Smartly win people over in business through these pickup artist patterns


Quick one: Who here was ashamed of any of their body features back in primary or high school, and what was it?

I was chubby and had an ass at the start of my high school. I remember I would tuck-in loose so as to conceal it. Tucking in was strictly enforced at Bopedi Bapedi. I later realised newbies listen to everything they are told. Of course you should adhere to all codes at school.

As high school progressed, the chubbiness was fading off, but the ass was taking its time.

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In tertiary, I was fascinated by the VHI TV series ‘The Pickup Artist’. It was pickup artists teaching guys who couldn’t approach girls of routines on how to do it. It captivated me greatly.

Sometime after I read ‘The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists’ by Neil Strauss.

Neil’s book made me pay attention to social cues – which I never did before.

Being an entrepreneur, I realise approaches used by pickup artists can be of effect to business and career social dynamics.

In business or any career, like pickup artists’ routines aim to achieve, you want people to:

(1).            Open up to you and engage you

(2).            Be comfortable with you

(3).            See you as a person of value

(4).            Like you

(5).            Trust you

(6).            Do business with you

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I am not a natural at some of these, especially walking up to people and introducing myself. I keep working on them.

Some things you have naturally and others you learn. If you aren’t a natural conservationist, you can learn from those who have broken down the art of conversation.

Pickup artists have broken down female social dynamics (and males), developed tactics to infiltrate and draw attraction. Each tactic is tested to be valid.

They are often, rightfully and wrongfully criticised. This article doesn’t deal with that; it is about connecting their patterns to business networking… Ladies and gents, in other news, we have a female seduction expert in South Africa, mme Mandisa O Mahlobo.

1.     Open up to you and engage you

Here are two (mutually inclusive) ways to achieve this:

  • Drawing attention and engagement
  • Approaching indirectly

Draw attention and engagement

A normal gent like me would just say “hi” to a lady and hope she offers her undivided attention. We all know a ‘hi’ seldom succeeds. Women are used to replying back with a ‘hi’ – head set on their destination and walk off.

A pickup artist would first say something that really draws the engagement of a woman’s attention: “excuse me, can I get your opinion on something”. It draws attention. He continues “I need a lady’s opinion. A lady friend of mine is struggling to decide if she should request her new boyfriend to remove pictures of his ex from his Facebook account. He doesn’t upload pictures much, so the recent pics on his feed are of him and the ex being all cosy”.

All this is meant to draw attention and engagement.

Ever felt a person just tricked you into a conversation? I have. They would start by mentioning a thing I did or somewhere I was with certain people. Silly me I am quickly drawn into the conversation and elaborating further. Sometime later they have steered the conversation into something they are doing or need. Slick m*^^.

They have just suckered my attention and engagement.

Approaching indirectly: Small talk doesn’t necessarily have to be conscious, but has to be done

When Average Frustrated Chumps like us approach a girl, we consciously are direct in what we want from her. It starts from a ‘hi’ and immediately we seek her demographics: her name, where she stays, what she does for a living, contacts etc.

This approach is too direct and all about what we want to achieve. It does not have an inviting incentive.

Pickup artists are indirect in approach. They know they want to know the girl’s demographics but they go at it indirectly by first drawing her engagement into something more unconsciously or innocently compelling.

I realise the good business relationships I have were with people I met indirectly; either through introduction by an acquaintance, over beer or useless banter. Hence golf is a popular way of networking.

When you catch up with people you met indirectly, the conversation can meander from serious (conscious) to casual and even silly (unconscious), in no particular order – because it has a casual foundation.

You all have seen the boring speaker (like I am) who goes on and on with the serious stuff, without detours or jokes so to bring his audience back to life.

2.     Be comfortable with you


Many times we fool ourselves that people in our space are comfortable talking to us because we desperately want them to. Read their body cues, the answer is there.

Our job in networking is to make them feel comfortable. Pickup artists call this ‘building rapport’.

The pathway to good networking is to find commonalities or joiners (things that complement the other’s interests). If you are talking to Bill Gates, maybe charity could be the commonality. A joiner could be a book you read on exponentially accelerating charity work.


Pickup artists separate vulnerability in two ways: the one demonstrates high value and the other – low value. The former is when you tell that story of when you cried like a little baby after your soccer injury. The latter is when you relate the story of when you cried like a little baby, got down on the floor and begged your girlfriend not to leave you. I like the latter for my self-serving comedic interests – but you shouldn’t.

Go on tell that story of when your first business venture went under: you were running away from the bank as they wanted to repossess your car and how you dodged the labour union. Paint the pain and determination you showed. I remember the days I had to revisit old roll-on bottles because I didn’t have money, but still I went out did my thing.

3.     See you as a person of value

Pickup artists would demonstrate value by showing girls their pictures with celebrities or pretty girls.

We know business people who pull similar tricks like sharing stories and pictures of when they travelled abroad. No matter what you think of it, it works in most cases.

Anyhow, if you have travelled the world and have interesting stories to share – that is your shtick.

Different paths of demonstrating value

Greeting people with an attentive attitude is conveying value.

Engaging people with curiosity (not condensation) in what they do is demonstrating value. Human’s favourite topic is themselves.

“Everyone has an invisible sign hanging on their neck saying ‘make me feel important’” Mary Kay Ash.

Connecting people who can help one another is demonstrating value. Directing people to good resources, e.g. manufacturers, is also it. First you would have found out what they do.

It is worthwhile to also check my previous posts on networking: How I Overcame Being a Bad Networker 

4.     Like you

When you are able to open up and draw engagement in people, you are in baba, they like you.

5.     Trust you

Once people like you and you have demonstrated value to them, it is easy to trust you.

People out there lie or pretend (pictures with celebrities) to get people’s trust. They create stellar perceptions of themselves. It works.

I know a lot of people who get drawn into trading currencies because the forex dudes flaunt pictures living the life: Ferraris, Rolex watches, the sharp suits, 10 star hotels and and and.

That is social proof ladies and gentlemen.

I do not have authority over how anyone should win anyone’s trust.

Besides being flashy – if it is your thing, social proof can come in many other ways. Keep working and doing a good job. Keep adding value to people, with and without payment. The world will give testimony of your value. Testimonials are better branding than business cards and websites – they are social proof. Use testimonials.

I just want Hank Moody’s Porsche.

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Richard Pryor was raped a couple of times as a kid, by a catholic priest at some point. He made it public knowledge and had a way of making fun of his tragic past. That right there is vulnerability and self deprecation.

People tend to be drawn to people who aren’t afraid to be vulnerable, because shit happens in everyone’s life though some don’t share. They see those who talk as brave. Richard was brave. Bill Cosby didn’t like crude humour; there are stories of him chastising crude comedians.

Not everyone likes those who come off talking about their vulnerabilities; they prefer those who pose shiny success. They good thing is, these people could be leeches. It is better when they are not attracted to you.

Pickup artists do not pick girls for lasting relationship (maybe). In business you want longevity and therefore one’s honesty has to be consistent.

6.      Do business with you

All this steps lead here.

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The opening sentence was just a ploy to engage your attention and to give myself my daily dose self-deprecation.