The 17 Greatest Sales Closes of All Time, Part 3

Oct. 1, 2005
s time to take your sales closing ability to a new level with the 17 greatest sales closes of all time. In this editon, we'll cover the secrets of the

It’s time to take your sales closing ability to a new level with the 17 greatest sales closes of all time. In this editon, we'll cover the secrets of the "Alternate of Choice Close" and the "Ben Franklin Close."

Great Sales Close #5: The Alternate of Choice Close

This close is so natural that it’s hard to resist. It’s also quite logical and usually avoids the sticking point of “Let me think about it” since you’re asking a direct question.

As with some of the other closes we’ve covered, here we use small, seemingly insignificant details and questions to help mold and shape our presentation. It’s then filled in with positive answers, leaving the customer with the feeling of ownership.

Basically, you’re giving the prospect a choice between two things, with either answer being a sale for you. This can be used right at the last for an installation schedule, or on the way to the close.

On the way to set up the close:

  • “Since our pricing falls in line with your budget, which do you prefer, a (Brand) or a (Brand) system?”
  • “Would the standard, round thermostat be better, or do you prefer a digital, programmable thermostat?”
  • “We have 90 days same as cash, or I may be able to get you 6 full months with no payment. Which would help you more?”

In your progress toward the close, these “alternate of choices” have allowed the customer to personally select “their” system. They feel in control of these choices, and if they ask for your input on helping them, you’re stepping more into the advisory/expert role with each query. This builds their confidence and trust in you.

As a closing point:

  • “Did you want to put a deposit using a check or a credit card?”
  • “I believe we’ve covered all the points you mentioned, and we can set up installation around your schedule. Would Tuesday or Thursday be better for you?”

Remember, when you’ve covered the details and overcome any objections,, you can close your prospect naturally with the Alternate of Choice method. Either answer is the same as “Sold!”

Great Sales Close #6: The Ben Franklin Close

How can you go wrong using the sales close named after one of history’s greatest Americans? Benjamin Franklin, in his wisdom, used to make difficult decisions by dividing a paper into two sides and listing the pros and cons on each side. After he had listed them out, he would weigh the two sides and let the facts make his choice for him.

You can help your customers by doing the exact same thing. It takes the “selling” out of the decision, while it also takes the pressure off prospects who are overwhelmed with, “What system do I choose?”

Let Ben Franklin help. Use a a scratch sheet, or even the back of your proposal, to show the prospect thebenefits that can be found with only your company’s offer, or on the upsell benefits. Here’s an example:


  • Number of years in business (if superior to your competitior)
  • Guaranteed same day service
  • Five-year parts AND labor warranty
  • A comfort guarantee
  • Available six months same as cash financing
  • An energy savings guarantee
  • Free service agreement
  • Free professional cleaning in one year
  • Free precision tune-up after one year


  • On this side, list any of the "pros" that both you and the other contractor offer. Remember, this is a pros and cons list of buying from you. Just make sure your pros list is longer!

Sometimes you can ask, “What are some ideas ‘against’ on this side?” In that instant, you’ll hear them say perhaps the only thing they can think of, which may be price.

Then you’d break that price into the difference between your price and that of whomever is your competitor. From then on, only speak of the difference in price, not the whole amount. Such as, “Well, for $625 difference, you’re getting guaranteed benefits of $325 on energy per year, plus two services here that another company would charge you another $200 for, so that brings us to just $100 for all these other benefits. Doesn’t it make sense to get the system you want for $100?”

If you get no objection on the “con” side, you can also ask a simple trial closing question. “Considering that no other company is willing to offer these benefits and services, do you want to settle for less considering how much time you and your family spends in your home?”

If you do, however, get some resistance, strengthen your position by restating the important gains in the "pro" column. You should know the items that are most important to the prospect based on the initial comfort survey you did at their home. Then say, “Mr. Homeowner, these benefits give you the comfort solution that you’d hoped to get in your comfort survey. Since it appears you’ve found your solution, how soon do you want to get these benefits?”

Ben Franklin helps you put your advantages in front of the customer to close the deal.

Adams Hudson is president of Hudson, Ink, a creative marketing firm for contractors. Readers can get a free marketing newsletter and a free 16-page report called “Get More Leads in Less Time” by faxing their letterhead with the request to 334/262-1115 or emailing to [email protected]. You can also call Hudson, Ink at 800/489-9099 for help or visit for other free marketing articles and reports.