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Uncle Siphuncle

Site Prospecting 102 - Closing The Deal

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mrieder79

Thank you for this post. It has been very informative and given me hope I may gain access to the quarries in my area.

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Lmshoemaker

So I have a question that you may have an answer to: In my area much of the land is industrial farmland with intervening woods. In many cases it is not clear who owns what property, so is it ever appropriate to go door to door for information? I feel like it would be off-putting, but when you don't know the individuals in the area you are looking at it seems like this is the only viable option.

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Uncle Siphuncle

I've gotten permission to collect large swaths of earth both by knocking on doors as well as getting landowner name and address from the county tax office, then calling them.

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Lmshoemaker

I've gotten permission to collect large swaths of earth both by knocking on doors as well as getting landowner name and address from the county tax office, then calling them.

In a very broad sense, how receptive are they in response to both calling and knocking on doors? I've only done this twice, the first people were very skiddish; the other land owner I caught while he was on his pond and he was very receptive. Just curious if either one of these responses is particularly common or uncommon.

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Uncle Siphuncle

As I found out early in life as a young man, one must get past his own fears of rejection and simply initiate the conversation, with the successes and failures to come helping you to fine tune your approach. In short, you learn to read people and adapt your approach to the situation.

It doesn't hurt to show up with surplus goodwill fossils from far away as I don't like to engage in unilaterally beneficial dealings. I try to be a well rounded outdoorsman, and this sometimes helps engage rural landowners with talk of fishing, hog hunting, etc. Find common ground to help break the ice. Be courteous. Feel out whether the person wants to talk a while vs get straight to the point.

Some people may respond favorably to military experience or affiliation, museum affiliation, involvement in published works, etc (or perhaps not - varies by situation). Dealing with quarries is different than dealing with private landowners.

In a way, I suppose it's like sales. Although I'm more an introverted, myopic turned presbyopic engineering type, through experience I've become quite comfortable entering these conversations with about 50% success, from small parcels to tens or hundreds of thousands of acres at a time. If I can do it, most others can probably do it easier and more naturally, with requisite experience.

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jpc

In a very broad sense, how receptive are they in response to both calling and knocking on doors? I've only done this twice, the first people were very skiddish; the other land owner I caught while he was on his pond and he was very receptive. Just curious if either one of these responses is particularly common or uncommon.

I would say you are batting about average... some folks are receptive, some are not. As Dan said, you gotta get over the fear. It is a lot like asking a girl out on a date... at least from my point of view. Fear of rejection is pretty powerful, but you gotta beat it. : )

Good luck.

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