In Sandler, one of the things we talk about is disqualifying prospects. If you go into an interaction with a prospect looking for red flags, you're likely to save a lot of headache later.
However, as with all concepts, you can definitely overdo it. We call that literal versus reality. If you're too literal in applying the concepts we teach, and don't adjust them to fit your reality, you can shoot yourself in the foot.
A client of ours who is in online marketing has been with us a number of years, and realized this not too long ago.
One of the things he latched onto fairly early in his journey with us is the fact that he would save a lot of time by disqualifying prospects early on. Before he engaged with us, he was taking on a lot of bad clients. So he quickly started saving himself time and headaches by disqualifying.
However, after about four years of working with us, he finally realized he'd gone to the other extreme. He realized that if the door was open for a conversation, he needed to have that conversation before disqualifying the prospect.
When he began to realize this, several things started to change for him. In one instance, he received an email from a prospect that initially sounded like she wouldn't be a good fit. She wanted a specific type of website, and had specific requirements for the timeframe.
My client could fit either the timeframe or the type of website she wanted, but not both. In the past, he would have disqualified her and simply sent her an email sharing that he wouldn't be a good fit. This time, he called her up and had a conversation instead.
As it turned out, the conversation led to an out-of-the-box solution, where my client would make her a lower-end website that they could get online faster, then upgrade the website later.
Of course, the prospect had no clue that option even existed, so she wouldn't have known to ask for it. Without that conversation, they never could have done business together!
While disqualifying prospects typically prevents a lot of frustration, disqualifying too quickly can lead to lost opportunities. When my client shifted from literal to reality, it made a huge difference.