Awhile back, David and I were out at a restaurant together and ran across a bunch of guys best described as good ole boys. They came over and talked to us.
This was at a local, country themed type of place. Most of the people were dressed in country type attire and that was certainly the theme on the televisions spread throughout the place and the background music.
I grew up in a more rural area and certainly have a fondness for it. Lots of my friends come from this background and currently live in a rural setting. However, David and I are in no way rural in the way we dress or our interests. And, it was probably pretty obvious that night since we were dressed in our more urban styles.
When two of the guys came over to talk to us, they were commenting on our outfits. We laughed it off and they continued. They started talking about their diesel trucks. I laughed and asked if they filled them up with the eco-friendly diesel or if they were ruining the environment. Note: I was not peddling environmentalism. I did this as a joke and they knew it.
They started laughing and admitted they were surprised I knew anything about diesel vehicles. I told them that I grew up in the country and we started talking about a few of those things. Eventually, all five of the group came to our table.
They started talking about ages and couldn’t believe we were both thirty-four. To prove it to them, I showed them my concealed carry license. Of course, this was on purpose and it had the desired effect. They thought it was super cool that these alleged outsiders had a gun license.
By the end of the evening, they were telling us how much they liked us and even bought our dinner! One of the guys admitted that he originally came over to screw with us, but that he was glad he did because we turned out to be really cool.
How did we win over this group of guys who seemed so different and originally were even somewhat hostile?
We did it, I believe, a few ways.
First, we refused to be rattled by their attitudes. We knew they were screwing around with us in the beginning. However, we didn’t care. We didn’t escalate, but just stayed cool. In essence, they expected us to get mad. We didn’t and that comes across as high value.
Second, we built rapport with them. While I certainly am not living the rural lifestyle, I have lived it before and know a lot about it. I drew on my experiences and shared knowledge. While I don’t compromise my core beliefs, I can talk about many, many topics. Plus, I am an urban oriented guy who loves certain rural things (like guns). I focused on those.
Finally, I refused to treat them like stereotypes, even though they initially treated me that way. I was cool and didn’t prejudge them. And, people respond to that. David and I showed them that we were both mature and confident enough to accept them while also remaining true to ourselves.
So, we won over the good ole boys and had an awesome evening. And, we got a free meal out of it. With these tips, you can win over all types too.