Combat The Closing Techniques - The Puppy Dog Close

Combating the Closing Techniques is a new series at Eliminate the Muda! This series explores the tactics companies and salespeople use to separate us from our cash. For background, you may want to read the post that originated this concept, Marketing or Manipulation, featured on Financial Samurai.

Money, Saving, Avoiding Sales Techniques, Puppy-Dog-CloseWas it a tornado that blasted through the front door? The door crashed hard against the wall before slamming shut again with a rebound. Feet pounded across the floor with the cadence of a hummingbird’s heartbeat. Little Sally nearly runs her mother over as she comes to a screeching halt, sliding across the kitchen floor.

Excitement was evident on her face. Her body was jittery; her feet continued shuffling in place, gibberish flows from her lips as she tried to get control over thoughts.

Suddenly, her manner changes from excitement to sadness, the lower lip puffs out as the eyes slowly drop to the floor. Sally takes a deep breath and finally blurts out “The puppy will die if we don’t help it! He’ll be all alone. Please mommy, pretty please can I bring a puppy home from class? It is just for the weekend. My teacher has to go out of town and she needs us to take care of her puppies.”

This article was picked as a top 10 in the Best of Money Carnival hosted by Canadian Personal Finance Blog. Please check out this carnival for many other great articles about personal finance.

Make sure you link to the Financial Samurai for the rest of the story!

As a parent, you know where this is going. The teacher has to go on a “trip”, so she is asking the kids to help out “just for the weekend.” What are the chances after a weekend of bonding with a cute puppy that Sally can be separated from it? What you have is an ingenious teacher and a new pet at home.

Hence the name: Puppy Dog Close.

The puppy dog close is a simple one taken from the pet industry. This technique encourages a customer to take a puppy home for a “free trail.” Making a major commitment such as owning a puppy is not an easy decision. The idea behind this closing technique is to walk you through the sales process slowly, one step at a time allowing you to connect with your purchase decision through an emotional attachment.

At first you are provided the no risk offer; “you are welcome to take the puppy home.”  You spend the afternoon having blast chasing it around the yard trying to teach the puppy its first trick. That evening you spend cuddling with this wonderfully soft and warm puppy. The next morning it wakes you up licking your toes. How sweet would this be? Irresistible is what the pet store hopes!

With each unique interaction you are one step closer to ultimate commitment. The salesperson had to do nothing but let you take the puppy home. In the end, the puppy is the one that sold you.

This same technique works with other products and services as well. Take the puppy out of the story and insert a car, exercise equipment or a vacuum.

A new vacuum is certain to suck better than your old clogged unit. As it glides across the floor and does its magic it makes your house feel new all over again.

Compared to your old jalopy a new car; with that fresh smell, instant torque and comfy seats will be hard to return to the dealer.

With a treadmill in the spare room to run on, you’ll be convinced how convenient it will be to use it every day. You are sure you will lose weight and get buff in no time with your own exercise equipment!

Fighting Back

Walking into a car dealership, you know if you are really in the market to buy. You might step into a pet shop only out of curiosity or because you are a genuine animal lover. Just because you want to see the cute puppies, it does not mean that you are ready to commit to taking care of one.

Understanding the intention of the puppy dog close means you will be prepared to prevent yourself from falling for it. When the clerk puts that soft little yellow lab in your hands and gently suggests that you take it home, “just for the night,” treat them like the drug dealer that they are and just say NO! Run like the wind because if you are weak and you succumb to the desire odds are you have just adopted another mouth to feed!

When you see that cool Vortex air vacuum that has a ball, not wheels and comes with a 30 day free trial… Just say NO!

If the dealership offers to let you drive that new BMW 650i home to show the wife… Just say NO!

Use the Puppy Dog Close to your advantage

If you are going to spend money, make sure it is money well spent!

So you really want a puppy or a new car? If so, leverage this technique to your advantage. Even if you have the cash in hand and you are ready to buy, ask to take that 650i for the weekend. Make sure it is everything you expect before you commit.

Demand that you take the puppy home for a couple of days to make sure it is not too timid or a natural barker. Take the time to really analyze its character traits or verify it is compatible with the other animals kids in the house.

Use the Puppy Dog Close Yourself

Maybe you can use this technique yourself. Are you one of the unfortunate that have found yourself looking for a job? Is there a company that you really want to work for, but they have said there are no current openings? Use the puppy dog close!

Stand out from the competition. Tell the prospective employer that you understand their current situation. Explain how you would make a great fit in their organization “when a position opens up.” Then offer to work for them, for free, for a couple days. After all, you have time on your hand, you say. Spending a couple of days working will give you a chance to really learn the organization intimately and will give a chance for the employer to see what a great asset you will be.

Of course, if they take you up on the offer be prepared to run around, play hard, learn some new tricks, be soft and cuddly and willing to lick their toes to show them how much better life is with you than without you!

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photo by Gore Fiendus

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