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What is They Ask, You Answer?

What is They Ask, You Answer?
They Ask, You Answer is a business framework with one obsession at its core: “What is my customer asking?” By focusing on 10 straightforward concepts, thousands of businesses are seeing the sales results they want from their inbound marketing.
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Today, They Ask, You Answer is used by thousands of businesses around the world

This includes B2B and B2C companies in retail, manufacturing, home improvement, software, healthcare, real estate, and dozens of other industries.

At the core of They Ask, You Answer is a simple idea

Educated prospects become happier, better customers.

If your prospects are asking questions, you must answer them — openly and honestly — on your website. That’s where the name for our framework comes from: They Ask, You Answer.


At the core of They Ask, You Answer is a simple idea

Educated prospects become happier, better customers.

If your prospects are asking questions, you must answer them — openly and honestly — on your website. That’s where the name for our framework comes from: They Ask, You Answer.

They Ask, You Answer shifts your focus to educating customers

This allows us to candidly address everything about our products and services — even things that are uncomfortable, like price and drawbacks. In doing so, we...

  • Build trust with our audience
  • Weed out bad-fit prospects
  • Make the buying process smoother.

You start producing the right content for your customers

They Ask, You Answer teaches you to create the right written and video content, organize and index that content so it’s easily consumable, and utilize that content in the sales process to improve close rates.

If you implement this framework at your business, you’ll see dramatic increases in organic traffic, more (and better) leads, and sustained revenue growth.


You start producing the right content for your customers

They Ask, You Answer teaches you to create the right written and video content, organize and index that content so it’s easily consumable, and utilize that content in the sales process to improve close rates.

If you implement this framework at your business, you’ll see dramatic increases in organic traffic, more (and better) leads, and sustained revenue growth.

Become the trusted resource

They Ask, You Answer aligns your marketing and sales teams around shared growth goals and will position your business as the trusted resource in your industry.

They Ask, You Answer is the sustainable growth plan for your business.


Is They Ask, You Answer right for your business?

In this video, Marcus Sheridan will help you determine if They Ask, You Answer is a good fit for you and your company.
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When you implement They Ask, You Answer at your company:

You control your sales and marketing destiny and no longer depend on an outside agency.
Your sales and marketing
teams reach their potential

and work as one unit.
Your marketing finally generates more sales as you attract more qualified traffic and leads.
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Sales & marketing assessment

How does your inbound marketing measure up?

Take this free assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales.


Sales & marketing assessment

How does your inbound marketing measure up?

Take this free assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales.

Why They Ask, You Answer works


10 straightforward concepts that apply to every industry and can be mastered by your organization.


By openly answering your customers’ questions, you’ll be seen as the voice of trust and authority in your industry.


Your marketing and sales efforts will be unified, with common goals and objectives.


Using the right content in the sales process gives you better fit, ready-to-buy customers.

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The 10 core concepts of They Ask, You Answer

The Big 5

Five content topics areas that are sure to drive the most organic traffic, qualified leads, and quick sales.

Assignment selling

Learn to utilize content effectively in the sales process, from prospecting to closing, yielding better-educated prospects.

In-house content management

A well-trained in-house content team is faster, less expensive, and better aligned with your organization’s needs.

Revenue team

By combining marketing and sales teams into a single team, you’ll unite around what really matters: bringing in revenue.

Learning center

Your content has to be well-organized on your website so that visitors can quickly find what they’re looking for.

The Selling 7

The seven types of videos that help customers build a relationship with your brand before contacting your sales team.

Virtual sales

From 1-1 video prospecting to sales call best practices, your team will flourish in a video-first business world.

Self-service tools

Make buying from you easy with chat, scheduling tools, and more touchless customer experiences.

Sales and marketing alignment

Unite your business around shared goals and core strategy so you can finally replace frustration with teamwork.

Martech and CRM adoption

Don’t just pay for the CRM platform, equip your whole team to use it correctly, end to end.

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The Big 5

For most businesses, it takes a year or more to make inbound marketing work. Why? Because the majority of these businesses don’t understand what content they should be creating to move the needle.

Armed with good intentions, companies focus on creating educational “brand awareness” content. This kind of content is fluffy and, ultimately, useless in driving sales. Instead, they should be creating content that addresses the five most common sets of questions their customers actually have about their products or services.

  • How much does your solution cost?
  • What are the negatives or issues with your solution?
  • How does your product or solution compare to alternatives?
  • What is everybody saying about your solution?
  • What is the best solution available?

These five subject matter areas quite literally are the fuel of your industry. These are the questions every single one of your buyers are researching every single day before they choose you... or one of your competitors.

And yet a good number of business leaders don’t want to answer them. The answers are uncomfortable or too complicated. Or they’re worried they’ll scare potential buyers away with their honest answers. 

So, instead of answering those questions, they embrace what we call “ostrich marketing,” where they choose to bury their heads in the sand for as long as possible. They stick to safe topics in content and pretend The Big 5 don’t exist. Oftentimes, they want to wait until they are face-to-face with a customer to address them at all.

The result? Visitors to your website, the people looking to give you money, are left frustrated because they can’t find the information they need in order to commit to that face-to-face meeting or call. And as we all know, frustrated is the F word of the internet.

When your company is willing to address The Big 5, and it’s done the right way, you won’t be waiting a year or more to see results. Businesses willing to address these questions see an immediate rise in qualified traffic, a steady stream of qualified leads, and a dramatic increase in sales, in less time.

Assignment Selling

Most companies practicing content marketing believe all they need to do is publish their content on their website to truly achieve the traffic, leads, and sales results they’re looking for. Yes, publishing content on your website in a way that is easy to find is a critical component of any successful inbound marketing strategy.

Unfortunately, this passive “if you build it, they will come” mentality is flawed. Publishing your content on your website is only the beginning.

One of the most powerful (and immediately profitable) ways to leverage your content is throughout the sales process with a time-tested technique called “assignment selling.” You see, even the most seasoned sales professionals often find themselves answering the same “frequently asked questions” during their initial discovery calls and interactions with prospects. 

Rather than focusing those initial conversations on the unique circumstances, goals, and needs of their prospects, they first have to wade through those boilerplate questions around cost, options, problems, and more. Questions where the answers almost never change, no matter who is asking.

By practicing assignment selling – intentionally sharing relevant, educational content about your products or services with prospects in advance of a sales appointment – your ideal buyers will have a large number of those initial questions and concerns satisfied before they ever speak with someone. 

In turn, your sales team will be empowered to have more targeted, valuable conversations with more educated prospects much faster, right at the start of the sales process.

That means instead of waiting weeks or months to see your content deliver results, you’ll see an immediate return on those content efforts with assignment selling, as it helps your sales team close more deals faster than ever before.

In-House Content Management

Outsourcing your company’s content creation to a digital marketing agency can seem like a smart solution if you have the desire to hit the ground running with inbound marketing but lack the resources. But entrusting the creation of your content to another company often comes at a cost.

First, your content is the soul of your business. It is virtually impossible for an agency to create content that authentically and accurately captures your brand, your core values, and the depth of your subject matter expertise when they aren’t embedded in your business. 

Second, your potential with inbound will always be stunted by the restrictions of your agency relationship. For example, if you see that you need to ramp up content production to get better results, you won’t be able to just do it. You’ll likely need to enter into lengthy conversations and drastically increase your budget. 

The key to creating content that stands out from your competitors, truly captures the soul of your business, and gets results is “insourcing” your content production with an in-house content manager.

With an in-house content manager on your team, you’ll have one person in charge of the development, execution, and success of your content program – and that person is fully bought into your vision and the culture of your company.

With an in-house content manager on your team, you’ll never be restricted by agency contract “red tape” to make changes. You can accelerate, pivot, and innovate the moment you make a decision. 

With an in-house content manager on your team, the sky’s the limit in your ability to achieve your most aggressive traffic, leads, and sales goals with inbound marketing.

Revenue Teams

One of the most common barriers to success with inbound marketing companies face is a lack of alignment between their sales and marketing teams. 

“Most of the inbound leads we get from marketing aren’t even remotely qualified.”

“We’re driving traffic and leads with the content we’re publishing, but we’re still not seeing the bottom line ROI of those efforts with sales.”

“We keep begging for sales enablement content, and marketing keeps producing content we can’t really use in the sales process.”

“Why can’t sales see that we’re trying to build a healthy funnel of qualified leads? That starts with publishing top-of-the-funnel educational content.”

All too often, however, companies rely upon ineffective “alignment” solutions such as shared KPIs, service level agreements (SLAs), or recurring sales and marketing meetings to bridge the gap – band-aid solutions that may provide a few “quick wins,” but will never truly unite sales and marketing as a cohesive whole in a lasting or meaningful way.

The most effective strategy to align your sales and marketing is through the formation of a revenue team. A revenue team is made up of key players from your sales and marketing teams, and is centered around their shared goal of increasing revenue through traffic, leads, and sales.

Of course, some people on the team will be more focussed on marketing efforts (e.g. creating content) or sales efforts (e.g. closing deals). But the team acts as one. 

Instead of two competing teams with independent priorities, the members of this singular unit work together to achieve their mutual goal of revenue growth through true collaboration, information-sharing, brainstorming, and problem-solving.

A Learning Center

“If I were our ideal buyer, would I think it was easy to find the answers and expert insights I need on our website?”

Yes, publishing content on a regular basis that answers the most pressing questions of your ideal buyers is the key to driving true and lasting traffic, leads, and sales growth for your company. 

But if that content is buried on your website within complex and confusing navigation menus that make it hard for your website visitors to immediately and intuitively find the content they’re looking for, they will leave your website frustrated (the “F-word” of the internet) and unlikely to return.

That is why you need a learning center on your business website. A learning center is a centralized destination for all of your content (blog articles, videos, premium content offers, case studies, and more) that is clearly organized, easily searchable, and effortlessly sortable by topic. 

Organizing and presenting your content in such a user-friendly way will empower your ideal buyers with the autonomy they desperately want, to research the questions and concerns they have without having to talk to someone before they’re ready. 

Moreover, a learning center will increase how long your ideal buyers stay on your website, because it’s easier for them to discover more content related to their interests. That means, by the time they decide they are ready to talk to someone in sales, they’ll show up to that first sales conversation as a more educated, better qualified lead. 

The Selling 7

When it comes to the power of video to drive traffic, leads, and sales, the numbers speak for themselves – 70% of buyers watch a video before making a purchase, and buyers spend 80% more time on a website with video than without.

Unfortunately, too many businesses that see the potential of video to drive results fail to consistently create the seven types of sales and marketing videos that are proven to jumpstart traffic, leads, and sales growth:

  • Landing page videos that increase conversion rates of qualified leads
  • Customer journey videos that show products and services really work
  • Employee bio videos that establish trust faster with a prospect 
  • 80% videos that answer frequently asked questions about a product or service
  • Product and service fit videos that establish who is not a good fit
  • Cost videos that demystifies for prospects how pricing works
  • “Claims we make” videos that prove differentiators to be true

Instead, they’ll waste tens of thousands of dollars with outsourced video production agencies on “about our company” videos which rarely, if ever, helps sales to close a single deal faster. As a result, their excitement quickly turns sour. And their investment in video soon feels like a money pit rather than the revenue-generator it should have been.

When your company commits fully to creating The Selling 7 types of sales and marketing videos, it won’t be long before you see dramatically increased website traffic and engagement with your content, accelerated conversions of qualified leads, and an empowered sales team that can close deals faster with more educated prospects.

Virtual Selling

Prior to 2020, many businesses were still able to hit their revenue targets with more traditional “nose-to-nose, face-to-face” sales practices – business trips, in-person meetings and lunches, proposals delivered to an audience in a conference room, and so on. 

Then, the pandemic struck. In its wake, business leaders around the world were forced to innovate new ways to avoid complete catastrophe. And sales teams had no choice but to immediately embrace virtual selling, by transferring their in-person sales conversations, brick-and-mortar purchasing, and on-site showroom experiences into a video environment.

Flash forward to today and there is hope. Social distancing rules are relaxing and travel restrictions are lifting. Life (and business) is returning to normal … with one critical exception. 

Virtual selling is here to stay, and your ideal buyers do not want sales processes to go “back to normal.” In fact, according to research from McKinsey, only about 20% of B2B buyers say they want in-person sales to return.

That means in order to succeed and drive the revenue growth you need today, tomorrow, and well into the future, your sales team must be equipped with the digital communication techniques, 1:1 personalized video strategies, virtual sales training, and video selling technology they need to close deals effectively in a virtual, video-first world.

Self-service Tools

It doesn’t matter what your industry is or what you sell, your ideal buyers today want two things from their purchasing experience:

  • They want to own as much of their buyer’s journey as possible online, without having to talk to someone from sales.
  • They want that experience of exploring possible solutions and understanding their options to be personalized, easy, and fast. 

For example, instead of having to fill out a “contact us” form, a B2B technology buyer would undoubtedly leap at the chance to get an initial idea of what their investment and options might look like using an interactive calculator on a potential vendor’s website.

Alternatively, a serious in-ground pool buyer would certainly favor a builder with a self-configuration tool on their website that allows them to virtually build their own. They would be able to evaluate their options based on their own needs and budget, without the pressure of talking to someone in sales.

Of course, some businesses see this new consumer demand for self-service as a threat that will nullify the role of their sales team. Or worse, they believe these tools diminish what a company provides into a transactional commodity, making it harder to stand out from competitors. 

In reality, self-service website tools only enhance your ability to drive growth. They increase qualified lead conversions and empower buyers to do even more research on their own, nurturing them down the sales funnel faster. Also, bad-fit prospects will take themselves out of the running, instead of wasting your sales team’s time.

As a result, your sales conversations become immediately more effective (and more focused on good-fit prospects), which means you’ll close more deals faster.

Sales & Marketing Alignment

The companies that have seen remarkable success with a They Ask, You Answer approach to inbound marketing all have one thing in common.

They understood that their long-term success with inbound would require a cultural change within their companies. A culture in which everyone was unified around the singular vision of establishing themselves as the #1 teacher in their space, so they could meet and exceed their most aggressive traffic, leads, and sales goals.

But a cultural shift of that magnitude, where you’re able to ignite genuine excitement and alignment among your sales and marketing teams doesn’t happen overnight. It doesn’t happen with a single company-wide email or an announcement at an all-hands meeting. 

The way you empower your sales and marketing teams to catch the vision of what’s possible with inbound is by bringing them together for a workshop that walks them through the eight essential principles of what you are embracing:

  • How your ideal buyers’ expectations have changed
  • How search engines work and rank your website content 
  • The way your buyers search and the questions they’re asking (The Big 5)
  • Brainstorming content ideas from The Big 5 as a full group
  • How content can impact the sales process and close rates
  • Why everyone’s voice, talent, and knowledge are critical for success
  • Your new editorial guidelines for inbound content
  • Discussion of what would prevent inbound from working at your company

When you set the conditions in this way for your sales and marketing teams to clearly understand the what, how, and why of inbound, you will create the foundation for a new, lasting culture and pave the way for exceptional results.

Martech & CRM Adoption

It’s a tale as old as time. A business gets excited about the prospect of inbound marketing to drive traffic, leads, and sales. Soon, they’re a flurry of activity – writing blog articles, standing up landing pages, publishing premium content offers, and maybe even dabbling in video. 

Initially, everyone is excited about what’s possible and the promise of inbound.

But then, as the weeks and months roll by, doubt creeps in … 

“I don’t know how to clearly prove the ROI of our inbound marketing.”

“We know our content is driving traffic, but we don’t know if it’s impacting revenue.”

“Our leadership and sales teams don’t see the value of the content we’re producing.”

If your organization is going to invest the time, resources, and money needed to make inbound and creating content work, you must also invest in the right technology. Only with seamlessly integrated marketing automation and CRM platforms (like HubSpot) will you be able to:

  • Empower your sales team with the intelligence they need about prospects and their content consumption habits, so they can have more effective sales conversations.
  • Clearly track the ROI of your inbound marketing efforts and understand exactly how your content is (or isn’t) being used to close deals and drive revenue for your company.

Adoption of the right marketing and sales technology is often the critical differentiator between companies that see success with inbound marketing and those that don’t.

Real success in the real world

See how businesses just like yours have partnered with IMPACT and used They Ask, You Answer to achieve dramatic business growth.

"Within a year, our organic traffic had a 350% increase. In 2 years, we recorded our highest month of traffic at over 23,000 — a 1,050% increase."

Kendall Guinn
Kendall Guinn, CMO, Aquila
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We’re now talking…over 100,000 leads a year. Our revenues are now up to $117 million with better margins, too.

Steve Sheinkopf
Steve Sheinkopf, CEO, Yale Appliance
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Steve Sheinkopf

"We can attribute about $100,000 in just initial the last 12 months. When you consider the lifetime value of a customer, that’s over half a million dollars so far."

Keven Ellison
Keven Ellison, CMO, Aquila
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“In the past 2 years, we’ve had a 145% increase in traffic. We used to get about 180 leads per week. Now we’re up to 350. From a revenue standpoint, we’ve seen a $5 million turnaround in profit.”

Kurt Bahler
Kurt Bahler, CFO, FBi Buildings
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FBi Buildings Kurt Bahler
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The origins of They Ask, You Answer

In 2008, Marcus Sheridan’s pool business was failing

The Great Recession was spreading, and buyers were getting nervous. With mounting cancellations, his pool business, seemed like it wasn’t going to make it. But Marcus had heard about inbound marketing, and he decided to take matters into his own hands. He set out to answer customer questions — openly and honestly — on his company website.


Each night after work, he wrote detailed and transparent answers to every common customer question, problem, and concern he had ever heard

Dramatically increase trust. Explode traffic, leads, and sales. They Ask, You Answer is the most proven sales and marketing framework in the world for achieving online dominance in any space.


Each night after work, he wrote detailed and transparent answers to every common customer question, problem, and concern he had ever heard

Dramatically increase trust. Explode traffic, leads, and sales. They Ask, You Answer is the most proven sales and marketing framework in the world for achieving online dominance in any space.

Now, years later, Marcus preaches the They Ask, You Answer philosophy to companies all over the world

And, he has written the bestelling They Ask, You Answer, which has been named the best digital marketing book of all time by Book Authority. Today, thousands of businesses owe their success to Marcus’ framework that starts with a simple principle: If you obsess over your customers’ questions, problems, and concerns, and if you seek to educate and build trust, customers will buy from you. After all, trust is the common currency of all business.


Dive deeper into They Ask, You Answer

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