Mirror Ball Picture

Pic: Gerhard Seyffert
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Back when I was studying engineering at university one of my friends gave me some of the best advice ever.

James was a good friend who studied engineering with me. Growing up at the coast he had lots of “surfer” wisdom to share with his new friends at varsity. One evening while out partying as often happened we talked about girls and he gave me some advice. At the age of 19 I didn’t realize that it would end up being valuable advice that will help me throughout my business career as well.

James said that pickup lines don’t generally work. They are forced and impersonal. He told me that in his extensive experience the only pickup line that ever worked (and generally worked without fail) was: “Hi, my name is James.” This is how I discovered the best pickup line in the world.

Well, there are a few things to note about the above pickup line:
1) James had enough confidence and intelligence to pull this off and also carry on with a meaningful conversation after this.
2) He almost always followed this up with questions about the girl involved to get her to talk after this.
3) The above version only works if your name is James, so you might want to change it slightly…

Now applying this to business and especially marketing settings was one of the greatest discoveries that I made. Business networking is similar to relationships with the opposite sex in many ways. Firstly you need to realize the following:
1) People buy from people.
2) Building lasting friendships in business circles is the only real long term strategy that is satisfying and profitable for all parties.

How does the “best pickup line in the world” relate to business:
1) Introduce yourself to new business contacts at every chance you get.
2) Don’t try “pitches” just introduce yourself and start asking questions.
3) Be confident.
4) Be yourself.
5) Be honest.

The above simple advice has helped me a great deal in my business career especially in sales and marketing roles.

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