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Tom Hopkins Closing Techniques For Essays

When your potential clients say something just costs too much, it’s often just a stall. However, it’s a good sign because it means they’re feeling motivated to own your product or service. (They didn’t say, “it’s not right for us” or “we don’t want it.”) They now need your help to justify or rationalize going ahead.

Your first move is to use the Reduction to the Ridiculous close (in the June issue) to get them thinking about the smallest amount of money that’s holding them back. If the fact that the amount is kind of ridiculous doesn’t overcome their concern, your next step is to us the Oblique Comparison Close. It is simply a strategy where you compare that small daily or hourly amount to something they might consider doing or giving up that costs the same amount in order to gain the benefits of your product.

The phraseology might sound something like this, “John and Mary, you seem to really want this new living room suite. With the investment being only $2.25 per day more than you had originally hoped, what do you think you could do to come up with that extra amount? Think about how you spend your money on a daily basis. What might you be willing to give up in order to have these beautiful pieces in your living room?”

Chances are good that if you’re talking with a couple, one of them will pick on another’s bad coffee habit or waste of gasoline running oddball errands instead of grouping them together. Or, they may just decide to cut back on their consumption of soda or sweets. It doesn’t matter how they do it, what matters is that they are the ones talking themselves into owning the furniture at this point. Your work is done…all except the paperwork.

To read all of my closes, get a copy of Sales Closing for Dummies. To listen to them delivered and learn how to write your own, listen to my audio titled, Academy of Master Closing — available in both CD and MP3.

This information is copyrighted by Tom Hopkins International, Inc. for reprint permission, contact Judy Slack (

Alternative Close


Techniques > Sales > Closing techniques > Alternative Close

Technique | How it works | See also



The alternative close works by offering more than one clearly defined alternative to the customer.

The number of alternative should be very few - two or three is often quite adequate. If you offer too many alternatives, the customer will then be faced with a more complex problem of how they choose between the many alternatives offered.

Note that this technique works well in many different situations where you are seeking agreement, and not just selling products.

An extra technique that can be effective is to add a slight nod when offering the preferred choice. This can be accompanied by subtle verbal emphasis on the words.


Would you prefer the red one or the yellow one?

Would you like one packet or two?

Which of these three instruments seems best for you?

Shall we meet next week or the week after?

How it works

The Alternative Close is a variant on the broader-based Assumptive Close and works primarily through the assumption principle, where you act as if the customer has already decided to buy, and the only question left is which of a limited number of options they should choose.

See also

Assumptive Close

Assumption principle

Books on Sales Closing



Sales Books