An Oldie But a Goody: The Puppy Dog Close

By Mark Bowser

Photo by T.R. Photography on Unsplash

The Puppy Dog Close is one of the oldest and still most effective closes of all time. It gets its name from the technique that pet store owners used for many, many years. This is how it worked: A young family would come into the pet store. Soon, the kids would be playing with the puppies the store owner had in a pen. This pen was designed for that exact purpose.

It didn’t take long for the kids to start pleading with their parents, “Please, Mom and Dad. Can we have a puppy? We promise to take care of it. We promise! Can we please have a puppy?”

That is when the pet store owner would step into the discussion. He would say to the parents, “Why don’t you just take the puppy home for a couple of days. Just see how it goes. If then you decide that you don’t want the puppy then just return it. How does that sound?”

The parents agree and they take the puppy home. Two days later the entire family, including the parents, have fallen in love with the puppy. And the pet store owner has another sale. 

I have used this technique quite effectively myself. For example, I once sold eight days of training seminars through this technique. I offered the prospect a free sample seminar. By the time they got a taste of the value they would be receiving, they went ahead and invested in eight days.

The key to the Puppy Dog Close is that the decision maker(s) has to be present for the “free sample.” If they aren’t present, it won’t work. I have had it backfire too. One day when I showed up to give the sample seminar I discovered that the decision maker, all of a sudden, had another commitment. The Puppy Dog Close is a classic that works very well as long as the decision maker is present for the experience. 

Why don’t you just give this close a try for a couple of days … if you don’t like it then you can return it. Thanks for reading today. Make it a Great Selling Day!

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*Book Mark Bowser: Mark Bowser is one of the top Professional Speakers in the United States. He is a Sales & Leadership expert who has trained some of the world’s top organizations including Dell Computers, Southwest Airlines, United States Marine Corps, Ford Motor Company, and many, many more! He is the author of several books including Sales Success with Zig Ziglar and Scott McKain. To schedule him for your next conference or training event then email or visit


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