The Science of Asking Questions

How to Make Millions Asking Questions by Patrick Bet-David. Visit the PBD Sales Course


What if Patrick told you that the reason you stop asking questions as you grow older is because the educational system rewards children for having the right answers as opposed to asking the right questions. In business people are rewarded for the solutions they solve, or put differently, the questions they ask and then find answers for. In this episode Patrick Bet-David talks about how to ask better questions.

Patrick starts off looking at some different studies done:

Mere measurement effect:

  • 1993 study – Social scientists Vicki Morwitz, Eric Johnson, and David Schmittlein conducted a study with more than 40,000 participants that revealed that simply asking a question if people were going to buy a car increased the chances of buying a car within the next 6 months by 35%

Journal of Applied psychology

  • Asking citizens whether they’re going to vote in an upcoming election increases likelihood of voting by 25%

Tech company

  • A Study of 500,000 business to business sales conversations
    • Connection between the number of questions a salesperson asks to converting sales
    • They found that between 11 to 14 questions was the optimal range
    • More than 14 questions started to diminish ratios

HBR + Mu Sigma

  • Poll of 200 clients, found that those with children estimated that 70-80% of their kids dialogue with others were comprised of questions. Same clients said that 15-25% of their own interactions consisted of questions

Traditional Education recognizes and rewards kids for having the right answers whereas innovators, entrepreneurs and creative minds are rewarded in business for having the right questions.

Here are some situations where questions are commonly used; sales, negotiations, dating, interviews or podcasts, parenting, coaching and general conversations. However, asking questions in the right sequence will always optimize results

Check out the video in order to see how Patrick predicts answers and questions that might arise during a conversation before going into the conversation.

Here are a few different forms of questions:

  • Introductory – “How are you?”
  • Mirror – “I’m fine, how are you?”
  • Transition questions
  • Follow up questions
  • Clarifying questions
  • Bridging questions
  • Questions that dig deeper


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