Closing Techniques

Wikipedia lists the following kinds of closes (asking for and making the sale, getting the order):

Alternative Choice

Alternative Choice close, also called the positive choice close, in which the salesperson presents the prospect with two choices, both of which end in a sale. “Would you prefer that in red or blue?”


The Apology close, in which the salesperson apologizes for not yet closing the sale. “I owe you an apology. Somewhere along the line, I must have left out important information, or in some way left you room for doubt. We both know this product suits your needs perfectly, and so the fault here must be with me.”


The Assumptive close, also known as the presumptive close: in which the salesperson intentionally assumes that the prospect has already agreed to buy, and wraps up the sale. “Just pass me your credit card and I’ll get the paperwork ready.”

Balance Sheet

The Balance Sheet close, also called the Ben Franklin close, in which the salesperson and the prospect build together a pros-and-cons list of whether to buy the product, with the salesperson trying to ensure the pros list is longer than the cons.

Cradle to Grave

The Cradle to Grave close, in which the salesperson undercuts prospect objections that it is too soon to buy by telling them there is never a convenient time in life to make a major purchase, and they must therefore do it anyway.”


The Direct close, in which the salesperson simply directly asks the prospect to buy. Salespeople are discouraged from using this technique unless they are very sure the prospect is ready to commit.


The Indirect close, also known as the question close, in which the salesperson moves to the close with an indirect or soft question. “How do you feel about these terms” or “how does this agreement look to you?”

Minor Point

The Minor Point close, in which the salesperson deliberately gains agreement with the prospect on a minor point, and uses it to assume that the sale is closed. “Would the front door look better painted red? No? Okay, then we’ll leave it the colour it is.”

Negative Assumption

The Negative Assumption close, in which the salesperson asks two final questions, repeating them until he or she achieves the sale. “Do you have any more questions for me?” and “do you see any reason why you wouldn’t buy this product?” This tactic is often used in job interviews.

Possibility of Loss

The Possibility of Loss close, also known as the pressure close, in which the salesperson points out that failing to close could result in missed opportunity, for example because a product may sell out, or its price rise.

Puppy Dog

The Puppy Dog close, in which the salesperson gives the product to the prospect on a trial basis, to test before a sale is agreed upon.

Sales Contest

The Sales Contest close, in which the salesperson offers the prospect a special incentive to close, disarming suspicion with a credible “selfish” justification. “How about if I throw in free shipping? If I make this sale, I’ll win a trip to Spain.”

Sharp Angle

The Sharp Angle close, in which the salesperson responds to a prospect question with a request to close. “Can you get the system up and running within two weeks?” “If I guarantee it, do we have a deal?“