The One Question

The One Question* Research Shows Gets More YES

Bottom Line Up-Front (BLUF): there’s a direct correlation between the amount of time people take to answer this one question and the probability of them saying yes to us. 

Research shows asking this one question* at the start of a meeting irrespective of your industry or function results in more engagement.

When CEOs are asked this question, we find them engaging for 30 minutes in the answer, often without pause. We’ve observed top sales reps on successful sales calls in customers’ homes around the country ask the question and customers engaged for 3 hours in the answer.

On a recent Zoom with a Vistage CEO Member—I asked the question, he shared his hopes for his team, and his clients, their challenges, what’s worked, what hasn’t, and the implications of all of that to the health of the thousands of patients a year that visit his chain of Chiropractic offices, and why he thought I could help.

Another call years ago with a different CEO, founder of what is now the largest internet retailer of window blinds in the world.  I asked the question, he engaged, I was taking notes when he abruptly stopped his flow of thinking and yelled “YOU SON OF A GUN! (he didn’t say GUN) You just had me sell myself for the last 35 minutes!” And then he asked, “Can you teach my Reps to do THAT for our customers?” We did. And so can you.

The One Question is not a huge revelation, the things that are fundamental to success are rarely revelatory. Pursuing better every day is an outcome of being intentional with the essentials. Connecting your purpose with specific behaviors using tools of engagement will lead to better meetings, better decisions and better results.

*Dr Robert Cialdini (who some call the Godfather of Influence and Persuasion) was asked in a video interview around the time of his retirement from Academia what were his greatest learnings—the things that would be most useful to people, (let’s say in a job interview)—and there was One Question that he recommended to anyone if they wanted to use the Science to secure a job (make a sale, get engagement…)

*The One Question:

“I’m just curious… What is it about me (my resume) that made you want to speak with me?”

Then let them give you the answer.

With your success in mind,


Dean Minuto

Vistage Speaker of the Year 2014/15

Vistage Top Performer Award for 2021 and 2022

PS… Bonus 3-min Video YESENTIALS® “I’m Just Curious”


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