UP Answers

UP answers are my proprietary technique to deal with logical objections, which serve to state logical facts in an optimized format. The two key elements used are:

  • Uncertainty. A type of adverse transparency;
    • Being honest and humble versus too egotistical;
  • Potential. Mentioning the potential before you do the track record;
    • It works by anchoring the person to the positive potential instead of reality;
  • For example, saying:
    • I’m not sure about the general case, but for this team I have the potential to increase revenue and team efficiency”;
    • I’m not sure about the general client, but for you, I have the potential to massively increase results”;

In terms of the uncertainty in specific, as it’s a type of adverse transparency, any of its types will work here. Other options, the opportunity cost, etc.

Underlying Psychology/Biases

UP answers are a cocktail of two different techniques. While uncertainty works as a type of adverse transparency, reinforcing your honesty – and subsequently authority – the potential works by anchoring the person to the best scenario.



  • “I’m not sure, but [ABC]”
    • Giving an honest answer by saying you’re not sure of something, but you think a specific thing is an example of this;
  • “I only know [ABC], but”
    • Polarizing ownership and stating that you only know about a specific topic or vertical is another case;
    • “I’m not sure about sales in general, but in terms of corporate sales, this product in specific has the potential to double your results”;
  • “In my humble opinion (IMHO)”
    • When someone says IMHO, they are using uncertainty. They are saying, “I’m not sure about reality, but as far as I’m concerned, I think this”. This is just uncertainty, but it works;

Commercial/Known Uses

Key Takeaways

  • UP answers are made up of both uncertainty and potential. Uncertainty makes you seem honest, while the potential anchors the person to something positive;
  • The uncertainty and the potential are, respectively, adverse transparency and anchoring. Adverse transparency makes you seem honest, and anchoring the person to the potential makes that be their initial frame of reference;
  • UP answers are excellent for logical answers. They are not that useful for emotional ones, as the person is not reasonable anyway;