A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from March 01, 2019
Puppy Dog Close (sales technique)

The “puppy dog close” is a popular sales technique that originated with pet store owners. A customer is told that he or she can take the puppy home for a few days to try it out. After the family becomes attached to the puppy, it’s impossible to return it back to the store. The “try-it-at-home” technique is also used for car sales, among other products.

The term “puppy dog close” has been cited in print since at least 1974. A 1990 book (below) says that it’s also called a “kitty cat close,” but that term is rare.

Wikipedia: Closing (sales)
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.

18 May 1974, The Financial Post (Toronto, ON), “Taking ‘no’ for an answer” by Susan Goldenberg, pg. E-6, cols. 1-2:
A popular sales technique is the “puppy dog close” in which salespeople suggest potential buyers try out the product for a few days on the chance they’ll come to depend on it. The expression is based on the sales technique of pet shops which often suggest a family take a puppy home for the weekend on a trial basis, knowing that the family likely will fall in love with the dog.

Google Books
Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale
By Zig Ziglar
New York, NY: Berkley Books
Pg. 192:
It wasn’t until that afternoon while I was jogging that I realized she had used the old “Puppy Dog” Close on me.

March 1985, Ladies’ Home Journal (New York, NY), “How to be a smart shopper” by Carol Krucoff, pg. 48, col. 2:
“A second common technique, Jacoby (Jacob Jacoby, director of the Institute of Retail Management at New York University—ed.) says, is the puppy-dog close. It’s used by car dealers who tell a customer, ‘Take it home and enjoy it for a while.’”

This technique exploits the fondness most people develop for a new vehicle as well as the pressure of having neighbors see a new car.

“Did you ever give back a puppy after you’ve taken it home?” Jacoby asks.

9 June 1986, Wall Street Journal (New York, NY), “Manager’s Journal: If the Japanese Beat You Out, Don’t Credit Their Sales Force” by Robert White, pg. 20, col. 6:
“Here’s how the “puppy dog close” works: The pet shop owner says: “Just take that puppy home for a few days and see how it goes; then, if you’re not satisfied, we’ll be happy to take him back.” Hearts stony enough to resist a wagging tail are few indeed.

Google Books
Telemarketing Skills Training Manual
By Sandra Ambrose and Daniel Hellmuth
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall
Pg. 119:
The Puppy Dog Close
This close is sometimes called the Kitty Cat Close. You know how to use it because it’s been used on you before. Just let your prospect take it home and try it overnight. He’ll become so attached to it, it’s sold for sure.

Google Groups: alt.war.vietnam
Reading Joe Bangert and the Winter Soldier Follies 02
Patrick T.
On Tue, 8 May 2001 10:52:34 -0700, “Lee P.” wrote:

Oh, we are going to lead off with the rabbit close. That is similar to the puppy dog close where you give someone a puppy for a week and then come back and take it away from them.  They will want to go to war over that little puppy.  It teaches them the killing instinct needed to fight a division of NVA.

Mike Cunningham
Replying to @DonnaFox
@DonnaFox Puppy Dog Close. Is that the one like “take it home for the weekend see how the family likes it?”
3:51 PM - 7 Jun 2008

Model the ‘Puppy-Dog Close’ Technique
Letting customers take your product home on a trial basis may clinch the sale.

Sydney Barrows
March 19, 2010
Take the so-called puppy-dog close, one of the most powerful sales techniques ever invented (and it’s totally based on customer experience). This is how it works:

A customer is in the pet store with a child who is begging for a puppy. Not at all sure this is such a great idea, or perhaps not sure if this particular puppy is the right fit, the customer will not commit to the purchase. The savvy salesperson offers to let them take the puppy home for a few days, assuring the parent that the puppy can be returned, no questions asked, and a refund cheerfully given if they decide they don’t wish to keep it.

How could you say no to such a reasonable offer, especially with your child right there with those expectant eyes?

Of course, the child falls in love with the new pet, and there’s no way the parent can return the dog to the store. Sold: one puppy. It’s that simple.

Tesla Online Sales — Bigger News Than $35,000 Model 3
March 1st, 2019 by Steve Hanley
In sales, this is known as the puppy dog close. Let the customer take the product home and live with it for a while. Not 1 in 1000 will give it back. Why? “The feel of the wheel seals the deal,” goes one old saying in the car business.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Friday, March 01, 2019 • Permalink