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Ask Summary

4 min read ⌚ 

You know what you want for your own business. You know how far you wanna get and how badly you’re dreaming to grow it. But what will propel your wishes in order to achieve your goals? The market? The strategies? The Money?

Above all these, the real fuel for the engine of success is represented by the customers. Their needs, their wants, their expectations…those are tangled puzzle pieces in a darkroom as long as you do not press the button to switch on the light.


There is no better fuel than the real-life experiences of others.

Ask Summary – Ryan Levesque

To decrypt the customers’ buying behavior,  first of all, we start by asking:

Can we really trust the Ask Formula? Yes. We can. After all the word ‘Formula’ is embodied in the label. Somehow, every time you hear these magic seven letters, you expect a solution for your problem. That can sound a bit like this:

Do you have any idea what your clients want from you? No? Not anymore? Then the Ask Formula may be what you are looking for.

Even if you aren’t in a bad spot, from a business point of view, it’s worth to give it a try. Maybe, you’ll punch the air, scream ‘Eureka’, and implement your idea using this book. And make loads of money. What? It’s not plausible? Just remember – the world is built on uncertainties and guts.

Spoiler alert! It really works.

The author – Ryan Levesque – chose to split the book into two parts:

  1. Part 1. Ask: The story
  2. Part 2. Ask: The methodology

I must confess – the first part of this volume is one of the most inspiring life stories that I read. It has it all: determination, boldness, dedication, passion, grit, and heart. Ryan goes from studying neuroscience and Chinese to become an extraordinaire marketer with a unique insight.

Ask PDF SummaryRyan Levesque

As you can imagine his road wasn’t full of unicorns and rainbows. It required:

A combination of intense study, hard work, and attending the entrepreneurial “school of hard knocks.

Among other things – you will find out what you gain from paying attention to the right information, and what you should ignore. You’ll get to know where the business owners fail. You’ll discover the new definition of the survey.

You’ll learn from where it’s best to start over. You’ll understand why, after three years, Ryan grew tired of his dream job in Shanghai and the safety net that a corporate job provided.

After several crash and burn events – the final shape of the Ask Formula was ready. Should I mention the near-death-experience? I suppose there’s no need. You can read about its role in the book.

The Ask Formula is a puzzle with 6 pieces:

  1. Prepare
  2. Persuade
  3. Segment
  4. Prescribe
  5. Profit
  6. Pivot

Each one is designed to carry on specific and particular surveys. It will help you overcome any misconceptions about your prospects’ needs. Because

You can’t assume to know more about the prospect than you really do.

The most important surveys on which the whole process is counting on are:

  1. The “Deep Dive” Survey – first step is to learn and understand the natural consumer language. This will help a lot during your communication with him. The result will be that you’ll learn how to ignore the background noise and you’ll be focused more on the right data;
  2. The “Micro-Commitment Bucket” Survey – this means to put people into different “buckets” so you can customize your marketing, sales messaging, and the products you introduce;
  3. The “Do You Hate Me” Survey – this kind of surveying proved that simply asking, may give you the ability to dial in your marketing;
  4. The “Pivot” Survey – “How do you succeed in the market after market with nearly 100% success? You take out all the guesswork.”


After you’ve completed the ‘Deep Dive’ Survey – you’ll need to use the Top 20% of the responses. What for?– you may ask. You have 5 reasons to do it:

  1. To determine what buckets naturally emerge in your market
  2. To identify what people’s hot buttons are
  3. To identify what their objections are
  4. To identify what their biggest challenges are
  5. To use in concert with their demographic information

By analyzing the demographics of your market, you’ll find out who your prospective customers are. By analyzing your open-ended responses – what those customers want to buy.

At the beginning of Ask: The Methodology, Ryan suggests a 3 ways approach of reading this part of his book: skim it, reread with your business in mind, and use it as a reference.

It’s your choice, from where you want to begin. All is laid out, in front of you, from case studies to in-depth explanations, from bonus materials to life advice.

Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“Ask Quotes”

It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them. Click To Tweet If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said ‘faster horses. Click To Tweet But whatever you decide, the important thing is to start. Click To Tweet Sometimes starting over at the bottom can be the best thing you can do for yourself. Click To Tweet Sometimes great things are created from the most unexpected and unlikely places. Click To Tweet

We firmly believe that you can succeed on your own. At times, you’ll require a slight push towards a great opportunity. Or sometimes:

There is no better fuel than the real-life experiences of others.

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Improve Your Reading Habits in 28 days

Explore key insights and ideas from 2500+ titles in audio and text

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