On Black Friday 2010, I was just getting into this popularity stuff. I was new to it, as my brother Jonathan and a friend had just developed our “models of success” that contributed to our book Be Popular Now (and the concepts behind this site). Everything was new and fresh, but basically “untried” as far as real world “lab work.” Sure, we were all naturally popular, but this day was going to test that, because we were going to go all out! Could there have been a better day to have gone out and “wowed” a bunch of people – strangers even – than Black Friday!
Below are actual things we did and said, and people’s reactions. Notice the risk involved, and that not everybody responds. Most do, though. All of these approaches were “cold” as in we didn’t know these people beforehand. However, no matter what the results turn out to be, it is always one thing: fun as hell! Below D=me, J=Jonathan, and W=our friend. Comments in Green are my comments.
Panera: Approached a girl whose last name sounded like “hell yeah,” which we pointed out. W wasn’t ready , so he flirtatiously teased her a little when she said she could help him. When we approached, all three rocked and socked her [one of our techniques you can learn about if you take advantage of our consulting]. Eventually the manager came over and joined in. She basically offered us jobs. We said it probably wouldn’t be a good idea. She said “why not, you guys look fun!”
More Panera: Manager makes an excuse to walk by our table and start a conversation. We tease her a little, and she asks if we are twins. We give the triplet routine [since W looks nothing like us, it works great; this has all the elements of great humor – our book tells more about this]. She calls us on it, and Jonathan said W got “more of mom’s egg,” which makes her laugh and she touches his shoulder. W says we were quadruplets but two of the babies melded to become him [since he is much taller than us]. She returns and I say we really are interested in jobs, and I ask her if “CEO is taken.” Then I tell her that I really am the CEO, and she responds that she knows the CEOs of Panera.
I then say to her, “oh, so you must know David Bennett then?” “No. Who is he?” she asks. “Me!” I say. She smiles like crazy.
A little girl walks by and says “daddy” to her dad walking in front of her, and J says “hey, don’t look at me” with a smile on his face, and the manager responds with an “oh you!” while smiling and touching his shoulder.
Later Panera: I return to get some coffee to go. I ask the male cashier if the “manager with the attitude” is still around. He laughs and specifically mentions how funny that comment was. He even tells his female co-worker about my comment. Then I ask her “so who is the queen bee when that manager isn’t around?” More laughs.
In Mall: W approaches a girl in a trendy teen store, hands her a really little hat from one of the racks and says “you should wear this, it matches your…er…whatever.” She looks like she is in a trance [this is probably her doing a TDS, a good sign if you want her to be interested in you – read our book for info about that] but her sister laughs like crazy.
In Mall: I am in a store with a lot of Ohio State gear and I walk by a girl and say, in a very quizzical tone, “oh does Ohio State have a football team now?” I get a “primal giggle” [this is our term for the immediate subconscious laughter you can get from people that bypasses their conscious mind; they may not even want to laugh, but they do].
In Mall: At a Dollar Store, I see a pink dress in a woman’s cart and I say “my mom used to make me wear a dress like that, and it traumatized me.” W chimes in “yeah, but that was two weeks ago, you are over it now.” Gets a primal smile.
At Another Coffee Shop That Evening: J is pumped to open after suffering some anxiety at approaching at Mall [For even the most popular guys, the approach can be hard at first]. J orders “extra love” in his coffee, and I ask where the button for that is on the register. I ask for even more love in my coffee. J says “would you believe McDonald’s wouldn’t give us extra love.” Then I joke that it’s okay because we egged their cars on the way out of there. J jokes, “well at least we think it was their cars.”
One of the female employees, Kayla, jokingly, offers to go back and get some eggs to help us. J then says to Kayla, pointing to an employee working the drive-through, “why is your friend wearing that [Santa OSU] hat, did she lose a bet or something?” Kayla: “Melissa you have to get over here, this guy just asked if you are wearing that hat because you lost a bet.” She comes over and we talk with her too. Eventually I pull the corporate routine [that I am really a mystery shopper from the corporate office – it is gold], and joke about the hat being outside protocol, and J mentions to Kayla that her shirt is untucked. She assumes we are joking, and then tells us about her new tattoo. Melissa soon brings over two free donuts saying “I have treats for you.”
That was one day in 2010. In fact, I left out some stories for later.
And yes, we have continued many of those relationships. I just attended Melissa’s wedding a few months ago. Also, when I wrote this article a few days ago, Kayla tagged us both on Twitter asking why we hadn’t been in to get coffee in a while. See how fun popularity is?