Three Is a Magical Number


Our culture is obsessed with the rule of three. No matter where you turn this “odd” grouping presents itself. How did this number line up become part of our daily obsession and what’s the psychology behind it that keeps us captivated? What if there was a way to leverage it’s magic to incorporate into your sales pitch to entice your audience?

According to Wikipedia, the "Rule of three" in writing, states that the text is memorable and having three entities combines both brevity and rhythm with having the smallest amount of information to create a pattern. Things that come in threes are funnier, satisfying or more compelling and effective than other numbers. Here are some examples of this mystifying grouping that we are most familiar with:

  • Three Stooges

  • Three Amigos

  • Three Musketeers

  • Three Blind Mice

  • Three feet in a yard

  • Three Hockey Goals are a Hat Trick

  • Three Books in a Trilogy

  • Three Wise Men

  • Three Flavors in Neapolitan Ice Cream

  • Three energy/calorie sources to the human body: carbohydrates, fats, and protein

  • Three traffic light colors (red, green, yellow)

  • Three colors in the USA flag

  • General garment sizes: small, medium and large

  • Three Hands on a Clock (with the Seconds Hand)

  • The strongest geometric shape is a triangle (having three sides)

  • The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth

  • Hear no Evil, See no Evil, Speak no Evil

To utilize this numeric strategy to help improve your sales presentation opportunities, first begin by asking yourself some hard-hitting questions like, “why should my audience care about my product or service?”. Plus, “what makes my business any different than the competition?” Develop your responses into short sentences that are to the point focusing on the benefits that change lives. Aim to discover a point of difference that your competitor doesn't possess, that’s worth promoting and helps your audience with their desires. Continuously examine and compress your answers, realizing that people have a lack of attention span in today's marketplace. They do not want a long, drawn-out explanation of how great you are. Next, take the consolidated best rationale and place them into only three categories that are simple and clear to comprehend. Lastly, summarize your three differentiators by titling each section with no more than a couple of words or one adjective word for explicit impact.

Working within the rule of three structure will aid in presenting the core benefit information that stands out and also will keep you sharp to what's essential in your sales conversations. You can always ad-lib more of an editorial within each grouping based on your audience's interest. In my experiences, most people will gravitate to two out of the three differentiators and discount the third as not applicable. By applying this numeric rule fascination with your sales message, you will not only capture your audience, but you will paint a clear picture of why your brand is worth praising. Reference this animated music video parody from the classic Schoolhouse Rock series to keep you centered that indeed, "Three Is a Magic Number”:

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