Get their number

Dating advice for dummies: if you meet someone new, make sure you get their number. Why? So you can reach them again, after they leave.

It changes the dynamic: you don’t need to be in a rush, because you don’t need to close the deal all at once. You can build value over time. Slowly. At a pace that matches theirs. No need for pushiness.


  • Obviously “their number” could also be their email address, whatsapp, Instagram, or anything else that allows you to stay in touch and build a relationship slowly, over time.
  • Many products are more complex than they seem at first glance. For anything more complex than a $100 purchase, it is probably easier to focus on getting someone to leave their email address or contact details, than to try and close a deal right away.
  • Nobody is going to give a marketer their number or email address for nothing. They want to i) understand how giving you their number will benefit them, and also to ii) feel secure that you will leave them alone when asked. Cater to that.
  • What do you do after you have their number? You follow up by providing them with things of value. You help them out. You connect them to others. You teach them. You entertain them. Healthy relationships are fundamentally built on usefulness.

In Practice

A somewhat extreme example of the lead gen-first approach to marketing is the concept of free+shipping books or artifacts. The model is simple: you promise to send someone a free copy of a physical book. You’ll cover the cost of the book, and they only need to cover the fee of shipping the book to them.

In doing so, you capture not only their contact details, but also their credit card info (to cover the cost of shipping), and you proceed to provide as much value as possible. From there, you can build a relationship, and over time sell more products or services that actually turn a profit.

Pair with

Radical empathy