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What is a Reversal Close?

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The reversal close takes the product away from a customer or implies that they can't have it. This is designed to invoke an opposite response in the customer who may insist that they want to buy. The reversal close is a simple example of reverse psychology. It's based on a common behavior known as reactance whereby people tend to react against having their freedom or range or choices restricted.

When to Use

The reversal close is a somewhat rare technique that can be used when the customer seems suspicious of being sold-to. It only applies to products and services that are conceivably in some limited supply. If you have a shop full of bananas it's going to be hard to convince someone they're all reserved.


People are very aware of the idea of reverse psychology and can easily detect a reversal close unless it is executed in a convincing way. On the other hand, if you're too convincing, the customer may actually walk away thinking the product or service isn't available to them.
For this reason, it is often executed in a subtle way rather than just telling the customer they can't have something. For example, taking a product away and putting it back on the shelf while they're looking at it.
The reversal close can easily be perceived as manipulative or just unfriendly and may stand in your way of establishing a positive relationship with the customer.
Next: Reactance

Closing Techniques

This is the complete list of articles we have written about closing techniques.
Active Silence
Assumptive Close
Humor Close
Bias For Action
Reversal Close
Sales Strategy
Call To Action
Door In The Face
Escalating Close
Foot In The Door
Hard Selling
Message Framing
Nudge Theory
Soft Selling
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Closing Techniques

A list of sales closing techniques.

Call To Action

Call to action explained.

Soft Sell vs Hard Sell

The difference between soft selling and hard selling.

Door In The Face

The definition of door-in-the-face with examples.

Lead Generation Examples

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An overview of sales with examples.

Sales Promotion Examples

An overview of sales promotions with examples.

Sales Performance Goals

A list of sales performance goals and measurements.

Distribution Channels

An extensive list of distribution channels.

Distribution Strategy

An overview of distribution strategy with examples.


Examples of common types of customers.

Sales Quota

An overview of sales quotas.
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