Understanding the Rule of Three

When you want to convince people to say “yes,” don’t just give them one or two reasons to do so. Give them three.

People love to hear things in threes. Psychologists have no idea why, but two seems like too few and four seems like too many. So three is perfect.

What this means to you is this: When you tell somebody that there are three reasons why they should take you up on your offer — or follow your suggestion — they’ll listen to you more. Why? Because people love lists. Look at the magazines as you are checking out at the grocery store. Nearly every cover will tout “three ways to do this,” “five ways to do that” and “seven ways to do something else.”

When you tell someone, “You know, there really are three reasons why we should go this way,” that person’s mind automatically shifts into “here’s a list” mode. And he or she will pay attention.

You know what else the Rule of Three does for you? It dramatically and almost instantaneously improves your credibility. When you tell someone that there are three reasons why they should take you up on your offer, that person realizes “Huh, now here is somebody who has considered this issue. He has three reasons.”

So there you have it. How do you get someone to say “yes” to you? Give them three reasons.

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