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September 05, 2018 By Hendrik-Jan Francke

Ignore the Questions (and Watch Out for the Clickbait)

It was only a matter of time before marketing master Seth Godin resorted to using one of the oldest tricks in the digital book: clickbait.

He advises to ignore the questions that people ask.

I value questions highly. I believe there is such a thing as asking bad questions. I believe asking the right questions helps reveal great answers.

So when I read a statement like ‘Ignore the questions’, I take notice. And I disagree.

If a question is ignored altogether, the asker may feel slighted.

They may see the response - or lack thereof - as ‘they didn’t answer my question’. This can be frustrating, possibly to the point that they block out hearing anything else in the response as being worthwhile.  

At the same time, I think it is normal to want to sometimes ignore questions in order to find a better question or the real intent behind the question that is being asked.

When someone asks a question about price, for instance, we back it up and ask them a different question. Or we give an "it depends" answer and educate the asker on the importance of quality work.

I agree with Godin's statement that one should consider using the question as a chance to see more deeply. And in order to do that…

We can’t ignore the question.

So I’m calling Godin’s bluff on his statement that questions should be ignored. He does see questions as valuable.

I still think his subject line is clickbait.

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