodiest Pirate of the Pull-Tabs...!!!
 

Deft Tones

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Hey! I sold Kirby for 90 days and had to get a real job. I'm not a born salesman.

Use your negatives as positives. Perhaps something like, "I'm going to be out here metal detecting in your yard and digging around, understand? You're going to give me permission and remain indoors, understand? If I have ANY problems ...I know where you live and so will the problem solvers, understand? Good! Now that we're on the same page don't disturb me any more, and go!"

It's all about working with the cards you're dealt.:tongue3:
 

Dan(NM)

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Dec 3, 2014
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First thing I do is tell them name, that I work for the USPS and I have a question. " I was wondering if I could scan your yard with my metal detector" Usually they ask what I looking for. " Anything that people carry in their pockets and might lose" " Coins, keys, toys and things of that nature" I never use the words hunt or search nor do I mention that I'm looking for relics, old coins or jewelry. I keep it as simple and to the point as possible. If I'm speaking to the owner, 3 outta 4 times I get in, if it's a renter, I move on. The first time is the hardest, but, like I told my buddy, the first time you get a permission that produces, it makes asking secondary. But, a lot of the times they don't give up much, so, you move on. You'll have to find what fits you and the area your in. Like I always say, the worse thing they can say is no, big deal, nothing ventured, nothing gained.












I'll be honest... I'm not the most socially-graceful person, and I've been told that I am somewhat intimidating, and not least of all, very blunt. With most of the obvious spots around here being hunted to virtual extinction decades ago, I want to start getting permission on more private property, but I don't know what to say.

What do you come out with when a homeowner opens the door? I've thought it over a thousand times, but all my ideas seem very stupid and/or desperate. Also, what do THEY get out of it? Any silver-tounged permission-winners that can set me off on the right foot? Thanks!
 

WhiteTornado

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Jun 18, 2013
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All Treasure Hunting
I keep my pitch very brief: "Hi, I do metal detecting for a hobby and was wondering if I might metal detect in your front yard?". I further explain that I will remove whatever trash items I find and will be neat and tidy in my efforts. If they ask what I will do with any finds, I offer to split what I find but do request first choice. I haven't used any permission forms so far, and in fact I don't even keep any with me. I do have business cards.

I agree with the suggestion to try and catch people when they are outside and easily visible, although I have had to resort to door knocking/bell ringing a couple of times. A friend of mine who has been successful with permissions said he usually says "front yard" as many people consider their back yards more private and might not be as willing to allow a stranger in the back.

Best of luck. Most people are cordial even if they are not interested, and will probably give a polite "no thank you". I haven't done a ton of door knocking, but haven't had any really negative experiences so far (knock on wood!).
 

toolmanbutch

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Aug 23, 2015
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How about bringing an extra Detector and offer the owner a course on Metal Detecting his property? It's a win win you keep he keeps.
Toolman Butch
 

ARC

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Aug 19, 2014
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I say hello... I am from the local yard inspection group...
Today I am giving free inspections of yards...
AND...
Today I am offering free removal of any old stuff and trash. :) :P
 

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