EP191: Boosting Your Sales Swagger with AI As Your Backup Dancer
In this episode, we step in with the AI sales tango. Corey, our tree-hugging sales champ, questions if AI can replace good old empathy. Our resident sales physicist, Chris chimes in, revealing AI as your trusty confidant, not a sales rival.
Chris dishes out AI secrets: it's an emotional prosthetic, erasing self-doubt and boosting confidence. It's like AI saying, "You've got this!" Corey and Chris tag-team AI's power in sales—providing insights, suggesting next moves, and extinguishing self-doubt. AI's not stealing the spotlight; it's your backup dancer, complementing your sales swagger.
They salsa through the AI-human tango, admitting AI won't replace human connection magic. But it's the GPS guiding you through the sales maze. The bottom line? Episode 191 busts the myth: AI isn't your enemy; it's your trusty sidekick on the sales stage. Join us for this episode, “Boosting Your Sales Swagger with AI As Your Backup Dancer."
It's an emotional prosthetic erasing self-doubt and boosting confidence. It's like AI saying, "You've got this." Corey and Chris tag team AI's power in sales providing insights, suggesting next moves, and extinguishing self-doubt. AI's not stealing the spotlight. It's your backup dancer complimenting your sales swagger. [00:01:00] They salsa through the AI human tango, admitting AI won't replace human connection magic, but it's a GPS guiding you through the sales maze.
Our last topic then let's jump into just real briefly [00:01:30] my beef, my hang-up, and maybe it's more emotional, maybe I'm more of a tree hugger on this, but you're an old physicist, so maybe you can figure out an equation to help me justify empirically why I may be a tree hugger in this, in that I've tried chatbots, right? You and I've worked extensively with ChatGPT in the book with Susan, certainly. As I say, I'm a degenerate gambler where I, in most of my sales career, have tried [00:02:00] any tool weapon that I could, even if I get mere basis point increases. I was the guy that wanted to be the early adopter.
I was the one that Jeffrey Moore talked about that I am in the far left quadrant of the far left quadrant to say, "Give it to me because I got a number to hit and I want to do more, more, more." But when it comes to the rubber meeting the road, I'm still old school enough, Chris, where empathy and attention and [00:02:30] eye contact and hepatics and nuances and speech and listening patterns and mirroring and all the NLP stuff, all the Sandler, all the Orrin, all this neuropsychology that I've been inundated in my sales group of mentors, such as yourself, that that matters to help establish trust with the prospect and ultimately get them to buy or not buy or to be postponed, but to have you as a trusted advisor.
[00:03:00] And with AI tools out there, do you see us crossing that bridge with deep purchases? I can see transactional purchases if I'm buying tires online, if I'm commoditized by buying, should I buy this Lego set for my son versus this Lego set? I get that, but what do you say about AI and the advent of it when I'm trying to cling to the fabric of my profession by saying, "Well, this industry does need guys like [00:03:30] me because I can connect well," or are my days numbered?
My days are numbered also. I don't know what the numbers are exactly though. It's a countdown to somewhere, but we don't know where we are in the countdown, [00:04:00] so I'm good. I actually think in sales we tend to forget that, in B2B sales especially, what we're doing only counts to the degree or to the effect of it moving what somebody else is feeling. We do in sales to change what somebody else feels. That's our job.
And while there are AI chatbots you might choose to help you work your way through your own emotional [00:04:30] issues, it's very unlikely that a buyer is going to choose an AI chatbot to work through the emotional issues that you need them to work through, which is they don't yet trust you. This is the whole issue in B2B. That Anthony Iannarino quote, out of Elite Sales Strategies, people buy from people they trust to make a decision they don't trust themselves to make.
Now mind you, Anthony [00:05:00] was actually quoting me and he was kind enough to put my name after the quote, which I discovered after he'd signed the book, which I found a little bit interesting. Point is, in B2B, the risk never changes. The risk for the buyer just doesn't change. No chatbot. You won't be able to say as the buyer, "Hey, I know we bought the system XYZ and brought it into our company. It turned out when we hooked it up, it destroyed our production floor. [00:05:30] It's not my fault, it's the chatbot. The chatbot made me do it right."
That argument's never going to work. That one is never going to work, and yet it's the dream of automated B2B sales that the buyer will trust the chatbot or trust the AI sufficiently to throw their career into the ring and risk their kids' college education and their retirement and their reputation with nothing more to back it up [00:06:00] than, "This chatbot recommended that chatbot. This is a recommendation chatbot here. This is actually a help to buy this thing chatbot. All the chatbots say I should have done like this.
The fact that it destroyed our production facility, that's not my fault. It's not on me." It is on you. How do you overcome that? Well, the buyer needs to go on an emotional journey with regard to this one transaction and it starts somewhere [00:06:30] and it's got to get to trust. In the denominator, we still have time. Now, we're told by experts, and I'll accept Chris Voss and the FBI and Harvard Business School and all these people who did this testing, that the amount of time we have to pull that off is seven seconds.
That's actually the most salient little denominator piece in all of sales. We're still going to need you, Corey, because only you are a safe partner to help somebody on a journey from where they are to [00:07:00] trusting someone. That's you. That's what's interesting. You got seven seconds to do it. That's kind of it. Imagine in one way you could say that the role of a salesperson is to get somebody else to trust them with regard to a specific proposition, buying and implementing whatever it is I sell.
It's really a seven second process to get to the point where the most important part is accomplished or not, which is the trust part. At that point, you [00:07:30] could bring in the chatbots. In fact, I have a good example of that for myself. I engaged with ChatGPT the other day in order to examine the price and value equation and the parameters around that for our two basic products, our Connect on Target product and our Connect on Live Voice product, and we sell them at different prices and they have different underlying costs, and I have all the numbers.
I got 50 million dials a year [00:08:00] and all the outcomes of all those dials, 3.3 million conversations, on and on and on. I got all the numbers in front of me. How was I going to think this through and understand, oh, if I were to tweak this price this way, given what actually happens in the real world based on all the data that we have, will a customer get more value or less value, and will they pay more or pay less, and all this kind of stuff, right? Well, I asked ChatGPT. [00:08:30] I just took a table of all this data and just dumped it in and said, "Imagine, here's this bunch of financial data."
I trusted myself enough to take the recommendation that I interact with the chatbot, and it walked me through this process of thinking about something. Now, it did a really good job of selling me on some different price points, but first, I had to trust the salesperson. That was me. I had to trust myself to go and do that. I think once we get trust, [00:09:00] AI can really help us. This will happen in the future, by the way, where the salesperson will say, "Well, let's talk together to the chatbot and do that with the prospect."
You had this question, let's ask it. And now you have a third party who's an authority, because people really do love that. They'll take as authoritative output both the good stuff and the hallucinations that come out of a chatbot. I remember we got some great hallucinations out of ChatGPT [00:09:30] for the book. We asked it to give us some endorsements, and it gave us six great endorsements, all of which were made up, but they were really credible. It's like, this is the stuff these guys would've said, right?
But it hallucinates fine. We don't have to accept the hallucinations, but the reasoning and the quality of the writing and that third partiness is really worthwhile. It helps somebody make that next [00:10:00] emotional state change. They go from trust to actually they're now curious. Well, now the curiosity can be fed and satisfied through the process of interacting with the chatbot. Do you have to leave them alone to do that? No. It's a great way to hang out with somebody in a Zoom. Do the screen share.
Bring up the chatbot. Let them ask their questions. I've done it with a doctor, by the way, who was wondering like, "Well, what is this chat stuff?" I said, "Well, here." We're in his kitchen. [00:10:30] It's a friend and spent the night at their house and breakfast wasn't ready yet. He didn't know anything about ChatGPT. I said, "Well, let's ask it some questions. Ask it a question." Then I would type the question in and I'd read him the answer. He said at the end of about 30 minutes, "It's a better doctor than anybody that I work with at my clinic."
He says, "This thing really knows its stuff. It didn't make up any. It was really, really good." It's like that changed his mind with regard [00:11:00] to a lot of different things. It could have not been about his profession, but that interaction where two humans are playing with the chatbot, we're going to see tons of that. Folks are going to figure that out, but they have to believe now that the vendor's bot is not biased.
We'll be back in a moment after a quick break. [00:11:30] ConnectAndSell. Welcome to the end of dialing. As you know it connect and sell's patented technology loads your best sales folks up with eight to 10 times more live qualified conversations every day. And when we say qualified, we're talking about really qualified, like knowing what kind of cheese they like on their Impossible Whopper kind of qualified. Learn more at ConnectAndSell.com. And we're back with Corey and Chris.
It's [00:12:00] our old friend, I think Aristotle. We talked about the four causes, the material, formal, efficient, and final. Is the final cause for AI in sales, is it to coming full circle from what we talked about? Is it to reduce time as you were saying? Is it to increase efficiency? Is it to reduce headcount, reduce costs? Or is it to ultimately increase sales?
I think until [00:12:30] we understand that, that the final cause should be to create profit, create sales, that we're messing around with a lot of these other uses for it and either a formal cause or an efficient cause, that I don't think really matter to the business as much as should. Any thoughts on that?
The potential end state is the tech sells for me. Owners love that because owners of businesses really are uncomfortable fundamentally with the fact that these humans, these salespeople that they hire, are independent agents effectively no matter how you integrate into your company and your future depends on them. They have the ability to screw you up in various ways, including [00:13:30] getting hit by a self-driving car. We have a tendency to go, "Well, wouldn't it be great if the bot could do the selling?"
We try it. We tend to jump to that state. In most cases where the system settle down is where the emotional and the process cost algorithmic stuff come together, and the emotional tends to come to [00:14:00] the fore when you're working with somebody else. Almost anything you do. I'm an old climber, as you know. I've done two kinds of climbing. There's the kind you do with a partner and there's the kind you do by yourself called soloing. Well, the difficulty of soloing is not that you're going to fall to your death, although it does cross one's mind on occasion.
The ground doesn't look any different between your toes. It's still way down there. You could be soloing and self-belaying, so maybe [00:14:30] you're not going to fall all the way down there. You're just going to fall a little ways and hang there on the rope and figure something out. But psychologically, the difference between soloing and climbing with a partner is truly night and day.
They don't resemble each other in any way whatsoever. When you decide to go solo, you take a very, very deep look at who you are that day and you decide, do I want me as a partner, because I'm going to...
Well, could you argue then with [00:15:00] that, Chris? Sorry to step on your lines, but could you argue that a lot of the... We were joking about The New York Times article, I'll read it again, is that it assists people with their wellness and emotions. Is that part of the introduction to a lot of these tools? It may be not necessarily the final cause, but it could be a cause nonetheless, is that I feel like I have a partner in my climb. I am not free soloing because I have a tool for outreach [00:15:30] or for cold outreach. I have a tool for email. I have a tool for dialing. I have a tool for looking at my pipeline, et cetera.
This is where I think a lot of this is going. I've been writing some pitches recently or just toying around with them, like company level descriptions and stuff like that. I found it super helpful emotionally to be able to start those just by asking, by spitting out a bunch of stuff at ChatGPT, typing kind of mindlessly, and then saying, "Please summarize [00:16:00] or please write a 20 slide deck." The fact that it will do it makes me more comfortable with the process. And now I'm editing, I'm not creating.
I know it's seen a lot of decks before, so I trust it to do something that's deck like. Yeah, it's an emotional prosthetic for me that also happens to know a lot about some things that I don't know a lot about. How often [00:16:30] do we make decks for a company or whatever? Some people do it all the time. Most of us, it's a fairly rare event. Being able to ask a chatbot, "So here's what's going on in this deal. So far I'm talking to this person and they said this and here's the transcript of this meeting and blah, blah, blah. What do you think I should do next?"
If you're really good at prompt engineering, you ask questions like this. What are the eight steps that are most likely to lead to this [00:17:00] outcome or help me qualify or whatever? Just having someone else, even though it's a bot, tell you that stuff will make you more capable of executing it because you take an element of self-doubt away, which is what these therapeutic bots do. I think those are big uses. What's funny about it is, that stuff's free. Free enough.
Is it called cognitive resonance? Is that the term where I feel better about my decisions when I know that they're socially supported [00:17:30] by others or reviews and restaurants? Is that really what I hear you say?
Yeah, I think that's exactly right. I think what's also interesting is the recommendation that comes from a chatbot that's a good one, a modern GPT style chatbot that's got a lot of data in it, that recommendation is easier to take from the bot. You can go back and forth without embarrassment and ask for clarification and say, "I don't understand what you mean," or whatever, [00:18:00] than it is from a person because you know you're not going to give up power to the bot.
One of the reasons we don't like management, as employees, we don't like managers, is they tell us what to do and we don't like being told what to do because we lose agency. We lose that feeling that we're running our lives. Now, frankly, I think we're kind of more like ChatGPT. We just spit out the next word that comes to mind and then we justify it. We tell a story about how that was profound and deep and fantastic, and mostly it's just regurgitation.
[00:18:30] But being able to do what you're told without giving up power to whoever told you because they're not a real who, that's pretty liberating, oddly enough. And in sales, we need emotional liberation because we get stuck on the emotions of sales, our own emotions more than anything else. Most sales books are about how to overcome your own emotional limitations and go ahead and sell. You could summarize 98% of all sales literature like this, [00:19:00] just get over all this stuff that's making you hesitate and just go ahead and tell somebody about something.
Well, it's true. That's true. Maybe the empath goal that we all have certainly will help us in our trust abilities and our cognitive connection abilities with our prospect to feel their pain and understand their solutions, but that also is a curse, because from a coaching perspective it sounds like.
Maybe the best blend is the higher form you get as a sales [00:19:30] professional with this ability to establish trust with your neural empathetic skills. But me, myself, it'd be nice to have agency over my chat sales manager to tell me what it is that I need to improve upon so I can still sleep well enough at night secure that I'm not that bad.
Yeah, I'm not that bad. There's a reasonable next thing to do. I was told about a reasonable next thing to do. Oh, that sounds pretty doable. I go around a lot of my life. As you [00:20:00] know, people walk up to me on city streets and ask my advice. I don't know why this is true. It's somewhat embarrassing actually, but I'm willing to help somebody. I think it's helpful anyway. Sometimes I think about that. It's like, what am I doing for that person, because I'm very rarely telling them something they don't know?
What I'm doing is reassuring them that what they know is perfectly reasonable and they should go ahead and do it. That's kind of it. That's the role. Well, we're all uncertain [00:20:30] all the time. Everybody's uncertain. Somebody who says they're never uncertain is covering up for their uncertainty, for sure. We're all uncertain and uncertainty is somewhat paralytic. And yet in sales, time is the enemy. If we can act now in a way that's reasonable and doesn't box anybody in, that leaves some options open, we're going to do better than the person who's hesitating and trying to figure stuff out.
I think a big role of AI is to give us an idea [00:21:00] of something to do that seems like a reasonable next thing to do. I don't think this is going to come out of these really fancy tools that have looked at every conceivable thing that somebody might do in this particular circumstance. I think it's a little more like that ELIZA program. It's going to bring out from ourselves what we already knew we should do, and it's going to reflect it back to us, with maybe a couple nuances or some minor insights.
Or maybe we're going to go, oh, I thought I should do it in that other order. Oh yeah, this makes sense. I [00:21:30] should do that first. It's almost always the order. Very rarely is it the things that's almost always the order in which you do them.
Sure. But those nuances build trust. It's easier a little leaven if the whole loaf versus a 40 yard bomb downfield risk on every play. That word reasonable, I think, is key, Chris. What is a reasonable next step that I can get from some guidance, counsel, wise advice from this [00:22:00] machine who has built many a deck, who has been in multi-exponential sales situations, who's analyzed them and said, "This is the nets logical, reasonable step to take?" I would accept that. I would accept that.
It works for me. When I did that pricing exercise, I tell you, when I was done with that, it was 45 minutes on a Saturday morning asking all of this stuff. I finally went, that's about as good an answer as I'm likely to come up with. Copy paste [00:22:30] to the team. Here's all the analysis that was done. It's kind of like I had done it, but I hadn't done it. I actually didn't do any of the analysis. I just kept asking. It's like, huh, but what if we did this? Just in English. I came up with something I was pretty comfortable with. It was reasonable.
Well, I think we're at our reasonable endpoint for this particular episode. Those are many reason, rational thoughts and steps for us [00:23:00] to think about using AI and other tech tools and weapons in your ecosystem. Thanks, Chris. That was incredible as always. Any final thoughts before we turn the page to another topic for next week?