I’m going to present two ideas to you right now that seem contradictory. First – you should be using AI tools like ChatGPT to make you more productive, effective, and efficient as a salesperson. Second – you absolutely MUST be authentically you when you’re dealing with your customers and prospects. You might be saying, “Troy, wait, WHAT?” Bear with me for a minute. It’s possible to do both.
As a salesperson, your success hinges on your ability to establish genuine connections with your clients. But in an age where technology is becoming increasingly integrated into our processes, how can you maintain your unique personality and authenticity? It’s possible. You can absolutely integrate your own personality with AI and come up with a very effective result. Here are seven ways.
- Start with a Strong Foundation by Defining Yourself
Authenticity is the cornerstone of effective sales communication. People still want to buy from people, and whether you are engaging with prospective clients or nurturing existing relationships, your personal touch sets you apart. Start by laying a solid foundation of your personal brand and core values. Define what makes you unique as a salesperson – your tone, style, and values that resonate with your audience. This foundation keeps you centered as you integrate AI into your interactions.
- Embrace ChatGPT as Your Intern, Not Your Replacement
My friend Chase Aucoin likes to say that “ChatGPT is the best intern you ever had. It’s smarter than you, has 20 Ph.D.’s, and has no street smarts whatsoever.” ChatGPT can’t replace you. In fact, rather than replacing your role, it augments your efforts and makes you more effective. You can use ChatGPT as a tool to streamline tasks, gather insights, and brainstorm ideas – it can even role-play an upcoming sales call with you, as I showed in my recent Webinar. When you are creating messages, provide the AI with your initial input, and then refine the response to align with your personality and communication style. This approach ensures that while AI provides assistance, your authentic voice remains front and center. More on this in a moment.
- Tailor Your Messaging
One size does not fit all in sales communication. Embrace the flexibility that ChatGPT offers and tailor your messages to each recipient. Before reaching out, take a moment to understand the individual’s preferences, needs, and drivers. Incorporate this knowledge into your AI-assisted message to create a personalized touch that resonates with your recipient. The goal is to demonstrate that you’ve invested time in understanding them, building a foundation of trust.
- Know When to Step In Personally
While ChatGPT can handle routine interactions, there are moments that demand the human touch. Complex negotiations, empathetic responses during difficult situations, and delicate discussions are best left to your expertise. Recognize when to switch from AI-driven communication to your personal touch.
- Cultivate a Consistent Brand Voice
Your authenticity shines when you have a consistent brand voice across all touchpoints. Whether it’s an email, a social media post, or a chat message, ensure that your personality resonates throughout. ChatGPT can help maintain this consistency, offering suggestions that align with your established brand tone. The key here is to teach ChatGPT who you are, how you communicate, and what tone you’d like to take.
- Learn, Refine, and Repeat
Authenticity isn’t about flawless communication; it’s about real connections. Embrace the occasional imperfections that arise from using AI tools – and you WILL have imperfections. If a response doesn’t quite capture your voice, take a moment to revise and refine it. Emphasize that you’re human and learning, which adds a relatable layer to your interactions. I always say that AI gives you 80% content – the other 20% has to come from you.
- Be Transparent
When using ChatGPT, don’t shy away from disclosing that you’re employing AI assistance – like I did in writing this article. Transparency builds trust and shows that you value open communication. Most clients appreciate your efficiency in utilizing technology to enhance their experience. Honestly, I hope you do, as well!
NOTE: From here on out, it’s all Troy – no AI assistance. So I let you peek behind the curtain and told you that I used ChatGPT to write this article. Was it still in my voice? I think it was; if it wasn’t, you wouldn’t be reading it. Let’s open the curtain a bit more and I’ll show you what I did and how I did it, because maybe that will help you use this tool for your own messaging.
First, I knew I wanted to write an article about how to maintain authenticity with AI, because it’s a huge issue. I had a general idea of the point that I wanted to get across, and of the seven bullets above, six of them were in my head, but not the wording. So, I prompted ChatGPT to see what I’d get.
A huge factor in success with ChatGPT is in how you prompt it. Remember GIGO – Garbage In, Garbage Out. Here’s the prompt I used:
I’m writing an article for my weekly e-newsletter. I’m Troy Harrison, the Sales Navigator. You don’t need to introduce me in the article, just telling you that for context. The audience is business owners, sales managers, and salespeople. The focus of the article is to tell salespeople how they can maintain authenticity and their own personality while using ChatGPT to help with sales communication. Can you give me about 600 words on this, please?
I took what it gave me, copied and pasted it (note – always use “paste without formatting” so you won’t get a gray box background), and then I hit “regenerate.” Think of it as you would a doctor – it’s always good to get a second opinion.
From there, I mixed, matched, and deleted bullet points until I had a format that I liked. Then I went through and added my own verbiage and commentary. None of the bullet points above is verbatim from ChatGPT – all of them have been changed to reflect my voice. For instance, ChatGPT likes “buzzwords” a lot, and I don’t – so I took them out and put my own plainer language in. And the first paragraph was all me, because I didn’t like the way it introduced the topic.
I could have continued to refine the prompt to get closer and closer to my desired article, but honestly, I thought it would be quicker and better to just do it myself – but I’d encourage you, as you’re playing with it, to keep refining your prompts.
One other note – I always put a target word count in, no matter what I’m doing. ChatGPT likes words even more than I do (mind-boggling, I know), and you might get a 1000 word dissertation when you’re looking for a two-paragraph email. In fact, I had this conversation yesterday with a prospective client.
What’s the bottom line? Well, it’s this. I just created a 1200 word article on an important topic, made sure it was in my voice, and have it ready to send to you. And it took me exactly 26 minutes. I’m a fast writer, but not that fast – this would have easily been over an hour had I done it without assistance. Those extra minutes are minutes I can devote to other tasks – just like you can.
Use this technology.
Get better at it – it’s a skill.
Always put your own voice in.
And that’s how to use ChatGPT and still be authentically you.