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First impression

The first moment your Quarry lays eyes on you has awesome potency. The picture burns its way into his or her eyes and can stay emblazoned in your Quarry's memory forever. I have a dear friend, an older gentleman named Gerald, who is very sought after in the social scene of his hometown. He is a charming escort for several elderly ladies who long ago lost their husbands. Gerald met these women when they were all in high school together back in the late 1940OS. His women friends are inwardly beautiful; however, physically, several have gained weight and have long since lost their youthful attractiveness. Once, at a party, I overheard a rude man tease Gerald about his taste in women. My friend was genuinely confused at the tactless remark."But they are all beautiful!" Gerald exclaimed. He reached into his wallet and pulled out an old, dog-eared black-and-white photograph of his high school homecoming queen and her court. "See?" Gerald said to the man. Two of the three ladies he was currently escorting were in the photo. One of them was the homecoming queen.




To this day, Gerald sees his lady friends as beautiful as they were back in 1948. Such is the power of first impressions. Image consultants are paid housands of dollars to pontificate in boardrooms across America, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression." The adage has been given the exalted status of a proverb: "First impressions are most lasting." So what else is new? What's new is this: Even as we enter the 21st century, we don't really comprehend the unbelievable compass and consequence of first impressions. Or on what lilliputian details they are sometimes based. Gentlemen, one backward baseball cap or gold chain flashing through the hair on your chest can make or break a budding relationship with the lady before you even say "hi." Ladies, one quarter of a turn away when he ventures "hello," can turn the handsome prince back into a frightened frog.

Be Ready for Love—Always!

If first impressions are so crucial and a Potential Love Partner makes the "go/no go" decision within seconds of spotting you, here's the big question: Why do people looking for love spend so much time making themselves attractive when they go out on a date but so little when they take the dog to the vet? By the time you have the date, your Quarry's first impression of you has already been set. How you look on the date is, of course, important. But it's not nearly as decisive as his or her first glimpse of you. You don't realize it, but here's the sad truth: You have probably let dozens of PLPS get away in recent months just because your trap wasn't set—you weren't fixed up for the kill. Hunters, that means you weren't dressed for the part. Huntresses, that means you weren't groomed properly.

Research shows that for men, clothes are more crucial to first impressions. For women, it's her body and face. Huntresses, you may well ask, "Is makeup all that important?" Let's go to the studies. Researchers asked men to talk with six different women who sometimes wore makeup, sometimes didn't. Their study, "Lipstick as a Determiner of First Impressions of Personality," revealed that the male opinion of each woman was very different when she wore lipstick.

Women, how many times, sauntering down the street without your makeup, have you spotted Handsome Stranger, who doesn't even look your way? If he's a typical male attracted by rosy lips and nice big eyes, what do you expect? Men, how many times, in your grungy clothes, have you tried to talk to Lovely Lady on the bus who gives you a cursory answer and looks away? If she's a
typical woman attracted by an air of competence and success.


DRESS FOR "THE KILL"—EVERYWHERE
Men, this does not mean you have to don your
three-piece suit to buy the newspaper. Women, it does
not mean you need to slap on three coats of mascara to
walk the dog. What it does mean is whenever you step
out the door, step out dressed to kill . . . your Quarry.

We get lazy about first impressions due to the reinforcement theory. Say you fix yourself up for the kill. You go out to walk the dog three times, four times, looking like a traffic stopper, and nothing happens. So you say, "Hey, this doesn't work." In my sales seminars, I tell participants that the average sale is not made until after the fifth sales call. Give it some time. Can't you wait five more dog-walks for your future beloved to say, "Nice doggy. What's his name? And, by the way, what's yours?"

Stay Psychologically ''Fit to Kill" Not only should you be physically ready, you must keep your mental doors open to let love walk in . . . wherever you are. PLPS don't just enter your life from parties and singles' clubs. Cindy is an attractive young manicurist who has been doing my nails for several years. (There must be some drug in nail polish remover that dissolves women's inhibitions and induces them to spill every detail of their lives as they hold hands across the manicure table.) For months Cindy had been griping to me that, in her line of work, all she meets is women.

I had a late appointment with Cindy one evening about six o'clock. She was telling me how, after a long day of clipping, filing, and painting, she's too tired to go out to singles' bars to try to meet someone. At about 6:45 P.M., the door opened behind Cindy's back. We heard a deep male voice say, "Excuse me, I know it's terribly late. But is it possible to get a manicure?" I looked up over Cindy's shoulder and beheld a Greek god. (I had no idea such deities needed manicures!) Before I could pull my jaw back up, Cindy, not even turning around, said, "Nope, we close in ten minutes." "How do ya like that?" she grumbled, keeping her gaze fixed on my hangnail as he walked out. "Who does he think he is to march in here at this hour and expect a manicure?" Then, Cindy's ears, finely tuned to such trappings as expensive sports cars, heard a Jaguar revving up outside her window. She jumped up to look, and there was her Adonis careening out of the parking lot, and out of her life, forever in his sleek chariot. She didn't stop kicking herself long enough for me to respectfully suggest that one should keep one's eyes open all the time for such opportunities. Top producers in the sales profession never stop prospecting—in the dentist's office, in the copy shop, at the pizzeria. One salesman friend of mine clinched a multi million-dollar corporate insurance deal with another nude man he met in his health club Jacuzzi. You can, as the old song says, "find a million-dollar baby in a five-and-ten-cent store."


STAY PSYCHOLOGICALLY "FIT TO KILL"
Big-game hunters lay bear traps even before they spot
the bear. Fishermen cast nets long before the swarm
swims their way. If you set your psychological trap the
minute your feet hit the floor in the morning, chances are
the next big one won't get away.

Now you are physically and mentally ready for love. The next question is, "How can I make my Quarry's insides go all funny when he or she meets me?" Let's start with two of the most potent weapons you need to trigger love at first sight. They're right above your nose. Many people swear, "I fell in love the moment I looked into my lover's eyes."



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