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How Do You Sell To The Overwhelmed Customer?

Profile photo of Ryan Estis Submitted by Ryan Estis April 21, 2016


Busy is the new fine” and it’s having an impact on the way customers decide. Sure, customers have more information available to them than ever before. They are certainly empowered.

However, they also have more options and increasingly a lot less time and attention to absorb all that information. Customers are overwhelmed and anxious about making the wrong decision. That leads to a much longer buying cycle.

I relate. I am that overwhelmed customer. I’ve been driving the same car for more than 10 years. I keep thinking about buying something new and I’ve rolled through plenty of dealerships, but I can’t pull the trigger. Why? Because nobody has “sold” me a new car. I haven’t been convinced that driving a new car is greater than the pain of change. What if I made a mistake?

I can keep going. It isn’t just the car. It’s our CRM software, e-Learning platform and artwork for my loft. These are all sales opportunities that are stalled or stuck in the “I’m thinking about it” zone.

Your customers aren’t that different.

The biggest reason deals don’t get done today? Customers default to no decision. They’re interested in something new, they research and ask for more information, they evaluate and consider all their options … and then all those carefully-composed proposals end up in no-man’s land.

Are you making phone calls to follow up on the proposal?

The lesson: Sellers today need to show up prepared to elevate sense of urgency. You need to be the catalyst for the compelling event! IDC research shows B2B buyers complain that only 29% of sales reps are well prepared to engage with them. How do you prepare for impact? That is where the deals are won or lost.

In the enclosed video, I reveal how the best salespeople respond and win.


This post was originally published in by Ryan Estis

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Ryan Estis helps progressive companies embrace change, attack opportunity and achieve breakthrough performance. Delivering more than 75 live events annually, Ryan provides high-impact keynote presentations and professional development in partnership with the world’s best brands.
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18 Responses to “ How Do You Sell To The Overwhelmed Customer?” Leave a reply ›

  • Profile photo of Sunday William Profile

    Hi Ryan,
    Being prepared today for the sales of tomorrow is fundamental to winning and achieving marketing expectations.

    The overwhelmed customer just needs that “magic” button of conviction to choose a product.

    It is obvious that customers will easily make a decision if a product or service is unique, hence, the marketer or salesman must tap into any strategy that readily makes their product outstanding.

    Being overwhelmed means that there are many features craving for the attention of the customer. There should be that extra touch that distinguishes the uniqueness of similarly products so the customer will easily make a good choice!\

    The video is revealing and I agree that having education, being likeable, and being prepared thoroughly, aggressively and timely things to win the evangelist customer!
    Sunday William recently posted…What Can We Do To Improve Content That Is Not Yielding Results?My Profile

  • Profile photo of Celine Profile

    Selling to the overwhelmed customer means identifying and presenting features and benefits that are so very unique to them.

    To achieve this, adequate research and preparations that will distinguish one benefit from the others must be applied!

    Its a good thing that this insight is shared in the video as the number three thing to make the salesperson win!

  • Profile photo of Sarah John Profile

    Hi Ryan,
    Quite an educative video I must remark!

    Indeed, the best salespersons acquire knowledge on the needs of the customer; they present themselves and their products likeable – this include present user friendly tools; and they thoroughly and aggressively prepare before meeting with the customer.

    These points are well noted and I think that putting them into practice will help to provide the sales person with the power of easily meeting the needs of the overwhelmed customer!

  • Profile photo of Chery Profile

    Hello Ryan! I do agree with the internet, people are more informed then ever! I know myself , I go and Google Everything before I buy and most times I either find it cheaper somewhere else or learn of something else to replace this.

    I don’t think it is a matter of an over whelmed customer I think it is a matter of you playing a smarter game.

    Yes Like following up with a phone call.

    Great Share
    Chery :))
    Chery recently posted…Where Does Your Money Go?My Profile

  • Profile photo of redtiger Profile

    Hi Ryan

    I think you have spelled out the magic formula very well in one word: preparation.

    Study your product inside out in order to be prepared for when you have to answer questions. Knowledge brings confidence and confidence sparks enthusiam.

    Be prepared by knowing the science of selling.

    Being likable is a little bit like beauty. It is in die eye of the beholder. One person may hate you, another may love you. The general formula is probably to be friendly, enthusiastic and energetic while keeping your mouth in check. Listen more than you talk.

    Winning over people to loyalty level is not easy. There has to be a connection on an energy-level. Going out of your way to contact to your customer even after he or she leaves your shop goes a long way to achieving that.
    redtiger recently posted…How to Write Great Sales CopyMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Barbara George Profile

    I am a fashion blogger and get your point, it’s overwhelming particularly with women’s fashion.

    But I can say when you find that item you love, it’s easy to make your pick.

    You know, that item you see and can easily love, even when it’s surrounded by hundreds others :)
    Barbara George recently posted…New Season Wardrobe UpdateMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Ivan Bayross Profile

    Hi Ryan,

    Interesting Post. I liked what I read. Here is my perspective on why I think a lot of sellers fail to connect with their – Overwhelmed customer.

    About 85% of the customers I’ve encountered have done their home work and are pretty much primed to purchase when they hit the seller.

    All that the seller needs to do is recognize this and figure out exactly what needs to be said / done to get past tipping point and clinch a sale.

    That’s where a ton of sellers I’ve monitored – fail.

    The seller’s have not done their homework well. They’re unfamiliar with their customer demographics.

    They are unfamiliar with what’s important to a bunch of customer’s that belong to a specific demographic.

    Hence, they start with the – One size fits all spiel – which can (and often does) turn of the – informed customer.

    It seems the are of – listening has been forgotten.

    The connection between, listening, understanding and customer demographic mapping to get past tipping point non existent.

    This is what worries me most.

    When a sale is broken down and viewed using such attributes, it should become easier to – Close a sale – for most sellers.

    As for the 15% of customer’s who’ve not made up their mind yet, well to me the cost of educating them eats into profits.

    I’d rather get my sales team create the right content, mapped to perhaps a great (Short) video and terrific copy, so that I can sharply increase the % of sale closures with focused customers.

    Superb Video, Ryan. Excellent content. Beautifully delivered.

    Just sharing my POV, Ryan.
    Ivan Bayross recently posted…Try Not To Gasp When You Read These 20 Ways To Stay A Mediocre Blogger – Part 3My Profile

    • Profile photo of admin Profile

      [ has awarded Ivan Bayross with a $7 cash-back rebate, to say THANKS, for this very helpful response]

      The $7 in cash will be given back to you when you purchase any product in the Kingged Marketplace, or added to your rebate pool, for future purchases.

      We give $7 to $37+ cash-back rebates, every now and then, to our members for valuable responses.

      Thanks a lot, for a very valuable PARTICIPATION on!

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  • Profile photo of Ivan Bayross Profile

    Hey! Kingsley,

    Wow, thank you. Appreciate this. God bless.


    Ivan Bayross
    Ivan Bayross recently posted…Try Not To Gasp When You Read These 20 Ways To Stay A Mediocre Blogger – Part 1My Profile

  • Profile photo of steven Profile

    Hey Ryan,
    Indeed, customers need engagement at every opportunity. The overwhelmed customer must be provided with the right engagement that would spur him into taking action.

    “Sellers today need to show up prepared to elevate sense of urgency” and there is nothing truer than this!

  • Profile photo of Dennis Seymour Profile

    This is still a problem to me to be honest. I try to follow the stuff you mentioned there and in the video. Simplify things and try to show what they need to see at the right time. Im still a work in progress for this :)
    Dennis Seymour recently posted…The 2 Sides of Guest Posting: I’m on the “It Works” Side, How About You?My Profile

  • Profile photo of Paul Profile

    Hey Ryan,

    Preparation to make the difference is key to winning the overwhelmed customer. This act makes it possible for ‘differences’ to be identified and channeled to the right customer.

    If the sales person prepares very well, then pointing out the ‘newness’ and ‘uniqueness’ of the product would be clear to the prospect.

  • Profile photo of Carl Profile

    Hey Ryan,

    Selling to the overwhelmed customer is the function of establishing the difference between features and benefits. The customer must be made to understand that true value of a product is always portrayed when the benefit of each ‘feature’ is established.

    In most cases, the overwhelming information is about the ‘features’ but selling comes when the benefits are shared!

  • Profile photo of James Ling Profile

    Selling to the overwhelmed customer is not about presenting and bugging customers with new features and products. It should be about presenting them with new facts and benefits!

    There is often the thin line between features and benefits. However, the extra value or unique advantage that the customer would get from the product may be the ‘game changer’.

    So, every blogger or online marketer must discover this ‘tipping point’ where customers overwhelmed with information and products will become decisive to cling the value!

  • Profile photo of Winford Moore Profile

    Hi Ryan,

    Indeed this is a lesson to be emulated: “Sellers today need to show up prepared to elevate sense of urgency. You need to be the catalyst for the compelling event!”

    The sense of urgency in the selling process must be ignited in the mind of buyers. With too many offers in place, only the ‘most desirable’ would be convincing.

    So, selling to the overwhelmed customer remains a function of getting prepared to elevate the sense of urgency!

  • Profile photo of Amit Sharan Profile

    Hey Ryan,

    I guess this post is to remind us that selling to the overwhelmed customer demands creativity. This should apply in the product creation and in the promotion.

    Customers presented with so many products has to decide what is best for them. It is not always an easy move to make.

    However, efforts must be made to ensure newness of benefits and satisfaction in the process of appealing to customers to buy!

  • Profile photo of Black Profile

    Hey Ryan,

    This is an interesting contribution. Indeed, we must fall in love with the discipline of preparation. This will help us understand and sell products to the overwhelmed customer.

    The discipline of preparation demands we get to know who the customer is, what he wants and how he interacts with a brand.

    Preparation also helps the seller to elevate sense of urgency!

  • Profile photo of John A Karnish Profile

    Hi Ryan,

    I think it is interesting that you talk about the “fear of making a mistake.”

    I guess a good way to get over this is to really know your customer and respond to there fears before they even bring them up. Especially in copy in an online world.

    Take care Ryan and have a great week!


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