How to get more clients with “The Puppy Dog Close”


The Puppy Dog Close is a well-known concept in marketing and sales. Here’s the skinny:

You go into a pet store, just to look. The salesman sees you playing with the puppies in the window. You’re almost there, but the salesman can tell you’re not sure. So he says, “Why don’t you take one of these little fellas home for the weekend. No charge. If it doesn’t work out, bring him back on Monday.”

You bring the puppy home, give him a name and fall in love. There’s no way you’re bringing him back.

The salesman didn’t have to close you, you closed yourself.

You may recognize this approach when you go looking at new cars. The test drive is a form of The Puppy Dog Close.

Okay, so you don’t sell puppies or cars. How can you use this approach in your practice?

The odds are, you already do.

Think about it. Aren’t you giving people a “free sample” of your wisdom when you do a seminar or other presentation? When you write articles or blog posts or give away reports or videos, aren’t you showing people how you think and giving them a sense of what it might be like to work with you?

You also do it when you network. As people get to know you, they begin to like and trust you, and that leads to hiring you or sending you referrals.

If you offer free consultations, prospective clients get a chance to try you out and fall in love with you, or at least the benefits you offer. You help them gain clarity about their problems and the available solutions. You help them see a way out and a way forward and they like you for it. It’s hard for them to walk away from that.

You might want to take this up a notch. In addition to offering free consultations, you might offer a free entry-level service. Prepare a free simple Will, for example, as a gateway to doing a trust or other estate planning services. Give prospective divorce clients the first hour free, so they can see how much value you deliver.

Once a prospective client tries you for an hour, they’re probably not going to take you back to the lawyer store.

Crazy talk? I don’t know. How about giving this idea a try before you say it’s not for you. You might fall in love with this puppy.

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