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.
Before we get into the results, here's the meaning of specific information in the table:
|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|
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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%.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
For whatever reason, this happens much more frequently with using lines than custom openers.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.