Back to Learning Center
Join 40,000+ sales and marketing pros who receive our weekly insights, tips, and best practices.
Thank you! You have been subscribed.
Learning Center
Learning Center
The IMPACT Learning Center

Free resources to help you master inbound marketing and They Ask, You Answer

Access the Learning Center

Access the Learning Center

Access the Learning Center
learning_center_grey__What is They Ask, You Answer-v2-black

What is They Ask, You Answer

What is <span>They Ask, You Answer</span>
Articles, Podcasts, & Updates

Articles, Podcasts, & Updates

Articles, Podcasts, <span>& Updates</span>
Free Courses & Certifications

Free Courses & Certifications

Free Courses & <span>Certifications</span>
On-Demand Keynotes & Sessions

On-Demand Keynotes & Sessions

On-Demand <span>Keynotes & Sessions</span>
IMPACT+ Membership
IMPACT+ Membership

They Ask, You Answer Coaching & Training

They Ask, You Answer Coaching & Training
They Ask, You Answer Workshop

They Ask, You Answer Workshop

They Ask, You Answer Workshop

Inbound Marketing Services

Inbound Marketing Services
Navigation_8_2021_website design - monitor

Website Design & Development

Website Design & Development
Navigation_8_2021_hubspot implementation

HubSpot Training & Implementation

HubSpot Training & Implementation
Navigation_8_2021_virtual selling

Virtual Sales

Virtual Sales <br>Training
Navigation_8_2021_swell - paid ads

Paid Search & Social Services

Paid Search & Social Services
Become a Certified Coach
Become a Certified Coach
Marketing Strategy

Why does They Ask, You Answer actually get results?

By Chris Marr

Why does They Ask, You Answer actually get results? Blog Feature

Have you been given advice that has really stuck with you?

In 2017, my partner Cara and I attended a VIP presentation and book signing event for Simon Sinek. We were right down the front row and had three uninterrupted hours of learning from the man that urged us all to start with why.

Cara is the managing director for her family business Gillies & Mackay who build premier quality timber garden buildings —- sheds, summerhouses, garden rooms, and garages. 

During the talk, Simon asked Cara what Gillies & Mackay did, and her answer was: “We build the best sheds in the world.”

Now, arguably she does (disclaimer: we might be a little biased),  but how could she know this?

Simon was quick to pick her up on this and said that in order to know that Gillies & Mackay built the best sheds in the world, they would have to test every shed in the world, a physical impossibility. So they can’t state this with certainty. 

But what is possible, is to continually strive to be the best. 

This lesson really struck a chord with me! And it’s influenced the way that I approach They Ask, You Answer. 

Many organizations take on the principles of They Ask, You Answer and think it’s about becoming the best, but the problem with this is that once you believe you are the best you take your foot off the gas. It’s not conducive to continual success. 

Now, you’ve seen the case studies. You probably already know that They Ask, You Answer produces results, but, why? Why is They Ask, You Answer such a successful formula in today’s market?

What mechanisms does it tap into that cause a shift in consumer behavior and an increase in sales and marketing?And how can you be sure it is They Ask, You Answer that is causing these and not something else?

These are all valid questions. And ones that many businesses have. 

The answer comes back to Simon's comment about striving to be the best. Ultimately, They Ask, You Answer is about the constant drive to try harder, care more, and become the most trustworthy. It’s about aligning with buyers better than we have before.

In this article, I’m going to connect the dots, to help you understand why They Ask, You Answer is such a powerful tool. And why this methodology works so well. 

What actually is They Ask, You Answer?

You already know what They Ask, You Answer is, right? 

First off, it’s a book by IMPACT partner Marcus Sheridan detailing a revolutionary approach to inbound sales, content marketing, and the digital consumer. 

This leads many people to believe that They Ask, You Answer is simply an outline for marketing tactics, but in reality, it’s so much more than that. 

The last thing the world needs is just another inbound marketing book; They Ask, You Answer is a philosophy. It is the result of a proven system, a transformative system that not only allowed Marcus to save his pool company, but that saved thousands of organizations across the world. 

🔎 Related: What is They Ask, You Answer?

At its core, They Ask, You Answer is about answering consumers questions honestly so they can make the best purchase decision for themselves. 

It’s about confronting the tough questions and being upfront about what people want to know so that those best suited will find you, and those who aren’t will filter themselves out. 

I like to think of They Ask, You Answer as a business improvement methodology. The cultural transformation, the fundamental shift to the business. This is why They Ask, You Answer works, but let’s start from the top.

We’re dealing with a different kind of consumer...

The landscape in which businesses operate is changing. It’s certainly very different from how it was 10-15 years ago. People don’t want to make a bad purchase decision and the beauty of the internet is that they don’t have to.

Today, we know that 81% of people start their purchase journey with a web search. And that number is only likely to increase. Buyers are educating themselves. They feel more qualified, more educated, more confident, and truly good about the decision they are about to make when they are informed. 

So much so that, on average, 70%  of a buying decision is made before a prospect ever talks to a company. And what do you think makes them buy when they do talk to a company?

As Marcus Sheridan says: “We are all in the business of trust.”

While 67% of customers will try a product based on reputation, they will stop buying if they don’t trust the company. 

Long-term loyalty is no longer solely about price and features. Approximately 64% of consumers are now belief-driven buyers. Meaning they want to buy from brands that align with them on social and cultural. It’s not just about the product or service. 

If you can build trust with your customer outside of these things, they will spend more, stay longer, and refer more future business. Ultimately the buyer has changed and this should influence how we go to market. 

How They Ask, You Answer aligns with this new buyer…

Once we understand this change in buyer behavior, it’s easier to see why They Ask, You Answer works and why it is responsible for an increase in leads and sales. 

Ultimately They Ask, You Answer works by tapping into two fundamental behavior shifts by:

  • Aligning with how buyers want to purchase
  • Building trust with prospects and customers 

Aligning with how buyers want to purchase 

We’ve already talked about how buyer behavior has changed. They Ask, You Answer works because it helps consumers find the answers to their questions without ever having to speak to anyone.

It does this by creating content around what Marcus calls The Big 5 topics:

  1. Cost and pricing
  2. Problems (theirs and yours)
  3. Comparisons and versus
  4. Best of lists (best in class, best practices)
  5. Reviews

🔎 Related: 'The Big 5' best business blog topics that drive traffic, leads, and sales (+ video)

Content within these categories frequently outperforms other content, regardless of what industry it publishes in because it focuses on what customers are already asking and looking for. This results in an increase in traffic, leads, and sales. 

Following the principles of They Ask, You Answer puts customers in control, as they crave. It allows them to:

  • Find the answers to the questions that really matter to them (this will be different for every single consumer)
  • Self-filter (i.e. some organizations will be a good fit for them some will not be)
  • Choose which company(ies) they would like to contact

As organizations, we can push out marketing messages all day long, but people are no longer as receptive to them as they used to be. The world is noisy and full of endless content, but They Ask, You Answer content focuses stands out by helping and educating, not selling. 

Building trust with the consumer 

Trust in brands is more important than ever, yet still only 34% of consumers say they trust the brands they use. 

When not many organizations are able to, They Ask, You Answer taps into this trust need and fulfills it by answering the “tough questions.”

Let’s use the price/cost component of The Big 5 as an example to illustrate this. Marcus uses the following example in his book.

Imagine you go into a brick and mortar store and ask for the price, but the sales assistants refuse. Not only is it rude, it instantly makes you distrustful. What are they trying to hide?

🔎 Related: Why trust is the true currency for any business

In this situation, you would likely leave and go somewhere else, where they were upfront and honest about the price. 

Why? Because honesty and transparency builds trust. It’s the exact same scenario with online businesses.

This is why They Ask, You Answer is so powerful. By answering the tough questions you know your customers are going to have, you display a willingness to be upfront, open, and honest. 

You show you’re not just trying to cheat anyone and everyone out of their money. You want to make sure whoever buys from you will actually get value. The consumer recognizes this and, in turn, trusts you.  

When a consumer trusts you the benefits are huge. 

They are more likely to buy from you again, are more loyal to the brand, will advocate for the brand, and even defend the brand and their reputation in some instances. 

This isn’t a sales or marketing philosophy

To understand why They Ask, You Answer works, you first have to understand one fundamental truth: They Ask, You Answer is not a sales or marketing philosophy; It is a business improvement process that taps into the way in which buyer behavior has changed. 

Ultimately, They Ask, You Answer isn’t about making noise for the sake of it.

It’s about giving consumers what they want from a brand — answers and trust  — and that is why it works. 

Its core purpose is focussed on helping consumers make a decision in a way that suits them, in a way that puts them in control. It puts consumers at the core. It taps straight into what matters to them and it builds trust by answering the questions that they need to know before making a purpose. 

You cannot think about They Ask, You Answer tactically. It’s a continual process of business improvement that takes place over a minimum of eighteen months, and ultimately becomes an integral part of your business.  

This is why They Ask, You Answer gets results. 

It continually challenges people to do and be better. It pushes you to become a world class digital marketing company. 

Just as Simon Sinek says, you can always improve, you can always challenge yourself to be better. But you can never assume you are the best. That is at the core of They Ask, You Answer success. 


Marketing Strategy
They Ask, You Answer
Published on November 4, 2020

Recent Articles

9 Crucial Elements Every Homepage Should Have [+Video]

By Ramona Sukhraj on October 21, 2021
6 min read

How To Become a Better Coach (for Business Consultants, Sales Coaches, and Marketing Strategists)

By Kimberly Marshall on October 20, 2021
8 min read

Get Clients To Seek Your Approval, Not the Other Way Around (Podcast)

By Kimberly Marshall on October 13, 2021
1 min read

Why Your Business Always Needs to Invest in Marketing — in Bad Times and Good (+ Video)

By John Becker on October 7, 2021
8 min read

How to Grow a Digital Marketing Agency (with Coaching Services)

By Paul D. Grant on October 6, 2021
6 min read

Hire Freelance Writers with Caution (Read this First)

By Paul D. Grant on September 27, 2021
10 min read

5 Key Elements of a Winning Inbound Marketing Strategy

By Kimberly Marshall on September 14, 2021
14 min read

How to Get the Most Out of Your 2-week HubSpot Free Trial

By John Becker on September 13, 2021
5 min read

Free inbound marketing courses and training

By Paul D. Grant on September 10, 2021
4 min read

Drift report on pandemic fallout reveals seismic shift in marketing strategy

By Paul D. Grant on September 9, 2021
2 min read

How much HubSpot do I need?

By John Becker on August 17, 2021
4 min read

Inbound marketing strategy: 7 steps to success

By John Becker on August 11, 2021
8 min read

How can the StoryBrand framework be used for inbound marketing?

By Zach Basner on July 21, 2021
6 min read

8 business blog design examples that keep readers engaged

By Steve Polito on June 16, 2021
6 min read

Think you’re paying too much for HubSpot? Here’s how to get your money’s worth

By John Becker on May 5, 2021
5 min read

Do I need to hire a HubSpot specialist, or can someone on my team handle it?

By John Becker on April 30, 2021
4 min read

Every website agency talks about strategy; How is IMPACT different?

By John Becker on April 19, 2021
5 min read

Customers aren’t getting what they need from my website; What can I do immediately to change that?

By John Becker on March 8, 2021
6 min read

6 tips for creating a successful HubSpot and Salesforce integration

By Joe Bachir on February 12, 2021
5 min read

Is your marketing still relevant in 2021?

By John Becker on February 11, 2021
6 min read

How to best use your 2021 marketing budget so your company rebounds

By John Becker on February 8, 2021
4 min read

53 best marketing books you need to read (updated for 2021)

By Allison Melnik on January 21, 2021
15 min read

Digital marketing budget: How much should you spend per month?

By Eric Dunn on January 14, 2021
9 min read

The 10 marketing KPIs you should be tracking (updated for 2021)

By Carolyn Edgecomb on January 5, 2021
9 min read

How does IMPACT's website strategy blueprint process work? (schedule and outcomes)

By John Becker on December 18, 2020
5 min read