The Pick-Up Artist Guide to
Effective Online Marketing

Digits Scored

A beautiful woman sits alone at a bar. She’s had a long day. Clients were difficult, work piled up, and she scrambled frantically to get it all done. Now she’s tired and trying to unwind.

On either side of the woman sits a man. One is wearing a fancy suit, a gold watch, and has a briefcase next to him. The other man wears a baseball cap, a t-shirt, jeans and sneakers.

The man in the fancy suit starts talking to the woman. He tells her about his credentials and diplomas. He mentions his Ivy League education and his top marks. He’s impressive, and he doesn’t mind letting her know.

He talks about last year’s deals, each worth at least a million dollars. He bandies some big names around, and tells the woman how he has personal connections to each one. He mentions his luxurious apartment, his five cars, and his success stories.

Then he hands the woman a sleek business card with bold, gold lettering. He asks for her card in exchange and mentions that if he gets it, he’ll put her on his list of preferred customers (along with other hinted perks).

The woman turns to the other man in the baseball cap. The man strikes up conversation and asks the woman about her day. He listens to her answers. He asks more questions. He lets her lead the conversation, and he expresses empathy, nodding and telling her he understands how she feels.

The conversation revolves around the woman and the problems she faced. The man never talks about himself at all. He offers the woman some suggestions that might help tomorrow be a better day.

Who do you think got the woman’s number?

About the Author: James is the smokin’ copyslinger picking up numbers over at Men with Pens. He’s the co-author of The Ultimate Freelancer, too.

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Comments

  1. Nice analogy in this post. Loved it!

    I’m the woman on the barstool so where exactly is this bar with the kind soul sitting there just waiting to make my tomorrow better? :-)

  2. I get it – but with caveats:
    the baseball cap guy better show some business savvy – he doesn’t have to flaunt it, but he could mention what type of work he has done and how it is meaningful to his customers —these would be testimonials….and if his friend walked up and validated him (in terms of – great job with the xyz)…would this be a video testimonial or an audio testimonial? it would be easier for her to choose….
    still your point is excellent. Thank you.

  3. Great analogy. Really puts it in perspective.

    Though if you could nimbly mix those two together, say the polish of the first guy with the empathy of the second, it’d be even more effective, wouldn’t it?

  4. Well said! Wanna get a drink later? ;)

  5. Aw! You let the secret out of the bag! That’s why ordinary guys like me get the fab girls!
    Disagree about the caveats Peggy. Guy in baseball cap won’t ever need to sell anything to our heroine. She will, however, choose to buy from him – she’ll call, and she’ll ask the questions when she’s ready, and then she’ll buy.

  6. That one is easy.
    She wasn’t looking for a business partner, She was just trying to unwind.

    Now, had she been looking to release a new product who do you think would have gotten her number?

  7. Hey James,

    Excellent point you make about how to be seen as interesting to someone by being interested in them.

    When you and I talk to our readers via blog or salesletter we have to say something first and then ask for a response.

    While doing this how do you weave in the all-desirable rapport building plus the proof of why someone should listen to you about this specific topic in your blog or salesletters… without sounding like Bluto?

    Through your comments and posts I’ve read, my radar has picked up on how proficient you are at doing this. What’s the belief that allows you make magical conversation spark to life on your blog?

    Dying to hear, James.

    Talk to you soon,
    Note Taking Nerd #2

  8. This is very true when it comes to selling. The person who listens to the problems and suggests answers will always make the sale. As opposed to the person that just tries to sell the client right off the bat. By letting the conversation center on the client, they are not on the defensive because they feel like they are being sold.

    On a side note, this is very similar to how my boyfriend picked me up in a bar.

  9. A man would answer: the man with the baseball cap.
    But, let me tell you, he got it wrong.
    A woman, without the least doubt would answer: the man with the fancy suit.
    And if you do not believe me, let me tell you: may be you know a lot about marketing, but you know nothing about women!

  10. Umm. You are way off. NEITHER of them get the phone number. If the guy in the baseball hat gets it, it’s because she’s looking for someone to dump her life on.

    There’s a third guy in the room that watches this, and says, “You are both losers.” Jokes around with the woman, teases her a bit, makes her smile, has a little fun with her, brings life to her dreary day. She not only give him her number, she asks for his!!

  11. @Jon – you are wrong. There is a 4th guy that offers her $100 bucks with no strings attatched. He is the guy that gets her.

  12. Women, unless they are(hardly) impractably emotional, looks for
    fyoung and healthy attractive partner for fostering and upbringing of their offsprings for spreading their genes according to Darwin(theory of evolution). That’s why we find so many weathly aged women marrying young men for this reason.

  13. In a romantic world, the jeans and tee-shirt kind of guy.
    In the realistic world, probably the suit making millions.
    ‘Nuff Said.

  14. I think you don’t see women like that sitting alone at bars very often because they know the wolves will surround them and I think if she’s the hard drinking, sit alone sort, there’s a pretty good chance neither of the guys got past hello.

    I spend a lot of time at bars and talk to all sorts of people. You just don’t see this scenario very much.

  15. Maybe you know a lot about marketing, but you know nothing about women!

    Just bought popcorn and am waiting for James to explain why that’s the most hilarious comment ever. :)

  16. Pass the popcorn Brian. I can’t wait for his reply.:-)

  17. Neither. One is a douch bag – the other is a wuss.

  18. “I think you don’t see women like that sitting alone at bars very often because they know the wolves will surround them…”
    The main reason is that men with fancy suits and Ivy League education and top marks are very seldom in bars looking for women, unless they are married…
    Well, why certain situations happen just in articles and not in real life?

  19. Nobody gets her phone number. Phone numbers are so 2.0! She gives the guy with the hat her Twitter handle.

  20. She actually goes home with her husband, or life partner, who just happened to be late.

  21. Well last time I checked, I’m a woman, and presumably I know something about my sex. Baseball cap, no question at all. Guy-in-suit will be lucky if he doesn’t get pepper sprayed. Also, although suit guy will definitely get some phone numbers, he’ll also complain endlessly about what selfish, shallow greedy bitches women are. As Brian said in another post comment today: reap, sow.

    Now if baseball cap guy never asks for the number, that can be a factor. And there are a good number of baseball cap guys who never do. Speaking both metaphorically and literally on that one.

  22. Too funny!

    So many people taking this so literally!

    I’ll weigh in… it’s impossible to say who takes her home (forget the number just roll with it here and now… a good pickup artist is always closing) without seeing his body language (is he cool, or is he a dork?) and knowing something about her psychology as a woman. Women have wildly varying tastes in men.

    All that being said, I’d still put my money on the baseball hat.

  23. How about she gets both THEIR numbers.

    It’s like shoes. Sometimes you need hiking boots or Nikes… sometimes some nice Manolos are just the thing.

  24. “Well last time I checked, I’m a woman, and presumably I know something about my sex. Baseball cap, no question at all. ”
    You are a woman and you know yourself.
    One exception doesn´t cancel the rules.

    Of course all said and written to make a joke.
    Obviously from a marketing point of view the choice should be the man with the baseball hat.
    But that doesn´t apply blindly to all situations.
    And a good marketing guy SHOULD never forget that sometimes, in spite of working hard and doing the right thing, the results can be quite different of what he would like.
    But also this is a part of marketing, making mistakes and learning from them…

  25. Low-key dude trumps high-end sleaze.

  26. Now mix the two men together. A well dressed professional with good manners gets the girl.

  27. Literal = fun (and heated discussion!). Definitely the way to go.

    She takes neither and finds a “bad boy” who will unwind with her, no strings attached.

    Nice job with the analogy here. What was that line… a good sales pitch is the one where you don’t occupy more than 10% of the conversation?

  28. Woot, check out the comments on this post!

    First, may I say that the absolute lack of anyone agreeing (or so it seems), just goes to show how many types of people let their own perceptions cloud marketing.

    Talk about you, and no one is going to care. No matter what gender you are.

    Talk about the other person, or let them talk about themselves, and the world’s your key. No matter what gender you are.

    As for me… I’m sure Brian can vouch that I do indeed know both marketing and women. N’est pas, cheri?

    Where’s that popcorn?

  29. She leaves with the guy who has a masterful sense for metaphor.

  30. Oui , c’est ca. Heurusement.

  31. The rich guy obviously gets the girl. Have you ever been to a bar?

  32. James: We’ve literally had the experience reported back to us of the CEO holding our proposal in one hand and our competitor’s proposal in the other. “This one is all about us,” he said, holding up our proposal. “This one is all about them,” he said, referring to the competition. “We’re going with this one,” he finished, raising up our work again.

    I think in any endeavor, including a casual interaction between a man and a woman in bar but maybe especially when pitching marketing or communications services, it is critical that we build a rapport with the prospect based on authentic questions that uncover the real reason to do business together, if there is one. If we do that right, the counsel we give back in our proposal will be all about them and how working for us will create value for them, and we’ll usually get the gig.

    I say “usually” because Patrizia is partly right. There will always be women — and men and clients — who go for the empty puffed-up suit instead of the solid, less flashy guy who really cares.

  33. Patrizia, I’m not sure why you get to dictate the rules and I don’t. :) You say “a woman would without the least doubt answer,” but I don’t happen to agree with you. Some would, some would not.

  34. Brian is so smooth.

  35. @ Sonia – I bet his inner boa is blue.

  36. A lot of writing is personal though, so it will reflect the author’s view and stories. When dealing with customers though, you have to only be interested in them. Don’t think this is the best analogy you have come up with, but I can see where you are headed. Needs to be worked a bit.

  37. the answer is clear the guy in the suit with money, girls love successful guys!

  38. My husband always says to use these three phrases when meeting someone new:

    1. Yeah
    2. Nope
    3. That’s Messed Up

    Works well with marketing, too. :)

  39. The bartender?

    People definately prefer being listened to than talked at. It’s especially important to be “present” in a conversation. If you do nothing else, you’ll gain quite a few friends.

  40. James,

    Love this post.

    Business-wise, I always pick the provider who understood me, and when I’m presenting, I get more interest from listening than I do from talking, too.

    As a woman, I wouldn’t be caught dead hanging out on a barstool. But if I were, the guy with the cap, absolutely.

    Then I’d tell him I hate baseball caps later. :)

    Regards,

    Kelly

  41. Which guy has the better sense of humor? The hell with how he’s dressed; I’ll take the witty dude any day.

    Oh wait, I’m supposed to be relating this to marketing. Um…
    the clever company that makes me laugh gets my attention.

  42. Understanding a prospect’s pain points is key to creating a relationship…if you a prospect believes that you understand his or her struggles, they are more likely to be engaged by your conversation, sales pitch, or even white paper.

    The dude in sneakers listened, understood the struggle, got the number.

    The rich dude gets to go home and watch his fancy TV w/ an angry wife.

  43. As someone who used to teach guys how to be better at dating, pick-up and getting laid, my opinion is that neither got anything. Neither of them created any attraction.

    The first guy failed as he was dull as rocks.

    The second guy just seems like a suck-up. He probably was really “nice” and bought her a drink too.

  44. The guy in the suit probably has a wife and a mistress in a “Wall Street Widows” support group.

  45. She doesn’t leave her number with either of them…

    As much as the guy in the fancy suit was impressive, she didn’t want to hear about him at the end of a long day.

    And as much as the guy in the hat was sweet, she’s not about to pass her phone number onto a stranger. Sure, she’ll take his – but an exchange? Not likely. (Besides, I’m not convinced she wanted to talk, if she did she would have just called her mom, no?)

    Perhaps the bartender got her number. He was the only one who truly gave her what she was looking for…she went to him in the first place, no?

  46. Chad,

    LOL. I never call my mom when I want to talk.

  47. What if she’s not heterosexual..? Who gets the number then?

  48. Some hilarious discussion going on here..

  49. I want to know where the bar is.

    I will give my card to the dude in the suit, so that he leaves and I can concentrate on the guy in the baseball cap, who happens to not only love baseball caps, but own a baseball team, which he tells me on our second date.

  50. You guys are insane!

  51. This is not a bad lesson in the engaging power of storytelling. :)

  52. Um… isn’t this a classic case of WIFM? It would really all depend on her needs and wants. If she’s after money/business… chances are she’s going to leave the guy in jeans and cap… but if she’s looking for a caring companion then the guy in the suits not going to cut it.

    As always, just because she’s sitting alone, doesn’t mean she wants company. ;) Just a thought.

  53. … The bartender?

    But that’s just based on overall odds of winning.

    Great story to drive the point home.

  54. My first comment looked hilarious and stupid, but you missed the point.
    I tell you a short story.
    Once there where two shirts makers.
    They both were good, but one sold a lot and the other very little.
    He was a religious person and asked God: Please help me to sell, I am as good as the other.
    The answer was quite laconic: Sew an alligator on the pocket…An Alligator? asked the guy surprised.
    Do as I tell you.
    He did and became billionaire.
    Marketing is not only taking care of your customers.
    It is ALSO producing what your customers need.
    But GREAT marketing (the one that makes billions) is making YOUR customers needing what you produce.
    Look around, look at the successful products and you will understand what I mean.
    There are two kinds of people: the ones who love Humanity and the ones who UNDERSTAND humanity.
    If you want to be a good seller you must belong to the second group.
    And I do not want to teach anybody, I just look around and try to understand how this world goes on…

  55. This is really a good analogy.

    I guess it is the man with a baseball cap, a t-shirt, jeans and sneakers that gets her number.

    But this can also be a critical thinking exercise in which the answer is neither as the woman is homosexual.

  56. Aw, come on! This is some kind of geeky fairy tale. In real life, the jerk with the money always gets the chick. But it’s still a good story to tell most *internet* marketers.

  57. @ Sonia – This is also not a bad lesson in the psychology of personal perceptions, people’s filters, and how everyone is going to see something different.

    Kind of… wild, actually. Woot!

  58. Yes, fascinating indeed. I have always enjoyed reading everyone’s response more so than the article. That is not to say you articles aren’t wonderful but, what they are is thought provoking and that is a great quality. One thing I learned from my Marketing professor was “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.” :)

  59. Very good concept to compare the two…eye catching!!!

  60. James got the phone number

    He just wrote 7 paragraphs, asked an impossible question that has no answer, and got 60 different opinions to prove it!

    Dave

  61. I could see that story ending three ways: suit, baseball cap, or neither.

  62. Ha ha, DaveC, very nice.

    That James, he really is a smoothie.

  63. This is a perfect analogy. I take it from a casual vs. formal approach. As a small business owner, I work from my home office and, while I dress professionally meeting clients, I never wear a suit. My clients gravitate towards the ‘casual’, non-intimidating persona. Small business owners would rather would work someone that is ‘like them’ and real instead of someone trying to seem one notch above.

    By the way, my husband and I met on match.com and he definitely had a ‘baseball cap’ type profile…

  64. I could go at this 2 ways: Baseball cap guy…or slick willie.
    As Slick:
    Hi, I am the editor of The Project 100…a not for profit book that needs a few authors to round out the 100 marketing leaders who are contributing…All profits go to the Susan G Komen for the Cure. All I need is 400 words on Marketing in the Social Media Age…

    As Baseball cap guy:
    Hey – if you want to build your personal brand, stop my theproject100.wordpress.com and contribute. It is the easiest way to say, hey, I’ve been published.

    Jeff

  65. Wait a minute. Which number are we talking about? Home? Cell? Office? Fax?

    And why am I uh — is she — making such a choice?

    Marketing. Buyer Behavior. You gotta love it.

    Thanks for the read. What a virtual bar scenario! I’ll take another cup of coffee and some notes.

  66. I think it great to go through your web pages and remove the word “we” or to take every sentence and tell how it benefits the reader. In college when we learned about resumes we not allowed to use the word “me” or “I”. It is good practice to write a page about something with using personal pronouns such as “I”, “me” or “we”.

  67. She goes home with the barmaid;)), come on, it is 2009;))

  68. Damn it I’ve never seen such good analogy. Never, EVER, EVER!

    Opt-in-page: You gonna get blah blah just COME WITH ME…

    Quiz page: Here let me ask you some stuff, I’m gonna offer you info, then you can decide whether or not to come with me.

    What is going to work? :)

  69. Right our of dale Carnegie’s Book How to Win Friends and Influence People.

  70. The moral of the story is not to wear jeans and a t-shirt… I believe it is to be interested and empathetic to people around you/prospects and to not talk about yourself all the time. You could be a well dressed guy/girl who acts interested and empathetic about the other person and probably get the number! :)

    To all the women who like to ‘unwind’ in bars: be careful! There’s no telling who might be watching you!

  71. Hopefully, I’d be too drunk to understand either of them.

  72. It’s a good point, well made. Speaking as a dress-own kind of guy, you’d be surprised how often the blowhard in the suit gets the girl, though.

    More importantly, how often empathy comes second best to a slick sales pitch. Often with very poor longterm results.

  73. Where can I find this bar?

  74. Impressive story – nice thinking :))) So true in marketing and life!

  75. I have recently come to the same conclusions. It’s all marketing.

  76. Roger — I think you’re correct lol.. $100 no strings attached takes the cake.

  77. Well said! Wanna get a drink later?

  78. Jeans and T-shirt guy ends up in the “lets just be friends” zone and the business guy gets a call late one night when she’s feeling lonely, bored, and wants free dinner.

    Jeans and T-shirt guy needs to prove he’s worth more than being just friends and you can’t do that by just listening ;-)

  79. Very impressive story… so true! :)