How to Help Buyers Avoid Information Overload

Discover tips you can use to help prospective buyers avoid information overload during their journey, helping you establish credibility and trust.

January 26, 2017

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The evolution of the buyer’s journey has changed the way we interact with prospects. Gone are the days when buyers seek out salespeople to learn about potential solutions. Today’s buyers prefer to educate themselves, without help from sales.

Advancements in social media, content marketing, and search engines are only accelerating this trend. It’s not just that buyers have the ability to self-educate. They have options. In the span of two decades, we’ve gone from “How do I find this information?” to “Of all this information available, which is the most relevant? And how can I be sure?”

Today’s sales pros are faced with a different question as well: How can I help my prospects avoid information overload so they can make better decisions?

To answer this question, we need to first understand where our buyers are in their journey. Only then can we deliver insights that help buyers advance to their next step with confidence. In this post, we provide a few tips for helping prospective buyers avoid information overload during the awareness, consideration, and decision phases of their journey.

Awareness:

This is when the buyer identifies a need. At this point in their journey, the buyer likely doesn’t know who you are or whether your organization can satisfy their need.

This is when it can be helpful to share or post “getting started” or “101-level” content that helps buyers better understand the options before them. Decision-making criteria is helpful in this phase.

It’s a good idea to regularly share and post this type of content on social media because it allows buyers to find you via search and sharing. Because you can see who interacts with this type content on LinkedIn, chances are you will identify a few early-stage prospects.

This is also the perfect type of content to share with early-stage buyers after an initial interaction. The more convenient you can make it for them, the better. For example, “I’m sharing this guide with you because customers who were in the same position as you told me it was helpful, particularly the needs analysis on page seven.” 

Helpful almost always beats persuasive during the consideration phase because it allows you to establish credibility and trust, which will come in handy during the next two phases.

Consideration:

Once a buyer has narrowed their list of a potential solutions, they enter the consideration phase. Once in the consideration phase, the buyer begins to boil down their research in order to apply it specifically to the solutions they’re pondering. In other words, they’re beginning to compare your company to your competitors.

The consideration phase creates great potential for information overload. While the competition showers your prospect with a litany of reasons why they are the perfect solution to their problem, you can continue to be the voice of reason, leveraging the trust you’ve accrued earlier in the process.

As you did in the awareness stage, make sure you continue to build the relationship. Instead of overwhelming the buyer with content, aim to become the buyer’s partner. Continue to ask clarifying questions so that you’re equipped to provide the most insightful information, not the most information. See yourself more as a consultant in their purchasing decision as opposed to the vendor. You don’t need (or want) to deliver every persuasive insight at your disposal, just the insights your prospect cares about.

Decision:

By now your buyer should be sufficiently informed, but be ready to answer any new questions that may arise from late arriving stakeholders. Desperate competitors can also make new claims, and this is when it’s nice to have extra cards in your hand (i.e. those insights your buyer didn’t care about before, but does now).

If the buyer chooses your organization, time to celebrate by continuing to strengthen relationships post-purchase. After all, the biggest win is turning customers into a referral-generating advocates. And why wouldn’t they refer you? You’re a trustworthy, time-respecting partner who helps buyers overcome information overload, not get lost in it.

Help buyers overcome information overload by measuring and improving your sales performance on LinkedIn. The Social Selling Index Kit will show you how.