What is ChatGPT?
By now, you’ve likely seen ChatGPT everywhere. LinkedIn and Twitter are full of impressed users trying out the tool, doom-mongering fears of it taking over the world, and tips and hacks for how to use it for business.
But, in case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s a quick recap…
A quick overview of ChatGPT and generative AI
ChatGPT is a natural language processing tool that can generate seemingly intelligent, humanistic responses to prompts and questions. It was created by the research company OpenAI.
The tool’s responses seem human because it’s been trained on large data sets of natural (human) speech. These data sets are analyzed and synthesized using AI and machine learning, enabling ChatGPT to produce sophisticated responses to questions and pass largely undetected as a machine.
While generative AI has existed in one form or another for quite some time, the past couple of years – and the launch of ChatGPT in particular – have seen a huge leap forward in their capabilities. And this gives us a lot of exciting possibilities to streamline work and content creation.
How does ChatGPT work?
Interacting with the tool is similar to messaging a chatbot. If you ask (or command) it to create material or answer questions, it’ll reply conversationally. It remembers your previous interactions in the same conversation, so you can perform commands that require several back-and-forth logic flows, ask it to tweak replies for more accurate, human-sounding output, or update responses based on new inputs.
The limitations of ChatGPT
Despite the exciting advances the tool offers, it’s important to note there are a few areas where ChatGPT is less developed or could cause problems.
- Its data set only goes up to September 2021
ChatGPT isn’t connected to the internet, has limited knowledge of events after 2021, and might sometimes give harmful instructions or biased responses.
Since the tool was trained on data sets that only went up to September 2021, you can’t use it like Google to find up-to-date information or news. You should carefully evaluate any factual responses it gives you about your product, competitors’ offerings, or industry advances.
Ways around this include ‘feeding’ the tool knowledge and insights throughout your conversation. For example, giving it a list of your product features would allow it to access more up-to-date information and overcome some of the inaccuracies inherent in the tool. Just be careful not to reveal anything confidential or sensitive.
- It sometimes ‘hallucinates’ (tells lies)
‘Hallucinations’ are what developers call the quirk in AI tech that sees the machines sometimes spout blatant lies. You should sense-check anything produced by ChatGPT and avoid using it for purely factual responses.
- There are some data security issues
By now, you might have heard about the ChatGPT outage in March 2023. After a user found a bug in the system allowing them to view other users’ conversation titles, OpenAI took the tool offline for emergency maintenance.
But you might not have heard the bigger story behind it: after investigating the bug, OpenAI found it might have also revealed the personal information of 1.2% of the platform’s paying users. Italy recently made headlines when it temporarily banned ChatGPT, citing these privacy concerns.
The security breach highlights a larger issue with the product. As it was designed as a research tool, there are concerns its cyber security isn’t at the level required for the purposes subscribers are now using it for.
If you do use the tool, be sensible about what input you give it. Avoid adding sensitive information – especially about identifiable individuals, such as prospects or customers. Otherwise, a future data breach could leave you in hot water.
The OpenAI team can access all conversations for reviewing purposes. They also note you can’t delete specific prompts from your chat history once you’ve added them. This is another reason you should never share confidential information with the tool.
So, the AI software is clearly not perfect. But as long as you keep these limitations in mind, you can start using it in some really clever ways to generate content and speed up your lead generation and sales processes.
How can I access ChatGPT?
- You’ll need an OpenAI account. You can create one by heading here and clicking the sign-up button.
- Enter your email address and a password, verify your account using your phone number, and you’re ready to go!
Is ChatGPT free?
As a research tool, ChatGPT comes with a completely free tier. Once you have an OpenAI account, you can immediately get going with it to generate sales messages (depending on server capacity).
Recently, the OpenAI team introduced a paid tier, guaranteeing access to the tool even when demand is high. You’ll also need the paid version to access ChatGPT 4.
ChatGPT-3 vs ChatGPT 4
The latest version of the tool, ChatGPT 4, was released in March 2023. Differences between version 3 and ChatGPT 4 include:
- ChatGPT 4 has been trained on a larger dataset. It’s more accurate and can spot malicious questions more easily.
- OpenAI claims ChatGPT 4 is 60% less likely to make factual errors or make up blatantly incorrect information.
- ChatGPT 4 is multi-modal and can create responses based on images (though output responses are still text-based). ChatGPT-3 requires text-based input.
- The new version has a higher word limit for text-based input (25K vs. ~3K). This makes it more suited to processing large data sets or producing longer content.
- ChatGPT 4 has a longer conversational memory. Version 3 maxes out at around 8,000 words before problems start occurring with its ability to remember past inputs. With GPT-4, this is 8x higher – up to 64,000 words. This means you can have more in-depth conversations and increase the sophistication of responses by feeding the tool more background information.
- The latest model has better support for languages that aren’t English.
- It’s also better at responding in the right tone, voice, and personality (based on your directions).
- You shouldn’t use it as a source of truth. Always fact-check your output: errors still abound.
- The data set it’s trained on still stops in September 2021.
- ChatGPT 4 is only available for plus subscribers. So you’ll have to pay $20 p/m to access it.
It’s up to you whether you decide it’s worth the cost to purchase ChatGPT 4. But right now, ChatGPT-3 (available free for all accounts) works pretty well for lead generation.
How to use ChatGPT for sales and lead generation
There are three areas of lead generation where AI can make a real difference to the quality and efficiency of your responses:
- Outreach strategy: ChatGPT prompts can help you understand audience pain points, respond to common objections, find FAQs, and discover your product’s value.
- Outreach messaging: Based on your strategic findings, you can craft engaging, relevant outreach messages for LinkedIn, email, and cold calling using the right ChatGPT questions.
- Lead nurturing: Once you’ve engaged leads, the tool can give you endless ideas for content that will add value and take them through the lead funnel from not-ready-to-buy to sale. It can even create these messages for you, giving you extra time for the hard parts of selling.
This guide will walk you through best practices for each section, including top tips for prompts that will create the best ready-to-use messages and new ways to use the tool you might not have thought of.
Best practices for ChatGPT prompts
We’ll cover these in more detail below, but here’s a quick checklist for creating relevant, ready-to-go content using ChatGPT prompts:
- Make your asks SPECIFIC.
- Define your terms well.
- Get clear on tone.
- Remember what ChatGPT CAN’T do.
- ALWAYS check and edit its output. AI can take you 70-90% of the way, but that final human once-over is essential to avoid alienating your prospects.
How to use ChatGPT to improve your outreach strategy
Before you begin, clearly define your audience. Who is it that you’re selling to? Get as specific as possible.
If possible, include the following information:
- Role/Job title
- Company size
- Who they service/sell to (if B2B)
In the examples below, I’m going to focus my efforts on sales leaders at mid-sized companies that sell B2B coaching services.
As I offer LinkedIn automation software, I’ll also tell the tool that this is what I want to sell them.
Discover audience pain points and how your product solves them
Creating compelling outreach requires a deep understanding of your prospect’s psychology and pain points.
You can use ChatGPT to suggest pain points you might not have thought of and summarize how your product can solve them.
Using my example of a sales leader at a mid-sized B2B coaching services company, for example, it gives the following response:
I can use these pain points as a starting point to articulate my product’s value by asking this follow-up message:
Or, I can combine the two and save time. Here are the results when I ask:
Give me 5 pain points the head of outbound sales at a business coaching company catering to time-poor execs might face, and how LinkedIn automation could solve them.
Discover common objections and questions
Learning about common objections and questions helps you avoid getting tripped up on sales calls and gives you the raw material to create outreach messages that convert.
Luckily, ChatGPT is great at helping you get to the heart of your target audience’s concerns. And it only takes a few straightforward prompts.
See what it created when I typed in the below:
Get answers to FAQs and handle common objections
Now you have a list of objections, it’s easy to generate persuasive responses. This works for objection handling but would be easy to tweak for common questions.
Generate cold call scripts, elevator pitches, & battle cards for discovery calls
When I asked the following:
ChatGPT misunderstood my instruction but created this ready-to-go script I can use to answer objections or give an elevator pitch when cold calling or on a discovery call.
This opening part of the script isn’t super useful for me. But the meat of the response comes once ChatGPT starts anticipating some pain points and articulating exactly how my product works:
Then, it takes it one step further and even flags what my prospect’s objections are likely to be:
By asking to roleplay an interaction, I’ve saved time and got an elevator pitch, an understanding of some likely pain points, a heads-up on a common objection, and persuasive responses to both. All in one prompt.
If you want to download this and all the other prompts in this guide as customizable templates, see our PDF compilation.
Top tip: now that you have a starter roleplay, you can add follow-up prompts to get responses for particular pain points or objections.
Take the following example:
With the basics in place, the sky’s the limit.
Note: it might seem counterintuitive to ask the ChatGPT prompt above if you want a different outcome. As of right now, it really does work. For whatever reason, using this exact format will give you the sales script you want. If you ask the AI tool to perform both roles, it won’t give you a sales script off the bat. You’ll have to ask follow-up questions to get the desired format.
How to use ChatGPT to create outreach messages
Creating outreach messages: the general idea
ChatGPT is only as good as the prompts you put into it. If you want responses that are actually compelling, you need to be specific. Taking two seconds to define your target audience, ideal length, and tone of voice at the outset makes a huge difference. Need an example? Look at the response I get for each of the following prompts:
Prompt 1: A generic request for an outreach message.
It’s a good summary of my offering, but the message is focused entirely on my company. The opening is bland, and each paragraph says variations of the same thing.
Not the best for showing prospects you really understand where they’re coming from.
Let’s look at what happens when I add a basic level of information about who the message is going to with prompt 2:
While neither is perfect, the second message is more personable. It’s a great starting point to tweak for our needs.
That’s why using the right prompts is crucial to saving time. Throughout this section, you’ll see prompts that you can repurpose for your offering, audience, and tone of voice to create compelling automated content. But if you’re in a rush, or just want the juicy bits to save for later you can also download these templates.
Ideate messaging hooks and cold opens
From both posts above, it’s clear we need some strong hooks to get to the heart of our target audience’s pain points.
So, let’s ask ChatGPT to:
- Generate some pain points for sales leaders selling coaching services.
- Create message openers from these pain points.
Let’s give as much information as possible to get the best results.
In addition to my prospect’s title – sales leader – and industry – coaching, I’m going to add:
- The type of clients they work with;
- The type of coaching offered.
Here’s my prompt:
What are 5 pain points someone who is the head of outbound sales at a company offering business coaching services to time-poor executives at firms of 50-250 might face?
And here’s what it gives me as a result:
I know my product can help solve points 1 and 4 well, so now I’ll ask it to generate 3 options each for opening sentences for a message to the head of outbound sales at this coaching company based on these pain points.
Great! But a bit bland. I want my voice to match that of my company’s brand – approachable and informal.
Again, it’s not perfect – if I was going to use option 2, I’d want to tweak it a bit. But option 1 reads pretty well off the bat, and 3 isn’t bad either. Now let’s see how it does for pain point 4:
Option 1 is exactly why it’s so important to sense- and tone-check your messages before sending them out – I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure my head of sales will love being called a busy bee.
But minor tweaks to tone are simple to do once you have the broad outline of the message in place. It’s the underlying logic and phrasing that trips salespeople up, especially given how many prospects need to be reached.
As you can see from my conversation above, the great thing about ChatGPT is that it saves my conversation history. I don’t have to keep typing the same information in the same chat. I can just reference point 4 above, and it’ll know what to do.
This is how you can build on your conversation flow to quickly create tailored messages in the right tone of voice for a particular persona.
I can name the chat in the left-hand panel to keep track of each effort.
However, you probably want a prompt that’ll generate great opening hooks off the bat. So, combining all of the above together, let’s go with this:
Give me 5 pain points the head of outbound sales at a business coaching company catering to time-poor execs might face, and how Linkedin automation software could solve them. Then, using these pain points, come up with three options for the opening sentence of an informal and friendly outreach message.
Create LinkedIn connection request messages
ChatGPT can help you create succinct hooks if you’re stuck on what to send when asking a prospect to connect.
It’s good to ask for 3-5 options, as some are likely to be better than others. In the image above, for example, Options 1 and 3 are too vague, but 2 works well. Of course, the more information you have on a particular prospect, the more specific you can be with your request. But, sometimes, you’ll want a connection request that could work for multiple leads.
Let’s see what happens if I make this request a little more specific, though.
If you’re not getting the output you want, you can ask it to edit the responses slightly by adding an extra command.
I like these a lot, but there’s one problem – the LinkedIn request character limit. When I sent the follow-up, it seemingly forgot about my 300-character limit. So if you’re setting additional parameters yourself, include the most important ones again to avoid this.
If you do find it’s missed out an element of your criteria, it’s easy to correct:
As you can see, trial and error are needed for the best results. The first posts make it sound like I work in the coaching industry, the second posts are great but too long, and the third posts speak too much about my product for an intro message.
Now that I’ve experimented, though, I have the perfect prompt to get results:
To get this and the other prompts in this article as a customizable template, download our Compilation of ChatGPT Prompts.
Craft LinkedIn or Email outreach messages
Longer outreach messages take more trial and error and require you to specify what content should be covered in the message body to get the best results.
Get the prompt right, though, and you’ve just saved loads of time.
So, what’s the secret to prompts that get results?
- Always ask the tool to address your prospect’s pain points. If you can name a specific pain point or two in your prompt, even better. Remember, the better the information that goes in, the better the results that come out.
- Feed case studies, social proof, and statistics about return on investment into your chat before asking the tool to generate a message. It can use these as specific examples to make persuasive arguments – rather than making up generic results for you to edit.
- You’ll need a clear idea of both your target audience and your ideal tone of voice. Remember, you can use the tips and prompts in the strategy section of this guide to define these if you’re struggling.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s try some messaging prompts.
I thought this example was okay, but I wanted to get a bit more specific. So I increased the maximum length slightly and tweaked my wording for the following prompt:
Which I thought was a much stronger message. It really shows the value of playing around a bit with the tool (and what a difference rephrasing something even slightly makes!)
Pick a punchy subject line
Once that message is ready to send, all you need now is a punchy subject line. No pressure.
Subject-line prompts are where you’ll want to start getting really specific about your intended tone of voice. Is it informal and friendly? Funny and pithy? Intriguing? Helpful? Concise?
Because it’s such a short text, play around with your tone of voice markers and see what gives you the best response.
Here are some examples:
And here’s one that’s less restrictive about the heading’s content:
As long as we remove “with LinkedIn automation” from every option, these work. By taking two seconds to make that edit, I’ve made my subject lines 10x more impactful.
And of course, if you have an email ready to go, you can make your prompt more specific to get less generic options.
Follow-up with unresponsive leads
A crucial part of outreach is persistence. With 8+ touch points often needed to secure a meeting, you need engaging messages that can chase unresponsive prospects without them feeling pestered.
Luckily, ChatGPT is more than capable of taking tedious follow-ups out of your hands.
Top tip: for more than one follow-up, remember that offering your prospects value will increase the likelihood of engagement. See our templates under ‘lead nurturing messages’ for ideas.
How to use ChatGPT for lead nurturing
Brainstorm your lead nurturing strategy, value-adds, and marketing assets
The first thing to work out when nurturing leads is how you can add value for prospects not yet ready to buy.
We can use ChatGPT to learn what content prospects need educating on, create ideas for value-driven CTAs, and brainstorm potential lead magnets.
Source ideas for value-add CTAs:
Brainstorm thought leadership topics and lead magnet options:
Generate content marketing ideas to support your outreach or nurture inbound leads:
Get ideas and templates for social posts
Social selling is a key part of engaging prospects, but coming up with post ideas and finding the time to write them is hard.
With the right prompts, ChatGPT solves this by generating content ideas and creating posts around them.
First, ask it to generate some content ideas:
Pick one, then use this template to create a draft LinkedIn post:
This is a clear, value-add post, and you could send it as it is. For the best results, however, use this post suggestion as the bare bones, then increase value with any stats or original research you have to hand, add emojis or graphics, and get more specific in the first paragraph so your content stands out from others.
Remember, you can ‘feed’ a lot of this information into the software at the beginning of your conversation, so there’s even less to do manually.
Top tip: Let ChatGPT do 90% of the work, then use your insights and position as an industry expert to polish off the final 10%. You’ll get a content-creation machine that nurtures existing connections and establishes your voice as a thought leader.
Create a lead nurturing strategy with ideas for content types, topics & subjects
Struggling to build out your lead nurturing strategy? Ask ChatGPT for help.
If I type in the below, for example, it gives me suggestions of ways to keep leads who’ve not yet converted engaged:
I can then use the tool to help me create some of these content types.
Lead nurturing messages
Once you’ve chosen a lead-nurturing idea and created lead magnets and assets, use ChatGPT to build marketing messages around them.
For example, here’s how you could create a nurturing message inviting a prospect to a webinar (one of the content ideas it gave me in the step above).
Of course, you can use ChatGPT to produce lead nurturing messages that aren’t attached to lead magnets, too.
Here’s it in action with a standard lead nurturing email: one where I’ve asked it to provide specific value rather than being explicitly pushy or salesy.
Yes, over time you probably want to build out a lead nurturing strategy that’s less generic and focuses on topics you’re a real thought leader on. But it’s a decent start. And, as always, if you can give greater specifics, it’ll give you more valuable content.
Look at what happens when I replace ‘some tips on overcoming a core pain point’ with ‘some tips on how they can increase conversion rates when prospecting’:
An extra tip to take your lead nurturing to the next level is to then ask this follow-up prompt:
I’d like to tweak this to make the introduction sound more personal (and more like me) and get more specific with links and tips in the 5 points outlined. I’d also want to change it so it talks much more about ‘you’ than me, ‘we’ and ‘our’. But it’s a great skeleton and saves lots of time otherwise spent frowning at the keyboard in frustration!
And I can easily add additional prompts and tweak the results so they’re closer to what I want.
Top Tip: ChatGPT is great at generating multiple content options. Experimenting as I have above can get you closer to content that resonates and follows best practices (check out what those are in our guide to buyer psychology).
However, it’s best not to be too precious. I’ve seen the best results by asking for several options, then combining the best parts of each into content that’s more unique. For example, with the prompts above, I prefer the opening in the second option but the use of bullet points in the third.
Streamline your lead generation
So there you have it: your complete guide to using ChatGPT for sales and lead generation. From the steps above, you hopefully understand how to use ChatGPT to generate high-quality, relevant outreach messages and responses.
If you want more help, check out our complimentary Collection of ChatGPT prompts. The downloadable PDF contains all the prompts in this article in customizable templates, complete with a checklist to ensure content quality and workflows to hone results that aren’t quite right.
Once your messages are ready to go, why not load your cadences up into Salesflow for LinkedIn automation that streamlines your outreach even further? We even have a built-in AI copy generator that you can use with some of the prompts above. Get started today with a 7-day free trial: