The first step in a cold approach is opening. To do that we use openers, techniques that allow us to start a comfortable conversation with a person or group. With practice they become a fantastic method for initiating an interaction, but what happens next? What do you do after you start a conversation?
You try to reach the hook point.
The hook point is the point in a conversation where the other group doesn’t mind or even wants to stay and interact with you. The first step to reaching the hook point during a cold approach is making the group you approach comfortable. No one wants to be around someone that makes them uncomfortable.
Here are a few tips that can help you make the group comfortable:
- If there’s a guy in the group speak to him first.
- Notice if one person speaks up over the others, you’ll be tempted to focus on that person. Make sure everyone in comfortable with you there, not just one person.
- The responses people give you to your opener will tell you something about them. Are they hesitant? Are they excited? Are they blowing you off?
- Do they understand what’s being said to them? Practice your opening line repeatedly make sure you have it down, this way if someone says, “what?” after you open – you can repeat the question exactly and clear up any confusion.
Once you’ve opened, it’s time to bridge:
Bridging means asking a question or making an observation. A bridge is a way to propel a conversation forward and steer it in the direction you want it to go. The first bridge generally happens right after the opener, you ask any question or any observation. That question or observation should lead to a routine or story that will help you build value. By making the group comfortable, then using bridging to get you into deeper conversation, you will likely have hit the hook point.
But, just in case…
The two more minutes technique
This is a technique to help you stay in set longer. When we teach bootcamps one of the most common reasons guys don’t last long in a set is that they leave before they need too. They feel like they’ve run out of things to say. The truth this, you have plenty to say, and the two more minutes technique is a little motivational tool to help you stretch those mental muscles.
It’s pretty simple. Open the set using whichever opener you like. Once you feel like you’ve run out of things to say. Pull out your phone and look at the time. For the next two minutes you’re going to push yourself to stay in set. Try asking a question, or making an observation (bridging) to move things forward, just don’t let yourself leave for two minutes.