March Madness – by far my favorite time of the year! Let’s take a look back at a post from last year that is as true today as it was back then.
FREE BEER gets dates. It just does. And March Madness makes it that much easier. Guys have been doing this for years. Buying girls drinks in hopes of getting some time to talk to them, and with that time hoping to convince them that they should go out. Or hook up. It’s a fine line.
How often do you see girls buying drinks for guys? In life in general, when everyone is going left, I’m going right. That’s how you stand out. For me, buying beers started out as a way to shrink the audience. To make it more targeted. When I saw a table eight dudes, I had no one way of knowing who was single. We would strike up a conversation, but you couldn’t possibly give equal attention to all of them. Ultimately you would be zeroed in on one or two, and if you found out they had girlfriends, it was hard to be sly getting up and moving down to talk to their friends.
So we would buy a couple beers, have the waitress deliver them and say it was part of a promotion for single people. Essentially, you get a free beer if you’re single. So now, those eight guys would be whittled down to three or four before putting ourselves out there. Of course you get the one guy who just takes the free beer, but that’s easy to determine when we approach them.
We would take our beer over there and say something like, “Miller Lite is feeling sorry for us single people I guess.” That’s when someone always reveals they have a girlfriend, but they wanted a free beer. Lies. In the dating world, there are plenty, but I rationalize my white lie because the worst thing that happens is they get a free beer.
So using Seth Godin’s book “Free Prize Inside” to inspire the free beer idea many years ago, this month book selection is his book, “All Marketers Are Liars”. And while he really means, “All Marketers are Storytellers”, he uses liars because that’s what gets your attention. Just like the free beer “lie”. One of the best times to tell this lie, I mean story, is during sporting events that are so huge guys take the day off from work to watch and/or go to them. For example, Cubs Opening Day next week or March Madness last week. This was the scene early afternoon at the bar. Besides my friends, there were only a handful of girls in this sea of guys.
And that gets us back to how do you know who is single? It seems a little desperate to walk up to the guys and just ask. And a little childish to send a married friend to do some recon. This year, I stumbled upon a Corona Light jacket at the last minute that I thought would help sell it. It also allowed me to walk through and decide spontaneously who I wanted to give the beer to instead of sending a waitress to make the initial contact.
An unexpected problem with that, apparently some guys are suspicious. The conversation at the first table on Friday:
“I’m buying beer for single people today,” I said, which actually wasn’t a lie.
“No thanks,” they replied.
“Oh, you have girlfriends?”
“Well, we do, but it’s more that we don’t know where that beer has been.”
“What?” I asked, laughing.
“What if you roofied it?”
“Well, I probably wouldn’t tell you if I did,” I said jokingly. “Does that happen a lot?”
“No,” he replied.
“Has that happened, ever?”
With that, we moved on to the next table, which is where I spent most of the afternoon. Because they ended up being cool dudes, I spent part of that time getting back on track after the initial story, but we exchanged phone numbers and moved on to the next bar. C’mon. Who wouldn’t trust someone in a Corona Light jacket?
I’ve learned a lot about dating from Seth Godin, but I also enjoyed this month’s dating book, Why Am I Still Single: A Tough Love Guide for Single Women by Shay Stone. Her thoughts go right along with marketing because essentially, she’s saying that it takes effort to not be single. Whether that’s changing things about yourself or what you expect from others, you can’t sit around waiting for someone to come with you. Sometimes you need to go to them, and you might want to take a beer with you.
What are some of the best ice breakers you’ve used to meet someone?