Where Sales Trainers and Selling Experts share advice, tips, and techniques on how to become a sales champion!

How To Deal With Red Flags By Mike Brooks


One of the biggest mistakes 80% of salespeople make when qualifying is to overlook or not react to obvious Red Flags prospects give during the initial call.

In their haste or desperation to “generate a lead” or to “fill their pipeline,” most sales reps hope that the possible objection they just heard will miraculously go away once the prospect sees their information or product or service, etc.

But you all know from experience — it never does. In fact, the law for calling back leads is that:

“Leads Never Get Better.”

What appears to be an objection or deal killer always is.

Someone wrote me once about a prospect who wasn’t calling him back only to find out the prospect was leaving the company. He wrote me and said, “I guess intuitively I knew he wasn’t the right guy to make the decision anyway.”

And I’ll bet he knew intuitively because he heard (but didn’t question!) the Red Flags that came up during the initial qualification call.

So how do you deal with obvious Red Flags? Do what the Top 20% — as soon as you hear something that triggers your intuition or that gives you that sick feeling in your gut, stop and ask the tough questions!

Here’s how you do it:

If someone says that they usually buy from ________, but would like to see your information, ask:

“Why would you switch vendors?” Or

“How many other companies have you looked at in the last six months?”

And then: “And how many did you go with?”

If someone says that they will pass it on to ________, say:

“Thanks. So that I make sure I’m not wasting her time it’s best that I speak with her for just a few minutes. Can you please tell her that (your name) is holding please?” (If you’re then told they are not available, make sure and get their direct line or the person’s extension and keep calling until she picks up.

If someone says that they’d be glad to look at over, ask:

“Great, after you do, if you think that it can help you (or your business, etc.), when would you move on it?”

And so on.

The bottom line is that if you want to close like the Top 20% then you have to start questioning the Red Flags.

Remember: It’s better to disqualify the non buyers early then to spend your time and energy chasing and pitching people who are never going to buy.

Plus it means that you have more time to find real buyers.

So this week, write up questions to the Red Flags you currently get and begin using them! You’ll feel so much stronger as a closer, and you’ll begin making more money. Believe me, it’s a win/win.
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Mike Brooks, Mr. Inside Sales, works with business owners and inside sales reps nationwide teaching them the skills, strategies and techniques of top 20% performance. If you’re looking to catapult your sales, or create a sales team that actually makes their monthly revenues, then learn how by visiting: MrInsideSales.com

-What are your thoughts on the ideas above? Do you have anything you’d like to add along the lines of what was discussed?

PS. If you’re looking for a motivational speaker for your next company meeting or sales rally that is sure to inspire your sales team to great heights click here!

  • This is such great advice…I’ve started questioning the red flags early on and it really does free up more time for me to chase down prospects that are really going to buy. When you questions the red flags, it makes the prospect almost sell you as to why they should be in your pipeline – turn the tables on them!

  •  Jay, glad to hear you enjoyed the article. We’re a better community here with you sharing your comments with us all.  I hope you’ll continue to drop by as time allows.

    -Josh