Most of us at some point in our lives have met a "hot bartender" and tried to get her number. Usually we'll say something we think is clever, or leave our own number on the receipt, etc. It hardly ever works, because she's heard it all before.
A good friend of mine used to be one of these while working her way through college (towards a marketing degree no less) - this girl had no less than 6 guys asking for her number every time she went to work. On a Friday or Saturday night it would run well into the double digits. At first she would play the "always single, but never available" role which was OK for getting tips but didn't encourage any further engagement or repeat visits.
One day she came up with a strategy to monetize the attention.
She set up a Google Voice account to give herself a local phone number that couldn't be researched or tied to any location-based services. Whenever she noticed a guy checking her out, she would flirt a little for the duration of their visit, and then before they were about to leave she'd say 12 magic words that worked again and again...
"Give me your number and I'll text you next time I'm working"
She noticed immediately that her tips were higher.
But this story gets even better...
Every night she would set them up as contacts in Google voice, and every time she went to work she'd send a bulk text out to some of the numbers she had collected. Careful to never use the exact same wording twice, or to text any one number too many times in a row, but just a simple variation of "Hey, I'm heading over to [bar name], come visit me!"
And they did. They would come in, buy drinks from her, chat for a while, and leave above-average tips. At any given time there were at least 2 or 3 guys she had texted sitting at the same bar all trying to get as much of her attention as they could. This went on for a year while she finished school. At one point she even SWITCHED JOBS and started working for another bar, and promptly brought a huge chunk of her 'personal following' with her to her new place. She had collected HUNDREDS of phone numbers and was making more money than anyone else she had worked with. While the average girl was doing about $30k a year in tips, this girl was doing almost twice that. I kid you not.
And that's STILL not the best part of this story. When she graduated, she sent a mass text out to EVERYONE on her list - the only time she had ever sent it out to everyone at once - giving them the news and inviting them to come celebrate with her. The place was packed and she cleared more than $2,000 in tips that night.
But even THAT isn't the best part. Another guest at the bar that night - a woman - asked her how she became so popular. So she told her the strategy, and they both had a laugh about it. Turns out that woman was a director at a local marketing firm, said she wanted to talk to her some more. They exchanged numbers. A few days later my friend put in her resignation, and started her new marketing job less than two weeks out of college.
There are three morals to this story.
1. Google voice is awesome.
2. Personal branding MATTERS - you never know who's watching.
3. There is nothing more powerful in the universe than a hot bartender.