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Pete and Derek: An Expert Referral Success Story

By Anh Nguyen |

In today’s socially connected world, a referral is arguably the best confirmation of trust. When you refer someone to something, like a gig, you have a personal interest in their success. At JustAnswer, we highly encourage and incentivize Experts to refer similarly qualified people who would make great Experts and fit in well with the community.

Meet Pete and Derek. They are automotive technicians, friends, and former coworkers based out of Missoula in Montana. Pete, who is a longtime Expert and one of the top Car Experts, referred Derek to join JustAnswer in late 2015. Since then, Pete has taken Derek under his wing and is serving as a mentor. We asked Pete and Derek to share their history, referral experience, and how they've helped each other to be successful.

Know someone who would make a great Expert? Let us know and you will earn a $50 Amazon gift card when your referred candidate meets program requirements.


JustAnswer: How do you guys know each other?

Pete: I would say I have known Derek for around 3 years and met him while working at a GM dealership in Missoula. We were both technicians there.

Derek: Before meeting Pete, I was working at a Volvo dealership out of Salt Lake City. When I moved to Missoula and started working at the same GM dealership, I met Pete and we became good friends. He was instrumental in getting me accustomed to GM vehicles.

JustAnswer: Are you still working at the same dealership?

Derek: No, I left the GM dealership to gain more experience working on other car brands. Currently, I am an Electrical Diagnostic Technician at Unique Auto Service in Missoula working on just about all makes and models. This experience also allows me to help more customers on JustAnswer.

JustAnswer: Speaking of which, how did you become an Expert on JustAnswer?

Derek: I didn’t know about JustAnswer until Pete told me about the site and how much he enjoyed it. For him, it’s a great way to help people save money on repairs.

Pete: Back when we were working together, Derek was very smart at what he did on vehicles. From diagnosing to repair, he became my right-hand man at the dealership for a lot of vehicle issues. I just sensed that he was someone who could help here on JustAnswer with the knowledge he has, as well as his quickness.

JustAnswer: Derek, tell us a little bit more about your experience so far.

Derek: The experience has been amazing. I did really well during my first month on the site. The extra money has allowed me to pay off some debt and it’s been very rewarding to help people. The Expert Help Center is a great resource to get started and all of the moderators are very friendly and informative.  The wide variety of car questions on JustAnswer has also forced me to learn new things and expand my knowledge.

I really like the fact that I can work on JustAnswer at my own hours and put in as much work as I like. I usually work on JustAnswer on the weekends and this allows me to have the much-needed family time after work.

JustAnswer: Did Pete share any of his best practices with you?

Derek: When starting out, I did not get many replies back from customers. I wasn’t sure why until Pete taught me how to gauge customer knowledge and follow up with appropriate and timely responses. He showed me the importance of giving a good introduction, quick responses, and how ratings and payments work. To just have him as a resource has been awesome.

Pete: It’s better for the whole community when Experts support one another. I told Derek he can always reach out to me if he has any questions or PM the moderators. I've also let him know about the importance of member questions and I gave him some tips on how to give good responses. His ratings and earnings will be just fine if he focuses on those things and continues to improve.

Derek: It’s inspiring to see how successful Pete is and he makes me want to work even harder on JustAnswer. Now that summer is approaching, the site is much busier so I call and text Pete all the time. He has been extremely helpful.

JustAnswer: You guys inspire us with how supportive you are with each other. That’s not always the case between Experts in the same categories. Pete, why is it important for you to help Derek?

Pete: I think when there isn't a lot of work to go around on JustAnswer, more experienced Experts may not want new Experts to be added. I see a lot of new Experts who seem to be lost and not aware of the rules and etiquettes of the site. Because of that, I think it’s even more important to take new Experts under our wings and help them understand how the site works. When I first joined JustAnswer, I was lucky to have the support of a longtime Expert. That helped a lot. I don't think I would still be here if that did not happen.

JustAnswer: Derek, how helpful would it be if every new Expert has a "Pete" to help them learn the site?

Derek: It would bring our community closer together.  We are all are working for the same common goal. It can be overwhelming to learn the website and not knowing who to ask for advice. Having that information from Pete has been awesome.

Pete: I agree that it is a good idea for all of us to get along and be supportive of each other. I know that this can be difficult in some cases but it’s like any other workplace, you have to get along with the others or it can be difficult to work.


We would like to thank Pete and Derek for sharing their story with us. If you know someone who would make a great Expert? Let us know!

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