Don't ask yes/no, ask A/B

For a long time I tried in my cold emails to ask a clear yes/no question and tried to make it as easy as possible to say yes.

But then I discovered that it’s far more effective to ask an A/B question instead.

A yes/no question would be “Interested in a quick call next Thursday?”.

An A/B question would be “Let me know what works best for you: A) when I record a quick Loom with all relevant infos or B) when we get on a quick call next Thursday?”

This works incredibly well for two reasons.

If you ask an yes/no question people will evaluate the options of saying “yes” or “no”.

But when you ask an A/B question, they will evaluate option A against option B.

Option “no” is not part of the equation.

The second reason is that providing people with more options increases the chances that one of them works for them.

Vendine machine companies know this.

Putting a Coca Cola and Pepsi vending machine right next to each other significantly increases sales compares to just having one of them.

But it’s also a massively underrated tool in personal development.

I’ve recently struggled to go to the gym consistently.

I set the goal to workout three times a week but then oftentimes ended up going maybe once or twice.

There was often stuff that felt more important, more urgent.

And oftentimes I simply did not feel like working out.

Fighting against yourself is no fun.

But now I replaced the yes/no decision whether I go to them gym, with an A/B decision.

I go to the gym every single day and will spend at least 20 minutes exercising.

My choices are A) running on the treadmill for 20 minutes or B) lifting weights for 20 minutes.

I listen to my body and then make an decision based on how I feel.

But I completely removed the option of not going to the gym from the menu.

Highly recommend trying this if there is any area of your life where you struggle to establish a healthy habit and regularly fight with yourself internally.

Written on January 15, 2024

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