Being a Professional Private Investigator requires attention to a lot of detail. Here are some of the most frequent pitfalls that will damage your professional reputation as a private investigator:
1. Not returning emails or calls to clients promptly - You are a busy person, but failing to communicate with your clients in a prompt manner is a sure way to damage your professional reputation. Make sure that you respond promptly, even if if is to say you are very busy and will respond to them as soon as possible.
2. Dressing like a ......- Your appearance sets the stage in your client's mind about your professional attitude toward your private investigator duties. Meeting with a client for the first time? Suit & tie for men, business dress for women, everything neat and pressed. It's a business meeting, dress appropriately. Save the pullover polos and BDU pants for the barbeque. Oh yeah....take off the sunglasses! One investigator shared this tip, "Dress like it's a job interview because it is!!!"
3. Not paying attention to someone - I once met with a private investigator that constantly checked their phone. When asked something they responded with, "Uh, what did you say? Whether meeting with a client or talking with a witness, give them your undivided attention. Make eye contact, paraphrase what they say to you to show you understand and more importantly, that you are listening to them. Put the cellphone away!
4. Sloppy reports - How you write your investigative reports, attention to detail, proper spelling, and grammar create an impression. Make it a good impression! Remember, the report you write may be viewed by several other people. People that may be a future client. Proofread, proofread, proofread, and yes, proofread your report before sending to your client.
5. Failing to be on time or meet deadlines - Arrive early for appointments. Give yourself plenty of time to beat the traffic and find the meeting location. If you provide your client with a deadline, meet it. Sometimes problems happen. Let them know before the deadline that you may be late and let them know why.
Word of mouth advertising is the best!!! If you exceed your client's expectations you can bet on a positive review, callbacks, and future referrals. Your reputation as a professional private investigator is an investment. Protect it all times and don't make these mistakes.
Pro PI staff
Experienced professionals and trainers.