What it can (and can’t) do for the channel.
ChatGPT predicted the Philadelphia Eagles would defeat the San Francisco 49ers 27-10 in this year’s NFC Championship game. It was off by just seven total points, as the Eagles got the 31-7 win. So close!
The AI-powered program wasn’t designed to make sports prophecies, but it’s doing that and a whole lot more. Many experts say it’s in the early stages of disrupting many different industries—and it certainly could have an impact on direct selling.
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is a free simulated chatbot created by Open AI originally designed for customer service, but its uses have multiplied drastically since it launched in November of 2022. More than one million people registered within five days to use the tool, and for now its usage limit is routinely at capacity. The “GPT” stands for “Generative Pretrained Transformer.” The natural language processor results in a more conversational style. ChatGPT’s data sources include thousands of textbooks, websites and various articles.
In a broader category, ChatGPT is a form of Generative AI, which Tech Funnel describes as a form of AI that “generates new material, such as literature, graphics and music. These systems are built on massive datasets and produce fresh material comparable to the training examples using machine learning techniques.” Another one of Open AI’s generative programs called DALL-E can generate illustrations from text prompts.
Launching ChatGPT Plus
In early February, Open AI announced plans for ChatGPT Plus—a $20-per-month subscription option. Subscribers will get general access to ChatGPT (even during peak times), faster response times and priority access to new features and improvements. The subscription service is available to U.S. customers with plans to expand access to other countries, but the free access option will remain.
“We love our free users and will continue to offer free access to ChatGPT,” a company announcement said. “By offering this subscription pricing, we will be able to help support free access availability to as many people as possible.”
What Can ChatGPT Do?
Other than help you with sports betting, ChatGPT can essentially perform as a personal assistant, teacher and content creator. Think of it as your all-purpose Gal Friday. It can create a healthy high-protein chicken recipe; answer complex math problems; write or debug code; compose sales pitches for a new product; create a blog post about new makeup application techniques; write a fictional story; or translate languages.
Users ask the program to perform a task in a text field, then it generates the relevant copy in another text box. Users can then customize the content to be more specific to their needs. ChatGPT can alter the tone of what it produces to be more casual, more technical, more professional—whatever voice you request. One of the major drawbacks to the program is that it currently only includes data up to 2021, but it is expected to update that soon. It’s not yet known how often data updates will take place.
How Could ChatGPT Disrupt Direct Selling?
One of the hottest topics surrounding ChatGPT is predicting the industries and jobs that the technology could enhance, disrupt or even replace entirely. In an article for TheStreet.com, Jeetu Patel, EVP of security and collaboration at Cisco, said “All professions have the potential to be disrupted by ChatGPT, presenting both opportunity and risk…We need to be very careful about the downsides, ranging from the need to address IP ownership, the rights of original content owners, the people behind generative AI-driven content and more.”
For direct sales, here are a few key potential applications:
1/ Write marketing copy
ChatGPT can generate sales scripts and various forms of marketing copy. This could be useful for different stages of a direct sales funnel including invitations, follow-ups and asking for a decision. It can also edit copy to be more concise or change the tone to be more inviting or conversational. For more general applications, it could be used to write emails; help with SEO ideas; generate online product descriptions and script presentations.
2/ Draft legal documents
The dynamic between corporate compliance and distributors is certainly unique to our industry. While ChatGPT might not be a direct sales expert (at least not yet), it can help write boilerplate legal language surrounding health and income claims that could be utilized by the field.
“There are parts of a legal document that humans need to adapt to a particular situation, but 90 percent of the document is copy pasted,” Professor Oded Netzer of Columbia Business School said. “There is no reason why we would not have the machine write these kinds of legal documents. You may need to explain first in English the parameters, then the machine should be able to write it very well. The less creative you need to be, the more it should be replaced.”
3/ Analyze customer data
Understanding what your customers want and determining patterns in their buying behavior can help shape product development, marketing strategies and forecast sales projections. ChatGPT can help with each of these. The program can analyze customer feedback and reviews; predict future customer behavior; group customers into segments; and analyze customer interactions such as chats and comments.
While the effects of ChatGPT and other similar language models are still forming, one thing is for sure: the program will keep improving—and up-to-date data will continue to be added. At the moment, it’s being treated as a content creation playground—try it out to see how it could best work for you and your team.
We asked ChatGPT to write five conversational-style scripts for a home business owner to invite someone to try samples of a product that helps with focus and mental clarity. The scripts were based around personalization, benefits, problem-solving, testimonials and urgency. Here’s what it generated:
Script 1 / Personal Introduction
“Hi [Name], my name is [Your Name], and I am the owner of [Business Name]. I came across a product that I believe can help you with focus and mental clarity, and I would love for you to try it. It’s a cognitive boost product that has helped me personally, and I know it can do the same for you. Would you be interested in trying a sample?”
Script 2 / Benefits Focused
“Hello [Name], I wanted to reach out to you because I have a product that can improve your focus and mental clarity, which is especially important in today’s fast-paced world. The cognitive boost product I am talking about has helped me and many others boost their productivity and overall well-being. Would you be open to trying a sample? I think you’ll love it.”
Script 3 / Problem/Solution
“Hey [Name], have you ever felt like you just can’t seem to focus or concentrate on anything for long periods of time? I know I have. That’s why I was thrilled to discover a cognitive boost product that has changed my life. It helps with focus and mental clarity, and I would love for you to try it. Would you be interested in a sample?”
Script 4 / Testimonials
“Hi [Name], I wanted to reach out to you and share something that has had a big impact on my life. I recently started using a cognitive boost product that has helped me with focus and mental clarity, and I’ve received great feedback from others who have tried it as well. I think you’ll love it—would you like to try a sample?”
Script 5 / Urgency
“Hello [Name], I have a limited number of samples for a cognitive boost product that I think will make a big difference in your life. It helps with focus and mental clarity, and I have seen incredible results in a short amount of time. I would love for you to try it before the samples run out. Are you available to try a sample this week?”
From the April 2023 issue of Direct Selling News magazine.