What’s the Success Rate for Cold Approach? Here’s My Results

May 30th, 2023 

Knowing the success rate for cold approach is crucial for keeping your expectations in check. After gathering data from the community, my first 50 approaches, and the hundreds that followed, I was able to conclude realistic odds of success for each approach.

On average, you can expect between a 5% and 10% success rate for cold approaching. This means 1 out of every 10 to 20 women you approach are interested enough to go out with you. The success rate is most dependent on your experience with approaching and how attractive you are.

The definition of what makes a cold approach successful is whether she's willing to go out with you (but not necessarily sleep with you). This is because you could make a flawless approach that does everything right, but then lose her interest on a date. Therefore, the approach itself didn't fail.

Included below is a table of data from my first 50 approaches over 10 years ago. Those approaches were the only ones I ever kept track of. I recorded how receptive they were, how friendly the rejections were, the location, and more.

I also have a couple videos of me making those approaches.

Although I improved significantly since those first 50, the data recorded is helpful for beginners to know what to expect.

My Cold Approach Success Rate

Before we get into the results, here's the meaning of specific information in the table:

  • Went with a friend: My buddy was with me for nearly half of these approaches. I don't usually recommend having any sort of "crutch" when approaching, but it helped a lot. It made it much more fun, and we fed off each other's energy.
  • Zero interest: This means the women I approached immediately turned me down. There were never any interactions where I was rejected harshly or rudely. These women just made it clear they were not interested by either saying so or by their body language. I move on quickly as it's generally easy to detect.
  • "General" location: These approaches I had completed by myself and were primarily done on a whim when I saw an opportunity. This was at various stores when I was shopping, approaching at a park behind my house, with buddies at a beach, etc. 
  • Friendly rejections: This column is for those who rejected me (in a friendly manner) but actually engaged in a conversation. It can be easy to believe these approaches are going well despite them having no interest in you. This is why you should keep approach conversations short to not waste time.
  • Wanted to talk: This is a category of women who technically "friendly rejected" me, but said they wanted to chat. I'll dive deeper into this in a moment.

Cold Approach Statistics

Location Went With a Friend Phone Numbers Given Zero Interest Friendly Rejections Rejected But Wanted to Talk Hookups
First 10 Approaches General No 2 2 5 1 1
Next 10 Approaches College Yes 0 5 4 1 0
Next 10 Approaches Mall No 0 6 2 2 0
Next 10 Approaches General Yes 1 5 2 2 1
Final 10 Approaches Mall No 1 5 2 2 1

Drag to scroll over on mobile

I got four numbers, hooked up with three women, and had the most success with my 'General' approach locations. Most of my approaches used basic openers to say hello and introduce myself

My first 50 cold approaches had a success rate of 6%. This is a perfectly reasonable percentage to expect when starting out. A year after those first 50, I had a success rate closer to 20%.

3 Approaches Led to Hookups

I had a total of 4 numbers, with 3 leading to hookups.

The number that didn't lead anywhere was with someone I met at a bookstore (I expanded on how I did this in how to meet women at the library). She was browsing books, and I commented about what she was looking at. It was mainly small talk, followed by me asking for her number.

I never texted her back. She was cute and receptive but seemed shy and inexperienced. I didn't want to date a virgin her 20s, especially as I was starting to see someone else. Unfortunately, I misled some women in my early years and didn't want to continue that trend.

So, my success rate may have otherwise been 8%, but we'll never know.

Here are the 3 successful approaches and how they happened:

1. The woman at the store

This was my first ever approach and was even on the girl I'm dating today. At first, I commented how I liked her glasses while waiting behind her at the till (I wanted to say more but struggled to). I then went back to my truck parked right outside. I rolled down my window and waved her over as she came out.

I told her I thought she was cute and asked what she was up to. She pointed at the Booster Juice next door and said she was heading to get a smoothie. I made some comment about how I also liked to get "BJ's" (honestly surprised I didn't scare her away). I then suggested we should hang out sometime and asked for her number.

2. The woman at the gym

This was the second approach I ever made at the gym, and that's still true today. I generally don't want to bother anyone when they're busy working out. They probably don't feel sexy being all hot and sweaty anyway. I find it best to use gyms or fitness classes to gradually get to know someone, instead of making a direct approach right away.

However, this successful approach was a bit different as I talked to the woman working at the desk. It was a situational opener since they greeted me as soon as I opened the gym doors. So, it's easier to keep talking to them.

I don't remember exactly what I said other than suggesting we should chill. I got her number, and we went on a couple dates before hooking up in her parents' basement.

3. The woman at the mall

If I recall correctly, this was my 50th and final approach.

This chick was working at a mall aisle booth selling piercings and junk. I asked her how she enjoyed working there, and talked for a few minutes. My buddy was with me but stood away just like any approach we made and watched.

I remember I looked like the biggest "bro" that day. I had a diamond stud earring, blonde streaks dyed in my brown hair, a flashy chrome bracelet, and a bright neon green tank top that was a bit on the small side.

It may seem like a bad idea to dress and look like that (and it usually is), but it had actually helped. This was a woman who was available and wanted to hook up. Looking like I did screened out anyone who's not interested in exactly that.

We hooked up a day later.

While all three successful approaches used situational openers, I still had a lot of success without them after the first 50. You should say something custom if you can, but don't let it stop you from making the approach.

Cold Approaching Women Who Only Want to Talk

This really surprised me. It happened a lot in those first 50 approaches and has continued to happen since.

I would make a typical approach, they mention they're not interested, but then add how they would like to chat. Sometimes, they'll include how it's because they have a boyfriend.

It threw me off the first few times it happened

There was this one woman who turned me down but wanted to talk. We sat down on a bench and chatted for a moment. Unfortunately for her, a group of her friends passed by. One guy in the group yelled out asking what "Kyle" would think of her talking to me. I assume that's her boyfriend. Whoops.

I was already pretty nervous back then. Making approaches and suddenly switching to holding an honest and engaged conversation wasn't easy. I was more wondering what the hell was happening and trying to figure out a way to smoothly bail.

Since those original eight occurrences where they only wanted to talk, I came to realize just talking to them has its advantages:

  • Sometimes they are in fact interested, but want to take it slower as friends first.
  • She knows you're a guy who goes out and gets what he wants. If interested, she's less likely to toy with or mislead you about her intent.
  • She has friends. My buddy approached a girl who only wanted to be friends. He agreed, and she eventually helped set him up with a friend of hers. They ended up dating for a while.

For whatever reason, this happens much more frequently with using lines than custom openers.

The Most Successful Place to Cold Approach

My first 50 approaches were more successful with approaching in "General" spots mentioned earlier.

Even though I sometimes went weeks or months between making this approach type, I found the receptiveness much higher overall.

While the approaches are still "cold," most came off much more naturally. This does help your odds. In addition, the use of situational openers helped break the ice and have the whole conversation flow better.

The best place to cold approach with the highest success rate isn't a specific place. Instead, it's your ability to recognize opportunities at locations where you spend your day-to-day life.

It's important to know these chances don't come up that often, especially if you don't go out much. This is why if you struggle to go up and talk to a girl, you should first focus on combatting approach anxiety at places like the mall or colleges.

A women in front of cold approach statistics.

Examples of a Cold Approach

A handful of these first 50 approaches were recorded way back in 2012. There are just two of them, both rejections.

The first one is a "zero interest" rejection. You can see by her immediate response she didn't have any interest and moved away. It isn't too common for her to immediately move off like that, but it does happen.

The second is a "friendly rejection" where it didn't go anywhere but we had chatted for a bit first. A typical or average rejection you should come to expect lies somewhere in the middle of these two. This means chatting for a dozen seconds or so before moving off.

How to Increase Your Cold Approach Success Rate

It's crucial to ensure you're doing everything you can to ensure your success rate is as high as possible.

You can increase your cold approach success rate by improving your appearance, using situational openers, and combatting approach anxiety. This way you look better, get better responses, and are more comfortable talking. However, this may require a sizeable time commitment to accomplish.

  • Improving appearance: You should be working on both quick and long-term changes. This means focusing on exercise/diet, wearing fit clothes, choosing the correct hairstyle, and even getting a tan.
  • Situational openers: Talking to a woman more naturally is always ideal for getting the best response. These openers rely on mentioning the environment or situation she's in.
  • Combatting approach anxiety: The most challenging part of approaching women is the anxiety that creeps up and stops you. This is why it's best initially to focus on just making the approach instead of the exact outcome in. Follow the Approach Anxiety Program for steps to eliminate AA in 5 weeks.

After a lot of experience approaching and making serious investments in your appearance, a cold approach success rate of over 20% is possible. This is especially true once you start recognizing signals, such as when someone's glancing at you.

A woman looking at a chart that represents cold approach statistics.

Succeeding With Your Approaches

The 5 - 10% success rate is far from a guarantee, but it's a good reference point if you have your bases covered. 

Knowing this rate of success is essential

If you're only starting out, that number will be closer to 5%. Therefore, half of guys will succeed in their first 20 approaches, but half won't (because it's an average). This is why having proper expectations before starting is vital.

For some men who haven't prioritized their appearance, that rate could be 0%.

Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of men are capable of being attractive (sometimes with an overnight fix). However, some improvements to your looks do take time. This is why you should consistently exercise and build the proper habits for tomorrow.

    2 replies to "What’s the Success Rate for Cold Approach? Here’s My Results"

    • Robbie

      Seems you prioritize appearance and experience (not sure what that means) but honestly some dating markets you aren’t going to get very far with that because so many dudes are doing that. You can’t stand out if you just focus on your appearance because in some of these big cities, there are tons of good-looking guys of all different ethnicities and backgrounds. So you need to have that as a baseline but it’s not enough, and maybe not even the most important thing actually…

      Also, it’s odd that someone who harps on appearance goes out in a hoodie and baggy jeans. For 2013, that would be considered horrible fashion. Don’t get me wrong you’re a decent-looking guy but I hope in the past 10 years you worked on your fashion as well so that you can be congruent with the advice that you give out.

    • Jerrad Ross

      Most of the important stuff young men need to know is not learned online but rather by actually going out to talk with women, going on dates, etc. That’s what focusing on experience means.

      Agree to disagree about someone’s looks. Your attractiveness dictates success most of all (imo). Not everyone lives in a big city, and there are still plenty of attractive women to go around anyway.

      The video was recorded 11 years ago, and it was a pretty standard look iirc, but I could be wrong.
      However, I wasn’t going for some sleek modern or hip style. I’d rather look like a douchebag or bro as that attracts the attention I’d want.

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