burkes bits

Want Better Answers? Ask Better Questions – Works Every Time!

If the answers you get don't make sense or aren't what you're looking for – look at the questions you're asking.

In today's edition of Burke's Bits:

  1. How to Ask Better Questions
  2. Copy Tip
  3. Social Selling Tip
  4. From the Research Files
  5. Pun of the Day


How to Ask Better Questions

Getting the answer you need requires that you ask good questions.

It doesn't matter if you're talking 1:1 with someone, texting, sending email, or responding to an update on social media…

whether you're interviewing someone on a podcast, for an article, as part of the Voice of the Customer research…

the quality of the information and answers you get are a direct result of the quality of the questions you ask.

Consider this short exchange I saw in a social media group:

Question posted by a member just as it appeared in the group…

This is my first shipment and some shippers could book the delivery into Amazon themselves, this one can't. Is it a big hassle to book the delivery in myself? thanks.

A1. No.

Q2. No what?

A2. No it's not a big hassle to book the delivery yourself.

Q3. Oh good – but where do I go to book the delivery?

A3. Go to Amazon Seller page and then the product section.

Q4. There isn't a place on there to book a delivery, am I doing it wrong?

A4. Doing what wrong?

Get the picture? I didn't. Neither did the other members of the group.

Finally, someone was able to get enough information to rewrite the question for the original poster.

The real question:

I have an order that requires me to schedule the delivery because my supplier isn't able to do it. Can you tell me where to go in my account to do this and if there are any special considerations I need to be aware of?

Sure, there are more details that could be added to the question, but this first question is enough to show the direction the additional questions should go.

For me, questioning comes easily. I'm naturally inquisitive. In some instances I can easily read someone and hone in on the ideal questions to get the best answers. In other instances, I ask questions because I have no clue how to read the other person and hope they're willing to provide me with answers that will get us both to a positive end.

But, something I’ve learned is most people don't ask enough questions – and many don't ask the right questions.

The good news? The more you ask questions the better you get at it. Why? Because you see how it eliminates miscommunication by removing assumptions while at the same time improves your knowledge about a person, place, or thing.

Begin with knowing Why you're asking the questions.

Your first question will lead you, and them, in a direction. When you know why you're asking, you know how important this first question is.

Ask follow-up questions to clarify their answer – to be sure you understand the answer they gave.

Ask additional questions to get more information or to lead them in another direction.

When you've gotten the answers to satisfy your Why… you're done.

Is there more to this skill of asking questions? Absolutely! Do I have room to delve into all the details? Sorry, I don't. But – if this interests you or you have specific questions about…asking better questions…feel free to Reply to this email or Comment. I promise to give you my best answer.


Copy Tip

Create An Impossible To Ignore Hook

First, what is a hook?

It's a claim that only you can make – that you believe will grab the reader’s attention.

It's something you can offer that is beneficial to the reader that no-one else can offer.

It's what catches your reader's attention and makes them want to read more.

Here's an example:

A client in the weight loss niche. Her sales page wasn't converting well at all. She was losing money on every ad click and couldn't figure out why. So she came to me and asked if I would rewrite her sales page.

In her copy she explained how she was a nutritionist who liked to ‘nerd out’ on old-fashioned snacks and data. Over time, she was able to lose weight and still eat pretty much anything she wanted. For her headline she had “How A Nutrition Nerd Was Able To Lose Weight And Still Eat To Her Heart's Content”

You can see why her page wasn't working, right?

First, I asked her if this statement was something she'd seen before. If she had seen sales pages making this type of claim – Lose Weight Without Dieting and Eat to Your Heart’s Content?

She said “Oh yes!”

So I asked her “Would you mind telling me how you really did it? What was the one thing you did different than anyone else?”

She said “I used EFT.”

EFT is Emotional Freedom Techniques or “tapping” that stimulates acupressure points by pressuring, tapping, or rubbing these points while focusing on situations that represent personal fear or trauma.

“Would you mind telling me more?” I asked.

She explained that there are 14 places you tap on your body.

Pull out your blinders! Put on your sunglasses! The halogen lightbulb went off in my mind!

I said to her, “Write a headline that says “How I Lost 52 pounds in 6 months by tapping on 14 Spots on my body just twice a day”.

See the difference? See the hook? See the differentiator?

Now the rest of the copy can be written to support that claim.

Yes, her sales page started to convert.

Spend time on your hook – it matters.


Social Selling Tip

Always remember this: all social media platforms are public conversations.

It doesn't matter how Private the Group, which settings you select for who sees your post, or how much the platform tries to convince you that the discussion between you and them is private…it's not.

What you post on social media will attract a type of person. Who do you want to attract?

Before you post anything on social media, ask yourself if it meets this criteria:


T: Is it True?

H: Is it Helpful?

I: Is it Inspiring?

N: Is it Necessary?

K: Is it Kind?

There's a belief among some internet marketers and many who want to be influencers that you must be controversial.

  • You must take a stand on social media to show you believe in something … or are against something.
  • Controversy helps attract your market to you.
  • Controversy helps repel those not in your market so you don't waste your time on them.

This is why you see posts that

  • denigrate companies or service providers
  • call out a group of people and show how they're wrong – often using vulgar or crude language
  • clearly state who they vote for

Note that these posts are usually not made by employees. They are made by individuals who seek to gain attention so the computer algorithms of the platform will reward them with more reach. It's sad, but true – these people rarely offer value to their followers.

If you look over your connections on different social media platforms and see they don't match your criteria for a buyer, a collaboration partner, a referral partner…look at your posts. You are attracting these people. You are reaching out to connect with these people.

Don't like who you're connected with? Change your criteria for reaching out. Change your posts. It will be a lot easier to move them 1 by 1 to private messages and then to a video call/phone call.


From The Research Files

aka random bits of info you may or may not be able to use in your life

Some history trivia:

Hannibal crossed the Alps using elephants.

For the 1914 Battle of the Marne, WWI General Gallieni moved his troops in taxi cabs.

The most common story goes like this:

On the night of September 6, 1914, as the fate of France was hanging in the balance, a fleet of taxis drove under cover of darkness from Paris to the front lines of what would become known as the Battle of the Marne. Carrying reinforcements that turned the tide of battle against the Germans, the taxi drivers saved the city and demonstrated the sacred unity of the French people. (Smithsonian Magazine)

Jean Dutourd, a French writer, published a book called The Taxis of the Marne and in it he called the Taxis of the Marne “the greatest event of the 20th century...The infantry of Joffre, in the taxis of Gallieni arrived on the Marne…and they transformed it into a new Great Wall of China.

Not historically accurate, but it does catch your attention and raises the question of how, doesn't it?


Pun of the Day

Light travels faster than sound.

That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

With Gratitude —

Charlene Burke

Let's Connect: https://linktr.ee/CharleneBurke

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

— Albert Einstein

Related Posts