AI technologies are creating massive sales opportunities in industries of all kinds. At the same time, AI is both augmenting and enhancing the work salespeople do—while forcing salespeople to take the initiative to keep their roles in sales from becoming ever more narrowly defined. Here are five things industrial sales expert David Morrison of Rd Promo and Sourcing says every salesperson should do to survive and thrive in the age of AI.
Double down on the “real world”
AI like ChatGPT is limited to knowledge on the Internet. Successful salespeople interact with real people to fill unmet needs in novel ways.
Morrison, for example, has helped hundreds of food service establishments exemplify environmental responsibility with RD Promo and Sourcing. ChatGPT isn’t built with the concerns that motivate customers that they don’t articulate online. Sales decisions are made by people who sometimes have to be informed of what they really need.
Demonstrate the skills AI seeks to emulate
After some serious failures in the emulation of empathy came to life, GPT-4 has been trained to be nonviolent, respectful, and polite. You didn’t need any special training in those skills to master the craft of selling. AI is trained to predict appropriate words. You are hard-wired to respond to human emotions. So don’t be afraid to let your very human, very empathetic self shine through.
AI isn’t a tool for generating customer insights. It is an algorithm that predicts the next word. AI knows that the word after “thank” is usually “you.” AI doesn’t know how to connect with your customer’s emotions, so they know you mean it.
It’s fine to use AI for “first draft” situations. You can use AI to highlight important features in your products and services. But if your pitch to your customer does not contain a lot more than they can Google, you are wasting your time and theirs. Use AI in drafting your customer communications, and then make sure you provide useful information that isn’t in any online database.
Be known for your customer-centric expertise
Offer solutions before your customers know they have problems. Understand your customer’s profit and loss so you can always assure your customer that you are contributing to their bottom line.
There is a lot in a successful customer relationship that never gets enshrined in some AI databases. Cultivate depth of expertise specific to customer needs, stated and unstated.
Develop your brand
AI will wipe out many lower-level sales jobs and change how everyone does their job. AI may eventually match high-level professionals in many of the essential tasks of their positions. But it is unlikely to command customers’ respect for salespeople who are indisputably at the top of their fields.
What is the downside of developing your brand? You will soon work exclusively with customers with discernment and real money.
Rd Promo and Sourcing entrepreneur David Morrison believe AI will inevitably change our working lids. But successful salespeople will continue to find ways to identify and provide unique value.
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