Asking for metal detecting permission to search a private property works best when the property owner is made to feel special. You need to be generally honest and caring when you approach the property owner. Any sign of a false pretense will most likely be picked up by the person, and your chance of getting a “yes” will vanish like a popped bubble. And just like any good salesman knows, if you can get the prospect to believe they are the one making the decision, without feeling pressured, the better the sale. My pitch to property owners goes something like this.
While smiling I say.
“Hi. My name is Frank Pandozzi. I’m sorry to bother you. But I was driving by and I noticed your beautiful, older home.”
If the property owner acknowledges my name and my honest opinion about their home, then I continue.
“What year was the house built? I wait for the answer. And then I ask.
“How long have you lived here?”
The idea of asking questions regarding the property is to show interest and respect. You’ll never get a yes to search if the owner does not feel that you’re genuinely interested in their property. Be sincere, be honest, and show excitement about the property. After all, you’re interested in the possibility of what may be hiding below the surface of the property…so show excitement.
Once I get the property owner to speak freely, I move on to my interest in history. This is another key to getting metal detecting permission. So I’ll say.
“I love the history of this area.” Again I’m being honest.
“I enjoy finding old relics from the past with my metal detector. I bet there are quite a few old relics lying beneath the surface of this property. Have you ever thought about what kind of history is beneath your property?”
That last question is important. I want to know if the property owner gives any hint of interest in what items may be hiding below the ground. What they tell me is a lead to the direction of my next question.
If they say something like this. “Well, I never thought about that. But I’m sure that would be interesting to know.” That’s a great answer. It’s one I’m looking for. A statement like that now gives me the opportunity to say this.
“I think it would be exciting to see what’s in this ground. I’d love to find some relics. Would you give me permission to metal detect your property? When I’m finished, you’ll never know I was here. I fill in all holes, which are no larger than a few inches in diameter. And of course, because it’s your property, you get the first choice on what I find.”
Most often when using this approach to get metal detecting permission, I get a yes. That’s because the property owner admitted to me they were interested in what items could be there. This gets back to what I said earlier. The property owner is feeling good about me, and, he or she, basically made the decision to say yes without feeling pressured. In sales, it’s called a soft close.
Of course, there will be times when you’re going to get no when asking for permission. But, the more you practice by asking, the easier you get to a yes. And, if you treat the property owner and his property with respect, you’ll end up with referrals of other properties to search.
Also, some property owners will let you keep everything you dig. Of course, that’s great! Others may want the items you find. If that’s the case, and they want everything, which is rare, be respectful and give them the finds. After all, it is their property. Most often though, when I ask them if I can keep a few items that I find, they are willing to allow me to pick what I want.
There are so many areas on private property to search. Just go out and ask for metal detecting permission. And don’t be afraid of getting a no for an answer. Remember, just like a good salesman understands, with every no you receive, your one step closer to getting a yes.
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