Now I know I’m no expert in the field. In fact, if you were to ask me to walk over to a total stranger and expect to have them interested enough to pass along their contact details, I’d keel over in fear and probably wind up feebly chatting with the nurse who’s tending to my anxiety attack.
If you are really interested and gutsy enough to follow through, I’d recommend Neil Strauss’ The Game. I’d advise you to read and research everything that has to do with that book because in my opinion, it was absolute genius. You’d definitely be getting your money’s worth.
My version of this is a lot less specific. I don’t know for sure what works and what doesn’t – I know as far as I’ve witnessed, experienced, contemplated, and made sense of, and that’s the extent of what I’m sharing. So many people still fail to understand that approaching someone isn’t the romantic scenario it’s made out to be.
It is nerve-wracking, and chances are these days, you’re likely to be shot down in the first five seconds if you haven’t got Brad Pitt-type looks. This is not sequential. They are not steps. These are simply notes to consider and keep in mind the next time you’re out and notice someone.
- Do not stare – I repeat, do NOT. Be as aloof as possible. If you manage to make eye contact, hold it long enough for the subject to notice that it’s going on… and release.
Be the first one to act as if you are in no way interested. You looked, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ‘into’ them.
- Make your presence felt. You’re not like every other person who is in the room – you are in your subject’s SPACE.
Always make sure that you’re not too far off to be noticed, or disappear for too long at a time. This person knows absolutely nothing about you – you are not winning them over with your personality. Let them know you’re THERE.
- You don’t need help, you need company.
Consider how much of a difference it would make to your first impression if there was someone else there with you – wouldn’t you rather talk to someone whom you know has a friend handy, instead of a loner who’d probably leech on to you the minute you give them the time of day?
- Warm them up and respond every so often, but the point is to make them think you’re easy to talk to.
Don’t be too forward, and don’t push and/or rush the conversation. It should be light-hearted – now is NOT the time to bring out your knowledge on politics – and be interested. You don’t need to have a lot anything in common, but it helps if you ask questions. And it helps if you remember that everyone’s favorite topic is THEMSELVES.
- Don’t expect too much
DON’T come right out to ask for a number. Be a little more obscure – there’s always e-mail, which is a little less invasive, and while it might not be the typical end to a good chat-up, it still means there’s hope for a next time (NOTE: odd e-mail addresses make for a good laugh as well). You’ve had your opportunity to be persuasive in the past x minutes and if you’ve been refused the possibility, be polite. People tend to be obnoxious in the face of rejection.
- Avoid prolonging conversation when all is over and done with.
That said, don’t end it too abruptly and suggest that you were only in it for a phone number, but you had a plan, and you’re sticking to it. You’re not going to drop everything because you met someone along the way. A lot of people would probably disagree, but don’t immediately head out after meeting. That means no coffee, no supper, and no rides home. Save it for next time.
Keep in mind that nothing I’ve said has been tried and tested. It is not a method. People tend to forget about the impact of a first impression, and I’m simply trying to provide a cheat sheet for next time – if you really think about it, this is just common sense wrapped up to look a little more fancy. I’m trying to give it a twist that’s unique enough for you to not forget for next time. :)
Feel free to leave comments if you’d like to discuss anything I’ve written, or have a thing or two to add. I think there’s no harm in all the help we can get in this department.