These are my personal book notes of Ask by the author Ryan Levesque.
Let’s dive in.
- Title: Ask
- Subtitle: The counterintuitive online formula to discover exactly what your customers want to buy… Create a mass of raving fans… And take any business to the next level
- Author: Ryan Levesque
- Author’s website: ryanlevesque.net
- Type: non fiction
- Genre: online marketing
- Rating: 4/5
- Recommended: Yes
Table Of Contents Of The Book
- Foreword by Glenn Livingston, Ph.D
- Introduction: How to Use this Book
- Part I - Ask: The Story
- Chapter 1 - You: Who, What, & Why
- Chapter 2 - Strange Questions… and Stranger Answers
- Chapter 3 - The Discovery
- Chapter 4 - My Crisis
- Chapter 5 - Working Hard for the Dream
- Chapter 6 - An Unexpected Twist
- Chapter 7 - The Letter
- Chapter 8 - Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
- Chapter 9 - Taking the Leap
- Chapter 10 - Things Finally Come Together
- Part II - Ask: The Methodology
- Chapter 11 - Getting Started: How to Read the Ask Formula Methodology
- Chapter 12 - The Process: Prepare, Persuade, Segment, Prescribe, Profit, Pivot
- Chapter 13 - Prepare: The Deep Dive Survey
- Chapter 14 - Persuade: The Prospect Self-Discovery Landing Page
- Chapter 15 - Segment: The Micro-Commitment Bucket Survey
- Chapter 16 - Prescribe: The Post-Survey Sales Prescription
- Chapter 17 - Profit: The Profit Maximization Upsell Sequence
- Chapter 18 - Pivot: The Email Follow-Up Feedback Loop
- Chapter 19 - Case Study #1: Tennis Training - Zero to $250,000 in 6 Months
- Chapter 20 - Case Study #2: Water Ionizer Market - $750,000 in 5 Days
- Chapter 21 - Why: The Reason For Writing This Book
- Chapter 22 - Next Steps: Now It’s Your Turn to Ask
- About the Author
Key Concepts & Ideas
If you ask 1,000 entrepreneurs, business owners, or aspiring business owners to complete the sentence:
“I wish I had more ___.”
Ninety-four percent will say one of two things:
The most common response is time.
The second most common response?
When you apply what you’re about to discover, the contents of this book can deliver the second most common thing entrepreneurs, business owners, and aspiring business owners say when asked to complete the “I wish I had more ___” sentence.
Every successful entrepreneur’s story is filled with near-failure.
My story is no different, and if you’re like most people, I think you’ll be surprised to hear how it took me almost dying for the Ask Formula to come into existence.
With that being said, at the same time I want to point out something that’s super important.
I want you to understand the Ask Formula is here in its entirety.
I’ve held nothing back.
It is all there for you to use and customize for your business.
But whatever you decide, the important thing is to start.
- Ryan Levesque
Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants
But there was one particular course that stood out:
The writings of (the late) Gary Halbert.
Regarded as one of the top copywriters in the world, he had a striking style that intrigued me.
The content of his newsletters wasn’t what I was focused on.
They might have described promotions Halbert was running or giving lessons in building business.
But the way he wrote… genius.
I quickly realized that no matter what your vocabulary or verbal ability, no one likes being talked down to.
Unless you live in the world of academia (where verbal one-upmanship is the norm), most people prefer common, everyday conversation.
The important part of what I was learning was his style of communicating.
The magic was in the way he wrote.
Something about it inspired passion, and stoked that flame inside me.
The thing I (still) love most about Gary Halbert’s style of writing is that it makes you feel like he’s talking to you in your living room, just having a casual conversation.
His words stuck.
I had to “unlearn” an academic/corporate style of writing I’d picked up in college and been praised for in the corporate world.
In time it clicked:
I was moving from being a corporate businessman, working for a big company, feeling unsatisfied and empty, to learning how to communicate and sell in a powerful kind of way.
Glenn Livingston’s approach helped me focus on what mattered most: the market.
I realized that it was much easier to find a market and figure out what to sell them than to have a product and have to create a market for it.
I now had a plan.
I knew how to carry out my market research, settle on a market, and figure out what that market really wanted.
The Process: Prepare, Persuade, Segment, Prescribe, Profit, Pivot
To kick things off, there are two major concepts we need to introduce and differentiate.
The first is the Ask Formula itself.
The second is my Survey Funnel Strategy.
The best way to think of these two elements is like this:
If the Ask Formula is the overriding conceptual framework, then the Survey Funnel Strategy is the step-by-step, nuts-and-bolts blueprint to apply that formula in your business online.
The reason it’s called the Survey Funnel Strategy is because it’s a strategy that uses a combination of four specific surveys at four very specific points in your online sales funnel.
If you’re not familiar with the term “Sales Funnel” - for our purposes, a Sales Funnel is simply the series of steps you want people to take to go from being a potential customer to becoming an actual customer in your online business.
Many businesses today are using an online sales funnel where a prospect clicks on an online ad, which leads to a landing page (where they’re immediately asked to enter their name and email address) in exchange for a free report or coupon.
Then the prospect is rushed to a “one-size-fits-all” sales copy webpage, followed by a checkout page to enter their payment information.
When the sale is made, they send a “thank you” confirming the order.
End of story.
The Survey Funnel Strategy you’re about to discover operates differently - and much, much more effectively.
The pillars of the system are four primary surveys:
- The “Deep Dive” Survey
- The “Micro-Commitment Bucket” Survey
- The “Do You Hate Me” Survey
- The “Pivot” Survey
These four surveys - and the four big questions they represent - are foundational to the Ask Formula because they are the key to finding out exactly what your customers want to buy.
If you don’t know what the customer wants (or you assume you know what they want), there might be a mismatch between how you’re positioning your product and what the market really wants.
Even worse, you might be offering the wrong products or services altogether - both of which ultimately lead to losing sales.
If you have a list of customers (or prospective customers) whom you can reach by email, you simply run an open-ended survey sent by email, ask them what their single greatest challenge is (along with several additional questions), and use this information to really figure out who your customer is on a deep (and often more honest) level.
My book notes only cover small parts of the book.
So if you like what you read, please consider buying the book from the author.
Thank you for reading and stay awesome,
Tim for Online Business Dude
PS: Start Your Own, Profitable Online Business From Scratch, Step-by-Step, Today!