It’s 12:42 pm. You’re in a clothing store at a shopping mall, and you see a woman to whom you are attracted.

You observe what she’s doing, and you find an opener. She’s holding an AC/DC t-shirt, so you know you can walk over to her and say something simple like “Do you like AC/DC?”

So you start to walk over to her. Your heart starts beating faster. Your lip starts quivering. You start sweating, and you feel your face getting flushed.

When you get over to her, you ask her your “Do you like AC/DC” question. She responds, “Yes I do. They are one of my favorite bands.” So, now, what do you say next?

If you get stuck at this point in your approaches, then you are getting stuck in the opener zone. If you weren’t wondering what to say next, and stayed present, you would know there are any number of things you could say next.

You could say something like, “Really? It’s one of your favorite bands? That’s great. How long have you liked them for? That is a very cool t-shirt.” Then you would continue to talk about the t-shirt for the next minute or so.

She was attracted to you instantly because you walked over and actually had the guts to approach her. She told you with enthusiasm that she loves AC/DC, but you did not listen because you got stuck in the opener zone.

Getting past the opener is as simple as listening. When you talk to friends, do talk about the same thing over and over again — the t-shirt they’re wearing or how cool their car is or how much you like the song that’s playing? No, you listen to what they say and you continue the conversation.

Men tend to get stuck in the opener zone with women all the time. The key to avoiding this is to develop your listening skills. Here is a great exercise to do that.

Bring a digital recorder around with you. Record your conversations when you talk to women. Then when you play the conversations back, listen carefully to what the women say in response to your opener and write down what you could have said next based on what she said.

Work on this every single day, and you will start to become a master communicator. Become a person with whom people really enjoy talking, and you’ll be able to get past the opener very quickly.