The theory is basically this...
When you approach a women in a bar with your best "value adding" line (which by the way should not appear to convey interest any more than sales copy should convey desperation), the first thing that starts taking place in the minds of most women is a thought process that goes something like this... Who is this guy, why is he telling me this, is he weird, etc.
As the guy in this situation your job is to disarm the women by making that part of her mind stop asking those questions as soon as possible. Once disarmed, she is much more likely to follow your line of interaction. This is achieved by "rooting the opener". In other words, connecting the fact that you are speaking to her with some logical "non-creepy" reason. This causes her to TURN OFF the repel instinct. If she is not repelling you then you have a much better chance of building a rapport.
For example, if you were sitting at a bar and you leaned in and said, Hi, what's your name?, chances are she would immediately think that you were some desperate guy who wanted to sleep with her. She would be right, and likely turned off.
On the other hand, if you were sitting with a friend having a fun conversation and you simply leaned over nonchalantly and asked the woman if she would settle a debate you and your friend were having, this would in effect "root" or "anchor" the reason that you are interacting and instill much more initial comfort than the former approach.
If you then continued adding value by being interesting, a good listener, having high self esteem, or demonstrating any number of things that convey that you are "good for her survival", the relationship would likely progress.
When I see the marketing that most internet marketers are putting out there, I think this is the single greatest thing that most people are missing. The same thing is happening when people land on our opt in pages, read our sales copy, or even a post like this one.
Even when the content is good, our brain still immediately asks, what is he/she trying to sell me, where is the catch, how much is this going to cost?, and we start to feel resentment, and then we click away.
Now, of course (at least to some degree) the truth is that I'm writing this because I want you to click on the link in my signature below, opt in, and maybe one day buy my stuff. But that doesn't mean that I'm not ALSO a good dude, with good products, who actually gives a damn about you and your success in life. BUT, if I just came out and told you that I had amazing products that would change your life, chances are your brain would smell a rat and bail out almost immediately. That's the importance of rooting the opener.
It's surprisingly difficult to turn off that cheesy salesman we all grew up watching on a thousand old commercials. We hate sales pitches when we experience them from the buyer stand point, but when we become the seller we suddenly turn into complete cheese balls. No one likes that guy. So why do so many marketers become that guy the second they start typing out their articles, blog posts and sales pages? It's amazing how much utter CRAP is out there.
My point is this... as marketers we need to learn to effectively "root our openers". Writing good copy is ABSOLUTELY an art form and there is more to it than just the point I am making here. But simply giving context to your copy makes what would otherwise come off as a sales pitch, suddenly become a story. Stories are fun. Sales copy is LAME.
Just like with women, your opener is everything. If you lose her in the first few seconds, chances are she's gone for good. If you are able to disarm and engage her, then at least you have a fighting chance. The same is true of capturing the interest of a sales prospect.
I don't know if that's worth anything to anyone but it was nice to put my fingers to the keyboard and get that little rant down in a post.
Now... go back up to the top of this post, read the first paragraph and see what I mean.