The counterintuitive online formula to discover exactly what your customers want to buy by Ryan Levesque

Ryan Levesque explores the gist behind increasing the prominence and success of online businesses in the book Ask: The counterintuitive online formula to discover exactly what your customers want to buy. The book lays its premise on the rising need to take online businesses to the next level in their market analysis and therefore the author provides the ‘Ask formula’ to achieve it. The first two chapters give an account of the author after using the Ask formula in determining the needs by clients. Further, it indicates that business owners must ask themselves questions to discover what customers want through ways various surveys that helps to define their markets.

The author gives personal insights on the discovery of the formulae, which emanated from hard work, dedication to finding the formula and many failed attempts before the right approach could be realized. The discovered formula was asking the right questions, in the right manner and at the right time. In addition, the author provides insights on dealing with personal crises which entails finding your own purpose in life, amidst many commitments. This is the preceding step before identifying what others want from your business.

The author emphasizes on working towards the dream established to realize success, giving personal ordeals of the relentless ventures in his life that shaped his personality. The fifth chapter in particular emphasizes following personal interests even in the choice of future career endeavors. With a twist of fate for the author, the outcomes in his life prompted him to prove his ability. These insights challenge prospective entrepreneurs delving in the corporate world on the uncertainty of such ventures, where resilience and effort are skills that need to be acquired and learnt for survival.

Using the insights of a letter written to the mother on the uncommon working conditions, the book challenges the readers to work hard on various endeavors undertaken, irrespective of the course or profession. Indeed, being relentless means accomplishing seemingly impossible goals. Learning from the experience of giants, the author notes that information targeted to clients should be simple and clear. Further, he suggests that successful individuals focus majorly on their markets and using the correct business language to cement your brands.

The book further posits that businesses take the leap when it is least expected by their owners. The author provides an account of his own ventures that have succeeded because of learning and meeting the needs of clients and integrating ideas to come up with one great strategy. Although challenges come in the way of business people, the book contents that such individuals should anticipate such events and have mental safety nets that could cushion their incomes and livelihoods.

The methodology of the Ask formula developed within the book begins with the identification that the Ask formula is very dynamic and is bound to change and with it the outcomes expected. However, the author cautions readers not to misuse the formula, given its intricate and transformative nature. The formula is structured under four pillars namely the deep dive survey which provides an in-depth information of the market, the micro commitment bucket which is the basis for customization, the ‘do you hate me’ survey for collecting feedback and the pivot survey which is used in case all the others fail.

The deep dive survey begins the preparation phase, where it is reckoned that many successful survey funnels begin behind the scenes. This is the survey carried out before venturing in a particular market that lays foundation for all other elements. It is critical that the survey is done before venturing in the market for a good understanding of the clientele. The next phase after the pre-funnel is the persuasion phase, which begins with making a good impression to the clients and delving on presentation and positioning of the products. Aspects of branding also feature in this phase and developing a survey to identify the best way to present the products.

The next phase in the survey is segmentation, which lies within the micro-commitment bucket survey. This emanates from conducting surveys that match the right products or given markets. The final segmenting strategy is formed from the results of the survey although this depends on the manner in which the survey was conducted. This is followed by a sales prescription, which is the post survey phase where strategies are provided as recommendations for improvement of outcomes.

Given the implementation in the post-survey phase, the profit aspect is discussed. The author notes that real profits are realized through the initial sales as well as the repeat sales from buyers or additional sales in their initial purchase. The author mostly emphasizes on encouraging clients to make additional purchases that could potentially raise profits to a great deal. Thereafter, the pivot stage ensues, where a feedback loop is established through emails. This helps to optimize and improve the marketing funnel, although the author suggests that the drafting of emails should be done in a calculated manner for the best outcomes.

The author provides case studies of entities that had challenges with their marketing strategies and their outcomes after using the survey funnel. With complete surveys and full implementation of the survey funnel, an entity called FYB began to make plausible revenues and additional clients were attracted to the products. Further, the author details an implementation case study to a water ionizer company, where the sales sky rocketed within the first five days of implementation. The formula has since then been improvised for all new products in such entities.

The author notes that the reason for writing the book was to inform individuals of the secret formula that will lead to their success in e-commerce through survey funnels. The book poses a challenge to the readers to start asking the questions in the different surveys. Interested parties may get the insights from software sources, digging deeper in to the methodology or observing how other businesses have implemented it. With the approach, it is indeed plausible to posit that entrepreneurs and business people have the key to explore their success in the online market.