They Ask You Answer

They ask you answer: A revolutionary approach to inbound sales, content marketing and today’s digital consumer by Marcus Sheridan. I finally got around to reading this book and it really did live up to its hype. I don’t work in sales or marketing but I do like blogging and writing so I thought it would be useful. This along with the fact that Karen Reyburn of The Profitable Firm recommends this book so much is possibly the only reason that made me even read this book.

Luckily it lived up to its recommendation. There are 44 chapters split into four sections of the book. Under each chapter there are subheadings so if you wanted to refer back to something, it made it quite easy. I’m not going to list the chapters like I normally do but the four parts are:

  1. A very different way of looking at business, marketing and trust. (24 chapters)
  2. The impact of They Ask, You Answer on sales teams (8 chapters)
  3. Implementation and making it culture (5 chapters)
  4. Your questions answered (6 chapters)

Part 1

As you can see this has the bulk of all the chapters and takes up just over half of the book. It starts off with a brief history of how he came from the brink of bankruptcy to excelling in his swimming pool business. He explains how he put himself in the consumers’ shoes and how if he wanted to buy something he would want to find as much information as possible from the internet. Eventually, his method would, in turn, save time during the sales process as most people would already have all the information they needed. All of this can be done by giving the customer the information they were looking for – whatever they ask, you answer it.

Over time he realised there were five main questions that every reader asks:

  1. Costs
  2. Problems
  3. Comparisons
  4. Reviews
  5. Best in class

He then goes into more details with case studies to explain how all of these can be resolved by putting the answers on the website.

After reading the whole of this part, I thought what more information could there be? It was so comprehensive. However, the book still had more useful information.

Part 2

In this section, he explains how to spread the message of they ask, you answer to the whole company, starting with the sales team. If the sales team know and have all this information to hand when they go out and sell, they are better prepared and can respond to questions faster.

Part 3 

In this part, he then explains how the whole of your company should get involved in creating content to put on the website. He also gives an eight-step break down on how to create workshops for your team. In the book, he explains what they need and how to help employees get on board with content marketing. This is in Chapter 35. 

The next chapter then explains the qualities and requirements of a Content Manager and why you need one. It gives a job description and estimated hours on how long it would take to do each task. As I was reading the job description, I was mentally ticking off the list thinking I‘ve done some of these things on my blog and I love doing it. Naturally, I then wanted to be a content manager!

Part 4

In the final part, Marcus answers some of the common questions asked about content marketing and how to fit it into their business and even how long he thinks this ‘fad’ will last.

Overall, this is a very interesting book and possibly the first time I’ve read a sales and marketing type book. It is an inspiring book and it is well laid out. After some chapters, there were also some questions for you to think about and see how it could be applied to your business. I would highly recommend this book if you are looking at ways to increase your sales through marketing.

You can buy this book here: They ask you answer. Or you can wait until 2nd October 2019 and get the updated version here:

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