Our brain builds patterns to avoid problems by solving them and the number 3 is the most simple pattern. Listing 3 things will get the brain thinking but as it’s the most simple pattern it is easy enough for the brain to solve quickly and comfortably. If you want to get someone to make a quick decision give them 3 options, they won’t commit if you give them 1 or 2 options and they’ll spend a lot of time deliberating if you give them 4 or more options.
Our brains are also evolved in a way to protect us from harm. As part of our protection system, we like to have choices. If you don’t have a choice in a dangerous situation, you may not find a way out of it.
On the other hand, our brains also know that if you have too many choices, you often get confused. If you are confused, you may make the wrong choice, which could cause serious harm. Take Goldilocks for example, three choices enable us to avoid the ones that are too hot and too cold, too big and too small, and select the one that is just right.
To tap into this protection mechanism in the human brain, marketers should recognize this.
Please note that humans short term memory can only remember 3 things, so as recruiters you should always present 3 clients to candidates and 3 candidates to clients, sell 3 USP’s of these candidate and clients and give them our opinion using 3 reasons why.