Strange Re-Tales: The Puppy Dog Close

My dog is very persuasive. Look at those eyes. How could you say no?

There are a lot of ways to close a sale. The shelves of the business section of the bookstore are full of volumes on how to close more deals.

Even when you account for the fact that every sales guru who puts up a shingle and starts selling books and seminars gives a different name to each closing style there’s still dozens of ways to ask for the sale.

The one I’m going to talk about is the one that I’ve always had the least respect for, and avoided using, even to this day.

It’s the Puppy Dog Close.

And it goes like this: the client is intrigued, but still on the fence and not certain they want to proceed.

That’s when the salesperson says “Mr. Customer, I think you’ll love it. So tell you what: why don’t you take it, try it over the weekend, and if you don’t like it, bring it back?”

The idea being that once you take it home you won’t be able to bear the thought of giving it up.

Like any tool in your toolbox, I suppose that it has its place.

If I’m being honest with myself I think my disdain for the puppy dog close is because I used to have a co-worker – I’ll call him “Don” – who used to take it way too far.

It felt like Don Puppy-dogged EVERY customer of his. The reason I say that is because our stock room was full of repacks from Don’s returns when the customer tried it for the weekend and decided that yes, they could bear to give it up.

The thing about repacks is that they’re no longer brand new. They’re used. That means when you sell them again, you’ll probably have to discount them.

We had one projector in our stock room that Don had sold THREE TIMES, and every time it came back.

This caused some frustration for our General Manager.

Anyway, I’m not going to tell you to never Puppy-dog your clients. Even I have done it from time to time and it’s hardly ever backfired on me.

Just use some discretion and don’t treat it like a crutch.