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The Secret Six™
And The Power Of Intimate Interviews
The Art And Mastery Of The Intimate Interview Turning the Art of the Intimate Interview into a Service Reasons to do Intimate Interviews First Things First - Equipment To Get the Most from an Intimate Interview Let’s Get Started Worksheet –Intimate Interview Exercise Seven Point Emotional Bank Account Sustaining the Emotional Bank Account Worksheet – Seven point Emotional Bank Account The Power of Listening Directive Questions Secondary Questions Worksheet – Directive and Secondary Questions Overview of Secret Six Questions Types of Secret Six Questions The Secret Six Questions Rapport-Building Questions Likeability and Trust Questions Persona Questions Revealing Questions Digging Questions Emotional Questions Worksheet – Secret Six Questions Client – Customer – Expert Interviews Interviewing a Client Worksheet – Client Interview Interviewing Your Client’s Customer Worksheet – Customer Interview 3 6 8 12 13 15 18 20 23 25 26 38 41 44 46 48 50 50 51 51 53 54 55 58 60 62 64 65 68
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Approaching Experts Interviewing Experts Strategic Questions for Experts The Predetermined Set-Up Worksheet – Expert Interview Wrapping up the Interview Effective Interview Techniques Long pauses Softening Statements Allow them to lead Dig deeper Advanced Interview Techniques Worksheet – Advanced Interview Techniques Preparing for the Interview

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Shaune Clarke – Shaune@DynamicResponseMarketing.com

When is an interview not a Q & A session? When it’s an Intimate Interview!

The Art and Mastery Of The Intimate Interview
An Intimate Interview is not merely a matter of asking the right questions at the right time… It‟s FEELING what and when to ask.

You Do Not Want Just… “An Interview” You Want INTIMATE INTERVIEWS…
. Who will benefit? Literally everyone. Copywriters…Internet Marketers…Writers...Business Owners…the list goes on and on. If there is one skill that will improve your business, interviewing is it! As an example…

If You’re An Internet Marketer, a single interview can bring….
Increased viral traffic Powerful SEO traffic Article content creation Increased trust, offline and online Added credibility Potential JV opportunities and list exposure

Intimate Interviews…
Get provocative comments Give a new or different perspective Create original content Get the interviewee excited
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A well-done Intimate Interview is your surest way to develop a Viral Marketing Piece. You‟ll be able to create a “buzz… “You should hear what _____ said about ______!”

THIS IS… The One Skill That Can Benefit Every Part Of Your Online Marketing.
If You’re a Copywriter or Write Copy For Your Business…
Intimate Interviews will help you uncover… Hidden reasons the target audience will buy Hidden reasons the target audience won‟t buy Deep emotional triggers you can‟t find any other way The hidden objections, perceptions and hot buttons And also… Cut your research time by half Trigger your subconscious mind – eliciting your best material Become connected and passionate about the person, product or service . Know that getting “there” is the key to effortless, emotion-driven, multidimensional copy. Copy that feels right, feels believable… Copy that has emotion, strength and clarity.

THIS IS… Copywriting Mastery!
Intimate Interviews also improve client relationships by increasing trust, likeability, respect and value. Imagine pulling off “The Winner”… Envision being successful because of it.

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If You’re a Business Owner or Professional…
You have valuable knowledge that others will pay money to obtain. You also have colleagues and associates with knowledge. Information Marketing is a Billion dollar industry. You are in a position to use your knowledge, experience and contacts to tap into it. Through interviewing you can quickly create high-quality, in-demand information products – both written and audio. To create your own product all you have to do is have a colleague or staff member go through the program with you. They interview you and… You interview other colleagues and experts. This begins to collect the necessary information for… Blog posts Emails Newsletters Articles A Manual Even… Your Own Book. With a little editing, your interviews become audio information products.

THIS IS… The Best Way To Leverage Your Assets -- Your Knowledge -- Your Experience -- Your Contacts.

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The interview is provocative.Imagine Having Your Own Product! Turning the Art of Intimate Interviews into a Service As a copywriter or marketer here‟s a tremendous opportunity you can offer to your clients. revealing and informative It‟s on an audio CD Increased exposure from being passed around In fact if you'd like to have me interview you and help you create your own potent self-promotion tool. Turn your interviews into promotional tools. Here's what she got for hiring me: Two 30 minute interviews Provocative.com or call toll-free 866-486-4884. as well as shared with friends and family.again. she now has an excellent pass-around product.In this case the first interview was richer but there were a few great points that came out in the second interview as well. I‟m sometimes hired to interview others in order to create their own selfpromotional pieces. making for an excellent sales tool. email me at Shaune@DynamicResponseMarketing. people can listen to it in the car…or while they‟re on the go. What they get is… An interview that gives away content but is crafted so that the listener wants to know more. We did two interviews in an hour -. It increases the chances that it‟ll get listened to. As an example. With careful editing. I just did this for a multi-faith minister. The banter of an interview is excellent for holding attention -. 6 . revealing and informative content Editing to get the most from those interviews It provided her with the best sales tool possible! With intriguing content for an audio CD.

The next time you react emotionally to something (like getting angry) ask yourself “Why am I reacting in this way?” You‟ll realize that the minor annoyances are usually masking a deeper issue. are you annoyed with your spouse because they spilled coffee. 7 . It‟s active participation. study and practice are essential. or even your friends and family. Then you‟ll be able to turn your full attention to the conversation you are having… which is the key to a brilliant Intimate Interview. But like any new skill. Dig for the answers. You see. not the spot of coffee on the kitchen floor. For example. That doesn‟t work if you want to get to the deeper objections.No matter your goals with interviewing. With that realization…. It begins with you…. or is it because you feel that they expect you to clean it up? Is there resentment or a feeling of being unappreciated? Perhaps that‟s the real issue at hand. Take a few moments to figure out what‟s really at the root of your annoyance. Other people are approaching their own issues from their own perspectives. Interviewing requires being tuned in to this. Doing just one Intimate Interview a week will make a world of difference in your business…and it‟s fun! You Won't Master This Overnight In these pages you'll find interview techniques and the secret strategies I‟ve used for years to extract potent emotional and useful information. interviewing is not a passive form of listening. your target market. Your goal is to ingrain these techniques. studying and ingraining are essential. perceptions and hot buttons. desires and motivations of your clients. It‟s being tuned in to what people are “not” saying. you can accomplish them in a relatively short period of time…if you ingrain these techniques. But like any technique. It‟s a tool. You will gain access to the real issues. Forget about running down a list of questions. so they become natural and fluid.

“It‟s not this…. 8 . and he thinks the Target Audience will be Chiropractors. refrain from offering advice. and perhaps dump something on you that is pure marketing gold! Reasons to do Intimate Interviews One of the key things you are looking for are the desires of the Target Audience.Here‟s a great preliminary exercise: The next time someone is “venting” to you. Instead.perceptions. It‟s not the portion of the market that you‟re targeting. yes and no. You‟ll be able to use these interviews to help your client sell more of her products and services by defining the qualities that have resonance with that particular market. Give the individual‟s message your full attention… Provide the time and space to merely express themselves Direct your attention so that they feel understood Feel what‟s going on for them…not you During an interview it‟s your job to get them to the place where they trust you. focus on being empathetic. Ask a member of the Target Audience and they‟ll tell you just about anything.it‟s not that…. Well. a good listener. The bad experiences they‟ve had…hidden objections… Why do they use the product or service…. It‟s not the piece of the market you FEEL you should target (that TA specifically is most likely to buy from you anyway) This is best illustrated with an example – Let‟s just say that you have a client with a program to market to alternative health doctors.. The information will also enable you to define and make “Not” statements.” Who exactly IS your Target Audience (TA)? Allow me to explain who it‟s not…. You‟re evaluating the potential selling features for the Target Audience.

the first thing you do is qualify them as part of the Target Audience.What motivates her? What is her unique story? If you‟re interviewing your client‟s customers. Most of the times. Perhaps we could increase that from 1% to 2%. This leaves the interviewee much more open to providing a testimonial than giving you “an interview”. or not into What do they like about the alternative What don‟t they like about the alternative Where stage they‟re at in their lives Validate exactly what their “hot buttons” are. You want to dig into their knowledge. (Your client should be informed that this is the 9 . This determination is highly specific to three things… Those who are prone or susceptible to Your particular message Your particular persona Your particular offer What are the factors in their lives that trigger the need for this product or service? Why them and not the other Chiropractors? What‟s their trigger? We should focus exclusively on them…the 1% that is likely to buy. What is their motivation to try the product or service? What are the circumstances in their life that led them to this point? Tip: State that you‟re looking to gather testimonials for your client. We don‟t want to miss any of the TA. it‟s only 1% of the market. If you‟re interviewing a client . Key points to uncover: What the person is into. If you’re interviewing prominent people to develop your own e-books or articles. Define your presentation for that 2% of the market and forget about the 98% that are not going to buy no matter what.Your real Target Audience is the Chiropractor who will actually be LIKELY to buy from you. the same philosophy holds true. their perspectives.

In this case. Reasons a product was developed. When you’re doing interviews with customers. As far as the (Major Brand Name Pain-Reliever)…the customers really liked having these over-the-counter options. Reasons behind an expert’s rise to the top of her field. Figure out “where they’re at” The best way to handle a situation like this is to ask the customer. try to figure out how they feel about alternatives. are they pro or con regarding traditional medicine? This is all part of trying to determine the perfect customer…what they need to know…. and decreased response. but decided to do some investigation during interviews with his existing customers. What differing perspectives do they have? How did they get to be where they are now? Why do they do what they do? The techniques of Intimate Interviewing will work in any type of situation.and what you don’t need to have in the copy.approach you‟re taking with her customers. Not just for their arthritis but for other things like headaches. To have written copy slanted against these pain relievers would have alienated the TA. I didn’t believe this was the proper approach. Real Life Tidbit One of my clients hired me to write copy for an arthritis product he had developed He was convinced that the copy should educate people about the fact that the (Major Brand Name Pain-Reliever) they were taking were ruining the linings of their stomachs. figure out what other people would love to know. She doesn‟t need anyone who is just a “testimonial collector”) If you‟re interviewing an Expert. “Do you take pain medication?” 10 . You are digging for the deeper reasons! Reasons people buy.

NOTES: 11 . then I wouldn’t want a Medical Doctor endorsing the product. and was anti-medical establishment. When you can ask specific questions of your market and get definite. See how open or defensive they get. I also found out that once they got to a naturopath. “How would you feel about the fact that it‟s ruining the lining of your stomach”. In this case. thoughts and values. Extremely useful information. IF the perfect customer was already familiar with natural health. heartfelt answers -. they still weren’t antidoctor.Then you can even bring it up with them in an impromptu manner.you’re in the rare position to craft a message unique to their emotions.

wouldn‟t you say? Rather than focusing on taking notes. Do keep a pen and paper in front of you if there is a point made that you need to get back to. Extremely frustrating and distracting. …not conducive to conversational flow at all. FOCUS - FOCUS . With a real person. and using your other hand to scribble down notes. Headset How many of us talk with our hands in the course of a normal conversation? We want to keep the interview flowing as a regular conversation would.First things first… In order to be fully present during the interview. you should be directing your attention to the current conversation. Gesture with your hands. if that‟s how you best communicate. I can‟t stress enough that the following is a necessity! Think of how difficult it is to have a conversation while keeping a phone propped up in your ear. jot it down…but that’s the only reason you should need them. This is a real conversation. All of us have suffered through conversations where the other person was busy with tasks. Keep it as natural as possible. Recording device for your phone There are subtle nuances and opportunities missed if you‟re scribbling down the conversation.FOCUS 12 . Picture that person in front of you.

or on the highway…we may think we‟re “surrounded by idiots” and our day is ruined. During an interview. Take a moment to go back and clarify the statements made. If you suspect this is happening during the interview. What we‟ve done in those cases is project our own implications or judgments onto others. get into the habit of occasionally reiterating your own interpretation of what the person has said. you‟ll be able to “feel” the disconnection. Authentically hearing the other person requires an open mind. 13 . Also. Think about this…how many times during the course of each day do we make decisions about other people? When someone cuts in front of us in the grocery store.To Get The Most From An Intimate Interview Clear Concise Communication How you think the interviewee understood one of your questions may be quite different from how they actually processed it. don't hesitate to reiterate or ask for an explanation. It shows you care about what they are saying. It ensures you are both on the same wavelength. It helps you pay attention. This may also be true in how you interpret their responses. put aside your own judgments. When we “label" others. we shut down our ability to truly communicate with and see people for who they really are. Have you ever said something. A small misinterpretation can lead to a breakdown during the interview. and realized later that your words were misconstrued? If this happens during an interview. Two basic ways to achieve this are… "So what you're saying is…" "Would I be right in that you think…" Park Yourself at the Door We need to set aside our preconceived notions and judgments.

. Empty your own emotional burden so you can be receptive to others. Clear your calendar so there‟s nothing crowding the time you‟ve scheduled to interview them. meditate. NOTES: 14 . to the expressions of desire. Go for a walk. there can‟t be a genuine exchange. Unless you have clarity going into the interview. Get clear. only to realize that they‟re not fully present? Are you a bit annoyed when this happens? Of course! How do you suppose it feels to a person you‟re interviewing when you have to rush off the phone? Put yourself in their shoes. We‟ve all been the recipients of receiving understanding from others. or get some relaxation time before the call. Do them a favor. Leave your baggage out of the interview. or flow. Do whatever you need to clear your mind of any distractions.take time for yourself How often have you been talking to someone on the phone. need or pain..They have their own set of experiences. Pass it along. stresses and forms of communication that should not be evaluated according to our skewed perceptions.

After that… A section on Directive Questions and Secondary Questions is provided to help you improve the quality of the interview process. Or perhaps…. You‟re concerned with “How” to get an interview with an influential person? It‟s really not too difficult. All this and more will be spelled out for you. Practice. These Secret Six Questions are the backbone of your interview process. These are outlined in an easy-to-follow manner. more connected interview. Just say these four powerful words… “Can I interview you?” It‟s an outstanding door-opener! There IS no faster way to gain access to the experts you admire. For example… Learn how to gauge the Emotional Bank Account. you‟re on your way to achieving an Intimate Interview. and obtain a reasonable. Learning to phrase questions in a conversational manner means a more fluid. informative response. A skilled interviewer can ask anybody almost anything. and listening to the recommended CDs will speed your progress toward becoming an expert interviewer Each interview can be broken down into simple steps. Once you‟ve become familiar with it. Read it. Breathe. You are holding an excellent reference in your hands. By combining Secret Six Questions with Directive and Secondary Questions. Being an “interviewer” sets you apart. It's a matter of practicing the techniques laid out here. move on to the Secret Six Questions. Instantly. 15 .Let’s Get Started! Don‟t expect to be perfect with your first few interviews. Relax. Doing the exercises. Study it.

Why? Personally. Imagine this… You‟re speaking to someone and ask them what they do.” You‟d think twice about that person. It’s best to interview someone who you actually want to learn from. It‟s part of being an expert. They answer. and will have gained value and importance. Give them an authentic. As in the interview with Trey Smith (Disc 10) – I wanted to know for myself – I had enough knowledge to carry on an intelligent and informed conversation and ask good questions. Wouldn‟t you be curious about who they‟ve interviewed? What they do interviews for? 16 . They‟ll feel appreciated. Experts love to talk to people who want to listen – who are into what they‟re into.In seconds you‟ll have attained instant credibility in that person‟s eyes. Something that you‟re comfortable with…that which you have knowledge in…something you find extremely interesting. In fact. heartfelt compliment. It happens all the time. “I interview people. and that you‟re not just “doing an interview”. But I wasn‟t informed enough to be bored. especially those who are willing to drink it in. How do I Interview an Expert? Begin with your own niche. It‟s a great way to network to the top. I know I‟ll be better in the interview when I have my own “need to know”. the opposite was true. Then make a specific reference to information they‟ve presented that you like and what you now want to know more about. That real-life authenticity shows that you are into it. I was very attentive and truly wanted to know what he could tell me. It‟s instant camaraderie. They want to share their knowledge with others. wouldn‟t you? You‟d give them more attention.

You’re In A Rare Position To Access Experts ARE YOU READY? Begin your journey to successful interviews by completing the following exercise and the rest contained in this manual. 17 . Each section that requires you to have a CD player and a corresponding disc will be noted at the beginning of each section/exercise. They‟re structured to provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to achieve an Intimate Interview. and unique if you were asked to be interviewed? Of course! As An Interviewer. validated.And… Would you feel special.

Discs 4 and 5 Also) 18 . (ie: 3:43) 1) Make a note of when I am "letting them talk. the time it occurred and especially… any insights that you may have. 4) What is the turning point and what "opportunity" did I seize as a result? Make note of what was said. Now…Listen To Best-Of-The-Best #1 – Discs 2 and 3 (Optional Exercise .Disc 1 List the times on the recording as your answers.” 2) At what times you hear either of them “shift” in their emotions.Set up: Disc 1 David and Karen Interview Exercises David and Karen Interviews . 3) How did I respond to those shifts? List examples.

Why did it happen? What do you notice happens after the shift in tone? 2) When am I "letting him talk.. the time* it occurred and especially… any insights you may have.IE: You notice a change in his tone of voice.. 4) What do you feel is the "Pivotal Moment" in the Interview? Now…Listen To The Foby Interview Coaching Call – Disc 7 19 . 1) Times you feel Foby "shift" -." 3) Times when you feel that I'm "exploring" -.looking for opportunities.Set up: Disc 6 Foby Interview Exercise Foby Interview. Listen to the "momentum" of the call and look for.Disc 6 (pardon the clarity) Make note of what was said.

(Especially teenagers!) If they‟re at a Level 6. more intense? When someone is more “up” or excited. you can ask a more intimate (or probing) question and get an answer. The more emotional (enthusiastic. You‟re placing a deposit in his Emotional Bank Account. it‟s an opportunity for you as an interviewer. Your Emotional Bank Account is going to drop. the better the time to ask a strong question. even if it‟s not relevant to the copy or topic of the interview.completely connected and on topic Notice that even in everyday conversation. their tone. 1 = They’ve just “checked out” 2 = Watching the clock 3 = Participating out of duty 4 = Interested 5 = Talkative 6 = Emotional 7 = Don't want to stop talking -. In an interview.The previous exercises prepared you to identify… The Seven Point Emotional Bank Account The Emotional Bank Account refers to the level of interest and involvement from the person you‟re interviewing. monitor your subject‟s changing emotional states. 20 . excited) a person is. What happens when you ask a strong question? …you get resistance. Are they getting louder. let him talk. chances are they won‟t respond at all. people will fluctuate between some of the emotional states listed above. I've created this 7-point system to help you gauge exactly “where” your prospect is throughout the interview. If you have someone excited about a subject. Listen to their voice. But if they‟re at a Level 3 and you ask the same question.

don‟t count on getting an answer from him. His initial response? "A lot of money. But if you know you only have so much credit." Of course I wanted to hear the specifics…the exact dollar amount. It‟ll bring him down to a 5. is to ask a question that brings them back to the spot where they were feeling good. He‟s talkative. When they are at 2 or 3." Real Life Tidbit I interviewed an inventor (Disc 1) who wasn’t very receptive to speaking with me. So use your points carefully. knowing if you run out of credit it may be the only one you get to ask. But if you have him at a 7. There are times when you‟ll need to "budget. but still not digging too deep emotionally." You may want answers to several difficult questions. In this case. At 4 or 5. Other times everything will go extremely well. you‟ll have to be discriminative about which question you ask first. but you‟ll get a great answer. don‟t even attempt the difficult questions. but you‟ll need to pay close attention to his tone before doing so. I just knew he was losing money on it. Monitor where they‟re at as far as their changing emotional states. I wanted to know how much money it cost to come up with his invention. and you may be able to ask anything without fear of “going broke. This could potentially be great information in the copy. A great way to build that Emotional Bank Account when you feel them drop. ask that tough question. You may not get them back up to a 7 before the end of the call. you risk using it all on just one question. you probably still can't ask the real deep digging questions. At this point. You can follow up a strong question with another strong question. 21 .Let‟s say you have him at a 5. He‟s just dropped down to a 3. You ask him a strong question. “I want to go back to when you said ___________” “I have another question for you about that” but only after EBA has gone up.

or have him answer multiple questions that may not have rich content. I opted for asking multiple questions and gleaning useful information rather than shut him down as a resource altogether. my account was fragile. Ask those tough questions and lose the interview. NOTES: 22 . I would not be able to ask more Digging questions. I had to make a decision. This guy was not very willing to share anything. In this situation. but would still be useful.But after spending 30 minutes getting him up to a 6 on the emotional scale.

Be a person first. Your Emotional Bank Account is depleting. The excitement in his voice rose because I was interested in his unique achievement. I found he had a talent for something that wouldn‟t resonate with his typically female market…. Occasionally the interview is not progressing well. and to get him more involved in the conversation.Sustaining the Emotional Bank Account Keeping your subject emotionally involved with the conversation will sustain momentum. But that doesn‟t always happen.rebuilding motorcycles. Why did I pursue this topic with him? Because I was having trouble connecting with him. They create bridges from you to your subject. It worked. "Absolutely. you‟ll get further in the interview by being authentically interested. I agree with you… let me ask you"… These statements are affirmations. So what do you do now? Find a unique achievement that is important to them While listening. It‟s a struggle to keep it going. 23 . David had invented a product targeted for women. As an example. It was an attempt to show my genuine interest. It helps instill a conversational tone to the interview. You need to raise it up again. This was important to him. rather than just rattling off a list of questions. (this does not mean you‟re taking notes through the whole conversation) You may need this later on to get the interviewee more involved. jot down any points that could trigger energetic conversation. Your conversation and banter may be enough to carry it along…to clear the way for answers to deeper questions. Look for connection. interviewer second As well as building rapport.

By following these simple guidelines. NOTES: 24 .see if casual talk helps lower their resistance to you. other than to listen to them…without judgment.If you feel that the conversation isn‟t flowing .back off from the questions . And most importantly… Be Empathetic! You may need a few minutes to get into their frame of mind…and stay there. You have taken the time to clear your thoughts. be certain that you are “clear” before beginning the interview. This may reveal more potent information than anything you had planned to ask. Ask yourself…how is this particular person reacting to the questions you are asking or the areas being discussed? To reiterate an earlier point. your hectic schedule and any potential bias. Your subject needs to feel that you have no outside agenda. To empathize with your subject. simply ask how he feels about what you‟re discussing. It‟s important to stay connected with how they are feeling throughout the interview. you should generate and sustain an engaging conversation. They‟re going to tell you much more than you can imagine if they feel that you‟re just there to hear them. This is not about what YOU feel… it‟s about what HE feels.

completely connected and on topic 4) List times and phrases indicative of changes in the Emotional Bank Account. He’s slipped a few points in the Emotional Bank Account. Robert states “I can’t share that one”. Time: Phrase: Time: Phrase: Time: Phrase: Time: Phrase: Time: Phrase: Set up Disc 12 – Robert Stover Interview Time: 29:00 – 30:20.The Seven Point Emotional Bank Account Worksheet 1) Choose any one of the interview CD’s 2) Listen carefully for dips and fluctuations of tone 3) Gauge the progress of the interview on the Emotional Bank Account scale 1 = They‟ve just “checked out” 2 = Watching the clock 3 = Participating out of duty 4 = Interested 5 = Talkative 6 = Emotional 7 = Don't want to stop talking -. Listen to his response when I ask if we can switch the topic. Note when the question is asked to divulge some information. Can you feel the difference? 25 .

purchases. Our conversations are punctuated with interruptions. when you'd have preferred to talk. We‟re distracted. D J. But our interviews – the very basis of our marketing -. We dig for the “whys” for their motivations..are only as good as our level of listening. We offer either/or solutions. When we listen automatically…. Most of us are lazy listeners. or statements. or even more stressed? Feeling like no one else really understands or cares. And… We dictate the direction of the conversation! But the good news is… There‟s one skill you can learn that will be the difference between: An “average” interview and a GREAT interview A work project well done and one that requires a re-do A strained relationship or a good one 26 . customers or experts. We can‟t wait to give our opinion. We can‟t understand why “they” just can‟t do what they should. Would it be all that surprising to find out that the “automatic” listening we engage in leaves us feeling more isolated. Let‟s face it.. but totally disempowering. our best information comes from speaking to clients. Kaufman THE POWER OF LISTENING IS KEY TO AN INTIMATE INTERVIEW As interviewers.Wisdom is the reward for a lifetime of listening .. or falls flat on its face. challenges and statements like “If I were you….” or “I know exactly how you feel!” All well-intentioned of course. An interview can reveal golden nuggets that won‟t be found anywhere else – those valuable little tidbits which are the difference between a marketing campaign that stands out from the competition.

Listen for what is not being said. Listening for the nuances. This has spilled over into other areas of medicine and into the world of marketing.What is it? Intense Listening! There‟s a BIG difference between “hearing” and Intense Listening. this isn‟t a new concept. It‟s deeply therapeutic and healing and gives someone a way to air their issues. Freud emphasized it. Hear the neighbor‟s dog barking. Karl Jung pushed his students to master the art. your eyes and your heart. It‟s being tuned in to those little bits and pieces that are out-of-the-ordinary and original. There are numerous papers on the subject in the psychoanalytical field. inflections and tone of voice. Of course. We hear things on the radio. Intense Listening. combined with empathy. We go to a whole new level of total understanding of another person. what HE‟s feeling. But we‟re most likely not Listening. don‟t you? 27 . What exactly is Intense Listening? It‟s listening with intent to understand the other person‟s frame of reference and feelings. It means not judging -.not thinking about what you‟re going to say next. Not an easy thing to do. Someone we can really open up with. is using your ears. Stephen Covey felt this subject was so important that Empathetic Listening is listed in his 7 Habits of Highly Successful People as the MOST IMPORTANT type of listening.” Think about this… We all know of one person we love to talk to. He states… “Empathetic Listening – listening/responding with both the heart and mind to understand the speaker‟s words intent and feelings. It‟s a tremendous deposit into another person‟s emotional bank account. Hear people gripe about their relationships. Intense Listening means leaving yourself behind…and focusing entirely on the other person – what HE‟s saying. “Hearing” is what we do every day. You always seem to come away from the conversation feeling good.

That is Intense Listening. Ask questions – dig for the deeper meaning – what are they really saying? Gaining true understanding of another person -. It‟s much more difficult to go through the rest of your life without this skill. This takes patience. Remember your first real love? You clung to every word as if it was gold.Improve relationships .not just becoming familiar with them -. right? When you‟re in that heightened state of listening.Make better choices . Feels good. Here‟s a partial list of the almost-instant changes you‟ll experience once you start to practice Intense Listening. Intense Listening isn’t a passive process To truly appreciate what the other person is saying. understanding and empathy is also magnified when you‟re “in the zone”. you‟re only partly right. because you finally had someone who really listened – someone who really seemed to “get” you. We don‟t interrupt. -. They had every ounce of your attention – you didn‟t argue or judge. The two of you felt like the most important people in the world.Have you ever wondered why? It‟s a sure bet they‟re a great listener.Generate respect and rapport 28 . practice and tremendous focused energy on your part. If you‟re thinking this is difficult. Perhaps you wanted to keep on talking late into the night. undisturbed.Deepen intimacy . You will… . your thoughts become more focused. you need to be actively engaged.is the goal of Intense Listening. The depth of your concern. finish their sentences or offer advice.actively listening. Your ability to quickly process information and respond with insightful questions and comments is magnified.

. what HE‟s feeling. You don‟t offer your opinion. Finally. Hear people gripe about their relationships. But we‟re not really Listening. We see it all the time. The listening process is short-circuited. Intense and empathetic listening is about opening up with total understanding of another person. who is a social worker. I had 5 people vying for my attention before I knew it! They each had stories and perspectives to share. Jennifer. “Hearing” is what we do every day. 29 . who works in the very same office. I was engaged in a deep conversation with my friend. I‟d steer the conversation back to Jennifer. Another friend. It means not judging -. he would‟ve heard about it from Jennifer at work if he‟d been willing to put himself aside for a few moments and really listen. Each time. only to unhook and run with their own agenda.Resolve conflicts more easily . Not an easy thing to do. She was frustrated with the lack of support from the administration and was recounting some of her reasons for these frustrations. It was apparent that they hadn‟t been able to completely “unload” their experiences. Within 5 minutes.” Honestly. He even said.Make more money The list could go on and on… There‟s a BIG difference between “hearing” and Intense Listening. There are very few “listeners” among us I recently went out with a group of friends and found that they all wanted to be heard…but weren‟t attentive to what was going on for others in the group. the other friend started listening to Jennifer as well. Hear the neighbor‟s dog barking. “Wow…I hadn‟t heard about that before. They were starving to be heard. People start out listening. Because I was listening. kept butting in with his own stories. You‟re not expected to “fix” or “change” anything.not thinking about what you‟re going to say next. It means leaving yourself behind…and focusing entirely on the other person – what HE‟s saying. We hear things on the radio.Create win-win situations .

so we need to allow our minds to wander. How can we possibly “listen” to every single message? We can‟t. in turn. affirmed. validated. parents. strong. salespeople. focusing on listening helps both the talker and the listener remain calm. elevate your influence because you‟re willing to HEAR them. Higher productivity – If people are encouraged to explain problems and start working through them. The long-term results in possessing the skill of attentive listening will be felt in both your personal and professional life. moving about in it delicately without making judgments… To be with another in this way means that for the time being you lay aside the views and values you hold for yourself in order to enter the other’s world without prejudice…a complex.the greatest need of a human being is to be understood. The facts aren‟t misconstrued by your own interpretation. Quicker conflict resolution – When dealing with an emotionally charged topic or crisis.next to survival -. children. is perceived as confident and gathers more respect. Preoccupations and distractions are part of our daily lives. friends. Yet -.” 30 . choose which messages are important and give those our full attention. The core of the problem is identified much more quickly and the coolingdown process is able to occur. Fewer miscommunications – Better listening leads to better information. And. Think of who we listen to daily…spouses. co-workers. Carl Roger (founder of humanistic psychology) offers this quote “The way of being with another person which is termed empathetic means temporarily living in their life. demanding. you‟re able to more clearly see the issues experienced by the other person. How many people ever get to “finish” being heard? Just think of how allowing someone else to be heard will affect them.We’re overloaded and overwhelmed We all lead very busy lives. and appreciated. By listening attentively. Or. This pertains to business as well as relationships. Higher self-esteem and respect – An active listener gets along better with others. their output and creativity levels increase. etc. yet subtle and gentle way of being. media.

concerns and situations of his customer. you can dig into the core of the material you want to uncover. 31 . The results you achieve will be nothing short of spectacular! An effective salesman seeks to understand the needs. Softening Statements .These help lessen the abruptness of your questions.the professional sells the solution. One example of a Revealing Question is “What was the most difficult part of that for you?” (these types of questions are explained later in the manual) We‟re able to use these and other interviewing techniques in a more effective and heartfelt manner. An amateur sells the product -. we‟re better able to use effective interviewing tools like… Directive Questions – This type of question will generate something of relevance from your subject…if it‟s based on what you‟re searching for. How many of us can… Let go of our ego long enough to understand another person‟s perspective -without feeling like we must defend our own position? Remain completely open to another person‟s experiences… without judgment? Leave ourselves and our hectic lives aside while listening to someone else? Become vulnerable to another person‟s emotions? It‟s not easy. experience and reasoning. It also provides your interviewee with a specific direction to go. Listening During Interviews When we truly listen during an interview.Intense listening is not for wimps It takes a great deal of security to go into a deep listening experience. but the rewards are great. But how does he find out exactly what the customer is looking for? An effective interviewer seeks to understand a person‟s motivations. There‟s only one way to do this…Intense Listening. One example of a Softening Statement is “Do you mind if I ask…” Revealing Questions – If you‟re listening.

It‟s all about viewing the world from another person‟s perspective. Think about this… It‟s much easier than having to live with the problems that result from not giving others you care about the respect they need and deserve. Interrupt – As basic as this sounds. Keep it brief and not center-stage. The DON’T’s of Intense Listening… Do not… Tell the other person how to fix their problems – When you offer a suggestion to someone on how to fix their problems. it is to only indirectly reveal your sincere empathy.praising If we‟re honest.see the world as he does. Otherwise. The result? Any real communication ends. There have been interviews with Experts where it was necessary for me to stop them. this type of listening takes time to develop. The purpose isn‟t for you to engage in your story. An acknowledgement of understanding should be stated briefly.You should only do this if the original subject is concluded. But not nearly as much time as backing up and trying to correct misunderstandings. Change the subject . Those times are rare. 32 . they may interpret it on a deep level that you think they‟re unable to do so on their own. You‟re able to step inside another person‟s shoes -. Compare what they’re talking about to something similar in your own life Comparing what they‟re talking about to something similar in your life isn‟t the same thing as letting them know you understand. Rather. Using these types of responses is controlling and invasive. it‟ll seem as if the subject isn‟t important to you. Here are a few types of responses we use when we’re not listening effectively… Warning – lecturing – withdrawing – sympathizing – blaming – moralizing – scolding -. though it very well may be to them. Try to cheer them up – You‟re not taking their emotional state seriously. Granted. we‟re all guilty of responding in one or more of these ways. we all do it. From now on. don‟t…or do it only sparingly.

we open the door to creative solutions and alternatives. Possible comments to make are… “If I understand you correctly. WARNING: Practicing Before You Interview! Whatever you do. Instead they become stepping stones to synergy.one wrong word can make them close up and feel embarrassed. not to your responses. Chances are slim you‟ll end up with the results you were hoping for. This Secret Six Intimate Interviews program teaches you how to avoid this. Especially make note of any feelings they may have revealed. On the other hand… When we really deeply understand each other. Using the various types of questions at the right times is crucial. 33 . be sure to practice your new listening skills before trying to use them in an important interview. it will most likely be damaged. You‟ll have to work twice as hard to get them to feel comfortable again. or uncomfortable with this “new” type of listening… you risk permanently alienating the other person. Our differences are no longer stumbling blocks to communication and progress. Here are some key points to becoming an effective and intense listener Monitor Your Own Level of Focus Let go of what you‟re going to say next. An Intense Listening situation really can be quite delicate…especially if you came together as strangers. you feel …” “Why did it make you feel that way…” “How did you feel when…” Refer back to what they said without paraphrasing their statement. Be attentive to the conversation. If you‟re stumbling around. If you‟ve been able to get them to open up to you .If you‟ve been able to establish any type of real connection.

you‟ll be able to pick up the little nuances of what is being said… and how they‟re saying it." "You don't say. You will use them naturally. But if you are able to quiet your own “internal chatter”. When you‟re present and tuned in to their tonalities.instead of just the “surface” material. This is not being fully present and respectful of the conversation. Don‟t let your thoughts drift – focus on the person who is speaking. Be Fully Present Instead of really listening. most of us are busy thinking about how we are going to respond – what we‟re going to say next .while the other person is still speaking. these phrases may seem ordinary… but in an active listening situation." "How about that!" Be Aware Of Their Tonality Pay attention to their tone. You‟re able to respond based on those nuances – what is REALLY being said . These are statements that show them you‟re listening. They make them feel you‟re “with” them. because you‟re picking up on the subtleties. A television turned on." "Interesting. “Uh huh” “Yes” “Really?" "Mm . they become extremely valuable. but those must take a back seat during the Listening process. even your simple presence-confirming comments will carry more emotion.things that may be impacting your other senses. How is this done? 34 . a phone ringing or a noisy environment.mmmmm. a listening connection isn‟t possible when we aren‟t fully present.Use Presence-Confirming Statements At first glance. speed and inflection. External distractions are things that you can see or hear . Clearly. This is the emotional content of the words. We all have 100 other things going on in our lives.

Try to see things from their perspective and frame of reference. 35 . You‟ll receive the whole message and be able to respond in a more open manner. Be certain you have their perspective…not yours. Whatever the case. they surprised me by taking it in a completely different direction. Don‟t angle away from them. allow them state their point fully. Questions should be not have an interrogative feel to them. Sounds easy…but it takes practice. There have been times when. Use follow-up clarifying questions such as… "Tell me the whole story." "What did you do then?" "You used the word ________. Come From A Place Of Understanding Try to put yourself in their shoes. Never Assume We all do it. Your shoulders and your face should be “open” and facing them completely. It‟s easy to think that we already “know” what someone is going to say. Typically this happened when I asked a follow-up question. This will force you to focus. still be attentive to your body language. It‟s conveyed even if they can‟t see you.Check Your Emotions Be aware of topics and things that trigger your emotions. It could be that we‟ve had a similar experience.Concentrate On The Speaker Face the speaker. Increase your efforts to focus on a clear understanding of what‟s being said. forget about your own situation and feelings. Spend time trying to understand what the speaker is trying to say instead of trying to figure out how it affects us or what we want to say in return. what exactly did you mean by that?” IMPORTANT . Instead. although I thought I knew how someone would answer. If you want to truly understand where the speaker is coming from. If you‟re doing the interview over the phone.

By accepting them. Actively share in the speaker‟s efforts to improve your level of understanding. Communicating is not just saying words… it’s creating true understanding.For example… A lot of people are passionate about politics or religion. Don‟t allow your ego to get in the way of any valuable information you might obtain. During An Interview… Seek first to understand – Take yourself out of the picture. someone who has something wonderful to tell you. You don‟t need to get into a full-blown story of your own life. If they feel that you‟re not being open (even subconsciously) they won‟t want to divulge or share any pertinent information. This saves you time and quickly gets you directly into copy that pulls a higher response. but be brief. Always enter an interview as if you‟re getting together with your best friend. you create a high Emotional Bank Account. 36 . An individual will see right through you when you‟re not with them emotionally. The Rewards of Intense Listening If you’re a copywriter… You‟ll be able to quickly get to your Target Audience‟s objections. someone you can trust. how does it make you feel? Are you able to put your own perspective aside and really hear someone else‟s? Be An Active Listener Ask questions and seek clarification. perceptions and hot buttons. Have Them Understand That You Understand State your understanding. What are your views? If someone has an opposing view. but rather acknowledge an incident that may have been similar to theirs. whether or not you agree with their point of view. Be authentic.Are you evaluating the other person? Offering advice? These may be typical responses in communication…but an effective listener does none of this. Notice your responses .

In your business and personal life… There‟s nothing else like learning to truly listen. Just don’t be surprised at how many people want to talk to you! NOTES.If you’re an interviewer… You‟ll get fresh. The next time you‟re in a social situation. Also. provocative insights and comments from the Experts. Try this experiment…. It‟s going to be rare to find even one. Then practice Intense Listening. All relationships improve and understanding is achieved. notice how many people are truly “listening”. 37 . word will spread that an interview by you is sure to generate positive exposure for them. Daring to be completely open to another person is powerful and instills trust.

The Directive Question focuses in on your target. My wife is in the back seat having a baby. Avoid this at all costs. If you‟re asked a single. Imagine the same question. These will be used along with the Secret Six Questions to get the most out of your interviews. asked along with another. as well as “softens” the initial question. you should first understand how to utilize Directive and Secondary Questions. 38 .” Okay. Correct? “Were you speeding?” “Yes sir.” Pointed abrupt questions = surface answers. It will generate something of relevance from your subject…if it‟s based on what you‟re searching for. Set up: Disc 8. It‟s rather intimidating when asked by itself. “Are you in a hurry to get somewhere?” you soften it. that‟s a bit dramatic but you get the point. you typically give back a singular answer. Disc 11 Directive Questions There are times when it‟s good to just let your subject talk – I call this letting him “dump. The first question. Placing a Directive Question directly after your primary question also defines which direction the answer lies.What do we want to know? The hidden objections – the compelling story – the hidden desires… Before we start the Secret Six Techniques. you will be trying to get to specific information. It also helps define the answer you‟re searching for – which in this case could be the “story” behind the action. “Were you speeding?” is a very direct question. direct question. “Were you speeding? Are you in a hurry to get somewhere?” “Yes sir. Disc 9. But by adding the second question.” Eventually though. Directive questions will help get you there.

“What did he mean by that?” Let‟s assume you‟re in the middle of an interview. A Directive Question leads them gently down the conversational path.The Directive Question will: Pinpoint the answer Soften the edge of that first question Help maintain the flow and momentum of the call Ask your first question. With the second (or Directive) question. Something to think about. Q: “How do you know that?” A: “How do I know what?” (Natural flow of conversation is immediately halted. define it for your subject.) Try this instead… Q: “How do you know that? Had you already tried the alternative?” Can you “feel” how the disconnecting pause was prevented? To reiterate… The Directive question complements the first question with something relevant to what you want to know. Let‟s follow this as if in an actual interview…without a Directive question. The other person has several topics on her mind. It‟s based on what you‟re searching for. Don‟t let them go on blindly. slightly annoyed. It‟s too abrupt and interrupts the flow of the conversation. She‟s checking her watch. She‟ll be trying to guess which venue to go down. It prevents the subject from having to pause …then think. Define it for your subject Don‟t allow them to go on blindly You define the conversation…in a natural manner 39 ... By stating a question…by itself…you will stop that thought process.

You‟ll notice that very rarely do I ask one single. Brian. It‟s typically followed up immediately with at least one or two more directive questions. pointed question. Excerpts: Disc 8 .*Each of the Secret Six Question types can take on the form of a Directive Question.Robert Stover 27:20 “So now that you know this. how do you apply it? Do you just kind of have your radar up that when you have this kind of…I’ll call it “fear” attention…are you better able to recognize that?” NOTES: 40 . when you’ve gone into this big huge starving crowd with lots of competition? Have you essentially become another 1 in the pile. what have you done. Listed are examples of questions followed by Directive questions found in the interview materials. or have you somehow differentiated yourself to attract your section of that niche market?” “How did it happen? Why did it happen? Who used to do that? Who’s the master of artful writing from the past?” Disc 11 . Robert.Brian Keith Voiles 10:45: “And so.Brian Keith Voiles 2:40 How do you know that? How does somebody know it if they’re not…? 7:40 – How do you know that? If it’s such a choice. why isn’t everybody choosing it? How do you know it’s a choice? Disc 9 .

you used the word “painful” to describe _______…why did you use that particular word?” 41 . Maybe it‟s a curious inflection…or word choice…or you sense an underlying emotion. The finger got infected and the worker died three days later from a flesh-eating bacteria) Secondary Question: So she had picked up something from that wheelchair? Listen for times when you‟ve asked them something. Trust your intuition. That‟s a subconscious invitation to follow them down the rabbit hole… You‟ll have to decide whether or not you really want to go there. They were designed to direct your subject‟s focus towards something specific.Set up Disc 1 Secondary Questions While Directive Questions are used to clarify your first question…Secondary questions can be described as Digging questions. Many times you will want to follow-up on something interesting or provocative your subject just said. They‟ve tossed an intriguing comment or phrase your way. and their response surprises you. Example: “Previously. You‟re noting what they‟ve said and how they‟ve said it. Example: Disc 1 Sanitizer Product Interviews 53:55 Primary Question: Tell me another story about someone that’s called the office. You‟re tuned in to their responses. To use them effectively… Your “intuitive radar” must be up throughout the interview. It may even trigger something in you. a gut feeling that this could lead to something interesting or useful. A: (goes into explanation of how a worker at a nursing home cut her finger on a wheelchair. Perhaps answered your question with something totally off-topic.

The person will become very comfortable. 42 . Define that . Let‟s look at it from another point of view… If I had been interviewing my client. I swore that would never happen to me. This most likely will not include their traumatic childhood…UNLESS it directly pertains to your client‟s product.“When you say ______. you may not want to pursue it. In fact his business went bankrupt when I was 7 years old. It doesn‟t mean I‟d be interested in hearing about dad‟s failed business…if it was coming from my client and not one of his customers. and he ended working for my grandfather. I would want a bit of background. very talkative…and they‟ll go off-track. He‟s driven. I really didn‟t want him to go there. I really didn‟t want to go there. but not destructive.” Can you feel the difference? It’s emotion-driven. I struggled to bring my subject back on topic… I was interviewing one of my client‟s customers and he was starting to delve into past emotional issues. As an example: “My dad used to go down to the bar every night. The difference is. Depending on the subject. During one such interview.. But I would be looking for something less destructive like: “I’m determined to be a success because my dad never was. If I‟m interviewing one of his customers. I think my mom preferred having him gone. The above statement could be a piece of the client‟s Unique Selling Point. What does that mean to you?” Dragging them back out of the rabbit hole There will be times when the emotional bank account is going to be high. He‟s motivated and this is part of the cause for it.. I‟m searching for his/her reasons that they buy. explain what you mean by that. It took a couple of tries on my part to bring the conversation back to the subject at hand.” In this case.

how do you respond to an off-topic statement like… “My dad used to go down to the bar every night. Ideally. You start by acknowledging what they just said.. use something they‟ve already stated for the direct tieback. Refer to a comment or word. could you explain that a bit more? I hope you won‟t mind. “Huh. that’s something. Then you direct them back to the conversation you want to have. Now.So.” Do your best to make it as seamless as possible. or use a transitional sentence to bring them back. I’d like to go back to the article you were telling me about…. Transitional sentences: Getting back to the ___________.” Bring it back on-topic. but could I ask you to define_________ I‟d like to go back to the point you made about __________ It would be really great if you could take some time to tell me about________ Previously. you used “___________” to describe _______…why that particular phrase? NOTES: 43 . I think my mom preferred having him gone.

DIRECTIVE AND SECONDARY QUESTIONS WORKSHEET Set up Disc 9 – Brian Keith Voiles Interview List examples of 10 Directive Questions followed by Secondary Questions 1) Directive Question: Secondary Question: 2) Directive Question: Secondary Question: 3) Directive Question: Secondary Question: 4) Directive Question: Secondary Question: 5) Directive Question: Secondary Question: 6) Directive Question: Secondary Question: 44 .

7) Directive Question: Secondary Question: 8) Directive Question: Secondary Question: 9) Directive Question: Secondary Question: 10) Directive Question: Secondary Question: NOTES: 45 .

Who Should I Start With? I strongly suggest that you start with at least 6 interviews of friends and family. conversational progression of the interview with the Secret Six. You‟ll become more familiar with the process. This helps build their confidence. They need to feel that what they‟re telling you is of utmost importance. You may need to dip into your Emotional Bank Account. and the conversation should begin to develop a natural flow. start with the “lesser: experts. at this point. more comfortable with your role as interviewer. at least for a short while. Once rapport has been established. Knowing how to ask these questions and at what time provides your interview with great content. 46 . Offer them an authentic compliment. You want to know “Why do you…?” “How…?” As well as “Why not…?” Asking some of these questions may bring them down a notch as far as being willing and open to providing answers. Begin your first “live” interview with your client‟s customers. or the goodwill you‟ve built with your subject. the interview will naturally move into the Likeability and Trust questions. They‟ll still provide you with great material. Persona Questions are the starting point to defining your subject. Once you feel ready to do a “real” interview. Who are they not? What are some of their behaviors. Open the interview with Rapport-Building questions and feel your subject become more relaxed and open. You‟re tuned in and listening to them. lifestyles or patterns? By now. your conversation should be occurring rather easily. It goes without saying that your very real interest will elevate their willingness to speak freely. Digging Questions pave the way for emotion-driven responses. as well as guide the conversation. the less influential ones. Then come the Questions for Emotional Material. Your job is to really hear them. The next step is getting into the Revealing Questions. If you‟re interviewing people for your own products.Overview of the Secret Six Questions Follow the natural. as well as allow you to hone your skills. as well as recognize areas for improvement. start fishing in the smaller ponds.

by doing “extra” interviews early on. This will ensure you get the material you’re looking for.Tip: Until you’ve gained a fair amount of experience. you will become a better interviewer in a shorter amount of time. Plus. you must be able to determine the best time to ask one of the questions from the Secret Six. interview more people than necessary. NOTES: In order to do a great interview…an Intimate Interview. 47 .

Getting that richer. deeper-than-surface material. A comprehensive understanding of the Intimate Interview Process/Strategy will give you a decided advantage. This makes the timing of “when” the questions are asked very critical. 48 .Revealing Digging . Without interviewing. Your questions must be asked at just the right time. You can work with surface answers. You will… Know how to control the emotional tempo Recognize when and how to ask the right questions Unearth the deep. When you have built up the “Emotional Bank Account” during the interview. Effectively prepare for what could happen during the interview by understanding: What will decrease the emotional bank account What will increase it How to prevent your subject from emotionally disconnecting Approaching this strategically will give you pure “interview gold”. underlying reasons they buy or don‟t buy. your subject will feel safe enough to give you emotional.Emotional It‟s not enough to just blurt out the question. Only the top 10% of copywriters ever actually dig this deep…and they generally do it on autopilot with no conscious idea of how it happens.Likeability and Trust Persona . deeper material is the whole purpose for the interview.Types of Secret Six Questions Rapport Building . otherwise you‟ll get a “surface” answer. but deeplyconnecting material comes from the greater depths.

Tip: By positioning the interview as “Market Research”. you‟ll uncover the richest material necessary for great copy and product creation. Study and learn the various types of interview questions and their functions. blog posts or e-books. you can give yourself license to delve a little deeper if it serves the purpose. NOTES: 49 . But by using the Intimate Interview process. e-zines. It can take days and weeks to come up with enough content to create articles. you will have access to expert advice. extremely valuable insights and market definition.Without interviewing. By strategically positioning them within the flow of the interview.

Why are you doing this? Why is it so important to you? How long have you been doing this? Tell me something you really like about your product/what you do What gets you the most excited about it? Why is that? Here‟s what I really want to know…. Felt like_____________. I want to know If______________. 1) Rapport Building Questions These Questions Help Loosen Up Your Interviewee. Have you ever… Wanted to___________. In this manner. Considered__________. Taking this time to put them at ease will provide great value through the remainder of the interview. Can you_________. Follow these up with a Directive Question to gain a more insightful answer. or may take 10 minutes. As Well As Reflect Your Genuine Interest In Their Product/Service Building rapport may happen in a matter of moments. It all depends on your approach. If necessary. After you become more proficient and familiar with the purpose of these basic questions. Said_______________. you‟ll gain a clear and concise working knowledge of their purpose. as well as your subject‟s personality. reference the Client – Customer – Expert Interview sections. When you________. Do you__________.Set up: Disc 13 The SECRET SIX Questions Foundational Questions To Get You Started… The following questions are in basic format. How you_________. use a Secondary Question for further investigation. 50 .

Ask these general questions until you can feel a “flow” to the conversation. I asked his client… “When you say there’s a fortune to be made in trading. It could help uncover the Compelling Story. Example: In an interview I did for a stock trader. You‟re trying to find a common thread of the persona of the Target Audience A Persona Question will identify behavior patterns such as… Definition of a Persona Question: Identifies behavior patterns such as… Why do they make decisions about certain products How does the product fit into the flow of their day Why are they using the product in the first place Does it fulfill a goal they have Does it alleviate a problem Does it improve their lives 51 . 2) Likeability and Trust Questions Begin To Form The Foundational Knowledge of Your Subject What do you most want people to know? What do you most want your customers to get from you? What does your product/service do like no other? What do you know that nobody else knows? Can you give a “before and after” example? How do you know that? –this is a BIGGIE. how do you know that? What were some of the indications?” His reply was used directly in my copy. 3) Persona Questions Your Radar Needs To Be “Up” In Order To Catch Inflections In Their Voice Which Indicate The Deeper Benefits or Key Points The purpose of Persona Questions is to look for material which creates resonance.

or motivating them. there is a small set of personas…. Attitudes and environments are significant. Example: In conducting interviews for an Arthritis product. thus more motivated to be self-reliant. Tell me what you really like about _________. That one persona could represent hundreds of people with similar goals and behavior patterns which would benefit from your product or service. “Why do you think that happened?” This will give you deep insight as to their perceptions and frame of mind in regards to that experience.We‟re hoping to find out what is triggering their purchase. After they have explained a pertinent “event”. I found that a good portion of the TA was living alone. product or service is…. ask them. How does this relate to the target audience? Who is the target audience? What does it mean to them? What is it “not” to them? What is it like? How is it similar? Get the customer to “dump” their perspective to you so you can tell where they‟re coming from.one of whom will be the primary focus for your copy. Thinking. This will help define if they‟re part of the target market. Tell me what‟s behind what you were just… Saying. What you‟re trying to find out about your client. For each product. 52 . Wanting to ________. What‟s your best experience with that? Directly follow up the moments where you can feel emotion coming from them.

Tip: There will be times when the line between Persona Questions and Revealing Questions is quite blurry 4) Revealing Questions Reasons They Buy -.Reasons They Don’t Buy Exactly When They Buy Here are some questions you might ask a business owner or top salesman: Where do most of your sales come from? Why? What‟s your best-selling product? Why do you think that is? What do you find easiest to sell? Who is it easiest to sell to? Why is that? After they explain a product/benefit. but compelling result you see? Other Revealing Questions would be: How would you describe…… Why did you do it that way? What surprised you about the result? What kind of an experience was that for you personally? On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being Fantastic! and 1 being Awful. ask… Is that a common experience for people? What is a not-so-common. how would you have decided? What was wrong with that approach? 53 . It was a common personality trait which built resonance with those most likely to buy…that is the real TA. how would you rate that experience for you personally? Given your preference. is that the way you prefer to work? Why? Did you receive adequate credit for your efforts? Why do you think the situation was approached in that way? What was the most difficult part of that for you? Why? What did you think of that? Did that make sense to you? Should that have been done differently? Was that your preference? How would you like to have seen it done differently? If it was your call to make.They were more likely to try a new product.

or a dial tone in your ear. Use qualifiers so your subject realizes that you‟re sensitive to the fact that the question may be unsettling for them. how would you describe them? How do they come in contact with you?” 54 .. or their TA. That‟s why it‟s best to “soften” these questions. how would you approach it? Revealing Questions will provide you with rich. Barging in like a news reporter and placing demands upon a person will likely end up with a door being slammed in your face. When do they really “get it”? How did you get to this point? What was the first step in that process? How did you come to this conclusion/result? What‟s the #1 reason that ____________? What‟s the one thing that _____________? How did your life change…for the better? Examples of Questions along with Softeners and Directive Questions from some of my interviews: “Do you mind if I ask how much money you did lose?” “Who do you find are your customers? If you could describe your typical customer. how would you.. 5) Digging Questions Open The Door For Emotional Material While digging for information. If you could do that over again. you‟ll most likely lower your emotional bank account. rewarding material to better define and get to know your client. How did that decision strike you? What was your biggest frustration with.. Examples of qualifiers: “Please allow me to ask you…” “If you’d be so kind as to answer this….” Tune in to when the light “goes on” for them.If you had your preference..

give me your presentation. and that type of information.what would that be?” “So continue then. As if I‟m a new person. ask… What do you mean by “especially”? When an emotion. with answering my basic questions on how the trades come in. what category would you put that?” “So if you had one big tip to give to people…one thing that you‟ve learned thru your experience…. if I have a loss it‟s a higher loss so I kind of go back to zero?” “I want to get straight on the number…when you‟re talking on a modest trade. As an example.“Give me your quick rundown if I‟m a prospect of yours…. when people use the word “especially”. such as enthusiasm or concern. you‟ll get emotional material from some of the above questions. is expressed. ask… How did that make you feel? How do you know that on such an intimate level? 55 . Follow up on it by asking Could you please define (interesting word or phrase) for me? 6) Questions for Emotional Material Specific Questions For Deeper Insights Of course. be especially alert when they use an interesting word or phrase. Why do you think you feel/felt that way? Was it because of _____________? Key in on certain words or phrases. At this stage. or add vocal emphasis. how I get started.” “Explain to me what you go thru on a daily basis…on a weekly basis…”. but don‟t stop there. Just go through the basic questions for me. if you will.” “Do you know what your conversion is? How many actually become customers?” “Is it true that even if I have a run of the higher gains.

I wanted to find out. It was “sensed”. I wanted to find out how emotional was it for the Target Audience. Why do they think or feel a certain way? This will help to bring out those underlying emotions. “Do you feel a loss of dignity from having arthritis?” BIG difference. It’s the comfort level that has been achieved which allows an atmosphere of sharing. When you‟re reviewing your own recorded interviews. You’re allowing her to tell you instead of you telling her. This occurs because of your genuine interest in them. but it goes deeper. This question needs to be asked in an authentic manner. There will times when you‟ll hit one of your subject‟s hot buttons quite by accident.. it isn’t a specific question that triggers the emotional material. 56 . do you have a sense of what they‟re feeling? You want to confirm this. In my next interview. when your emotional bank account is high. your subject may come back with “Absolutely!” Whatever comes next is gold. When in this situation. but they hadn’t expressed it verbally. ask them. You‟re tuned in and really listening to them. When the Emotional Bank Account was high enough. grab it. I was able to ask “Sounds like you’ve even lost a sense of yourself…your dignity perhaps (softens it)… Is that so?” Feel the difference in that question as opposed to. Example: During an interview with customers of an arthritis product. As an interviewer. I sensed a loss of dignity with the ailment. but if you get the chance to do so. Other potential questions What you just said. So in your next interview. what exactly did you mean? At times.This is an adaptation on “How do you know that?”. __________________(ex: I decided at an early age I wasn‟t going to be like that). Work to bring out the emotion you’re sensing.

to MP3…. dependent upon the comfort level of the interviewee. Do you have a motto you follow in life? 4. What books are you reading now? 2. Reminder: Define your interview from the start as “Market Research”. opinions and concepts. If you could make one change in your life. We‟re getting to know the type of person that (“you” or “your client”) resonates with. Here’s his response… “One of the problems these days. what would that be? 5. What three words best describe you? NOTES: 57 . as opposed to asking a lot of questions. I asked him if he knew why that was. introduce a few of the following questions (just pick a few) by saying… ”Now.” He expounds. This interview is an example of a sharing of ideas. frustrated that people are on the information “highway”…taking in so much information to the point of inaction. If you woke up tomorrow. Do you mind if I ask a few questions about your personal preferences?” Some basic personal questions to choose from: 1. Once the interviewee is comfortable. what would that be? 3.Alan Forrest Smith 56:00 Alan and I are discussing the lack of depth in much of today’s copy. is that people have handed their brains over…to TV…to radio…to iPod…. Shaune. and could do whatever you wanted to in those first four hours.Example: Disc 13 . Following are a few more personal questions that may be used.to videos…to movies…. What's the most important lesson you've learned in life? 6. I‟d like to ask a few of our market research questions.

WORKSHEET FOR THE SECRET SIX QUESTIONS Come up with 3 of your own questions in the following categories: RAPPORT BUILDING QUESTIONS 1) 2) 3) LIKEABILITY AND TRUST QUESTIONS 1) 2) 3) PERSONA QUESTIONS 1) 2) 3) 58 .Asking questions in a way that is conversational as opposed to a Q & A session is key to obtaining the very best material.

REVEALING QUESTIONS 1) 2) 3) DIGGING QUESTIONS 1) 2) 3) QUESTIONS FOR EMOTIONAL MATERIAL 1) 2) 3) 59 .

. The Compelling Story. their Customers. For example. With a Client. find what triggered the reasons to develop their product or service. What occurred in their lives that motivated them to… Try a product Develop a service 60 .. dig for background information as well as informative tidbits on their area of expertise. In all interviews. How did it develop? How is it different now? What was their life like before using this product or service? When interviewing an Expert. The questions you ask will reflect these differences. find out why they‟re using that product or service. How did they develop their knowledge…and why? Be tuned in to the deeper emotional reasons for all of the above. Get their history. and Experts.Client – Customer – Expert interviews There are similarities in your approach to interviews with Clients. What is that person‟s history? How did they get to where they are now? What were their motivating factors to… Develop their product or service (Client) Try the product or service (Customer) Expand their knowledge in their chosen field (Expert) We’re looking for… Real Life Tidbits. Find what that problem is. and the “Reason Why” However… The types of stories you want from each of them will be slightly different. you want “The Compelling Story”. Is it a family-owned business that was handed down? Or was it something they started because it could fill a void in people‟s lives? From your client‟s Customers. It must be solving a need or problem.

With Clients and Customers.Want to share their knowledge Find that trigger point. the interviewer is the authority of sorts. NOTES: 61 . the rules change slightly. With experts. Be attentive to the “feel” of the various interviews on the CD’s as you’re listening to them.

“What things bother you. what would it be?” “How would you describe your clientele? I‟m guessing they‟re somewhat affluent.Do you have this thing in your mind saying that there‟s something you should be doing?” Emotional .“What would you attribute your interest in ____________ to?” 62 . This has never been the case. what seems common to them may be extremely interesting to others. Is that a nagging thought for you? Secondary . “What is your favorite thing to do? If you could wake up tomorrow morning and choose whatever you wanted to do in the next four hours. Your job is to find what makes them unique…sets them apart from the competition.” “I’d like to hear more about that…” Digging Directive - Digging Directive - Digging - Emotional . Find their past history… Sample Questions to Ask a Client Revealing . One of the easiest ways to find their story is to gently start digging into the background. In fact. or things you’d like to improve about your business?” Revealing .“You just said that you‟d love to see your business triple within the next year.Interviewing a Client Your client is an expert in their own business.So I’m wondering what led you to Interior Design?” Directive “It seems like you‟ve done a lot of things before Interior Design. It comes down to finding their specific “reasons why”. I‟ve had clients who feel that they don’t have an interesting story.

ask them. NOTES: 63 .Digging Directive - “Tell me about that. exactly. “How do you know that on such an intimate level?” “How. would you describe your perfect customer?” (this gives you a sense of their defined Target Audience) “Why did they buy from you at that specific point in time?” (defines motivating factors) “Would they refer you to others?” Digging - Digging - Digging - Secondary . then why not?” “What specific benefits do they see in your competitor’s product? Digging - Even when you think you know the answer. How do they feel it…say it…express it? Get it from their heart and soul.“Why? If not.

CLIENT INTERVIEW WORKSHEET What other questions could you ask a client? 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 64 .

Be on the lookout for “odd” or “standout” words and phrases. does that mean __________?” 65 Digging Directive - Digging - Digging - . allow them to feel your genuine concern and interest. How did you come across (product or service). “Had you already tried other things instead?” “Then what happened?” “When you say _________. “Absolutely!” or “Without a doubt!” These are stronger emotional statements. Follow up on these statements by asking… “What do you mean by _______” “Could you define _______” Sample Questions for Current Customers Revealing Directive “Tell me that story…. These are not your typical “It‟s a good product” answer. Their problem and the solution is your focus. Find out what‟s behind them. Dig in. With this type of interview. and what happened from there?” “Tell me a little bit more about that. Why did they feel the need to try this product What problem is it solving What have they already done to try to solve the problem What emotions does having that problem bring up for them What can they do now that they couldn‟t do before using the product What was their life like before using the product Most importantly. Your ears should perk up when you hear them say. your primary focus will be on the “reasons why”.Interviewing Your Client’s Customer You‟ve been hired to interview your client‟s customers.

” Directive “Why is that?” “Of all the things you can now do in your life (because of the problem being solved). what have you said to them? Digging Directive - Sample Questions for Prospective Customers Digging “What would be your greatest motivation to try this product?” Secondary .“On the day that you bought the product.“How do you know that? Directive “How do you know that this works better than XYZ product?” Emotional .“You say that with such certainty.“What made you really need a solution?” “Have you referred the product to others?” “If so.“Fill in the blank – I wouldn‟t: try it if ________” “What’s: the one thing you’ve have to know for sure before spending money on this?” Persona - Secondary .“What would be another reason for you to try it?” “Have you tried a similar product in the past?” “What would prevent you from buying it?” Digging - Digging - Secondary . what was motivating you – on that day vs. the day before?” Secondary . what is the thing of which you’re most appreciative?” “What makes you the perfect customer for this product?” Digging - Digging - Revealing .“What else would you need to know?” 66 .Emotional .

ask… “If there was one more thing you‟d say to someone who was reluctant.Ask digging questions… “If you were going to recommend the product to someone. At the end of their reply. if they‟ve already told others… “What did you say to your friends and family when you told them about the product?” Keep in mind this is the “dumping”. Make them feel their input is valuable. Q: Had you tried other products containing any of these same types of ingredients? How have those worked?” Reasons to reiterate (or “bring it back”) It keeps the conversation going Acknowledges the point they just made Helps them to feel like you‟re “with” them They‟re still present to that point – their mind is able to search for other comments connected to it. what would that be?” Keep bringing it back When you‟ve asked a digging/tough question. 67 . it‟s good to reiterate the point back to the interviewee. and for whatever reason they were reluctant to try it. and the reply was short. Your interview will be much richer for it. and figured let’s try this and see. what would you say to them?” And. Example: Q: “When you say was there anything in particular that drew you to this product over another?” A: I looked up the ingredients.

CUSTOMER INTERVIEW WORKSHEET What other questions could you ask your client’s customer? 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 68 .

I highly recommend you start with a few practice interviews. They‟ll “sense” that you‟re an above-average interviewer…someone that they want to be interviewed by.Do the exercises in your “weak” areas . especially when you consider that you‟ll be using them throughout your whole life! When you do approach an expert. practice. and you‟ll hear just how much they enjoyed it. but to heighten confidence as well. Experts love a great interviewer! Ask any expert about their favorite interview. you‟ll have a confidence – a knowing – of what you have to offer.Listen to the CD’s .Do the exercises . To get this depth of understanding… .Practice. You could also mention a person you just interviewed. It doesn‟t take a long time to acquire these skills. as well as what you did well. It really is a memorable experience. “How do I approach experts for interviews?” First let me say this… Once you know how to actually perform an Intimate Interview. No question about it.Read the manual again . practice!!! Also. record a few of your practice interviews and review them to find the areas you could improve upon. you will “know” that you have a great experience to offer.One of the questions I get asked the most is. When you‟re able to create that experience. be enthusiastic. Not just to build your skills. here‟s their big “Reason Why”… 69 . and their positive response from that interview. Most Experts Want To Be Interviewed! On top of the engaging experience you have to offer.Read this entire manual .

A few tips on how to leverage moments into big interviews Opportune moments: One of the best times to ask for an interview is at one of the expert‟s own events or especially at an event where they are speaking – where they aren‟t as consumed with the running of the event. 70 . This is particularly true if the expert happens to currently be promoting something. In exchange. I once saw a guy who simply brought a Camcorder to an event. Not to mention that they are in “share information” mode. It‟s somewhat assumed that if you‟re there. You have paid to see them – they appreciate that – and are open to reciprocating if they can. In fact. that‟ll usually do it. you have paid to be there. He hung out in the hotel and used “chance meetings” to pull experts into an unused portion of the hotel restaurant to do video interviews. No question about it. they‟re always ready for free exposure.All experts know the power of exposure – the power of sharing a piece of themselves as a sample of who they are and what they do. Simply put… You will offer others a piece of that expert‟s knowledge. ask others who they know in that particular field. and an interview with helps them accomplish that goal. At the very least. They have something they want to spread the word about. a provocative comment or something “revealing”. the expert gets introduced to a new audience. so there is an “economic relationship”. then you must be “somebody”. That‟s win-win! So if an expert feels it‟ll be a fun experience…an engaging interview…and they can get free exposure. Whatever your topic or niche. Leverage that relationship to score interviews. I know because he interviewed me! Leverage Who You Know This is quite simple and straightforward.

Not to mention that you may be able to get a second-tier expert to reveal something about a top-tier expert. or as a paid-for info product) I was wondering who you might know that _______________” Getting To Top-Tier Experts For experts that are a bit less reachable. Just perhaps not through the “typical” venues. So.com. in some cases you‟ll need to climb the ladder. They can get you at least “second-tier” interviews. (these could be free to generate viral traffic. They want exposure. so if they have something strong to say. The points above are powerful. they‟ll be more willing to “let it go”. Keep in mind… Sometimes the second-tier interviews are better. You can ask them who they might be able to introduce you to. Eventually one of them. After each “Intimate Interview” – when you know they‟ve enjoyed the experience – their Emotional Bank Account is at a high level. will endorse you to a top-tier expert. you‟ll be building your reputation as an interviewer. I‟ll be interviewing experts and offering the recordings. 71 .Start by explaining your project “I‟ve put up a website called _________. based on the success of your interview. you can start “where you‟re at”. Provocative and Revealing don‟t have to come from top-tier experts to “go viral”! What if you haven‟t gone to a seminar. Once you‟ve done enough of them and created a couple of great pieces from them. or other places where experts “hang out”? Here’s something else that works… I like to call it “Getting Scrappy”. especially when it comes to being provocative. Are you determined to get that elusive interview? The one that you just know will provide you with top-notch material? It can be done.

Getting experts. Here‟s how it all began for me…. When I came across an item or statement that I appreciated. That single experience has made me much more cautious. 72 . as there isn‟t a feeling of being “used”. To me. and I gladly agreed. She came to the interview with more than just a little arrogance. With an authentic desire to learn from others. Becoming proficient in the Intimate Interview process will raise you up to that level quite quickly. I began buying their programs…getting on their mailing lists. A relationship was established due to the previous rapport that had been built. Most times. A bad experience… A woman asked to interview me. You may encounter reluctance from experts I‟ve been on both sides of being the interviewer and the interviewee.waiting to verify that she really didn‟t “need” to speak to me. She was a “taker” who had no interest in making the interview a win-win situation. Your experts are most likely doing the same. A dialogue would develop and before too long. to hang up the phone after an interview knowing it was a mutually beneficial experience is key. Still. Also they‟d leave the interview with a positive opinion which paved the way for future communication.The best way to describe it is to show you how I‟ve done it. She didn‟t allow me to make a single point without letting me know that she “already knew that”…even though she was furiously scribbling notes the whole time. I wrapped up the interview and felt like I‟d been taken advantage of. She reminded me of a vulture -. These relationships have been leveraged for mutual benefit. I was able to get them on the phone for an interview. We all profit from them. I‟d be sure to email or call them to let them know. You don‟t truly appreciate a good interview until you‟ve seen what else is out there. this was a door-opener. or anyone for that matter.. Give them a reason to say “yes”.just perched there -. I‟d get a response. you‟ll need to work to get the interview.

he delayed some real estate investors in order to spend more time in conversation with me. or could potentially be embarrassing. etc…. You now have them paying attention to you and out of the “Here I go…another boring interview” mindset. it‟ll get their engine running right away.So if an expert hesitates when you offer to interview them. When I brought that up at the beginning of the interview. speak to someone who knows the expert – a secretary. It‟s up to you to make it a thought-provoking and enjoyable experience for all involved. Do the Research If at all possible. It got our interview off to a great start. you may find some unique traits or interests of theirs. They may be able to give you some interesting tidbits about that expert. If you can tap into these early in the interview process. If you don‟t do it well. It clearly was a passion of his. What are some of their former occupations – hobbies – life experiences? Just a few simple facts are enough. I learned he was currently involved in a large campaign to end bullfighting. and I found his views highly interesting. a friend. 73 . it‟s possible they‟ve had a bad interview – a bad experience. As an example… I happened to learn that one of my clients was an avid animal rights activist. The flip-side also holds true if you‟re able to pull off an engaging Intimate Interview. you‟ll lose stature. Be Fluid and Aware WARNING: An interview with a top-tier expert can make or break you. As we were getting ready to wrap up the interview. be sensitive to information which they may not have wanted to share. At the same time. You want to keep some surprises for the interview. THAT is a sign of a connected Intimate Interview! By doing your homework.

Create a connection.bream…largemouth. This may occasionally happen. and the nuances of the questions that they‟d love to ask an expert. understanding and empathy for that Target Audience.So what happens if… I have an interview that I just can’t pass up but don’t have much knowledge about the subject matter. your interview will flow much more smoothly. Keep your ears tuned for the “language” they use. TIPS FOR INTERVIEWING EXPERTS Be authentic and sincere Develop your listening skills Prepare for the interview Keep the objective in mind Write down potential questions as a guideline – not a map Gain permission to ask one more question at the end of the interview Review your recorded interviews – what did you do well…not so well Notes: 74 .” If you become familiar with the common terms. It‟s not the ideal situation but you can still make it work. What do you do? You interview one or two bass fishermen first. Let‟s say that you‟re set up to interview a bass fishing expert – but you‟re not a bass fisherman. “Shad.. the questions. You‟ll get to understand the struggles.

give them a reason to say yes! Let them know this isn‟t going to be a “typical” interview. Example: “I really love the model you use for creating viral SEO traffic. realize there‟s a big difference between being “in the know” and “knowing too much” about the person. The rapport and comfort level will come quickly. Would you allow me to interview you about that?” That real-life authenticity shows that you are into it… you're not just "doing an interview" Also.Interviewing the Experts It‟s best to interview experts in a niche that you are “into”. Preface it with an authentic compliment Make a specific reference to the information that you like Let them know what you want to know more about. but must have taken you a while to figure it out. “I promise this will not be a lame Q & A session. Give yourself some room to be pleasantly surprised by some aspects of their business or personality. When listening to my interviews with the Experts --Alan Forrest Smith. Allow experts to be the authority. You‟ll be better in the interview when you have your own “need to know”. It appears amazingly simple. It will be an intimate experience.notice the more conversational tone we have. Brian Keith Voiles. How? When asking for an interview. When doing research on the expert. but subtly let them know that you have your own knowledge in that area as well. They‟re willing and eager to share insights on their chosen fields. We're both going to learn something during this time. 75 . It can‟t help but show. Robert Stover and Trey Smith -.” Do NOT interview when you‟re bored with a topic. because you‟re both passionate and knowledgeable on that particular subject.

This can be done by using the Intimate Interviews techniques. One thing to be conscious of is that they may have done many interviews around the same subject matter and have a rhythm to their interviews. yet the extensive knowledge base is there. There are experts in every niche with varying degrees of income. we‟re looking for something deeper – more revealing than their standard. So what does that mean as far as your interview? 76 . Be sure to reflect enthusiasm in your voice when they‟ve said something you appreciate. What level are you at. personally? Consider this… When you‟re brand new to a topic -.More importantly… These are subjects I can‟t get enough of myself! We already have established common ground before going into the interview. For example… A top horticulturist doesn‟t earn as much income as a professional athlete.a newbie -. Mirror their speech patterns and tone to build rapport In order to build or add momentum during the interview. Your authentic enthusiasm will ignite the conversation. We need to give them promotional value in exchange for their time. They‟re still considered an expert. Use those interviews as examples of using tone of voice to build momentum. become fluid and have an Expert interview lined up -. The depth of the interview is a good reason why it‟s SO important to interview people in a niche you‟re interested in. The sharing of ideas and perspective will be appreciated. take your tone about ½ notch higher than theirs.now what? Interview experts on their success. There’s a perfect time to do an interview There are a few things to consider before you do an interview. You’ve practiced. canned presentation.there‟s a different flow to the conversation than when you‟re familiar with the in‟s and out‟s of it. not “How To Get Rich” We all know that success doesn‟t always mean money. Also.

You need to be at least one step ahead of their learning curve. and it was extremely difficult to break him out of his ingrained habit of providing “sound bites”. the result is something they‟ve never said before…new and provocative material. The basic material may be too low-level for them. let‟s say you‟ve started a DIY (do-it-yourself) site for home owners…but you‟ve only swung a hammer a few times in your life. . He was running along full steam. Do you suppose an interview with the carpentry expert on how to use a sander will hold the interest of someone who‟s already moved on to building a wraparound porch? It won‟t. You‟re looking for clues especially if you‟re well-prepared. They‟ll quickly realize that your information isn‟t relative to them and move on.Take into account your audience – your listeners. You have a good working knowledge of the topic. you‟ll bore them to tears. For instance. Tune into the tonality in the expert‟s voice. You‟re now able to allow the experts to speak about something you may already know. Finally he finished his spiel and I was then able to get to the “real” conversation. Your level of knowledge rises significantly. bring it back. Here‟s what happened to me… I interviewed a copywriting legend. While they‟re speaking about something with which you‟re familiar. You should know more than your audience does Otherwise. disregarding my attempts to divert him. your interviews become more finely tuned The more interviews you do on a topic. 77 . Your ear becomes finely tuned to the interaction from the higher-level experts. Many times. unless they‟re also just beginning in the same industry. your mind can attentively listen for the nuances in their voice…that unusual word they just used…the inflection when they speak of their past. Once you “hear” something that‟s different. Chances are they‟ve been allowed to run along the same track of patter. As you become experienced. The great thing about this is that now you notice the subtleties. the more you learn. Be a detective.

Do you see how that relieves them of feeling like they‟re being judged? The same goes for my interview with Karen. (on one of the included CD‟s). She was starting to go off on her awareness of germs. “This has been most exciting.that it was “neurotic”. Frame your question carefully. anybody listening to this is going to be wondering so I need to ask…. they‟ll be more wiling to give you what you want. She then said.” I assured her that perhaps the rest of us should be as concerned as she was. A word of caution… You run the risk of being annoying if you don‟t frame your questions in a softening way…especially if it‟s a sensitive topic for them. “So what do you think about________?” Self-deprecating comments Every once in a while. I turned that around and said that I didn‟t so much see it as neurotic. I love the way you interview!” The experts have needs Keep in mind that each expert has “promotional needs”. “I suppose I‟m being a bit much. then stopped. a self-taught intellectual expert made a comment on his excessive book-reading -. 78 . he happily told me. Such as… “Well.” Do not challenge them. but passionate. After that point. or the interview may be over very quickly. You can easily do this by asking a question such as. Bring up an opposing view without challenging them. your interviewee will make a comment when they “catch” themselves expressing a trait or habit that others have labeled as unusual. That allowed her license to feel free to be herself. Getting that provocative comment Picking up on the inflection in their voice can take the interview in a whole new direction. Decide if it‟s one that you want to follow. Part of building the EBA is allowing them to feel as if these have been met. For example.At the end.

You‟ve gone into a place where they refuse to follow. In as gracious a way as possible.. dog groomers) what could you tell them about ________?” 79 .” Or even. The Awkward Moments…how to handle them The occasional awkward moment is going to happen. The last few questions have been dead-ends. In order to do so… Use a softening statement and a directive question that lets them know what you‟re doing. but allows for much richer interaction and communication. but you can be prepared on how to deal with them. These can be used at any time during the interview if you feel the energy level dropping. You may not be able to avoid them completely. “Earlier you were saying _______ about _______. business owners. you can take the interview in another direction. Perhaps your questions have caught them off-guard. “Since most of the people listening to this are (entrepreneurs. It‟s time to back it up. If that doesn‟t work. go back to an earlier topic that they were excited about. As long as it‟s not abrupt. I‟d love to know more about that. “Now I‟d like to take this in a different direction. refer to your list of back-up questions. You‟ve done some great work with _______. You‟re thinking that this interview is dying. The answers have been lame – short. The EBA is slipping. We‟re allowing people the freedom to speak without being judged.. Did you have any early indications as to the success you‟d achieve with it?” Become familiar with this manual‟s section on Conversation Lifters.. Not only does it improve the interview. Make a connection.This is what is meant by listening and picking up clues…intense listening with empathy. The interview isn’t going anywhere You have a feeling of dread.

They’re annoyed… You caught them off-guard with a comment. go back to the topic that they were excited about. The time it happens is typically 30 . Taken them in a direction they don‟t want to go. In order for that sensitivity to be triggered. You can either change your approach when you notice this happening. Acknowledge the fact in a soft way. Then use a bridge from where you‟re at to a safer ground if necessary. I had an experience where I asked an expert about his motivation and drive… and if it was tied to a specific event in his past that we’d been discussing…. there has to have been some kind of “lowering of the wall”. or dig into the EBA if you feel there’s a real gem – a provocative statement – behind it. 80 . A feeling of refuge where it‟s ok to be more vulnerable. just give me a moment. his voice was cracking. but he said “No.he went silent. but the next few minutes were undeniably awkward. I offered to pause the interview. There has to be an element of security in the environment you‟ve created during the interview. Keep in mind that it isn‟t your fault. Try to salvage what you can.40 minute into the interview…when the level of trust has been attained. To handle this. and can take you by surprise. Offer to pause. “Are you still there?” When he replied. They‟re connected. A good interviewer constructs the safety net. Your interviewee may get emotional. You touched on a sensitive area in their lives. Did they use interesting or provocative words to describe something? Did you feel there was more to an answer that could be explored? Or you could even find out the history behind a particular achievement. There should be no regrets on either side.” He did bring himself out of it. What if they cry or get emotional? This is not planned.Hint: You can sense the interviewee’s discomfort when the answers start getting shorter. I asked. so I knew that I’d hit a nerve. The guard is down.

Some people will ease into it quickly. What this means is that you can‟t be too casual at the start of the interview. you‟ll run across an expert who is quite taken with him or herself. etc) Do your homework to show them you know “who” they are. Use humor only if it pertains. Be your authentic self. Generate questions for experts based on their area of expertise These will be very specific to them and their field of expertise. or if they‟d prefer their more formal title (Dr. don‟t assume you don‟t need to boost their confidence. Ask questions that show they have valuable information to share Begin the interview with easy questions. others will take a bit more time. Be respectful but still be natural. Once you realize it‟s a dead-end.If your Expert has a large ego…little patience Occasionally. you‟ll be able to avoid this type of landmine. back off and take it another direction without making the expert feel inadequate. By doing homework ahead of time. Mr. Your goal at this point is to… Raise their comfort level Reaffirm that there is value to their information Increase their confidence levels by displaying their knowledge Begin your understanding of their mindset Create connection When interviewing an Expert. Ms. 81 .. They also need to feel your genuine interest in what they have to say. The Expert isn’t familiar with a topic you bring up This can create a loss of momentum to the interview. Ask them if you can call them by their first name. Refer to the Rapport-Building section.

But. The end result was to be a promotional marketing piece for his organization.Something they wish they hadn‟t spent time on Perception – What does it really take? Advice – What are suggestions for a novice to speed up his learning curve? Ask questions with strategic intent! The Expert-Directed Interview You may come across a top-tier expert with a very strong agenda who‟s used to getting his or her way. 82 . Several times I tried. Finally. That got his attention.Let‟s say you‟re interviewing a women‟s soccer player. Throughout the interview. he was used to imposing his own pattern on any conversation. it can turn into a verbal wrestling match…or a power struggle. The questions you‟ll be asking will vary from those you would ask a naturopath. Though these people are prime interviews. (though I don’t recommend that approach until you’re highly skilled) We were then able to progress through the rest of the interview in a more relaxed manner and he allowed me to get some rather interesting and provocative material from him. It was like trying to stop a runaway train. A man of very high intelligence. He wasn’t having any of it. the categories for these questions would be the same. It was only when I felt that the EBA had been built up enough that I could really try to put the brakes on him. “HOLD ON!!!” and laughed. Example: I interviewed a world-renown icon in the personal-development field. he was aggressively running through his own conversation. My initial attempts to back him up on a subject were useless…so I let him go. My attempts to slow him down or divert his patter were largely being ignored. I yelled. Such as… Experience – What is something they‟ve changed Regrets .

he asked a lot of questions about you. Example: I was interviewing a millionaire. Save it for the end. Their EBA may not recover. I got an email from the expert’s marketing manager… “(Expert) was very impressed about the depth of the interview . The following day. It completely destroyed the point he was trying to make and I had to work at getting the EBA built back up. etc. Notes: 83 . and he was trying to make the point that people tend to only remember the #1 person in any area. He asked me who the #2 golfer in the world was.” I was able to construct a win-win situation out of something that was clearly headed down a one-way street.The interview turned out well and was enjoyed by both of us. Expert Interview “Don’ts” Don’t ask a question with the wrong intention – don‟t try to annoy them or “stump” them Don’t have scripted comments – it‟s not authentic and it‟s easily detected Don’t slow the momentum by dealing with contact details. Don’t steal their thunder. and I knew the answer.

Strategic Questions For Experts Modify these to fit the type of individual and niche. Make them more specific. Team them up with a Directive or Secondary question to get the best material. and how have you learned from them? What wouldn‟t you do now that you did before? Was there a turning point decision for you? What was that? What circumstances helped create the opportunity? At start-up. what would you do differently? Have you gambled and lost? What did you learn? Is there something you wish you had done that you didn‟t? What was your most expensive mistake? Create 3 of your own Regrets questions you‟d like to ask an expert? 1) 2) 3) 84 . what is something creative you did to lower costs? What steps have you take to achieve ___? How did you know to do that? Create 3 of your own Experience questions you‟d like to ask an expert 1) 2) 3) Regret Looking back. Experience What have you done to get to where you are now? Have you taken missteps along the way.

Perception What does it really take? What has been easier/more difficult than you expected? Besides perseverance. positive thinking and never quitting. what is the best activity/thing you would recommend we get better at? Create 3 of your own Advice questions you‟d like to ask an expert 1) 2) 3) 85 . what would you say is the number one personality trait to develop? What‟s the one thing you seemed to “just figure out” as you went along? What changes do you foresee in ______? How does your vision differ from other people‟s? Create 3 of your own Perception questions you‟d like to ask an expert 1) 2) 3) Advice What would be your number one shortcut? What is your advice to a novice hoping to reduce the learning curve? Besides setting goals. learning time management skills and ______.

Fine-tune them for your expert. What did you learn from that? Something you‟d like to learn A challenge in your life A miracle you‟d like to see happen A person who motivates you The best piece of advice you received Notes: 86 . learning time management skills and ________.what is the best activity/thing you would recommend we get better at?” Use the following as idea-generators for questions along with Directive Questions and Secondary Questions. What is one of the things that has happened to you…opportunities you have created around “unique circumstances”? It‟s something that could only have happened due to a certain chain of events…” “Besides setting goals.Other questions to ask an expert “In all successes there are circumstances – there are variables. What does it take to be a success (indirect compliment) The best decision you‟ve made A decision you wish you hadn‟t made.

The Predetermined Set-Up This is a sometimes risky strategy to use. 6. work at increasing EBA. Think of something you want to know – ask – or get out of the interview. The Digging Questions will lower the EBA. comment or topic. The Emotional Bank Account comes into play. The warmer it is. 4. Remember to look for associated “like” provocative comments – gold nugget – or results from another connected person who you‟ve interviewed. Steps to Follow 1. Prepare the predetermined question or comment. Look for an authentic compliment or other relevant reference. 3. Look for the opportunity to ask your predetermined question/comment. gold nugget or outcome.***SPECIAL NOTE: This is a highly advanced technique – not to be used early in your interviewing experience. not to stir up hard feelings. The Set-Up is all about warming up the predetermined question. The Predetermined Set-Up is the ULTIMATE payoff –but you should be skilled at asking the basic Digging Questions before attempting this. you‟re going to ask – say – do – something early in the interview that will potentially create an opportunity. in that it is a form of the Set-Up as well. 87 .. so you need to be comfortable and familiar with how to increase it as well. Predetermine the provocative comment. Keep in mind that this is done with the best of intentions. 2. Though there‟s no guarantee that we‟ll get a response…it just gives us a bit more of an edge if it is to happen. As usual. There‟s a risk that the EBA may not recover fully from asking a Set-Up question. the better chance of a response. It‟ll take courage to ask this type of question. From that. 5. Your accompanying question or comment is a complement to the EBA. You‟re going to know ahead of time what it is you‟d like to have happen. but can yield provocative material.

For example. I‟ll reference the positive comment -. It won‟t be “cold”. Example #3 I interviewed a millionaire with a diverse portfolio of ventures. as well as negative. I‟ll make a comment about the positive comment made. “I notice that you were working with _____ on the ______ project. This will be done early in the interview. use the Intimate Interview process to build the EBA. I was given the opportunity to interview the expert who was spoken negatively about. The best outcome will be that the expert makes a positive comment then make a negative one as well. The greatest jewel I can get from him is a stock tip. I‟ll ask this expert what he things about the comments (both positive and negative) To set this up. If you‟d like for your name to be passed along to them for a future interview.then gracefully also bring up the negative comment. Example #2 During an interview. atypical comment that will make this a rare interview.7. Example #1 When you first get on the phone. As it turned out. Of course. Don‟t be too attached to it. Once again. I go into this interview knowing that if I can get the EBA high enough. about another expert. Reference that person in passing. This should flow within the interview as seamlessly as possible and not be out of sync. Again.” This enables you to refer back to that person at some point. I had an expert say something positive. Then. I‟m just looking for an unusual. you may ask a question/comment relative to somebody/another expert you may want to use as a point of reference later in the interview. I was intrigued by the way the two of you _________. this creates a tremendous opportunity for a provocative moment…as well as an opportunity to dramatically lower the EBA. you‟ve already made mention of their name. 88 . Be conscious about seizing the opportunity. I‟ll only do this if it‟s done good-naturedly…not to start a fight.

keep it a win-win situation.Early in the interview. I compliment him on his success in the stock market. My authentic compliment early in the interview makes my question not so “cold”. 89 . once the EBA is high. This is information he holds tightly. (a mild form of peer pressure) I‟ll only ask him if it works or flows into the rest of the interview. Most of all. Consider that it‟s already been “framed” as a normal occurrence by another expert. I‟ll be looking for opportunities. It‟s going to pause him whenever I do ask him. and wouldn‟t normally give away. This helps it seem more “normal” to pass along this type of stock tip. By bringing up the topic early. It’ll be memorable. to ask specifically what was the last stock he invested in. Also. During the interview. (if it‟s true) I‟ll bring up that another expert gave me a similar piece of information. enjoyable and help create lasting relationships. I‟ve helped him warm up to the idea. The EBA needs to be high at the right time.

EXPERT INTERVIEW WORKSHEET What questions could you ask an expert? 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 90 .

This last ten minutes might contain one of the richest pieces of material from the interview 91 . Then wrap it up. feel free to email it on over. This was good. Thanks again. Unless you have anything else to add. One more opinion. I‟m going to thank you for your time and let you get back to (whatever they may have mentioned they were doing earlier) Genuine compliment – You are an underground copywriting secret! I can‟t thank you enough for doing this interview and confirming for me and a lot of other people that what we‟re doing is extremely valid. I truly appreciate your insights.Wrapping Up The Interview Become proficient with graciously closing the interview. You‟ve been absolutely brilliant! Thank you for your time. Feel free to use any variation of these options: I want to thank you very much. In essence. I‟m grateful for the opportunity to have spoken to you and shared some insights. an interview that may have appeared to be over still has ten minutes left. as I would have expected. One more very valuable insight. Thank you!” I wouldn‟t mind if you would read through my site…if you have something nice to say about me. I really appreciate your time. Any thought that comes to you. Before you exit an interview… ALWAYS ASK THIS ONE VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION… “Is there anything else?” This can prompt them to dump some very rich material that they‟d been holding back. There‟s one more story. I‟d love to include it. Have an exit strategy in place. Thank you. Specifically for a client or client’s customer: I‟m going to send an email to you. Thanks for shining a light on how we can do it different.

you’ll hear what is most likely one of the most challenging interviews I’ve ever done.Example: On Disc 1. I asked the subject. Even the smallest piece of information was tough to extract. He began churning out great content. Just asking that single question elevated the material in the interview from “substantial” to “rich and rewarding”. I was certain the interview was over. “Is there anything else?” The effect was immediate. Needing to regroup my thoughts. NOTES: 92 .

” What happened next was… She dumped even more and really got on my side. the woman actually said. right? But just being a willing ear isn‟t enough. 93 . “I don‟t think you‟re a freak at all. Be Present This sounds simple enough. Refer to the Rapport-Building section.When interviewing an Expert. What she was really saying was “Are you comfortable with this conversation?” What did I do? I supported her opinion – made her right. Set a Comfortable Tone Begin the interview with easy questions. Some people will ease into it quickly. don’t assume that this isn’t a necessary step. others will take a bit more time. Your goal at this point is to… Raise their comfort level Reaffirm that there is value to their information Raise their confidence levels by displaying their knowledge Begin your understanding of their mindset Create connection .Set up: Disc 8 Effective Interview Techniques If you’re not using these techniques. “You might think I‟m a freak…” when speaking about her concern with germs. In one particular interview. I just think you‟re very aware and the rest of us should be as well. They also need to feel your genuine interest in what they have to say. you’re conducting a lame Question and Answer session You‟ll be able to provide great interviews by embedding these techniques. I said. You need to allow people to speak – be themselves.

Especially if was a potent comment. But that being said… Once you start unearthing information in an interview. overcome it If it‟s a question. You should anticipate lulls during the interview. it keeps the interview from feeling rushed. For the times when it‟s moving slow. But that's it.If you can learn how to interpret people…become aware…then you‟ll be successful. These lapses may occur for a number of reasons. Give them as much as 15 . magnify it. clarify it. this gives the person a chance to breathe…let something surface…give their thoughts a chance to see the light of day. then what they‟re really saying is _________. If it‟s an objection. A little bit of silence from you can encourage them to explore more indepth emotions or insight. it‟s likely that you‟ve dug into uncharted territory. Long Pauses Pauses are part of natural conversation. If it‟s something positive. You‟ll see that pauses will happen and that it's fine. The interviewee may need time to find the necessary descriptions.30 seconds. be sure you‟re not communicating anything other than empathy. Getting comfortable with this comes with experience. it‟s okay to ask a question here just for the sake of keeping it going. Pauses allow them the opportunity to verbalize their emotions and reactions. but may seem uncomfortable during an interview. Something may be brewing on the other end. Also. 90% of the time. Let it go back into silence. 94 . You may want to throw in a "huh" or a "very good" if the silence feels off. This method often releases an avalanche of emotional or deeper hindsight material. Again. It‟s all about… Really listening Reading between the lines Knowing how to direct it Realize that when he/she says ___________.

you know we’re all in different places. This is the time to use softening statements. but you‟re sensitive to the fact that a blunt question would dampen their enthusiasm. that is touted as being good that you don’t agree with” <long pause> Then “huh” <another pause> “Well. if you’re willing…and if you’re not I completely understand. Softening Statements and Getting Permission Let‟s say you have your interview subject into the flow of the conversation.to come back with another question.” I said: “Go! That’s a favorite topic of mine…” It gives Brian license to dump at this point. 95 . That said an interview should rarely be longer than an hour and to many of these pauses can be detrimental. Robert. <struggles> Even the formula stuff I hate. The pauses that you‟ll want to have questions prepared for are more likely at the start of the interview when it's still a little cold. They‟re willing to give up good information. (then hopefully says) I could rail on swiping a bit. Sample softening statements Do you mind if I ask… Please allow me to ask you… If you‟d be so kind as to answer this… It‟s okay to take a moment before you answer…. or practice. You said that…” Ask for permission and soften those tougher questions.Go ahead -. You will be surprised how quickly an interview can open up if you just "hang in there long enough. Example: Disc 8 – Brian Keith Voiles 15:50Thought provoking question: “Is there a copywriting principle. Example: “That’s well said! I’m anxious to hear.allow yourself that few seconds of silence to collect your own thoughts -.

but getting back to the sales funnel – in your own words how would you define it?” He went off again – this time on what he didn’t like about Internet Marketing in general – still didn’t provide me with an answer.Keep in mind this is a strategic conversation. He still did feel a bit pushed.. Real Life Tidbit During an interview with a prospective customer for an Internet Marketing program. Get what you‟re going to get. but what he gave me was gold! Keep it Flowing Having the interview “flow” is extremely important. He was giving me great information. If you get the change at the end of the interview to ask more pointed questions. As long as you‟re getting good material. “Please be patient with me. he went off on a tangent about Internet Marketing in general – didn’t really answer my question. Doing so would have derailed the interview into a venue that wasn’t pertinent to me. This was definitely going to lower his Emotional Bank account. but I knew he would feel a bit “pushed”. not an interrogation. Example: I interviewed a designer who had been on HGTV. 96 . I had to try a third time. The interview was going exceptionally well. don‟t abruptly insert topics you may have on your list. I’m going to dig here a bit. When I first asked him. I hope you won’t mind. I wanted to hear (in his own words) how he would describe the sales funnel for an online business. “I know this is redundant. and I was fine not to bring up that detail within the conversation. but not his definition of the “online sales funnel”. then brought the question up again. All of what you just said is great. It really would need to be softened even more. do so. Stay in the flow. Do you mind?” I got permission to ask one last time. but could I ask you to define the sales funnel? I really want to see how you would word it. I let him run with it though.

or responses to their comments. Let her run with it. With her. It made him uncomfortable. they‟ll have a renewed sense of appreciation for you when you gently guide them back into the interview. you may want to write a note as to the point that you really wanted to capture so it isn’t forgotten.Be aware of your own “reactions” Not everyone you interview will have the same personality. It‟s possible that very few people are willing to listen to her on a particular subject. and listen attentively. Referring back to my interview with David the inventor. Reserved. I knew we were back on solid ground when he said. you need to find the balance between the unloading of their ideas and emotions. but you don‟t allow her the opportunity. his secretary proved to be the emotional type. intelligent confirmations. Yet on the other hand. You‟ll figure out what surface stuff can be let go. analytical people prefer low-key. “I love you Canadians!” after asking where I lived. Getting too excited while interviewing this type of person can make them uncomfortable. I worked at getting him back with me by going back into an intellectual mode. the following section applies directly to interviewees just like her. In fact. and he backed up a step. If you have a subject who wants to expound on a subject. Still. Tip: While your interviewee is “dumping” their initial baggage. His emotional energy went down. which may or may not be relevant to the interview. Because of this. and transitioning them back into the conversation. They‟re “dumping” information on you. For this reason. you‟ll need to adapt to the person you‟re speaking with. Allow them to lead…for a while Some people will take a subject and run with it. she may lead every question back to that issue. Once it‟s passed. You‟ll build up a large amount of emotional credit. I got too excited when he finally divulged a valuable piece of information. Allow them to get it out of their system. 97 . then the real material comes out. I was able to express appropriate enthusiasm. You‟re just waiting to get to that richer substance.

Dig deeper on abstract statements If a statement is made that is interesting or unique. feelings and emotional hot buttons.Help them achieve confidence To reiterate. They may state something like. it‟s their opinion. Let them know that they are more aware than the average person in regards to that particular issue and pay attention to what is important. 98 . Follow your instincts. that matters. There may be instances during an interview when you can express this. Make them feel comfortable in your presence. follow up on it. Tune in to what people are NOT saying. This is best accomplished by leaving your own predispositions aside. Dig for the deeper meaning. view people without judgment. Explore their tangents. and figure out how it ties into their emotional triggers. In Summary… The most valuable asset you can bring to the interview process is an empathetic attitude and a genuine desire to get to know your subject‟s perceptions." Again. Show your interest and validate their emotions. "You must think I'm crazy/a bit much/too extreme or something’s wrong with me. a bit of empathy will help ease them into a secure comfort level. caring way. and a new realization of what is important to the target market. Be cognizant of what questions to ask during the various levels of emotion. After all. This type of exploration may lead to a bigger picture. not yours. which may not be an easy thing to do. Do it in a genuine.

I apply the same principle for interviewing. “Not” questions are a powerful way to gain valuable insights. other than what you just said – how else are you different?” Silence After A Positive Comment If you‟ve just made a positive comment to your interviewee. Wait for them to respond so they can take it in and then bring back what was “organic” for them. the reader is told directly that there is a difference between Product A and Product B. so it may help to get a unique and provocative answer. and gently assure your subject that what they have to offer is valuable. I talk about “Not Statements” used in copy. In my Indirect Persuasion piece. “Let's do this. This type of response is what naturally 99 .. With a “Not” statement. You may even already know what they‟re going to say.. give them time.. So now would be a good time to follow up with a qualifying question such as… “I can see that you're quite different from your competition. You don't ___________ or ___________.” What your client says at this point most likely will be “surface” material. So. it indirectly suggests that Product B is inferior because it doesn‟t have the same qualities.Advanced Intimate Interview Techniques “NOT” Questions Find the compelling story – motivating desires – hidden objections. Could you fill in the blank for me? Unlike my competitors we do not ___________. “Not” questions aren‟t typical in most interviews. Pause.. as well as help frame questions. More importantly. With “Not” questions. and they are silent. Your subject will most likely pause and think before answering. As an example. during an interview with a client you may want to say something like…. you can drive a point home.

go up or down steps.it‟s what is important to them – that‟s what they need to talk about. you may ask the person for stories regarding their experiences. If they‟re ready to just take it and go. people are more likely to reveal subtle “little details” in the framework of a story. trying to evoke a loss they‟re experiencing. “How did it feel when you got hurt?” was asked.?” If they agree. questioning voice ask.comes up for them -. The content of this interview was far richer than if the vague. In a friendly. Not to mention the endless hassles with the insurance company. In interviews with arthritis sufferers. a better “feel” for where they‟re coming from. “Well. Don’t fall into the trap of feeling like you always have to ask questions. but they‟re not getting to it. 100 . ask a second question to dig deeper. Stories can give you so much valuable information…Real-life tidbits. Real life tidbit A Chiropractic patient related how she misaligned the vertebra in her neck while working as a stage hand for a theater group. let them. I sensed a loss of dignity as the common thread. You want to evoke those deeper emotions. but not expressing. Dig Deeper To Hit That Nerve If you‟re sensing a benefit or emotional hot button. or even get in and out of the bath. Instead of imparting basic information. This ties into the emotional bank account of that person. And it‟s these details that will make your writing more honest and real. She provided details about the trip to the hospital…follow-up treatments from the medical doctors that didn’t help the daily pain…as well as the inability to participate in sports or even do chores. This type of question is specific if you‟re bringing up a difficult topic. Real Life Tidbits Provide Priceless Details Once the flow of the conversation has been established. look for opportunities to prompt them. a glimpse into their world. They had to rely on others to open jars. would you say that….

This emotion wasn‟t openly expressed. If you can feel your credit level dropping because you are probing deeply. Q: “If you don’t mind. and a topic-specific testimonial from him. I wanted to know what it was. what would it be?” At this point. you may have no credit left to probe in another direction.” The Emotional Bank Account just experienced a drop. Ask For Specific Numbers Another thing I like to do is ask for a specific number of things. “Would you say that there is even a loss of a certain amount of dignity? How do you feel with becoming a bit more dependent on others?” It struck a nerve with that Target Audience. tell me three things that people say about you. The end result was that I did get feedback. I recently interviewed Master Copywriter Terry Dean. original answer. and phrased it as such. can you tell me how much money you lost on this venture?” A: <pause> ”…a lot. keep in mind that if you keep going. Truly rich material. 101 . I sensed he‟d have a positive response.” “If you were to define what you do in one sentence. but I softened the question so he‟d feel comfortable answering even if the response wasn‟t so positive. your subject will pause. and I knew he‟d have an opinion of me as a coach/teacher. Keep in mind how each question affects your Emotional Bank Account. They‟ll come back to you with a thoughtful. I was searching for genuine feedback. And think. In these interviews. “So. Some questions will prove uncomfortable for your subject. I asked (after getting their Emotional Bank Accounts quite high). He‟d purchased my Best of the Best program. As another example. but I knew it was there.

At this point, you'll need to decide if you should back off and explore something else which may be more comfortable for them. Don’t Allow Vague Answers Be on the lookout for vagueness in your interviewee‟s replies. “Dr. Miller really helped my dog‟s arthritis.” This is a signal that your questions or conversation aren‟t specific enough. It‟s also a golden opportunity to find out what‟s lying below the surface. Ask a more direct follow-up question such as, “What signs of arthritis did your dog exhibit? How is that different now?” …or even better… ”Can you give me 3 symptoms of your dog‟s arthritis?” Appreciate the answers given. Let your interviewee know that you‟re attentive and their input is extremely worthwhile. Listen with genuine, authentic concern. You may “bring it back” to the topic 2-3 more times to get to the real answer. Phrases to use in instances like this may be, “Please forgive me for being redundant, but I‟d like to clarify _______.” “I know I‟ve already asked this, but _____________”

Remember…

An Interview is NOT a Question and Answer Period… It’s An Intimate Experience!
NOTES:

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ADVANCED INTERVIEWING TECHNIQUES WORKSHEET
List 3 benefits of doing an Intimate Interview For the interviewer 1)

2)

3)

For the interviewee 1)

2)

3)

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Preparing For The Interview
Warm up-call/set up time If at all possible, call them yourself to set up a scheduled time as a preinterview strategy. Real life tidbit David, the inventor, was not my client. He was the inventor of the product that my client was distributing. My client felt like he’d already taken up too much of the David’s time, and didn’t want me to bother him. I felt it was indeed necessary to speak to David directly, but my client wanted to ask the questions himself. At this point, I realized my relationship with my client was still very fragile. Instead of pushing him, I carefully worded this statement, “Here are a couple of key questions to ask David. But it would be even better if I had 10-15 minutes with him.” In this manner, I was agreeing to go along with his request, but also indirectly letting him know that I could do a much better job for him if I had direct access to the inventor. My client got the opportunity to look over a couple of key questions. Then he comes back and says, "Shaune, I'm going to be at the office, can you do the interview with David?" You bet. I called David’s office at the appointed time and asked his receptionist to connect me to him. David answers, and I say, “Hi David. It’s Shaune.” …silence….. He had no idea of who I was and the reason for my call. I caught him off-guard. He wasn't ready. He wasn't "on." On the Emotional Bank Account scale of 1 to 7, I was starting at a -3. If I had called David‟s office prior to the appointed interview time, we would have begun on a much better note.

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people have already spent the money by the time you do the interview and thus the value is already gone. Don‟t get in the middle of this.Prepare/Research Whenever possible. If you are interviewing a business owner or product developer. (I recommend $50. Find out why he selected them to be interviewed. To do this. Arrange compensation (if necessary) If interviewing customers for a client. most of your interviewees won‟t be “paid” for their services. In this case. Define your own goals for the interview. They‟re doing it as a favor of sorts. What information are you trying to find? Be specific. Have your client set up the agreement ahead of time. they may be even more forthcoming. or equivalent in product. for a 30-60 minute call. You may find it easier to get an “OK” to use their signatures and testimonials. put some time into setting it up. Don‟t give them the reward before they‟ve done the work! Preliminary Contact You need to begin the interview at a Level 3 or 4. The truth is. Be especially tuned in to areas where you can start digging for information you are looking for. Your client has already built a relationship with this person – let HIM make the agreement. with the client paying for it in most cases. there are a few necessary steps to you‟ll want to follow. When interviewing your client's customers. try to get some background information on the person you‟re about to interview. most likely on their website or promotional materials. ask your client for a little background information on them.) Ask that payment be made AFTER the interview. Often. This might only take 5-10 minutes to read. and willing to cooperate. Preparation for an interview is essential. paying in advance dilutes the enticement. there should already be some copy material available. but can provide valuable insight. 105 . But if your client really wants to pay the people for their time… If the person you are interviewing knows they are receiving $50 for the time they spend with you.

and ask for a good time to talk. When you call. Try to cater to their schedule. Real life tidbit I just got off the phone with one of my client's staff members who called back to arrange an interview.After your client has provided you with the names and phone numbers of people to interview. What do you enjoy about your job? 3. Ease them into the conversation. I asked which time was good for her. At what time are they most available and relaxed enough to give you the time you need? ALWAYS give them a reminder phone call or email the day before the scheduled interview. Don‟t take such a statement literally. call and set up times with these people. What's your occupation? 2. this is (your name). find out what their schedule is like. Snyder and XYZ Cleaning Company. Don't expect them to be immediately available. At their work. and the types of questions you may be asking. Something to the effect of: “Hi. How long have you been a customer of XYZ Cleaning? My experience has found that most people are a little nervous when you first contact them. Give your full name. If it's a choice between interviewing them… a. be sure to introduce yourself properly. I'm flexible!" I cringed.” Keep the questions simple… 1. and let them know on whose behalf you‟re calling. and her response was. Give them specifics such as the potential length of the interview. On their cell phone. I‟m calling on behalf of Mr. XYZ Cleaning. Call them. b. Also. B is the next-preferred option. He said you‟d be willing to speak to me regarding your experience with his company. At their home in the evening… Obviously C is the best choice. 106 . "Oh. c. Get an exact time and day that would work best for them.

they probably have other things going on. Follow-Up Leave your phone number and email. Persist in getting the interview It happens. ask if it‟s still a good time to talk. and would every few days call back with 107 . Not everyone will be amenable to donating their time for this purpose. They may intend to return your call. Leave your phone number in case their schedule changes. call again. put it off. Ask your client for more people to interview than you really need. and forget about it. move onto another person to interview. If you think you only need two interviews. This doesn‟t mean that they‟re not willing to speak to you. and then decide if you really need that third person. Her memory wasn't the best. You may not hear back from the person right away to set up a time for the interview. Give people 48 hours to respond. In most cases. You can always go through the process of interviewing. After that. a client will mention another person who may have a better view on the matter. ask for three leads. It‟s not a test. One of my coaching students interviewed a 65 year-old lady (customer of his client). as we all do. Or they may even know of another client who has a great story. Taking a few minutes with this step before the actual interview will help it proceed much more smoothly. After several attempts. Reassure them you want to know when they come up with new or different information. Asking for more sources Listen to see if there are other key people mentioned that you could interview. There are no right or wrong answers. in case they think of anything else to share.Encourage them. Even when you call at the appointed time. Often. You‟re asking for their opinions.

more information. All the best. At the end of the interview. recall more use tidbits. I wanted to thank you for the interview Wednesday evening. it should be a rewarding experience for everyone involved. these secondary insights can prove worthwhile. get their email address and send them a “thank you” for their time. Instead. You are a very talented interviewer. Thanks for a lively and enriching experience. At the very least. you‟ll have more questions upon reviewing your interviews afterwards. and call. Learn how to do an interview that will prompt your subject to thank you for it! Actual Email from an Interviewee: Hi Shaune. In that email. (Oprah…Barbara Walters…Shaune Clarke…) and I really enjoyed our talk. I mentioned to Allen that I had a few revelations about what makes me tick. especially if you‟ve done your job and established rapport. I hope it was productive for you and your clients as well. She'd be at home. Also. Many times. ask the person how they prefer to be contacted in the event you have a few more questions. Don’t have just a Q & A session. which made it all the more worthwhile for me. Trish 108 . you may want to remind them that they can call you even though the official interview is done in case they come up with additional insights. Always good stories. They‟ll never deny you that information.

He uses his interviewing skills to uncover the hidden emotions that trigger prospects to buy. He says… “I prefer to use the power of connection. guide the prospect to a buying decision.NewCopySecrets.com 109 .. and He’ll Answer Them For You… Toll Free 1-866-486-4884 Or Email him at Shaune@DynamicResponseMarketing. Call Shaune. www. empathy and Indirect Persuasion TM to sell.DynamicResponseMarketing.com Copywriters interested in advanced coaching should visit www. yet powerfully.com Shaune Clarke is… A Canadian talk show host turned marketing consultant and advertising copywriter.My "New Copy Secrets" Newsletter and "Maximum Website Profits” Checklist Are Available For FREE at.. Years as a talk show host have given Shaune a unique appreciation for human nature and what moves people to respond.” Write Down Your Three Most Pressing Questions About Interviewing. Rather than creating resistance and „closing‟ you can respectfully. Shaune writes and teaches No-Hype Ad Copy.

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