We know … we know … pick-up lines are for social settings. However, a great opening line helps you professionally as well.
|Listen to the show to hear our opening line. It doesn’t translate well to print. Mary-Lynn also shares the “cheesiest” pick-up line she ever heard.|
The paperboy who became a billionaire
W. Clement Stone sold papers as a kid. He became a billionaire by selling insurance door-to-door. He documented what he learned in his great book, The Success System That Never Fails.
Picture this – you respond to a knock at your door. You open it to see a young man pointing to a list of names. You recognize quite a few of them – they’re your friends and neighbors. All this has happened within a split second as he begins to speak:
“I believe this will interest you also.”
He didn’t tell them his name or say, “Hello.” He didn’t ask them how they were doing or talk about the weather. No! He had tested … and tested … and tested. He knew this was his best opening line. It was part of his success system.
Let’s look at three essential components to a great opening line.
#1 – Take the “you” view.
You have to think from the other person’s point of view if you want their attention. You’re probably familiar with the acronym WIIFM – what’s in it for me? Immediately address it because everybody is so busy.
#2 – Engage them.
W. Clement Stone’s opener is intriguing, isn’t it?
You ask yourself, “Why does he think that I’ll be interested? Why were my friends and neighbors interested?”
It’s a disturbing comment! That’s one way to engage people. You may also ask a disturbing question. “Ever notice” how Andy Rooney, with 60 Minutes, does this? Can you hear his voice?
One example of a disturbing question is to ask something that doesn’t ring true. We recently did a show / blog entitled Does It Pay Be Smart?
You say to yourself, “Well, of course it does! So why are they questioning it? What‘s the rest of the story?” Go ahead … check it out …. you know you want to!
You can also engage people by telling a short story that is humorous, gripping, or inspirational.
#3 – Appeal to their emotions.
Let’s go back to the W. Clement Stone story. Picture him at your door again. He delivers his opening line – “I believe this will interest you also” – as he points to his list of your friends and neighbors.
Do you start to worry that you might be left out? That fear of being excluded gets you into the conversation.
This great opening line worked wonders for retailers
Michael Gerber wrote the phenomenal book, The E-Myth Revisited. The “E” stands for entrepreneur, by the way. He talked about opening lines that sales clerks use.
When you walk into a store, if you’re greeted by a clerk, what do they say?
“May I help you?”
How do you respond? Perhaps something like …
“No, thanks … I’m just looking.”
Gerber advised his retail clients to change the question to:
“Have you visited our store before?”
That’s still a simple “yes” or “no”. However, if the customer said, “Yes”, the sales associate would respond:
“Let me show you our specials for regular customers.”
If the customer said, “No”, the clerk replied:
“Let me show you our specials for first-time customers.”
Doesn’t seem like much of a change, does it? The results were anything but small …
Sales increased 16 percent, on average!
|What’s your opening line? What works for you? Leave your suggestions in our comment’s section.|
Our Bigg Quote was made over 2,500 years ago by Pythagoras, the mathematician and philosopher.
“Do not say a little in many words but a great deal in a few.”
A great opening line will open doors for you. Next time, we’ll discuss how to tap into your hidden potential. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!