The Science Of Propinquity And Why It Will Help You Sell More From Featured Author Tom Martin

Published on August 28, 2023 by Sawyer Middeleer

The Science Of Propinquity And Why It Will Help You Sell More From Featured Author Tom Martin

The concept of propinquity, though not a mainstream term in the vocabulary of most sales professionals, holds a powerful relevance in the art and science of selling. Featured author Tom Martin contends that this psychological principle can be instrumental in fostering the kind of proximity and familiarity that can ultimately lead to increased sales. Martin's advocacy for propinquity is rooted in his keen insight into buyer psychology and his understanding of effective selling strategies in the digital age.

To appreciate the potential of propinquity in sales, it's essential to delve into what it means and how it has been historically understood.

Understanding Propinquity

Propinquity, derived from the Latin word "propinquitās" (nearness), refers to the psychological phenomenon where people develop affinities or relationships with those they encounter frequently. In sociology and psychology, the Propinquity Effect states that the greater the physical or psychological proximity between people, the higher the chance they will form friendships or romantic relationships.

In his seminal work, Tom Martin adapts this principle to the world of sales and marketing, stipulating that "the science of propinquity can be harnessed to facilitate the buyer's journey towards making a purchase."

The Science of Propinquity in Sales

Tom Martin’s approach to sales is grounded in leveraging the Propinquity Effect to facilitate multiple ‘touchpoints’ with potential clients. Each interaction increases familiarity and favorability, thereby enhancing the likelihood of a sale.

Here's a step-by-step exploration of how this theory can be applied to sell more effectively:

1. Leverage Multiple Platforms

In today's digital landscape, the concept of proximity has been redefined. Propinquity is not just about physical nearness but extends to virtual platforms. Prospects might come across your content on social media, blogs, podcasts, webinars, or through search engine results. By maintaining a presence across various digital channels, you amplify the opportunities for propinquity with your target audience.

2. Consistency Leads to Familiarity

One of the key tenets of propinquity in sales is consistent engagement. When potential customers repeatedly see your brand's content, whether it's educational, inspirational, or entertaining, they begin to develop a sense of familiarity. This familiarity breeds trust, and trust is a crucial stepping stone on the path to sales.

3. Provide Value at Every Interaction

To truly capitalize on the Propinquity Effect, each interaction should deliver value and position you as a resource, not just a salesperson. As Martin advises, sales reps need to nurture relationships by offering guidance and support, not just pitching products or services. This approach aligns with the 'give-to-get' method, where providing free, valuable content leads to reciprocal engagement from prospects.

4. Map Out Consumer Touchpoints

Understanding the typical journey your customers take from discovery to purchase can inform where to establish these propinquity channels. Martin suggests that by creating touchpoints along this journey, sellers can subtly guide prospects toward a purchasing decision. This might involve targeted ads that follow a website visit or personalized follow-up emails after a webinar.

5. Tailored Communication

The effectiveness of propinquity is magnified when interactions are tailored to the needs and preferences of the prospective buyer. Personalization goes beyond addressing someone by their first name; it means crafting content and messaging that speaks to their specific pain points, desires, or industry challenges.

6. Reciprocity and Interaction

Encouraging a two-way dialogue is integral to building propinquity. Sales strategies should emphasize avenues for potential clients to interact with the brand, provide feedback, or have their questions answered. Interactive features such as chatbots, forums, or comment sections on blogs can foster a sense of community and connection.

7. Monitor and Adapt

Measuring the impact of your propinquity-based strategies is crucial. Analytics and CRM tools can help you understand which interactions are leading to conversions and which might require tweaking. Continuously improving your approach ensures that the Propinquity Effect is being fully harnessed.

8. Authenticity Shines Through

Tom Martin stresses the importance of authenticity in all propinquity-based interactions. In an age where consumers are constantly bombarded with marketing messages, an authentic voice stands out. Genuine engagement, sincere communication, and honest value provision are crucial for positive propinquity.


The science of propinquity represents a paradigm shift in selling from a transactional mindset to one of relationship building. By incorporating the principles highlighted by Tom Martin, sales professionals can nurture relationships with prospects in a more organic, seamless way. These continuous touchpoints, rooted in value and authenticity, deliver omnipresence that can subconsciously drive individuals closer to the decision of doing business with you.

Whether it's through content marketing, social selling, or traditional networking, understanding and harnessing the power of propinquity can be a decisive factor in amplifying your sales success. As the digital sphere evolves and the face of sales continues to change, those who can skillfully cultivate nearness – both in the physical and psychological realms – will remain a step ahead in the game of selling.

Take your workflow to the next level