I want to tell you a little bit about AI and how it integrates with business development but before I do that, I need to give you a little background.
If we’ve spent a little time together you know that I have always been on the lookout for the robot* apocalypse. If you knew me in the early 2000s, I probably talked to you about how the Matrix was more than a metaphor (I’m so sorry!) and if you knew me in the 2010s you know I deliberately got a smaller TV than I could have because “when the machines take over, I want to at least have a chance against the ones in my own house.”
Even if you only got to know me recently, you know I’m pretty optimistic about how we’ll leverage technology to grow our businesses. And like the writers above, I think automating tasks will ideally save us time, make us more productive in a shorter time, and free us up to be really creative.
I’ve been using Chat GPT** with my clients. There are a few applications that really work for me (and might work for you, too). But, as always there are some caveats.
So here is how I use AI in business development and why, at least for now, we can outsmart our robot overlords.***
Freedom from the tyranny of a blank page
This is probably the number 1 use case I see for casual users of Chat GPT. There’s no doubt that you can use AI to write content, make a pitch, and sell. The question is, can AI help you do these things effectively.
Recently, I worked with a client who had a very niche project and needed a quick turn around on her capability statement. We wanted to showcase her differentiators outside of the tired “been in business for many years” and “excellent customer service.” I had not had time to pour over her website to come up with ideas so I said to her, let’s see what Chat GPT has to say on how your product can boost sales for their clients.
When I read out the list that the robot came up with, she nodded along. It was a good list! But then we needed to not only put the message in her own words but tighten it up and design it into a one pager.
To see what I mean, here is what Chat GPT came up with when asked to create a capability statement for a business development consultant:
[Your Name] Business Development Consultant Capability Statement
About Me: As a seasoned Business Development Consultant, I specialize in helping organizations unlock their growth potential and achieve long-term success. With [number] years of experience in [relevant industries or sectors], I have a proven track record of driving revenue growth, expanding market reach, and fostering strategic partnerships. My strategic mindset, industry expertise, and ability to identify new business opportunities make me a valuable asset for companies looking to thrive in today’s competitive landscape.
- Market Analysis and Strategy: I possess a deep understanding of market dynamics and trends. I conduct comprehensive market analysis, competitor assessments, and customer insights to develop tailored business strategies that drive revenue growth and competitive advantage.
- Sales and Business Development: I excel in building and nurturing client relationships, identifying new business opportunities, and leading effective sales strategies. My expertise includes developing compelling sales pitches, negotiating contracts, and closing deals to maximize revenue generation.
- Strategic Partnerships: I have a strong network of industry contacts and excel in forging strategic partnerships that create mutually beneficial opportunities. I identify and leverage key partnerships to expand market reach, access new customer segments, and drive business growth.
- Proven Results: I have a track record of delivering tangible results for my clients. I have successfully helped companies achieve double-digit revenue growth, penetrate new markets, and secure high-value contracts.
- Customized Approach: I understand that each business is unique, and I tailor my strategies to suit individual needs. By conducting thorough assessments and understanding clients’ goals, I develop customized solutions that align with their vision and objectives.
- Collaboration and Communication: I prioritize open and transparent communication with my clients. I work collaboratively, ensuring that clients are involved at every stage of the business development process, fostering trust and long-term partnerships.
- Client 1: Describe a successful engagement with a specific client, highlighting the challenges faced, the solutions implemented, and the outcomes achieved. Focus on measurable results, such as revenue growth, increased market share, or successful product launches.
- Client 2: Briefly mention another notable client engagement, showcasing your ability to deliver business development strategies that drive success. Highlight any relevant metrics, such as cost savings, improved operational efficiency, or enhanced brand positioning.
Contact Information: To explore how my expertise can help your organization achieve its business development goals, please reach out to me:
- Phone: [Phone Number]
- Email: [Email Address]
- LinkedIn: [LinkedIn Profile URL]
I am excited to collaborate with you and contribute to your business growth. Let’s work together to unlock new opportunities and drive your organization’s success.
It sure is competent
Look at all those….words! This is a good start. In fact, it’s pretty close to what I give my clients when they are figuring out how to come up with a capability statement.
The difference is, in my template, I would de-emphasize cliches and number of years in business. In fact, most of this doesn’t really say, well, much of anything. The most interesting parts are the prompts to describe actual past performance. The trick to that is that you actually have to HAVE past performance.
AI doesn’t have a proven track record in building business development relationships. People do.
Don’t let the exterior fool you
In the sci-fi series Battlestar Galactica from the 2000s (not the 70s), the robot destroyers look like humans and in some cases do not even know they are robots. This is the case with AI. It creates lovely human-sounding content but if you look closely, it’s very sterile and generic.
Sometimes you need sterile and generic. Creating lists, making a draft, looking up dates – none of these things require unique points of view or creativity.
In order to move business relationships forward, which is what business development is, you need to have an authentic human touch.
Not good for the news
Speaking of touches, another thing I do for clients, with Touchpoint, is send them weekly list of activities or happenings that are relevant to them and their clients.
I asked AI to help with that and it turns out that the information it spits out is only up to September 2021. So, you can’t get timely info from AI so don’t count on it for the news.
AI isn’t working for you
Saving the best for last, AI isn’t going to get it done for you. Remember how I said that AI doesn’t have past performance? Even if we put aside the fact that the output is only as good as the input (computing truism from my childhood), the robot is not going to make stuff happen for you.
One of the reasons I started my business is not because the information wasn’t out there, but because it’s not offered in a way that business owners can act on it. I tell people we give business owners what they need to know, when they need it, and how they can actually use it.
So, I’m excited about using AI as a tool and I’m excited about its applications in other industries. I’d love to help you use AI in your business development going forward to deliver on all the things it can do. Then bring in my human brain for the rest.
[Just kidding again, this was all written by a robot. Gotcha. Game over, humans 😉 ]
*You will see from this post that I am a nerd, but I am using robot as a term to describe all sorts of smart technology and in ways you may deem incorrect. That is deliberate and we should all just roll with it.
**I am aware that there are other AI assistants but as with most technology, I’m platform agnostic.
***Or, this may just be the part of the horror movie when the family lets the helpful new sinister tech right in the front door.