AI is everywhere these days — or at least in every conversation about the future of sales.
And in one of my recent articles, I argued it’s critical to utilize AI to get ahead. But that doesn’t mean AI is perfect. The truth is, it’s not even close to perfect. Even the makers of these tools — like ChatGPT’s Open AI — admit they aren’t bulletproof.
So where does that leave us? To what extent can we actually trust ChatGPT, Bard, and other AI to help us with things like sales scripts, overcoming objections, demo creation, etc.?
Well, I did some experimenting with ChatGPT, and I have quite the takeaway for you today. Let’s get into it.
I gave ChatGPT the following prompt:
“A software salesperson and a prospect are in a sales meeting. When it comes time to close the deal, the prospect has several objections, but the salesperson is great at overcoming the objections. Can you give a back-and-forth conversation between them?”
So in other words, this is ChatGPT trying its level-best to overcome objections in a B2B sales meeting.
Important: In the AI-generated conversation below, I highlight the things I like in green, and the things I don’t like I highlight in red. And throughout the conversation you’ll see my notes in bold brackets. I think you’ll find this incredibly instructive. So let’s see how good of a salesperson AI really is.
Salesperson (SP): Thank you for considering our software. I’m excited about the potential it holds for your business. Now, before we proceed, do you have any specific concerns or objections you’d like to discuss?
[My Notes: The language above is too formal. And never ask for objections, as you’ll get what you ask for!]
Prospect (P): Yes, I do. I’m worried about the initial cost of implementation. It seems quite expensive.
SP: I understand your concern. Let me explain the value you’ll be getting. While the initial investment might be higher, our software is designed to increase your team’s productivity and efficiency significantly. With streamlined processes, you’ll see a rapid return on investment. Plus, we offer flexible payment plans and can discuss tailoring one to fit your budget.
[My Notes: Great, empathize with the prospect by replying “I understand” after an objection. It’s also important to stack the value by communicating how the prospect’s life will change for the better after buying your product. The more specific, the better. And don’t just tie it to ROI in the form of money — tie it to power, status, freedom, the things that drive us humans on the deepest level.]
P: That’s reassuring, but I’m also worried about the learning curve for my team. Will it take a lot of time for them to get up to speed?
SP: It’s a valid concern, and we’ve got you covered. Our software comes with an intuitive user interface, making it easy for your team to adapt quickly. Additionally, we offer comprehensive training sessions and ongoing support to ensure a smooth transition. You’ll have access to a dedicated support team to address any questions or issues promptly.
[My Notes: This is fine, just be careful to tie features (i.e. intuitive user interface) with specific benefits (your team will adapt quickly); I also like the reassurance of “comprehensive training and ongoing support” as it takes the edge off the purchase. Remember, overcoming objections is all about putting your prospect at ease.]
P: I see. Another thing is data security. We deal with sensitive customer information, and a data breach would be catastrophic.
SP: Absolutely, data security is a top priority for us. Our software employs state-of-the-art encryption protocols and robust security measures to safeguard your data. We regularly conduct security audits to stay ahead of potential threats. Plus, our software is compliant with industry standards and regulations to ensure your peace of mind.
[My Notes: The AI fails us here. This is all logical left-brain stuff. This might work for a top-of-funnel brochure, but you’re in the closing stages of a high-ticket sale and your prospect will not be persuaded by logic. Logical appeals will only complicate the sale and give your prospect more to think about. Better to say something like “Your competitors X and X trust us. We’ve never leaked anyones data in our decades of doing business. We’re talking Fort Knox secure.”]
P: Well, I’m concerned that our team might not fully utilize all the features. It would be a waste of resources if we’re not maximizing its potential.
SP: I completely understand. To address this, we offer personalized onboarding sessions. Our experts will work closely with your team to understand your business needs and tailor the software to match them precisely. Moreover, we’ll provide ongoing support and check-ins to ensure you’re making the most of the software’s capabilities.
[My Notes: All good here, just please don’t speak so formally!]
P: Alright, I’m still not entirely convinced about the benefits compared to our current processes.
SP: I appreciate your hesitations. Let’s take a moment to review your business goals and the challenges you face today. Our software has a proven track record of solving these specific pain points for companies like yours. By implementing our solution, you can expect not only improved efficiency but also enhanced customer relationships, increased sales, and data-driven decision-making capabilities.
[My Notes: First, you do not appreciate their hesitations. However, it is good to review their goals and their pain points, like the AI suggests. Anytime you feel like you’re losing control of the sale, just bring it back to their pain points and goals. Not their overall business goals, but rather your prospect’s goals for their role. If we’re being honest, the CMO wants the business to succeed, but more importantly they want to look like a hero in the next board meeting and get loads of respect. Human nature.]
P: I do see the potential benefits, but I need some time to discuss this with my team.
SP: Of course, I understand this is a significant decision. Take all the time you need. But keep in mind, time is money. The sooner we get started, the faster you’ll experience the positive impact on your business. And remember, I’m here to support you every step of the way.
[My Notes: Don’t tell your prospect to “take all the time you need.” Time kills all deals. So put another date on the calendar right then and there. And make it the same week if possible.]
P: Alright, I appreciate your understanding. Let’s go ahead and get started with the implementation.
SP: That’s fantastic news! You’ve made a wise choice, and I can assure you that you won’t regret it. I’ll have our team reach out immediately to kickstart the process. Get ready to witness the transformation of your business!
OK that’s the end of the conversation.
To sum it up, the AI salesperson attempted to overcome the objections by 1) empathizing with the prospect, 2) addressing the prospect’s concerns with somewhat specific benefits, and 3) reassuring the prospect by mentioning ongoing support.
Would this deal close in real life? Highly unlikely. You’d have to take a more personal approach, really dig into specific pain points, and articulate the transformation that your prospect will experience by purchasing your offer.
If we were to feed the AI a more detailed prompt, we might get better answers, but only slightly. Just be careful: The more detailed you get with AI, the more you’ll become pidgeonholed by the sales script. And if you use AI for scripts, you risk sounding like a robot.
So for now, you can absolutely use ChatGPT and Bard for idea generation and more generic sales coaching. But you must proceed with caution when using it for anything else regarding B2B sales. Call me old-fashioned, but humans still have the upperhand, and will continue to for years to come.
Until next time…