The They Ask You Answer approach to doing business is something that resonates with me. I’ve always believed that the guarded, competitive, cutthroat approach that many people believe is “the way” is not the way at all, in business or anywhere else in life. Why be like that? Okay, sure, there are some jerks in the world, and they’re going to be that way. But good people? I don’t believe for one minute that good people have to be like that.
Good people are not like that with friends. “Oh, Marcus, I would drive you to that heart specialist, but that might give you some kind of advantage over me.” What?!
They are also not like that with the neighbors. “Tatiana, I would lend you my hedge clippers so you can trim your side of the hedge row, but I have to guard my resources.”
So then why are so many good people like that when it comes to business? Rather than spreading the word about people they’ve found who are knowledgeable in whatever area, they keep those people to themselves as their “secret weapons.” They hide information that could help others, or they misdirect or even outright sabotage people they see as “competitors”—even within their own company.
Perhaps it’s because I’m an Aspie, but none of that ever made sense to me, and I sure couldn’t play office politics. Being a pincushion wasn’t on my list of acceptable roles in life, so I quit working for other people and started my own business, where I could keep being nice and stop working with people who believed that cutthroat was the way to be. I work with and serve nice people, and I love every day.
The They Ask You Answer approach
Parents take the They Ask You Answer approach with young children. People take that approach with their friends and neighbors. We see relationships outside of work as relationships where we should be cooperative. Why not take that same approach in business? It may be the best decision you ever make. The They Ask You Answer approach has multiple steps for you to take. There is a lot of work for you to do. I’m not saying it is easy to do that work, but the concept is simple.
It boils down to this: your potential customers are asking questions. Maybe they’re asking those questions of you, maybe not, but they are typing them into search engines. You want to be there to provide the answers, even to the tough questions you don’t want to face.
How to provide the answers
How can you be there to answer those questions? Is the author asking you to man a phone line 24/7? Not at all. You can be there with your online content. You need to create page after page, with each one answering a question or addressing a need your prospects have. Some of those pages get to have video content on them, so buckle up if you’re not comfortable creating videos. The good news is that, like I tell my clients constantly, done is better than perfect. As the author says, something is better than nothing. So don’t worry about having production quality videos all over your website. Just be sure you provide the answers to the questions people are asking.
Your prospects will find the answers to their questions. If they get those answers from you in a way that is honest and not self-serving, then they’ll trust you. If you try to hide anything, they won’t trust you, and they will get their answers from—and do business with—someone else. Click the affiliate link image below to see the Amazon listing for this book. Be sure to buy a highlighter, too.