Oliver Schumacher on interview

Oliver Schumacher has built the “Olli-AI” with the help of Reeply – a chatbot that can provide expert tips on the topic of price negotiations. The chatbot has been fed with expertise that Oliver has successfully passed on to other salespeople for decades. In the interview, he tells us everything about the Olli-AI. How he came up with it, what he thinks about the changes brought by AI in the sales training industry, and much more!

1. Who is Oliver Schumacher?
Since 2009, sales trainer Oliver Schumacher has been conducting training sessions and lectures throughout the German-speaking region, particularly on topics such as acquisition, price negotiation, and revenue increase. The seven-time book author is also well-known through his YouTube channel “Oliver Schumacher – Your Sales Trainer,” where he regularly publishes sales tips.

2. What do you expect from the Olli-AI?

Oliver Schumacher: I’d be lying if I didn’t openly admit that I expect higher visibility and thus more inquiries and even better revenues from the Olli-AI.

3. What needs does the Olli-AI aim to address in the area of price negotiations?

Oliver Schumacher: When a problem arises, quick solutions are needed, even in sales. And the free basic version of the Olli-AI now provides everyone with concrete ideas and strategies at any time on how to sell more easily and confidently at their calculated prices.

4. Can you describe how the Olli-AI works? How can one utilize the Olli-AI?

Oliver Schumacher: You just need to enter your topic, and then you’ll receive specific answers. For example, “How do I better prepare for a price negotiation?” “What can I do if the customer doesn’t accept the price increase?” or even “I want to practice. Please play the buyer and analyze my responses so I can improve my argumentation skills.” Thus, this AI is not only a valuable source of inspiration but also a sparring partner with whom you can train your argumentation skills.

5. Why are you creating your own competitor with such an AI – and even offering it for free use?

Oliver Schumacher: Artificial intelligence is rapidly advancing, even in the field of education. Since, to my knowledge, there hasn’t been any artificial intelligence specifically assisting salespeople with acquisition, price negotiation, or other sales-related situations with practical tips, I thought, why not do it myself? In case of doubt, I’d rather cannibalize myself than have someone else do it for me. But: It’s only the topic of price discussions that I provide for free as part of the basic version – sort of as an introduction. Those who want more can only get it through the paid premium version.

6. What are the biggest challenges in training an AI for sales negotiations, and how have you overcome them?

Oliver Schumacher: I must admit, I didn’t do much here. Most of it was handled by Max, especially the setup of the “Exercises” function, where everyone can practice and improve price negotiations with the AI. Ultimately, I “only” provided the texts and content for the AI to delve into the subject of price discussions.

7. What is the future of the Olli-AI? Do you plan to add more features or customization options?

Oliver Schumacher: Currently, the Olli-AI has general arguments but not customer- or user-specific arguments. However, customers have the option to get their own Olli-AI, which also considers their company-specific arguments and circumstances. Because someone who wants to sell halls, for example, needs completely different arguments than someone who sells food products to restaurateurs. In short: The AI is “fed” with company-specific added values and characteristics, so that users of the AI feel like they are talking to their own experienced sales colleague who has a perfect actionable answer to everything. This is particularly valuable for the training of new employees in sales.

8. Do you plan a commercial version of the Olli-AI?

Oliver Schumacher: I don’t believe in giving money to providers in advance if you don’t know what you’re getting in return. That’s why there’s both a free and a paid version, so now everyone can test and experience it without obligation and anonymously.

9. How does the Olli-AI differ from, for example, ChatGPT?

Oliver Schumacher: ChatGPT is not specialized in sales training. Of course, it can also say something about all topics such as acquisition, trade fairs, complaints, objection handling, follow-up offers, and the like, but not nearly as intensively as the Olli-AI. Furthermore, the Olli-AI is named such because it provides information that I, Oliver Schumacher, either say or recommend in training or in my YouTube videos.

10. What feedback and experiences have users provided so far with the Olli-AI, and how do these contribute to its further development?

Oliver Schumacher: Users were very excited. And some even recognized me from the AI’s answers, which pleased me greatly. Some field salespeople who tested it had never worked with AI before and didn’t know how much the quality of the response depends on the prompt, i.e., the instruction to the AI.

11. In what way do you believe the availability of such an AI will change the landscape of sales training?

Oliver Schumacher: Many people who previously searched for solutions for better sales results on search engines like Google will turn to artificial intelligence because it’s not only easier but also faster. Sales training will not be replaced by AI but complemented by it. Because there are entirely different dynamics in a live sales training with field salespeople in a seminar room than when individuals sit in front of an AI – and practice with it. Typical conversation situations (emotional complaints, tough price negotiations, difficult acquisition calls, etc.) can also be better replicated and trained in a real seminar room than with an AI. At least for now…

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