The Dirty Dozen Closes (part 2)

by Michael D. Hargrove     


These are the twelve most commonly used closes in the sales industry.

Now, don’t ask me what research firm did the preliminary data acquisition work or what market segments were included, or was a control group used, etc. As far as the “top twelve commonly used” is concerned, I’m guessing, okay? Actually, I was just stumped for a good “opening grabber line” and grew tired of just sitting here, so sue me.

These are just a few of the most common closing strategies shared at the workshops we’ve conducted all across North America. Please keep in mind that nothing works all the time, and no one thing will work for everybody. Each of these strategies, of course, need to be tailored to the individual user, to the specific customer, and the particular situation. Also, this is by no means the definitive work on closing and it’s not intended to be. Heck, some of these things are older than dirt and some of them (in my opinion) deserve the thick dust that’s resting on them.

But don’t let my personal bias sway you at all. Just because something would never work on us is no reason not to have it in our toolbox. Remember, if all we have are tools that would work on us, then all we’ll ever do is close people who are like us. That’s the quickest way to an income rut that I know of. Besides, some very talented salespeople have told me that they make these strategies work for them. If they can use them successfully, then so can we. So here are the last six.

Buying Criteria Close

1. Summarize how our car satisfies our customer’s dominate buying motives.

a. “You said that your wife will be driving this most of the time didn’t you?” “Yes, I did.” “Both of your sons are with her most of the time too, right?” “Yes” “With the dual airbags, the Antilock Braking system, the impact zones and the All-Wheel Drive we talked about, wouldn’t you agree that this provides all the safety you were hoping to find for your family?” “Yes, definitely.” “Great! Then sounds to me like the only decision you need to make is how to register your new car…did you want it in both names or just your name?”

The Assumptive Close
1. Assume the sale and end with a control question.

a. “Sounds like we’ve found just the right truck for you Dave, let’s get you out of here so you can take this thing fishing. Did you want to register it in one name or two?”

b. “Come on inside and we’ll wrap this thing up so you can start showing off your new car. Did you want to pay cash or finance a balance?”


Ben Franklin Close
1. Simply list all the pros & cons of the purchase today.

a. “I’ve long considered Ben Franklin to be one of this country’s greatest thinkers. I think most people do. Did you know he was America’s first millionaire? Whenever he was faced with an important decision he would take a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle (you draw a line down the middle of a piece of blank paper or the back of the worksheet) on the left he’d write “PROS” and on the right he’d write “CONS” (you do the same thing) then he’d think of all the reasons why he should do a thing and all the reasons he shouldn’t do a thing. Then he’d total them up at the end and his decision would be made for him. Let’s try it and see what happens.”

b. We give our customer the pen and help them with all the reasons why they should buy today.
1a. hint: use the dominate buying motives too!

c. Let them think of reasons not to buy today alone.

d. Then use an assumptive close.
1a. “Well, looks like the answer’s fairly obvious…did you want that registered in the company name or your name?”


Value Added Close
1. Allow our customer to win in the negotiations by making a small concession.

a. “We just couldn’t get that last $400 discount, but I think we can get the manager to be a little more flexible. I think we can get her to throw in a car cover or a set of carpet floor mats. Which would you prefer?”

b. When our customer makes a choice, they’ve bought.

c. We may have to predetermine this technique with management, of course.


Instant Reverse Close
1. When our customer states an objection, simply use it as the very reason they should proceed and ask them under these conditions what they would do to sell themselves a vehicle.

a. “I can’t buy today, you don’t have the color I want.” We say: “That’s exactly why you should do business today!” “What?!!” “Put yourself in the sales manager’s shoes, what would you have to do to get this person to buy a car in stock from you today?”

b. “I’d never buy another car from this place, your service department sucks!” We say: “That’s exactly why you should do business with us again!!” “What?!!” “Mr. Johnson, put yourself in the owner’s shoes, if you had a customer that wasn’t satisfied with your service department what would you do to get a second chance at that customer’s business?”

c. Our customer will then tell us what has to occur in order to get their business.


Change Places Close
1. If our customer won’t give us a reason why they won’t buy today say:

“Mr. Sanchez, would you please put yourself in my situation for just a moment and imagine you’re talking with someone you really respect. You have presented to them an excellent product at an outstanding price and they won’t commit one way or another and they won’t give you a reason why. What would you do if you were in my shoes?”

a. Our customer should then tell us what the objection is.

b. If they still don’t, simply ask: “We’re really talking about the money, aren’t we?”

© Copyright 2013 by Michael D. Hargrove and Bottom Line Underwriters, Inc. All rights reserved. Michael D. Hargrove is the founder and president of Bottom Line Underwriters Inc.

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