Ryan Levesque is the Inc. 500 CEO of The ASK Method® Company, and the #1 national best-selling author of Ask, which was named by Inc. as the #1 Marketing Book of the Year. His work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes, and Entrepreneur and over 250,000 entrepreneurs subscribe to his email newsletter offering business advice.
3 Value Bombs
1) You just have to ask the right questions; answers become very easy.
2) With S.M.I.Q, you can measure their problems based on the length, depth, and quality of response.
3) You do not have to guess. Your market will tell you everything you need to say to get them to take action and move forward with you.
Thrivetime Show: Looking for a business coach who has helped thousands of entrepreneurs just like you to increase their profitability by an average of 104% per year? Schedule your free consultation today with Clay Clark at ThrivetimeShow.com/fire!und the world who make a daily commitment to their health.
**Click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.
Today’s Audio MASTERCLASS: RYAN LEVESQUE ON PINPOINTING YOUR AVATAR‘S BIGGEST STRUGGLE
[3:37] – Ryan talks about a big moment when he discovered the common denominator of his successes: he asked the right questions to the right people.
- You just have to ask the right questions; answers become very easy.
- Get insights from your audience and start from there.
[5:24] – What has been the significance of pinpointing your avatar’s biggest struggle on your journey – both from a personal and business perspective?
- It is significant to identify your audience’s needs and wants for you to be able to sell to them.
- Ask the right people the right questions.
- Most people do not know what they want, but they know what they do not want. You have to identify that.
[10:28] – Ryan created a methodology to help other business owners uncover what questions to ask to provide the best solution, starting with S.M.I.Q: The Single Most Important Question.
- When it comes to “X,” what is your biggest challenge or struggle? Please be as detailed and specific as possible.
- You invite people to open up to you in the form of an open-ended question.
- With S.M.I.Q, you can measure their problems based on the length, depth, and quality of response.
- Focus on the hyper-responsive segment of your market.
[15:57] – The Common Path to Uncommon Success: “These three questions will help you pinpoint the hyper-responsive segment of your market and the specific language they use to describe that problem so you can echo it back in your marketing and your product.”
- You do not have to guess. Your market will tell you everything you need to say to get them to take action and move forward with you.
- Do not come up with some catchy phrase. Take the exact language that your market gives you and use it to get a response from your targeted market.
[18:17] – Call to action for Fire Nation!
- The Common Path to Uncommon Success is available NOW! Visit UncommonSuccessBook.com to order your copy today!
Light that sparked Fire Nation. JLD here with an audio master class on pinpointing your avatar's biggest struggle to drop these value bombs. I've brought Ryan Levesque on the mic. He is the Inc. 500 CEO of the Ask Method company. And the number one national bestselling author of ask, which was named by Inc as the number one marketing book of the year. His work has been featured in the wall street journal USA today, Forbes and entrepreneur, and over 250,000 entrepreneurs subscribed to his email newsletter offering business advice. And today for our nation, we talking about the common denominator to your success, all about asking the right questions.
SMIQ the single most important question. And how important is it to pinpoint your avatar's biggest struggle and how to do this? And so much more. When we get back from thanking our sponsors, looking for a business coach who has helped thousands of entrepreneurs, just like you to increase your profitability by an average of 104% per year, all for less money than would cost to hire a full-time minimum wage employee. Schedule your free consultation today with Clay Clark, a former small business administration entrepreneur of the year at Thrivetimeshow.com/fire Thrivetimeshow.com/fire Fire Nation. Are you looking for a step by step roadmap to financial freedom and fulfillment?
0 (1m 24s):
Will I have some great news for you? My first traditionally published book, the common path to uncommon success is available for pre-order now visit UncommonSuccessBook.com to pre-order today and lock in the incredible bonuses that are going away soon. UncommonSuccessBook.com. What's up Ryan, thank you for joining me here today. I mean, first off, I'm just super grateful that you are such an amazing contributor to The Common Path to Uncommon Success. I mean, Chapter 10, pinpointing your avatar's biggest struggle when I was writing this chapter and when I just, you know, identified that step on the 17 step roadmap.
0 (2m 7s):
So step 10, you are literally the only person that I was like, I need this person to cut, to contribute to this part in the book, like all the other steps in chapters, I was like, okay, these two or three people could fit. You were the only one for this because of what you've done over the years. As I mentioned, of course, the introduction with ask and the whole ask method that you've done and of course choose and everything that you built over the years, it just is spectacular. So first and foremost, thank you for just being a part of this book. I really appreciate it. So I'll pass over to you for a second just to respond to that comment.
1 (2m 41s):
Yeah. Well, listen, I'm, I'm, I'm blown away. I'm, I'm humbled by that first and foremost, because I think about like the thousand or 2000 or 3000 or 4,000, I don't even know what you're up to now. People that you've interviewed in your podcast and through everything else that you do. So, so number one, super humbled by that number two honor, to be a part of it. And when you reached out to me and said, Hey, would you be down to do this? It was like an absolute easy thing to say yes to you because you've given so much to myself and to so many people way back in my early days as an entrepreneur, when I was a listener of yours and before we were friends and before we knew each other before and hung out, like, and I was just a listener from afar. So easy to say yes to and excited to you know, have our conversation today.
0 (3m 25s):
Awesome brother, well much appreciated. And, you know, we always talk about to our fellow New Englander isms. And, you know, I was a Providence college guy. You went to Brown. So we spent a lot of time in the same city together as well, which is super quick, But you are much more smart than me. That's why you went to Brown, wicked smart. So, Ryan, you discovered this common denominator of your success when you asked the right questions to the right people. So break down this process for us.
1 (3m 56s):
Yeah. You know, so I think when it comes to figuring out who your avatar is really just answering any question in business, I think we put a lot of pressure on ourselves as entrepreneurs thinking that we have to have all the answers and it's sort of like, you need to know exactly what product to create, what to price it at, what to sell. But the reality is that your market is infinitely more intelligent than any of us are then than I am than you are than any of us are. If you only know how to ask the right questions, then the answers become very easy. So when you're asking yourself, what should I create? What should I build? What market should I go into? If you know how to ask the right questions, then the answers become very clear. And so, you know, I've discovered this early in my career when I was, you know, a, a budding entrepreneurs trying to figure out, you know, make my first dollar online and try to figure things out.
1 (4m 43s):
And I remember it was out of desperation that I asked this question in one of our first markets, you know, why aren't you buying? I just asked the question, like, you know, why aren't you buying our stuff? And people responded to that question and gave me clues. And it was kind of at that moment. It was the first epiphany that I sort of had, where if I can start asking questions, I can get insight response to that and go from there. So it kind of started this snowball of really becoming obsessed around the science of asking good questions. And I know we're going to talk a little bit about some of the specific questions and one or two in particular that are very powerful that anybody can use to gain insight in your business.
0 (5m 23s):
Well, I did title this chapter, pinpointing your avatar's biggest struggle. And again, just with your body of work, with what you focus on with the company and the empire you've built, I mean, you're the best person to answer this question. So how important is it to pinpoint your avatar's biggest struggle and how do we go about doing it?
1 (5m 42s):
I believe it's one of the single most important things that as any business person, as any entrepreneur, we've got to figure out because nothing else matters. You can have the most efficient process, you know, the best team, you know, the, the best, the, the most hardcore work ethic, you can have the most money in the bank, but if you're not selling what it is that people want and need, none of that other stuff matters. So it all starts with that fundamental question. What is it that people want to buy? What is it that people need? And the answer to that question is the way to ask that question is not the way most people think, because you can't just go out to the market and, you know, put a post on Facebook or, or Instagram or Twitter or wherever and say, Hey, what should I sell? And no, one's going to give you the answer to that question.
1 (6m 24s):
So we kinda have to go through the side door, so to speak, to get an answer to that question. And so what we need to figure out is not what it is that we should sell, but what it is that people are struggling with, what their problems are, what their pain is. And then once we have that information, we can figure out what is the product or service that's going to solve that need, you know, so whenever we talk about this idea of asking questions, you and I have had this conversation before on your show where you said, you know, they're famous quotes throughout the ages like Henry Ford is attributed of saying, to have said, if I'd asked people what they wanted, they would have told me faster horses. Steve jobs is famous for saying, you, people don't know what they want until you show it to them. So there's truth to the fact that you can't just go through the front door and ask people, what do you want?
1 (7m 10s):
Because people don't know what they want. What people are really good at is knowing what it is that they don't want. So that clue gives us the kind of first insight around what it is that we want to be asking in our market to figure out what product should I create? What does my avatar need? What direction do I need to go into my business? What market should I pursue is figuring it out, figuring out what it is that people don't want. And I know we're going to get into it, but there's a specific question that you can ask with a very specific wording that gives you remarkable insight into this. And the simplicity of it is something that makes it accessible to anybody. Like you can literally take what we're talking about here today.
1 (7m 51s):
And you can do what we're going to say. Like within minutes of this conversation,
Fire Nation, I hope you're really absorbing this.
0 (7m 56s):
Cause this is coming at it from a different angle than you usually hear. Or most people talk about is instead of like, just spending all this time and effort, trying to get people, to tell you what they want, what they want, what do you want? And they're just like, well, I feel like I would know it if I saw it. I mean, that's a pretty common answer. People will tell you what they don't want. They will be very positive and they'll be very definitive about what they do not want. So this leads us to what we've kind of been teasing a little bit about here, Ryan, the S M I Q the single most important question, which we'll dive into. As soon as we get back from thanking our sponsors, looking for a business coach who has helped thousands of entrepreneurs, just like you to increase their profitability by an average of 104% per year, all for less money than would cost to hire a full-time at minimum wage employee Fire Nation meets Clay.
0 (8m 47s):
Clark Clay has been coaching businesses just like yours since 2006. Yep. Even through the great recession. And he does it for less money than would cost to hire a full-time minimum wage employee at a time when Inc magazine reports that by default 96% of businesses will fail. Within 10 years, clay is helping businesses like yours to grow on average by 104% annually. How's this even possible Clay only takes on 160 clients. So he personally designed your business plan. Plus Clay's team helps you execute that plan with access to graphic designers, Google certified search engine, optimizers, web developers, online ad managers, videographers workflow, mappers and accounting coaches visit ThriveTimeShow.com/fire, to see thousands of video testimonials from real people, just like you, who Clay has helped over the years.
0 (9m 29s):
That's right. Do your research and view thousands, not hundreds of proven documented in archive, video testimonials from real people, just like you at ThriveTimeShow.com/fire, ThriveTimeShow.com/fire. Then schedule your free consultation with Clay himself to see how he and his team can help you thrive. All right, Ryan, SMIQ single most important question. Take it away.
1 (9m 53s):
Yes. So if you were to ask just one question, what is the one question that you would ask? And we call this question. The SMIQ single most important question because it's the single most important question. If you could only ask one, this is the one to ask and it gets at everything that we were talking about, which is when you're trying to figure out what you should create, what you should sell instead of asking your market, you know, Hey, what do I create next? What do you think about this? Like, do you know, what do I do this? Instead, the question we ask people is when it comes to X, X, being the thing that you presumably help people with, whether that's losing weight, growing a podcast, moving to Puerto Rico, whatever that challenge is when it comes to X, what's your single biggest challenge or struggle, please be as detailed and specific as possible.
1 (10m 36s):
Now what you're inviting people to do there is to pour their heart out to you in the form of an open ended questions. So you're not asking people which of the following is your biggest problem, a B, C, or D you're saying, tell me, what's your biggest challenge or struggle. Please be as detailed, as specific as possible. Now, the reason why you ask that question in that way is one of the ways in which you measure what problems to focus on is based on the length and depth and quality of response. So if you ask a question and I learned this, and one of my first markets, which we talk about, which was the orchid care market. When I first did a survey in this market, and I paid attention to these responses, what's your biggest question or challenge when it comes to caring for your orchids, as in the flower, the number one response that came back over and over again, was watering.
1 (11m 23s):
People said, watering, how to water? How do I water, water, water, water. So I was like, all right, this is easy. I'm going to create a, a book on, at a guide on how to water your orchids. And when I put it back out to the marketplace, the book sold zero copies, and I said, what did I do wrong? And it's, I took a second look at the data. I said, what did I miss? Like I had to miss something. And what I realized is that there's a small subset of responses. That didn't sound like the ones I just gave you. They sounded like this. They'd say things like Ryan, I've been trying to grow orchids for years. And every time I might work it, for whatever reason, I managed to kill the thing. And I wash my hands. I sterilize my tools. I use gloves. I don't use porcelain pots. I know all of this is toxic to orchid routes. And yet every single time I managed to kill my plant, please help me.
1 (12m 5s):
What am I doing wrong? Now, those questions came back much less frequently, but ask yourself, which of those two people is more likely to buy a product that solves their pain, how to water, or the second person who poured their heart out. So I shifted tack and I decided to focus only on that segment of responses. It's what we call the hyper responsive segment of your market. So I decided specifically to focus on that sub segment of the market, and that's when our business exploded. And that served as kind of the first cornerstone, the first insight, the first discovery around asking the right questions and paying attention to the right responses, paying attention to the right data when you're asking for this information.
1 (12m 46s):
So that's, that's what we call the single most important question. And you can literally do this right now. If you've got a, even a modest, for example, following on social media email list of subscribers, any sort of community of people that you're part of, you can literally do this right here right now today. Just ask yourself, what's your ex. If you help people lose weight, Hey, when it comes to losing weight, what's the biggest challenge that struggling with right now when it comes to juggling social media, post pandemic, what's the biggest number one thing you're struggling with right now, or the biggest challenge that you have just post that and see what kind of response has come back. You will be shocked. You'll be amazed at the level of insight that, that one simple question can give you.
1 (13m 29s):
Now there's two. I know our time is limited. I want to give people with two more bonus juicy tips, but I want to turn it back over to you first, John, if there's anything that you want to respond to or focus on on that specific thing,
0 (13m 40s):
I'm glad you gave it back to me, cause I'm not sure when we're going to get into those two tips because we got into them and the book, which is amazing. And so, I mean, high elevation, this is why you're here right now, listening to Ryan drop these value bombs. And we can't talk about everything obviously because the book he went into such detail on all of these amazing topics on all of these unbelievable questions, the SMIQ these three questions that he's alluding to right here. And I do want to end with a bang though, Ryan, because what I did do was pull an amazing quote from your contribution to The Common Path to Uncommon Success. I'm going to read it right now. And there's one part of this quote that I really kind of want you to speak to before we say goodbye here.
0 (14m 23s):
So you wrote these three questions, which again, we just alluded to there's two more juicy ones will help you pinpoint the hyper responsive segment of your markets in the specific language they use to describe that problem. So you can echo it back in your marketing and in your product. So that's the part I actually want you to bring home for us because I'm so obsessed, obsessed with, you know, telling people and like this over and over again, like your audience, the people will be telling you that people that are struggling with Oscars and challenges, the words they use, use those in a meaningful way on the sales page.
0 (15m 3s):
When you know, you're promoting it to them because when they see their words, as copy as you know, solutions, they're going to be so much more responsive to that than they otherwise would be. So talk specifically about like what you found about echoing it back in your marketing and in your products,
1 (15m 21s):
This theme, this idea of the guesswork that we spend a lot of time trying to guess what to create, what to sell. We spent a lot of time guessing what to write in our emails, what to write in our social media posts, what to talk about in our videos. And you don't have to guess your market will tell you everything you need to say to get them to take action and to move forward with you. And the way that you do that is to echo back the natural consumer language that's handed to you almost practically on a silver platter when you ask the right questions and the way that we're talking about right here. So for example, when you're trying to think about what should you say in a video, what should your video be about?
1 (16m 4s):
Don't try to come up with some catchy phrase, take the exact language that your market gives you and turn it around. For example, one of the markets that we've had success with is the memory improvement market, teaching people, how to improve their memory. And I remember one time when I was going through these survey responses, literally had somebody who said, Oh my gosh, Ryan, it's like, I'm the poster child for poor memory. I was like, bingo. And then I wrote an email that day that said, are you the poster child for poor memory? And it was, I was, it was literally as simple as that. So if you only know what to pay attention to and listen, your market will tell you everything that you want and the what, what I'll end with. And what I like to say is that when you can describe your market, when you can describe the thought process going in, going on in someone's mind, better than they can even describe it themselves.
1 (16m 53s):
The only question that they have for you is what should you do about it? What should I buy? What should my next step be? What product do you recommend? Where do I go from here? And the secret to having that response where it feels like you're reading people's minds is to take that natural consumer language that comes from the single most important question and echoing it back in a way that resonates with people perfectly, because it's the precise language that they've given you in this process,
Fire Nation. I hope you are just a hundred percent convinced as to why Ryan was the perfect choice for Chapter 10, pinpointing your avatar's biggest struggle.
0 (17m 28s):
His contribution was incredible. It was spectacular. It's of course all in the book, the common path to uncommon success. If you're listening to my voice right now, and it's still before March 23rd, you have time to pre-order which you want to do because we have five bonuses only available for pre-orders. They literally disappear on March 23rd are gone forever. Just one of the five bonuses, by the way, I'm shipping all three of my journals, the freedom mastery and podcast journal to your door for pre-ordering a $17 Kindle or a $28 hardcover or a $15 audio book.
0 (18m 9s):
It's a no brainer not to mention four other amazing bonuses. Check it out at UncommonSuccessBook.com, UncommonSuccessBook.com. Ryan, thank you brother, for your time today for your value, your wisdom, just your knowledge. We salute you and we'll catch you on the flip side, looking for a business coach who has helped thousands of entrepreneurs, just like you to increase our profitability by an average of 104% per year, all for less money than would cost to hire a full-time minimum wage employee. Schedule your free consultation today with Clay Clark, a former small business administration entrepreneur of the year at ThriveTimeShow.com/fire ThriveTimeShow.com/fire Fire Nation.
0 (18m 57s):
Are you looking for a step-by-step roadmap to financial freedom and fulfillment? Will I have some great news for you? My first traditionally published book, The Common Path to Uncommon Success is available for pre-order now visit UncommonSuccessBook.com to pre-order today and lock in the incredible bonuses that are going away soon. UncommonSuccessBook.com.
1) The Common Path to Uncommon Success: JLD’s 1st traditionally published book! Over 3000 interviews with the world’s most successful Entrepreneurs compiled into a 17-step roadmap to financial freedom and fulfillment!
2) Free Podcast Course: Learn from JLD how to create and launch your podcast!
3) Podcasters’ Paradise: The #1 podcasting community in the world!