What is a Puppy Dog Close sales technique: definition and tips

Puppy dog close is a sales technique allowing prospects to test the product or service for several days before making a decision. It offers a free trial or a test period before clients agree to close a deal. This technique relieves pressure and develops a trusting rapport with customers.

According to the prospects’ experience, allowing them to try out a product with no obligations is one of the most powerful sales techniques ever invented. It can be a very effective closing tool when used properly.​

Puppy dog close origin

Puppy dog close is based on a method that pet store sales representatives use to sell puppies. Picture this: a lovely family comes to a pet shop with a child who falls in love with a cute puppy. Doubting to buy it, they will most likely go away to think it over (which they rarely do). 

But what if a seller offers them to take the puppy home for a couple of days, assuring that the parents can return it without any questions and get a full refund unless they decide to keep it? How can you say no to that? Everyone will love a new purchase, and there will be no need to return it. 

This is how it works. You give customers a thing to live with for a while, they get used to it, then can’t live without it, and must buy it. 

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How to succeed using a puppy dog close technique

Remember, your prospects don’t know how great you are until they have worked with you. You can do your best telling that you’re reliable and your product is exactly what they need. But these are just words until your clients have actually felt themselves how you do what you do.

Use emotions

The puppy dog close technique is based on emotions. Such sales are considered a powerful tool in business since we tend to buy on emotion. Understanding how to arouse emotions in your prospects will help communicate value to them, reassure your product is the best option, and lead to a purchase.

Choose the format

Think about how you can implement the puppy dog close method in your business field to give your customers the opportunity to test your product. Let them take it home and live with it or create small samples or demos so that prospects want to return to buy the full version. 

For B2B SaaS solutions, the puppy dog close technique works best when you offer a trial period. Make sure your product can be provided as a “test drive” and has appropriate features and benefits. 

Set the trial time

Let users try your product or service for a small period – two weeks or a month. As soon as they test everything, like the way it works, get used to it, and don’t imagine their life without it, they will buy it.

Focus on benefits and value

Ensure you can provide benefits to your clients in a very short timeframe. Otherwise, they won’t feel the need to buy from you since they won’t see value in your solution. If your product requires a month-long onboarding process, this sales technique won’t work for you. 

Connect with your clients

It’s equally essential to build a rapport with your customers, not trying to trick them into buying something. Very often, the puppy dog close technique is perceived as manipulation. Your task is to provide a high-quality service to show your credibility not only through the trial period. 

Wrapping it up

Using the puppy dog close method, sales reps give the product or service to prospects on a trial basis to test everything before closing a sale. Just give it a try. Your prospects might take the “puppy” home.

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