Below are common frequently asked questions used to help consumers and businesses gain a better understanding of our services, features and tools. If you have questions not listed below, click here to contact our customer service team.
Smart Guy is Business Directory, Business Network, and Referral Management System all rolled into one.
Smart Guy makes it easy to locate alocal business or service providerto assist you with your home, auto, medical, professional or other needs. Of course, there is no cost orobligation to search and it's easy to use. Eachservice providerhas submitted information on their company and service, which is accessible by you 24/7. You can also browse actual reviews written by local neighbors who have used them. In fact, most offer a discount for mentioning you found them at SmartGuy.com. It's the Smart, Easy and Effective way to find a service professional fast.
We know the frustration in finding top quality professionals. Most people know that a referral is generally a lot better than simply picking a random name out of the phone book. But it is simply to difficult to contact your neighbors every time. So, we have done the work for you.
Once a business has supplied us their information, it becomes available online. Then, neighbors who have used them, rate and write reviews regarding their service. This information is available to you for free. This allows you to get an up-to-date impression of the company from neighbors you trust.
Smart Guy also provides you with tons of helpful articles and tips on home improvement, repair, remodeling, automobiles, financial planning, real estate and more. Be sure to sign up for ourfree newsletter filled with useful ideas.
If you are a consumer,simply enter the category andservice type along with your zip code, and you can select from amongst the list of over 400 categrories of service providers. You can also select to search by "Business Name" or "Keyword".
Once you select a professional, you can browse their webpage with detailed information about their service, read reviews from local neighbors who have used them, check out any discounts offered, or contact them directly.
How Accurate is the Service Professional's Information?
SmartGuy.com cannot guarantee that information listed on each service provider profile pages and on their web sites is 100% accurate. It is the responsibility of each service provider member to supply accurate information, and to keep his or her profile up to date. And it's the consumer's responsibility to validate that information by screening it.
We care about ourconsumer members, and do not want them hindered by a false sense of security. Information provided by serviceproviders at the time of membership can change at anytime and become obsolete. This is why we do not prescreen ourservice providermembers.
Consumersare encouraged to take the initiative. Before hiring any service provider, check out important information: current licensing, insurance, membership status in professional organizations, etc. and make sure that the information provided is still valid.
One of the most important services we offer our members browsing our website is the valuable "word of mouth" feedback. We ask that consumers using Smart Guy Professionals submit a Ratings & Reviews survey for the service provider that was hired.
This information is very valuable to other consumers who are considering the same professional or service. In doing so, you are contributing to the quality control of Smart Guy, and the quality control of our member professionals.
Will Smart Guy cancel a members status immediately upon receiving a complaint?
Feedback is critical to maintain the quality-control standards here at SmartGuy.com. But, as with any grievance process, we know that there are always two sides to every story. Therefore, we evaluate each complaint from both sides; that of the service provider as well as the consumer.
We are also aware and not naive to the fact that since each service category only allows for 3 professionals, competitors might try to create bad reviews in an attempt to remove a competitor and apply for the service position.
Many times though, an unpleasant experience is simply the result of a misunderstanding that can, in time, be worked out. We do, however, reserve the right to remove offending service professionals from our network when we notice a negative trend.
What are the benefits for consumers using Smart Guy?
Smart Guy eliminates the worry and anxiety normally associated with finding, selecting and hiring a quality service provider.
Each professional has submitted to us a full profile for you to review, including: their years in business, office hours, company overview, payment options, languages spoken, trade/business associations, as well as any special discounts available. You can also read reviews from other neighbors who have used them. Once you have made your choice, you can contact them directly. There is no middleman!
We also provide you with free access to our helpful articles. In them, you will find tips on selecting the right contractor, strategies and tips on fixing up your home, questions to ask your health care provider, and more.
SmartGuy.com is completely FREE for homeowners and consumers looking to search our directory for local service providers, or browse our many articles.
Service and Business Professionals can select to get a FREE basic account or a Premium Account ($49 a month). Since our model only allows for 3 professionals per category in any zip code, and SmartGuy professionals are constantly rated by neighbors who use them, we feel the quality of our service professionals far exceeds any other service of its kind.
How do companies get on our database of Smart Guy approved service professionals?
A service provider gets on the Smart Guy list only after providing us with detailed information on their service. If accepted, they are rated by neighbors who have used them. Any professional that receives an excessive amount of negative reviews is in jeopardy of beingdropped our list.
What criteria are needed for a Smart Guy Approval? What is your screening process?
To keep our services free to homeowners and consumers, our screening process is minimal. Service Providers and other professionals are asked to provide accurate information, including: their years in business, office hours, company overview, payment options, languages spoken, trade/business associations, license information, etc. We also ask that they provide all consumers of SmartGuy.com a special discount. They are expected to keep information on their profile page updated.
It has been our experience that pre-screening this type information gives homeowners a false sense of security. It would make them not question information found on provider profile pages and websites, even though that information might have changed since the time of initial membership.
By advising homeowners to verify member service professional's licensing, insurance, and references themselves, we enable them to make better hiring decisions. This helps homeowners have the peace of mind that the member service provider information is 100% accurate.
SmartGuy is a FREE service to consumers. All we ask is that if you enjoy the service, that you recommend SmartGuy to your friends, neighbors and local service professionals, and be sure to provide us with feedback on professionals you have used, or think should be on our list.
SmartGuy allows businesses to select either a FREE basic account or a PREMIUM Account, which charges a nominal fee to businesses. Since we only allow a maximum of 3 professionals per category within each zip code, acceptance is subject to availability and professionals must continue to maintain good service or risk being delisted from our service. In many cases, there are numerous professionals waiting in line to become an approved Smart Guy professional.
Why would I use Smart Guy when I can just ask my neighbors for recommendations?
You can certainly ask your neighbors for their opinions, it is certainly better than blindly picking a name out of the phone book; however, Smart Guy is also free but can provide you multiple neighbors opinions, as well as detailed information on hundreds of different service professionals in your area, many with multiple unbiased reviews from local neighbors.
At Smart Guy, we respect your privacy and take the responsibility of protecting the personal information that you share with us very seriously. For this reason, we are disclosing our privacy practices and the uses of the information that we gather.
We will only ask you for personal information if we need it to provide the service you request. We will not release any personal identifying information about you without your consent. We will always give you the option to edit the information that you've provided to us or to have your personal information removed from our records.
If you have questions about this Privacy Statement or believe that Smart Guy has acted in a manner inconsistent with this statement, contact us at info@SmartGuy.com. Smart Guy reserves the right to amend this Privacy Statement at any time without notice, and only the current Privacy Statement may be deemed effective.
SmartGuy.com takes your security very seriously, and thus selected to secure your personal information using SSL (secure socket layer) technology as well as secure server software.
SSL is the industry standard for protecting web communications today. The SSL security protocol provides data encryption, server authentication and message integrity.
A secure server is the software used to navigate the Internet and has been created to encrypt, or scramble, all information until the authorized recipient can unscramble it. Information is scrambled by a mathematical formula using 128-bit encryption - the highest level generally available today.
When you are viewing any Web page, a lock icon (near the lower-right corner of the window) shows you whether the entire contents of the page is protected by encryption while it is being received by your computer:
Closed lock icon, like on the images displayed below - means that the page is protected by encryption. Open or broken lock icon - means the page is not protected by encryption.
The latest version of Windows Internet Explorer 7 displays the lock icon in the upper right corner of the browser window as indicated in the image below
By inputting information into secure online forms, only the intended party is allowed to translate the encoded information. Again, most browsers have secure forms built right in, but to be sure, always look for the locked padlock symbol on the bottom bar or top corner of your browser window or a change in the address line from "http" to "https" to ensure that a site is running in secure mode before you enter sensitive information.
If you did not find the answer to your question here, please send your question by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why should I sign up for SmartGuy when Linked-In and Facebook are for free?
While Linked-In and Facebook have been around much longer, none of them do anything to connect you to local business. Let's face it, the fact that you know a printer in Cambodia is interesting or the fact that you now have 8000 connections (of people who don't really know you) is fine, but the fact is it isn't going to make you ANY money.
You need to align with professionals in your area that all agree to provide great service and recommend you to everyone they know. SmartGuy offers the vehicle to do that, as well as a consumer directory, optimized web page and integrated referral management system to ensure accountability.
How is SmartGuy differing from smaller "traditional" networking groups?
The problem with "traditional" networking groups is that once you have gone there for a few months, you have met the 30-40 people and have exhausted the leads you will get. Unfortunately, you must still go to the weekly meetings and pay the expensive dues.
SmartGuy is inexpensive, does not require regular meetings, is not limited to 30-40 people, and is technology-enabled.
SmartGuy connects you with not only everyone you know, but everyone they know, everyone they know, and everyone they know, and then places them all within the same local network. Each network can grow to a maximum of 1,200 non competing professionals all willing to recommend YOU to everyone they know.
I am a member of a local chamber of commerce. Why should I join SmartGuy.com?
The Chamber is a great place to meet people, involve yourself with community issues, and interact with others along the way.
Joining SmartGuy gives you the additional benefits of a business directory, business network, optimized webpage and referral management system all in one. In fact, many chambers are already in the process of adding SmartGuy to their existing list of benefits as it quickly increases their membership and allows all of their members to send and receive referrals from each other online with full accountability.
As for SmartGuy, we always recommend people join their local chambers as they are also a great setting in which memberscan meet and interact with one another.
What is the pricing for SmartGuy? Can I do a free trial?
You can select a FREE basic account or a Premium Account (see Membership Types) . Our Premium account is only $49 a month (month to month). There are no long term contracts and you can quit anytime.
Why should I sign up for SmartGuy when there are no local professionals in my zip code?
Although Smart Guy is growing nationwide at a raid rate, there are over 43,000 zip codes and it went live about a year ago.
However, it is limited to only 3 professionals per category per zip code, so once your category is filled by 3 local professionals, you are placed on a waiting list.
Is it worth to risk the $49 and have the network grow to over 1,000 professionals all referring each other, and you are not in it?
Why can't I sign up for a city instead of a zip code so people can find me easier?
SmartGuy was designed to be a tool consumers can use to find local professionals.
Some cities (i.e. Los Angeles) are huge and 3 professionals could neither drive to all of the areas efficiently, nor could they handle the amount of business generated.
Why would a consumer go to SmartGuy and search for a professional?
The fact is consumers do NOT want to flip through hundreds of pages and professionals in some phone book just to randomly pick a name out of the phone book.
Consumers only want a list of a few professionals that are local, trusted, and recommended by their neighbors.
This is why Smart Guy provides a detailed profile of each member complete with contact information, years in business, legal structure, number of employees, hours of operation, a mapped location, as well as a rating system with comments from neighbors they trust.
Does Smart Guy promote the professionals to consumers?
Once a business network begins to fill up with local service providers and businesses, Smart Guy begins a marketing campaign to the local neighbors, introducing Smart Guy and its free consumer services.
How do I get any exposure when I am only listed under one zip code? I don't know how people will find me unless they know my zip code.
Although as a business you get a semi-exclusive position (Smart Guy only allows 3 professionals per category per zip code), people using the only directory can expand their search to up to 30 miles of you.
If I am a nationwide company, I don't want to be listed under one zip code.Can I buy more than one zip code?
If you are a nationwide company, you can select multiple zip codes as long as you can service those areas effectively.Each area will need its own account, contact info andemail address(Premium Accounts only).
Can I only send and receive referrals from professionals in my own zip code?
No,you are not limited by zip codes. You can send or receive referrals from any Smart Guy member on the system in any zip code. For example, if you are a real estate agent, and know someone moving to another area, you can certainly contact the local Smart Guy professional and send the referral through the system to them.
Which zip code should I choose if I do most of my business in another zip code?
First verify that there is a position in your category available by searching the consumer directory in that zip code and make sure that there are no more than 2 professionals listed there. If so, sign up under your zip code and contact our offices. We will transfer you into that zip code.
Can you guarantee that I will receive referrals if I sign up for SmartGuy?
Depending on the size of the existing network you join, referrals will begin quickly or will grow over time. Obviously, if there are already 50-100 professionals already in your network, you will quickly make many happy profitable relationships with people also willing to provide great service and referral each other for mutual benefit.
If you are the first in the network, it won't take long. Simply invite everyone you already send referrals or work with. Once they see the many advantages, they will tell everyone they know, and they will tell everyone they know, and before you know it, referrals are flying back and forth.
Why can't I be the only exclusive professional in my zip code or city? I don't like it when I have to compete with 2 other professionals in one zip code and many more within my city. Can I get all 3 spots?
No. SmartGuy was developed to both assist the consumer with several choices of quality professionals, and businesses as well. After all, in most cases, no professional can solely adequately handle all the business a zip code has to offer. However, it is first come-first serve. The first person to sign up is listed on the top and so on.
How much will my business grow if I join SmartGuy?
In terms of referrals, SmartGuy is like a telephone with a built in rolodex of local professionals willing to provide top quality service and who agree to refer each other whenever possible. The more you pick up the phone and call, the more people who will refer you to everyone they know.
What are the 5 most important benefits of joining Smart Guy?
There are numerous benefits when joining Smart Guy; here are a few: (1) Your detailed information is available to consumers seeking your product or service, (2) you are included in a network of up to 1,200 other professionals all agreeing to provide top quality service and recommend you to others they know, (3) there is an integrated referral management system to easily send referrals with full accountability (no more sending a referral and hoping it will be followed up and that they do a good job) (4) you get a modifiable web page that is optimized and crawled by the major search engines, (5) you can submit articles which might get published on our home page for everyone to see, (6) you get emailed introductions every time someone joins your local network, there is live coaching and support available, etc. (Some advantages are exclusive to our Premium Members)
Can anyone that is a member of SmartGuy submit articles? How often?
Free basic members cannot submit articles. Only Premium Members can submit 1 article every month. They must be a minimum of 600-800 words, be original and unpublished anywhere else (including online), and be informative (we will provide you credit and place some basic information in the footer of the article). We will also list the article on our home page for a limited time.
How do I explain SmartGuy to people without spending 30 minutes of my own time?
SmartGuy makes it easy. They caneither goto our website where they can read information or watch our 2 minute general video, or have them call the office directly at (866) 576-2784.
What can I say (if I only have 30 seconds) so they understand why they need to be a Smart Guy member?
Hmm..perhaps that we will help get the business on the first page of major search engines (i.e. Google) within 30 days for FREE!
You could also mention that we are the only business directory, business network, web optimizer and integrated referral management system all in one, which can align them with up to 1,200 other local professionals in their area willing to work together by recommending each other.
Or you can just say that they can sign up for a FREE and watch what we can do for them!
Do you have Smart Guy banners that I can add to my website to drive more traffic to my alliance partners and encourage more businesses to recommend me?
Yes. They are located on the members home page. Simply copy the code and place it on your website.
It seems like it is a lot of work of building a network. Why should I do this when I get all my clients through traditional marketing activities?
Actually Smart Guy builds your network automatically by introducing you to not only everyone you know, but everyone they know, everyone they know, and everyone they know.
Traditional marketing requires a constant "feeding of money" that is never satisfied. The moment you stop, so do the prospects. Good alliance partners provide referrals year after year, and come in any market. It is clear to most that a referral is much easier to close than a cold lead.
Why is referral marketing so much better than cold calling and advertising?
The highest and best use of your time is to meet clients and close deals, not to sit on the phone dialing for dollars. It is aggravating, irritating, and requires you to do it for the rest of your life or your leads will stop. Advertising also requires a non-stop effort (in this case in the form of spending money). If you stop, so do the prospects. In either case, the quality of a lead from a referral is much higher than that of a “cold prospect”.
Business networking and referral marketing takes a lot of time. What is Smart Guy doing so I can network more effectively without spending so much time and money?
Smart Guy automates the process in multiple ways. (1) rather than carrying a bunch of business cards around and looking like a human business peddler, Smart Guy offers an online directory that provides detailed information on each member throughout the US, (2) Smart Guy does not limit you to meeting the same 30-40 people, but instead introduces you to not only everyone you know, but everyone they know, everyone they know, and everyone they know. (3)You do not need to attend expensive weekly meetings since every time a new member joins within your zip code, you will be emailed their information for introduction and alliance building, (4) Referrals are sent and received online providing for an efficient was to send the message, ensure it gets to the professional, a timely response, and accountability when it comes to the result, (5) many members find they don't need a website since Smart Guy comes complete with an online optimized profile page with a unique web address. (6) There is also an education program, a social network, and many other programs created to optimize your time, money and efficiency.
I am not familiar with referral marketing. How do I learn how to build up a referral network?
Referral marketing is about building relationships with other like-minded professionals and businesses, who also agree to provide good service and are willing to recommend each other whenever possible. We offer many classes on building your referral network at SmartGuy University,and provide info on our newsletter.
Do you offer webinars or training on Smart Guy?
Yes, but they vary as to the time and date. Call the office to set up a private webinar for you or your company.
How do I make money on Smart Guy?
The Purpose of Smart Guy is to build alliances with others who also wish to provide top quality service, and grow their business through referrals. The more of these professionals and businesses you meet and build alliances with, the more referrals you will get, and money you will make.
There are also referral an affiliate programs available.Call the office for details.
Does Smart Guy get a referral fee for the referrals we send among ourselves?
No. Smart Guy does not.
Why would a professional that I don't know start sending referrals to me?
Referrals begin with relationships. Smart Guy helps grow your sphere of local businesses that have the same interests as you – to provide great service and grow their business through referrals. As new businesses enter your zip code, you will be emailed their information for introduction and alliance building. Feel free to call them, that is why they joined! Once you develop these relationships and get to know each other, referrals will begin to flow.
I have heard about the web optimization through Smart Guy. Do you guarantee that I will end up on the first page of major search engines likeGoogle?
No one can guarantee that you will be on the first page on search engines without spending a great deal of money on sponsorships or pay-per-clicks; however, it is true since Smart Guy connects all their pages together, and the pages are designed to maximize online search engine results that you might join other Smart Guy members and help appear on the first page of various search engines.
How often do I need to update my profile to improve my search engine rankings?
We suggest members update their online profile page at least once a week and add content, whether it is information about your business, increasing your coverage area, etc. It is important that search engines realize that you have an active site.
If I send a referral, how do I know that they are following up on my lead?
Smart Guy provides you a 24/7 online referral center where you can always view details on every referral that you have sent or received. Simply Log in to the member area, click on "Referrals Sent", and you will see the exact status of the referral lead you sent, along with any notes that they have placed.
How does Smart Guy promote my business to consumers?
Once each local network begins to fill up, smart guy begins a local marketing campaign telling others the benefits of Smart Guy's directory of professionals.
What are the benefits of the City Networks?
One professional within each city or areamight be fortunate enough to be the Business Network Leader for their community. They will share in the income of local businesses that attend SmartGuy approved live events, as well as sponsorship revenue that follows.
Since there can only be 1 Smart Guy leader per city, it is first come first serve. Feel Free to contact the office for details.
Can I partner with someone to run the city network?
Yes, but only one person can sign up and they remain responsible to manage the network properly.
Do I have to build my own business network website and host it?
No, we will secure the domain, create the site, and manage the content. You focus on growing your local network and share in the revenue.
Who handles the billing on the business network banners?
That is all handled through Smart Guy
Can I manage more than one city network?
The purpose of managing a city business network is to help small businesses in your area succeed in today's difficult economy. We tend to discourage having people manage more than 1 network at a time (unless they have others who will assist them in growing the networks).
Remember, in addition to telling others about it, you will be responsible to answer questions from potential members, local businesses and arrange opportunities every couple months for people to interact with each other.
What does my city network membership include?
We will secure a domain name, and create a local business network website listing you as the local contact, you will share in the sponsorship revenue, you get listed in the business directory, you are connected to the Smart Guy referral management system and are entitled to attend all Smart Guy University coaching sessions at no additional cost.
Do you have a contact manager where I can keep track of notes?
In the Referral center, there is a note field where you can easily record your notes regarding pending, active and existing prospects.
I don't like it when I send a referral to another professional but they never send me any referrals. How can Smart Guy help me?
Smart Guy provides full accountability. You can easily keep track of every referral sent and received, including the date sent, who sent the referral, the name of the referral, and the outcome of the referral since the status is tracked online.
Since both the people getting the referrals and the people receiving referrals can track them, it is understood that unless both people are equally send referrals back and forth, one might select a different professional.
I am putting my reputation on the line when I am sending a referral. How do I know that I won't get a black eye when referring to someone that doesn't follow up?
Smart Guy's online referral system not only sends the referral to the professional of your choice, but allows you to track the status 24/7 in real time (active, got the job, not interested, didn't want the job, etc.).
The referrals are not just made available on the referral center, but also emailed to the professional. Should a professional not respond within 24 hours, Smart Guy will automatically email reminders of the waiting active referral. Although it is also a good idea when sending a referral to call them or at least check back into the system to make sure they are following up.
If I don't find a category that describes my business, can you add a category for my business?