Closing Technique of the Week: The Ben Franklin Close

Cody Cameron
The Startup
Published in
5 min readSep 18, 2018


How sales, America’s founder, and hundred dollar bills all collide into one masterpiece…

Closing the sale is an art form. My favorite part about closing sales is that each and every single scenario that’ll ever happen is different. That’s why salespeople struggle the most with overcoming objections and ultimately closing the sale. There’s no one single way to do it. It’s actually recommended to have an arsenal of closing techniques along with continually practicing overcoming those objections. This week’s closing technique of the week is The Ben Franklin Close.

This closing technique is as old as time itself… or at least as old as Ben Franklin… or at least as old as the old lady from Happy Gilmore.

Yeah, that old. In all seriousness, the reason this technique is called The Ben Franklin Close is because it involves a pros and cons list. Back in the day Ben Franklin used to love making pros and cons lists.

These lists are an effective tool for getting your thoughts on paper and figuring out what’s important and what you’re worried about. Who knows maybe without these pros and cons lists America would’ve never even understood the importance of declaring their independence from Great Britain? Whether that’s the case or not it doesn’t change the fact that Ben Franklin loved pros and cons lists and that they’re pretty effective.

The Ben Franklin Close (aka The List Close) works great for figuring out what your client values, helps them think of the all the positives, and helps them realize that the cons are a small price to pay for all the benefits.

How It Works

This closing technique will only work if it’s presented correctly. It’s important to realize that the pros should outweigh the cons by at least 2 or 3 times. I recommend sitting down and writing out all the pros that your product or service provides to your clients. Feel free to get creative too! Sometimes your pros have to be something you can’t really measure like how it makes your client feel, the pain it’ll diminish for them, etc.

Present the idea of making a pros and cons list when your client isn’t going with your offer. The hang up could be something like price, sleeping on it, thinking about it, etc. Basically, you use this close when you get a difficult objection that requires logic and breaking down the deal.

The close could sound something like, “(client’s name), I understand you want to go home and think about the deal. I completely agree with a decision as important as this; however, it won’t change the fact that you’ll have to at least make sure that the pros outweigh cons. Now, before you go can we work on one together?”

You’ll want to use this close when your client is right in front of you because you can pull out their objections and start to overcome them. It’s always best to work towards the solution together and it’ll help your client trust you more.

Disclaimer: I recommend doing everything to get the client to come up with the pros and cons themselves. You might have to get the ball rolling but once you do let them do all the talking. It’s important because you might state something that’s a pro for you but a con for them.

You might think your 1 week delivery time frame is awesome but unaware that your competitor has 2 day delivery. The price is one you’ll want to watch out for. You might think your price is very low and fair but it is most likely the thing holding the deal up.

After the List is Made

Once you make a list to get all the pros and cons out you can start to add value. I recommend finding out what the current list is worth to your client in terms of dollars. That way you can work on bridging the gap between what your client believes it’s worth and what the actual cost is. This is important because if your deal costs $5,000 but the client is stuck at $4,500, you aren’t selling $5,000 you’re selling $500. The gap is a lot more manageable from a sales perspective.

You can add value by thinking up some more pros. Remember that some pros might be worthless to your client. For this reason you should ask something like “what’s that worth to you?” after adding another pro. Keep going until you run out of pros.

Once you get the value to outweigh the cost is when you get the sale. Just make sure you ask for it! The best way to ask for the sale during this close is to ask for the close looking for a no answer. It’ll help you close the deal because the word “no” puts your client at ease and gives them the control. You can ask for the sale by saying something like “Now that we completed this list, is there any other reasons not to go ahead right now with the deal?” Be sure to ensure SILENCE.

No means the deal is closed. Yes means you’ll have to ask what’s holding it up and work to overcome that.

If you play your cards right with The Ben Franklin Close you are bound to increase your close rate and revenue. Let this close be a way for you to start mastering the close and becoming an expert in your field.

If you liked this closing technique check out some of my favorites with The Assumptive Close, The If Everything Were the Same Close, or The “If” Close. Or check out some of my best work with the 5 Life Changing Lessons I Learned from Business.

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Be great,

Cody Cameron

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Cody Cameron
The Startup

Entrepreneur, business blogger, and master of sales! Writer for The Startup, top writer in business. Follow me @realcodycameron Website: