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Ask: 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
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Ask: 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

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  2,509 ratings  ·  164 reviews


Do you know how to find out what people really want to buy?
(Not what you think they want, not what they say they want, but what they really want?)

The secret is asking the right questions - and the right questions are not what you might expect.

Ask is based on the compelling premise that you should NEVER have t

Kindle Edition, 218 pages
Published April 21st 2015 by Dunham Books (first published January 1st 2015)
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Average rating 3.64  · 
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 ·  2,509 ratings  ·  164 reviews

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Start your review of Ask: 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
Alexander Temerev
Jul 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
Lots and lots of BS, with some scattered advice here and there. And in the very end, there is a "formula", given w/o any explanation. The most important piece of advice seems to be this one:

Don't ask customers about what they want to see in your product — this is hard to answer. Ask what they hate in existing products, as it will give you much more feedback.

Here, I saved you $4.
Heidi The Reader
Mar 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: business, non-fiction
I picked this up because I was looking for some pointers on creating online surveys for the public library. It has some excellent ideas, but they're buried beneath the coils of a very aggressive marketing formula. Levesque coaches businesses to send twelve follow up emails to customers, whether they purchase the product or not. Can you imagine? It's no wonder that people don't like giving their emails out, if that is the manner in which they will be used. I have to give it to Levesque- the man c ...more
Jan 27, 2018 rated it did not like it
This review will CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Trust me. I've been using this review to CHANGE LIVES for years. But before I CHANGE YOUR LIFE, there is something you need to understand: I used to just be really smart, but ever since I overcame adversity in the hospital and wrote a really, long letter to my mom when I should've been working, I'm now really smart AND really important. Because, as it turns out, if you just email the hell out of people—without any concern for them—and keep asking them for money ...more
Kalle Reunanen
Sep 04, 2015 rated it did not like it
"I, Me and myself did this and that blah blah..." Most of the book is about author and his promise to reveal the magic formula and promises how it will change everything. Uniqueness of the formula does not seem to bee to unique. Reading this was waste of time.

There are better books about how to understand what your customers need or want. You might want to try for example "Talking to Humans" by Giff Constable. You can find it here: for free.
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
The author says repeatedly "the devil is in the detals" but he doesn't show you the details.

The book is used mainly as a free "hook" to get you to sign up for one of his premium products (survey software, paid membership group, consulting services).

This seems to be basically just an overview of what we can actually learn about if we paid for his premium products. He used his own tactics on us, readers :)

As an example of the crucial details that are missing: He gives you a rough copy of an email
Amanda Roy
Sep 27, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
Absolutely awful. I would not have finished it if it wasn't required reading for class. Reads like an infomercial, because it is. He is actually applying aspects of his formula in the book to try to persuade you to buy more of his products. While some valuable points are made regarding market segmentation and seeking continuous customer feedback - 99% of this book is garbage. Don't waste your time. ...more
Oct 27, 2015 rated it did not like it
The first half of this book is the Author's autobiography where he spare's no modesty. The second half leads you to get his special training for a mere $497. Yes, that $500 less than the regular price. Save your time and money - don't read this book. ...more
Apr 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, persuasion
Ask is an interesting book for a few different reasons.

First, the book is split into two very different parts. Part 1 is all about the author's story, which includes his personal business story and a near-death experience. Part 2 is all about the Ask Formula methodology. Both parts of the book can be read by themselves. If you want to read the story, then the methodology, you can. If you only want to read about the methodology, you can skip Part 1 altogether. Part 1 is 59 pages; Part 2 is 119 pa
Aug 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
This book offers a very clear, step-by-step process to follow to find out what your customers want and tailor your offerings to match. It seems like it would clearly work very well. Tons of juicy details--way too many to take notes on. Just buy this and follow it if you decide to do it.

One funny sidenote: I first encountered this author's work when he was a presenter at an online conference on publishing, talking about this book as a success story. The conference was hosted by a guy with a sligh
Jean-luc Brisebois
Oct 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
Lots of BS in this book. You know, the "you will see later in this book how to become rich", and that moment never come. Don't waste your time on this book. ...more
المهند السبيعي
Jan 28, 2016 rated it did not like it
a lot of useless text and personal story
the part of asking questions was not realistic nor scientific ... not as per Marketing Research standards ... I didn't like this book at all
Alexander Fitzgerald
Jun 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing

This book is worth much more than what I paid for it.

I had enormous blind spots when it came to my online business. Ryan Levesque does a fantastic job of revealing those blind spots and discussing solutions.
Mar 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Ask., as it should go without saying, is a marketing book. Not only is about marketing, but it's also a large scale marketing effort for Levesque's methodology and highly priced programmes.

And, let's just say after the first half was a complete waste of my time, I'm really happy I got this book for free instead of spending the $13 to get it since it took me so long to get to the good stuff. Unless you want to read about how Levesque worked really hard under pressure, set his sights on something
Feb 24, 2016 rated it did not like it
This book simply is not worth your time.

I can't believe it took me to chapter seven without telling me anything other than pompous words about this "way of making money" and "the great idea of investiong in an internet project".
Also, around chapter 2 or three it gets really serious explaining how the author went to the bathroom 5 times a night to pee and he stuffed his face with doritos only to give you the cliffhanger: he's got type 1 diabetes and this changed his life. And the next chapter is
Doug Branscombe
Jun 01, 2015 rated it liked it
I like the concept of this book, finding the best way to ask people what they want, but the application of it for developing products and websites (which it provides excellent details and examples of) doesn't really apply for my job. I was intrigued by the overall concept, which says when you ask someone what they want (for dinner for example) most people will reply "I don't know", but if you ask what they don't want most will have an answer, and if you follow up by asking what they've had/eaten ...more
James Petzke
Sep 08, 2015 rated it did not like it
I had high hopes for this book but was disappointed. The author gives very little actual value, and the entire book is crammed with sales pitches for his more expensive products. It had a very scammy, get rich quick type of feel and promotes a highly aggressive sales strategy. I really like the principle of leading with questions to sell and surveying your customers, but this book just didn't resonate with me. ...more
Oct 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, kindle
Not a formula at all. Pushy BS upsell technique at its best, although may deserve further research and could be useful on markets that are easy to manipulate, I guess. Mostly an infomercial for authors products.
Guilherme Zeitounlian
"People essentially are only good at answering two basic types of questions when they don’t know what they want: What it is they don’t want and what they’ve done in the past."

This is the premise upon which the book Ask is built: how to craft questions strategically to discover what people need - so you can create that, and sell it to them.

The book starts with the author's personal story, which was frankly absurd and a torture to read. The author may have many qualities, but modesty is certainly
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
I read this for my blogging business. I think it is a great strategy to use but seems so simplistic. And he never ever touches on how to actually create the thing people say they want, let alone upsells and future products. Because, well, I am not always an expert at the thing people say they need help with, as I asked my email list and they need help cleaning with disabilities. I am a 30 year old mom with no mobility or health issues. I don't know anything about their issues!! So to create a co ...more
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very good technically but part one is dull.
Cheri Flake
May 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Not my style, but I’m sure if you got into it it could totally work and maybe even be fun.
Apr 29, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this because I wanted to learn about the method, as it can be impactful for marketing. I’ve also read Russell Brunson’s books, for comparison. There are 193 pages in this book and most of it didn’t serve my purpose. I wish I had skipped Section 1 entirely, and that a good editor had cut out so many unnecessary sentences, in which this survey expert who knows his customers so well, includes phrases like “Now, you may be wondering...” I wasn’t ever wondering that, rather just wishing he wou ...more
Dustan Woodhouse
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book stimulated some useful thought around my own processes for sure.

However I struggle with the opening pitch and its repetition at the end that 'these ideas are so powerful they can be used for evil' topped off with 'everything I charge others thousands for is right here in this book practically for free'. Sorry but both claims are hyperbole.

I am acutely aware of the difference between sharing my ideas in a book vs. a one-to-one coaching environment and what comes through in a book is a
Bashar Mahasen
The book is in 21 chapters. The first 10 chapters are about biography of the author and warmup about the secret sauce that would make you move from zero to one regardless the value of the idea itself.

The second half of the book is about asking people certain type of questions, arrange answers in excel and use the secret formula which should turn soil into gold and make you multi millioner.

For me it gave no value as the principle the book uses does not make sense and it contradict with itself. I
Taylor Ellwood
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
This is a fairly solid explanation of Levesque's Ask methodology, and how surveying can be used to discover what your audience wants, so you can sell it to them. Of course the author is trying to sell his services, so there's some of that, but regardless you get a lot of good information and if you're already doing online marketing, this will help you understand how to use surveying to help you with your marketing efforts. I recommend it, in general, as a way of discovering what your audience re ...more
Fred Cheyunski
Nov 20, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Non-profit and Scholarly Possibilities? - Having read several books related to digital business (e.g., see my review of Rogers “The Digital Transformation Playbook”), I was interested to see this one concerning the author’s on-line survey method. To “Ask” or get data seems to be key in devising and/or positioning a viable product or service. Levesque’s approach is clearly very commercial, but it may also offer a process that could be adapted for those with less profit driven motives even though ...more
Alex Devero
Oct 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: marketing
If you want to know what your customers really want, the best thing to do is to ask. The trick is to ask in the right way, using an organized system that pulls actionable information from prospects while also building trust and intrigue. In other words, you need the Ask Formula.
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Insightful sales advice--I learned a thing or two!
J.F. Penn
Aug 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Not really what I expected
Nathan Albright
Apr 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: challenge-2021
This is the sort of book that could most easily be seen as a mixture of memoir and sales pitch, and if that sounds appealing to you, this is a book that is certainly interesting. I must admit, at the outset, that this book is clearly not aimed at me, but is rather aimed more at those who are seeking to sell and who are entrepreneurs who need to be able better sell to their prospects. This book is therefore not immediately relevant to me and is designed to be extremely relevant to its readers. Ev ...more
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