AI and Business Development

April 18, 2023
# min read
Grant Tate

ChatGPT has become my research assistant. For the past several months, I've been experimenting with the system, exploring how it might help with my work and also how it might affect jobs like mine.

Since business development is the newsletter's theme this month, let's explore how AI might help.

My client in Tokyo plans to expand her translation business to help expatriate business executives navigate the Japanese culture and business environment—assisting executives to become more rapidly effective. The client is familiar with ChatGPT, but I offered to help.

The first question sets the context for the inquiry. In one comprehensive paragraph, I described my client's background and experience. Then asked ChatGPT to "Please write a promotional piece that she can use for social media and marketing."

ChatGPT responded with a 1½ page promotional piece entitled "Discover Japan Through the Eyes of a Cultural Expert." No matter how hard I tried, I could not have written a promotional piece of this quality. Yes, we could have gone to a branding expert with all the time and expense involved, but I rated the AI result as outstanding. Of course, my client can edit appropriately, but she has an excellent starting point.

Next, I explored what a cultural advisor could offer. So my next question went to content: "Please develop a twelve-session coaching program for expatriate executives working and living in Japan."

ChatGPT responded with a complete twelve-session coaching program giving detailed objectives for each session.

But, not being satisfied with the detail of that answer, I asked: "Please develop an outline for each of these sessions."

The response gave a six-point outline for each of the twelve sessions. Now, we have content for the Cultural Advisor offers. Given enough time, ChatGPT could have expanded each topic to include references and guidelines. That will come in another session.

Next, I requested: "Please develop a marketing plan aimed at the Japanese market for this service."

The response provided a nine-section marketing plan with details for each step. Of course, the program will need refinement and more work, but we have an outline to begin work on the marketing plan.

Marketing identifies a prospect, but what happens when my client encounters a real opportunity: So the next question involved sales: "Once a prospect is identified, what is the optimum sales approach?"

ChatGPT provided a nine-step beginning with "Research the prospect" and ending with "Maintain communications." This answer was generic but gave good guidelines to help my client develop her sales approach.

But I was concerned with the size of the market in Japan, so the next question was: "What do you know about the market for cultural advisors with coaching skills in Japan?"

Here we ran into some of the limitations of ChatGPT, which responded: "As an AI language model, my knowledge is up-to-date only until September 2021. However, I can provide you with a general overview of the market for cultural advisors with coaching skills in Japan based on the information available up to that point." Following that statement, it discussed five significant factors that could affect the market for cultural advisors. In general, ChatGPT has not been a reliable source of statistics for my work. If it gives specific data, it's a good idea to research and confirm those numbers independently.

Yet, given the preceding limitations, I was interested in exploring my client's competitive edge: "What are my client's competitive edges?" Remember that I had initially provided a detailed paragraph of my client's background.

This response included seven possible competitive edges. Yes, my client and I had discussed this. Still, ChatGPT's response mentioned one we had not considered: Talented pianist: "Your client's musical talent can add a unique, engaging aspect to her coaching program, allowing her to connect with clients on a deeper level through the universal language of music."

So, the next question explored: How can my client use musical venues to orient expatriates to Japanese culture?

This surprising answer gave seven ways to use music and venues to help orient ex-pats to the culture. This was a new channel to explore.

As a wrap-up, my final question was: Please develop a business model canvas for my client's new business.

The response: "A Business Model Canvas is a strategic management tool that helps visualize and define the key components of a business. Here's a Business Model Canvas for Mari's cultural advisory and coaching business:" It gave me details on all canvas elements.

As a business development tool, ChatGPT can help organize the plan, trigger new ideas, and help visualize new possibilities. It also saves a lot of writing.

Keep on exploring.

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