The ASK Method® – An Overview
“The secret is figuring out what people want to buy, before they even know what they want to buy themselves. So you can better sell, and better serve.” Ryan Levesque
This quote pretty much sums up what the ASK Method® is all about. It will help you address your ideal clients and customers in a way that shows you understand them and you have the solution to their problem.
The ASK Method® might seem simple at first glance but it is quite counterintuitive. The misconception is often that you “just ask the customers what they want” and then give it to them.
“Hey, that’s so easy! :-)” you might think… – Unfortunately, it’s not THAT easy… There is much more to it than is visible to the eye on the first (or second) look …
The ASK Method® delves deep into Psychology & NeuroScience, which is understandable, as Ryan Levesque, the founder of the method, studied and taught NeuroScience at Brown University. What he has learned about the brain and psychology during his Ivy League education served him well when he developed the ASK Method® (previously the Survey Funnel Formula).
A well-known quote from Henry Ford explains it further. He said, “If I had asked people what they want, they would have said “faster horses”.” There is so much truth in this statement!
Simply asking people what they want is NOT going to give you the answers you are looking for.
What the ASK Method® can do for you
The ASK Method® (applied correctly) gives you the confidence to know what your clients / customers want (and need) – without you having to guess.
- You no longer have to wonder if the market you want to enter is worth your time and energy. You can find out in advance.
- You also do not have to guess what people want to buy in your chosen market. You can find that out in advance as well.
- And you do not have to spend hours upon hours coming up with copy… Using the ASK Method will ensure that your customers write the best converting copy for you.
- And much more…
But before you go and send a quick survey to your list… hold on for just one second.
The thing is… what makes the ASK Method® so effective is in the details. It’s the nuances. Ryan Levesque points it out consistently.
Before we go into more detail on the nuances… Let’s talk a little more about the ASK Method® in general and what makes it so unique.
Why is the ASK Method® so effective?
The method is so effective because it gives you access to information and data that will help you tailor your marketing efforts, products and business to the needs of your best clients in order to help them better.
By asking the right questions and analysing them in a certain way – it will be easy for you as an expert, coach or online entrepreneur to serve the needs of your clients even better and in return run your business more profitably.
Ryan’s example in the orchid market: He found out that people had the following 4 problems, which he later segmented into buckets. 1. The orchid is not blooming 2. The orchid is sick 3. The orchid needs to be repotted and dies shortly thereafter 4. I am new to orchids and would like to learn the basics.
Someone who wants to bring his orchid to bloom again has little to no interest to learn more about nursing a sick orchid back to health. It is simply not his urgent problem at the moment that he wants to solve immediately. Offering anything but the solution to his most pressing problem at the moment would turn the potential customer off.
Similarly, your own clients will also be dealing with their most urgent, very specific problems that they want to solve – and they are willing to pay for it.
Your job is to offer them the solution to THEIR SPECIFIC PROBLEM at the right time (= when they want it).
No matter what phase of your business you are in (whether you are just getting started or are ready to scale), this knowledge gives you a huge advantage and extreme confidence in what you are building. You no longer have to guess what your clients want. You know exactly what it is they long for.
But “asking” is only the first step.
A fraction of the ASK Method® itself, so to speak … Many, however, stop right here – and miss out on a pot of gold nuggets that will ensure you are miles ahead of your competitors.
When should you do a Deep Dive Survey?
Good question! It is suggested to do Deep Dive Surveys (DDSs) every time:
#1 BEFORE you enter a new market – so that you know for sure it has potential to succeed. This might just save you years in lost time and lots of money.
# 2 BEFORE you create a new product – Do you usually spend months creating a new product but don’t know for sure if it will even sell? Knowing what your people want before you start creating your new product will shorten the time you create it and you can be sure you create something that people are waiting to buy.
# 3 BEFORE you launch a new marketing campaign/launch/promotion – Have you done one of those very time and money-intensive Campaigns or Launches… and just have them reach the break-even point at best? Use segmentation and the copy insights you gained from your DDS to improve the overall performance, get more conversions and make more money.
What does the ASK Method® consist of?
The ASK Method® consists of 3 main steps:
The first step is the Discovery Phase. You want to start with this phase no matter if you have an existing business or if you are just starting out on your entrepreneurial journey.
In order to know exactly what your market wants it is necessary to start with the “Deep Dive Survey”, one that lies exactly in the “Zone of Specificity”.
This “Zone of Specificity” ensures that you ask questions that are not too narrow and not too broad. If they are too narrow, you will have trouble getting a lot of answers, is it too broad you will have problems discovering your 3-5 segments.
With a correctly implemented “Deep Dive Survey” you can find out exactly what your people want to buy and what your market segments are.
Even for companies that have done lots of surveys in the past, experience has shown that there are always surprises and insights that they did not expect.
The reason is that the analysis of the DDS is done in a very specific way that will reveal the most hidden treasures.
Depending on what you will focus on in your DDS, you will find out which groups of people you should focus on right away; which segments are your most valuable potential customers and which segments you should deliberately ignore (for now or always).
The goal in marketing is to get into the conversation that is already going on in your clients head – with ASK this is possible even if you are not part of the target audience yourself.
- You discover the exact language and targeted phrases that your ideal clients use.
- You will learn which language patterns your ideal and non-ideal clients use – and what those differences are. This allows you to attract more of your ideal clients with your copy and videos, but it will repel your non-ideal clients.
- Buckets: You identify the 3-5 most important groups in your market
- You create an indepths and dimensionalized ideal client avatar for each segment
- And much more…
Segmentation with the ASK Method®
It is a fundamental human need to have your unique problems understood and desires met – and to be treated as an individual.
“One size fits all” solutions are not that enticing anymore. However, this is still almost always the case when we market in the online marketing space.
Big companies have been following the path of personalization or segmentation for years.
However, for online entrepreneurs and experts this was not available until a few short years ago, mostly due to high investment cost.
The future is a “customer of one”
Roger Hamilton – well-known British entrepreneur and visionary – even goes so far as to say that companies that will (still) be successful in 2026 will specialize in identifying and serving a “customer of one” in their business.
This does not mean having just one customer / client segment, but addressing all important segments (usually 3-5) in a very personalized way.
Finding out WHAT people want is the first, important step.
The second step is segmentation.
The Segmentation Phase in the ASK Method®
This step is about giving people exactly what they want.
So… you know the 3-5 segments your people fall into. You know the unique problems of your segments. You know how they talk about this problem.
How do you make sure that the people with problem A also see the solution for problem A?
This is the place where your quiz funnel comes into play. Your quiz funnel is created in a way that makes sure that your people are entertained, educated and segmented at the same time.
However, it does not always have to be a quiz funnel. It can also be an assessment, survey, or segmentation funnel that meets the needs of your clients.
This segmentation – in a playful way – ensures that people with Problem B see their solution, not the solution for Problem A.
This results in higher conversion rates, lower refund rates and happier customers.
(We’ll go into more detail about the segmentation in a separate post.)
Launch the ASK Method®
The next step, after finding out what your people want and segmenting them in a way to receive their specific solution, is the Launch Phase.
Here as well, the ASK Method® pays a significant role in customizing the customer journey in either your Evergreen Funnels, Campaigns or PLF Launches.
Every Launch or Campaign can be customized for your 3-5 segments – so they are spoken to directly.
You wonder if this is going to end up in creating 3-5 different launches? No. There is an 80/20 in everything. The ASK Method® is used in specific steps throughout the Launch/Campaign – eg. in the testimonials that are chosen.
Traffic, of course, also belongs in the launch area. The information you get through the Deep Dive Survey will also affect how you write your Facebook or Google Ads ads.
Thanks to the ASK Method®, you have all the information you need to create a consistently cohesive funnel and/or launch – from start to finish.
(We’ll go into more detail about the launch in a separate post.)
Successes with the ASK Method®
Ryan Levesque has successfully used his method in 23 different markets. From orchid care, to supplements & dog training, relationship advice, skin care, golf & tennis instruction, to obscure markets like Scrabble Tile Jewelry and more. His method has been tried and tested in many different markets over the last decade.
Clients and colleagues apply the ASK Method® in markets such as: online marketing, list building, book writing, self publishing, business development, personal development, pain management, healing, clearing blocks, homeschooling, job hunting, watercolor instruction, learning how to paint, nutrition & diet, hypnosis and many more.
ASK is particularly suitable for Information Businesses that sell eBooks, trainings or online courses or events. The same goes for service based businesses such as consulting, coaching, done-for-you services.
In fact, you can use the principle of the ASK Method® anywhere, were you want to know more about your clients/customers.
ASK Method® and Quizzes
The ASK Method® in combination with Quizzes is ideal for segmenting prospects and creating a customer journey that caters to the specific needs of individuals in each segment.
It is ideal to build an active and dedicated email list super fast because, let’s be honest, everyone loves quizzes.
Even if you are under a strict deadline… You’ll find the two minutes to find out which “Game of Thrones” character, “Disney Princess” or “Money Archetype” you are, am I right? 😉
It’s entertaining and it appeals to our need and curiosity to find out more about ourselves.
Quizzes are great for building a responsive and engaged email list as you combine entertainment with self-discovery.
The more in-depth and valuable the quizzes/assessments are, the more they position you as an expert in your field. You become the trusted source your clients/customers turn to when they want their problems solved.