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

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

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.


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.


It increases the chances that it‟ll get listened to.In this case the first interview was richer but there were a few great points that came out in the second interview as well.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. email me at Shaune@DynamicResponseMarketing. As an example. Turn your interviews into promotional tools. What they get is… An interview that gives away content but is crafted so that the listener wants to know more.again. The interview is provocative. making for an excellent sales tool. With careful editing.com or call toll-free 866-486-4884. 6 . I‟m sometimes hired to interview others in order to create their own selfpromotional pieces. as well as shared with friends and family. Here's what she got for hiring me: Two 30 minute interviews Provocative. 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. We did two interviews in an hour -. The banter of an interview is excellent for holding attention -. people can listen to it in the car…or while they‟re on the go. 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. I just did this for a multi-faith minister. she now has an excellent pass-around product.

not the spot of coffee on the kitchen floor. Your goal is to ingrain these techniques. studying and ingraining are essential. Take a few moments to figure out what‟s really at the root of your annoyance. desires and motivations of your clients. interviewing is not a passive form of listening. study and practice are essential. It begins with you…. 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. But like any technique. It‟s being tuned in to what people are “not” saying. For example. so they become natural and fluid. You will gain access to the real issues. perceptions and hot buttons. Dig for the answers. 7 . It‟s active participation. Interviewing requires being tuned in to this. Other people are approaching their own issues from their own perspectives. are you annoyed with your spouse because they spilled coffee. You see. or even your friends and family. 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. But like any new skill. 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. Forget about running down a list of questions. That doesn‟t work if you want to get to the deeper objections. With that realization…. your target market. 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. It‟s a tool.No matter your goals with interviewing. you can accomplish them in a relatively short period of time…if you ingrain these techniques.

a good listener. Well. yes and no. You‟re evaluating the potential selling features for the Target Audience. 8 .Here‟s a great preliminary exercise: The next time someone is “venting” to you. and he thinks the Target Audience will be Chiropractors.. Ask a member of the Target Audience and they‟ll tell you just about anything. 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. 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. “It‟s not this…. 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. 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. It‟s not the portion of the market that you‟re targeting.perceptions. Instead.it‟s not that…. The information will also enable you to define and make “Not” statements. The bad experiences they‟ve had…hidden objections… Why do they use the product or service…. focus on being empathetic. refrain from offering advice.” Who exactly IS your Target Audience (TA)? Allow me to explain who it‟s not….

it‟s only 1% of the market. Perhaps we could increase that from 1% to 2%. If you’re interviewing prominent people to develop your own e-books or articles. You want to dig into their knowledge. the first thing you do is qualify them as part of the Target Audience. Most of the times. If you‟re interviewing a client . the same philosophy holds true.What motivates her? What is her unique story? If you‟re interviewing your client‟s customers. Define your presentation for that 2% of the market and forget about the 98% that are not going to buy no matter what. their perspectives. 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. Key points to uncover: What the person is into. 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. We don‟t want to miss any of the TA.Your real Target Audience is the Chiropractor who will actually be LIKELY to buy from you. This leaves the interviewee much more open to providing a testimonial than giving you “an interview”. 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. (Your client should be informed that this is the 9 .

Figure out “where they’re at” The best way to handle a situation like this is to ask the customer. To have written copy slanted against these pain relievers would have alienated the TA. I didn’t believe this was the proper approach.approach you‟re taking with her 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. Reasons behind an expert’s rise to the top of her field. try to figure out how they feel about alternatives. When you’re doing interviews with customers.and what you don’t need to have in the copy. You are digging for the deeper reasons! Reasons people buy. 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. As far as the (Major Brand Name Pain-Reliever)…the customers really liked having these over-the-counter options. In this case. but decided to do some investigation during interviews with his existing customers. “Do you take pain medication?” 10 . are they pro or con regarding traditional medicine? This is all part of trying to determine the perfect customer…what they need to know…. Not just for their arthritis but for other things like headaches. figure out what other people would love to know. Reasons a product was developed. She doesn‟t need anyone who is just a “testimonial collector”) If you‟re interviewing an Expert. and decreased response.

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

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

we shut down our ability to truly communicate with and see people for who they really are. Authentically hearing the other person requires an open mind. get into the habit of occasionally reiterating your own interpretation of what the person has said. and realized later that your words were misconstrued? If this happens during an interview. don't hesitate to reiterate or ask for an explanation. What we‟ve done in those cases is project our own implications or judgments onto others. 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. This may also be true in how you interpret their responses. Take a moment to go back and clarify the statements made. you‟ll be able to “feel” the disconnection. If you suspect this is happening during the interview. During an interview. Have you ever said something. Also. It helps you pay attention. put aside your own judgments.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. A small misinterpretation can lead to a breakdown during the interview. or on the highway…we may think we‟re “surrounded by idiots” and our day is ruined. It shows you care about what they are saying. It ensures you are both on the same wavelength. 13 . 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. When we “label" others.

. Go for a walk. meditate. 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. Do them a favor. Empty your own emotional burden so you can be receptive to others. or get some relaxation time before the call.They have their own set of experiences. to the expressions of desire. stresses and forms of communication that should not be evaluated according to our skewed perceptions. Leave your baggage out of the interview. Do whatever you need to clear your mind of any distractions. there can‟t be a genuine exchange. Get clear. Unless you have clarity going into the interview. Clear your calendar so there‟s nothing crowding the time you‟ve scheduled to interview them.. We‟ve all been the recipients of receiving understanding from others.take time for yourself How often have you been talking to someone on the phone. need or pain. Pass it along. or flow. NOTES: 14 .

These are outlined in an easy-to-follow manner. Read it. By combining Secret Six Questions with Directive and Secondary Questions. Study it. Learning to phrase questions in a conversational manner means a more fluid. Being an “interviewer” sets you apart. and listening to the recommended CDs will speed your progress toward becoming an expert interviewer Each interview can be broken down into simple steps. move on to the Secret Six Questions. Relax. informative response. 15 . All this and more will be spelled out for you. A skilled interviewer can ask anybody almost anything. Once you‟ve become familiar with it. and obtain a reasonable. You are holding an excellent reference in your hands. After that… A section on Directive Questions and Secondary Questions is provided to help you improve the quality of the interview process. Breathe. more connected interview.Let’s Get Started! Don‟t expect to be perfect with your first few interviews. It's a matter of practicing the techniques laid out here. Instantly. For example… Learn how to gauge the Emotional Bank Account. You‟re concerned with “How” to get an interview with an influential person? It‟s really not too difficult. 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. Doing the exercises. Practice. These Secret Six Questions are the backbone of your interview process. Or perhaps…. you‟re on your way to achieving an Intimate Interview.

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

And… Would you feel special. They‟re structured to provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to achieve an Intimate Interview. 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. and unique if you were asked to be interviewed? Of course! As An Interviewer. validated. 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.

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

1) Times you feel Foby "shift" -. 4) What do you feel is the "Pivotal Moment" in the Interview? Now…Listen To The Foby Interview Coaching Call – Disc 7 19 .Set up: Disc 6 Foby Interview Exercise Foby Interview. 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." 3) Times when you feel that I'm "exploring" -.looking for opportunities. Listen to the "momentum" of the call and look for.IE: You notice a change in his tone of voice...Disc 6 (pardon the clarity) Make note of what was said.

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

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

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

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

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

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 -. Time: Phrase: Time: Phrase: Time: Phrase: Time: Phrase: Time: Phrase: Set up Disc 12 – Robert Stover Interview Time: 29:00 – 30:20. Can you feel the difference? 25 . He’s slipped a few points in the Emotional Bank Account.completely connected and on topic 4) List times and phrases indicative of changes in the Emotional Bank Account. Listen to his response when I ask if we can switch the topic. Robert states “I can’t share that one”. Note when the question is asked to divulge some information.

” or “I know exactly how you feel!” All well-intentioned of course. We can‟t wait to give our opinion.Wisdom is the reward for a lifetime of listening . We can‟t understand why “they” just can‟t do what they should. customers or experts. Our conversations are punctuated with interruptions. or falls flat on its face. or even more stressed? Feeling like no one else really understands or cares.. We offer either/or solutions. when you'd have preferred to talk. Most of us are lazy listeners. We‟re distracted. but totally disempowering. But our interviews – the very basis of our marketing -. challenges and statements like “If I were you…. Let‟s face it.. 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. Kaufman THE POWER OF LISTENING IS KEY TO AN INTIMATE INTERVIEW As interviewers.are only as good as our level of listening. Would it be all that surprising to find out that the “automatic” listening we engage in leaves us feeling more isolated. We dig for the “whys” for their motivations. our best information comes from speaking to clients. D J. purchases. or statements. When we listen automatically….. 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 .

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

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

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

and appreciated. you‟re able to more clearly see the issues experienced by the other person. strong. 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. in turn. This pertains to business as well as relationships. Yet -. Higher productivity – If people are encouraged to explain problems and start working through them. parents. choose which messages are important and give those our full attention. affirmed. is perceived as confident and gathers more respect. children. By listening attentively. Or.the greatest need of a human being is to be understood. Higher self-esteem and respect – An active listener gets along better with others. Fewer miscommunications – Better listening leads to better information. salespeople. Quicker conflict resolution – When dealing with an emotionally charged topic or crisis. Think of who we listen to daily…spouses. etc. elevate your influence because you‟re willing to HEAR them. The facts aren‟t misconstrued by your own interpretation. The long-term results in possessing the skill of attentive listening will be felt in both your personal and professional life. Preoccupations and distractions are part of our daily lives. 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. yet subtle and gentle way of being. so we need to allow our minds to wander. How can we possibly “listen” to every single message? We can‟t. validated.next to survival -. focusing on listening helps both the talker and the listener remain calm. And. 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.” 30 . demanding. their output and creativity levels increase. friends. co-workers. media. The core of the problem is identified much more quickly and the coolingdown process is able to occur.

experience and reasoning. concerns and situations of his customer.These help lessen the abruptness of your questions. It also provides your interviewee with a specific direction to go. 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.Intense listening is not for wimps It takes a great deal of security to go into a deep listening experience. Listening During Interviews When we truly listen during an interview. 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. 31 .the professional sells the solution. but the rewards are great. you can dig into the core of the material you want to uncover. The results you achieve will be nothing short of spectacular! An effective salesman seeks to understand the needs. There‟s only one way to do this…Intense Listening. 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. But how does he find out exactly what the customer is looking for? An effective interviewer seeks to understand a person‟s motivations. An amateur sells the product -. One example of a Softening Statement is “Do you mind if I ask…” Revealing Questions – If you‟re listening. Softening Statements .

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

If you‟ve been able to get them to open up to you . or uncomfortable with this “new” type of listening… you risk permanently alienating the other person. Especially make note of any feelings they may have revealed. 33 . be sure to practice your new listening skills before trying to use them in an important interview. If you‟re stumbling around. WARNING: Practicing Before You Interview! Whatever you do. 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. Instead they become stepping stones to synergy. On the other hand… When we really deeply understand each other. Using the various types of questions at the right times is crucial.If you‟ve been able to establish any type of real connection. Possible comments to make are… “If I understand you correctly. This Secret Six Intimate Interviews program teaches you how to avoid this. 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. Chances are slim you‟ll end up with the results you were hoping for. You‟ll have to work twice as hard to get them to feel comfortable again. Be attentive to the conversation. An Intense Listening situation really can be quite delicate…especially if you came together as strangers. not to your responses. we open the door to creative solutions and alternatives.one wrong word can make them close up and feel embarrassed. it will most likely be damaged.

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

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

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

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

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

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

pointed question.*Each of the Secret Six Question types can take on the form of a Directive Question. 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 . It‟s typically followed up immediately with at least one or two more directive questions. 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 .Brian Keith Voiles 10:45: “And so. when you’ve gone into this big huge starving crowd with lots of competition? Have you essentially become another 1 in the pile. why isn’t everybody choosing it? How do you know it’s a choice? Disc 9 . Brian. You‟ll notice that very rarely do I ask one single. Robert.Robert Stover 27:20 “So now that you know this.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. Excerpts: Disc 8 . what have you done. Listed are examples of questions followed by Directive questions found in the interview materials.

Maybe it‟s a curious inflection…or word choice…or you sense an underlying emotion. and their response surprises you. You‟re tuned in to their responses. They‟ve tossed an intriguing comment or phrase your way. Many times you will want to follow-up on something interesting or provocative your subject just said. To use them effectively… Your “intuitive radar” must be up throughout the interview. 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. you used the word “painful” to describe _______…why did you use that particular word?” 41 . They were designed to direct your subject‟s focus towards something specific. Example: “Previously. A: (goes into explanation of how a worker at a nursing home cut her finger on a wheelchair. You‟re noting what they‟ve said and how they‟ve said it. Perhaps answered your question with something totally off-topic. It may even trigger something in you.Set up Disc 1 Secondary Questions While Directive Questions are used to clarify your first question…Secondary questions can be described as Digging questions. a gut feeling that this could lead to something interesting or useful. Example: Disc 1 Sanitizer Product Interviews 53:55 Primary Question: Tell me another story about someone that’s called the office. 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.

“When you say ______.” Can you feel the difference? It’s emotion-driven. I think my mom preferred having him gone. 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 really didn‟t want him to go there. I would want a bit of background. The difference is. During one such interview. The above statement could be a piece of the client‟s Unique Selling Point. The person will become very comfortable. Depending on the subject. It took a couple of tries on my part to bring the conversation back to the subject at hand. This most likely will not include their traumatic childhood…UNLESS it directly pertains to your client‟s product. and he ended working for my grandfather. I‟m searching for his/her reasons that they buy. As an example: “My dad used to go down to the bar every night. explain what you mean by that.. Define that .. you may not want to pursue it. 42 .” In this case. Let‟s look at it from another point of view… If I had been interviewing my client. He‟s driven. 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. but not destructive. He‟s motivated and this is part of the cause for it. 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. In fact his business went bankrupt when I was 7 years old. 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. I really didn‟t want to go there. I swore that would never happen to me. very talkative…and they‟ll go off-track.

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

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 .

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

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

Likeability and Trust Persona . deeper-than-surface material. Without interviewing. Getting that richer. You will… Know how to control the emotional tempo Recognize when and how to ask the right questions Unearth the deep. deeper material is the whole purpose for the interview. 48 . 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. underlying reasons they buy or don‟t buy. A comprehensive understanding of the Intimate Interview Process/Strategy will give you a decided advantage. When you have built up the “Emotional Bank Account” during the interview. your subject will feel safe enough to give you emotional.Revealing Digging . This makes the timing of “when” the questions are asked very critical.Types of Secret Six Questions Rapport Building . Your questions must be asked at just the right time.Emotional It‟s not enough to just blurt out the question. but deeplyconnecting material comes from the greater depths. otherwise you‟ll get a “surface” answer. 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”. You can work with surface answers.

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

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

Example: In an interview I did for a stock trader. It could help uncover the Compelling Story. how do you know that? What were some of the indications?” His reply was used directly in my copy.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. 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. 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. 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 .

or motivating them. ask them.one of whom will be the primary focus for your copy. Tell me what you really like about _________. After they have explained a pertinent “event”. This will help define if they‟re part of the target market. What you‟re trying to find out about your client. thus more motivated to be self-reliant. “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. Tell me what‟s behind what you were just… Saying.We‟re hoping to find out what is triggering their purchase. What‟s your best experience with that? Directly follow up the moments where you can feel emotion coming from them. Wanting to ________. there is a small set of personas…. Attitudes and environments are significant. 52 . That one persona could represent hundreds of people with similar goals and behavior patterns which would benefit from your product or service. For each product. Example: In conducting interviews for an Arthritis product. product or service is…. 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. Thinking. I found that a good portion of the TA was living alone.

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 . 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. 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. how would you rate that experience for you personally? Given your preference. 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. It was a common personality trait which built resonance with those most likely to buy…that is the real TA.They were more likely to try a new product.

That‟s why it‟s best to “soften” these questions. rewarding material to better define and get to know your client. Barging in like a news reporter and placing demands upon a person will likely end up with a door being slammed in your face. 5) Digging Questions Open The Door For Emotional Material While digging for information.. you‟ll most likely lower your emotional bank account. how would you... or a dial tone in your ear. If you could do that over again. Use qualifiers so your subject realizes that you‟re sensitive to the fact that the question may be unsettling for them.If you had your preference. how would you approach it? Revealing Questions will provide you with rich. How did that decision strike you? What was your biggest frustration with. or their TA.. 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. how would you describe them? How do they come in contact with you?” 54 . 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.

you‟ll get emotional material from some of the above questions. As if I‟m a new person. such as enthusiasm or concern. with answering my basic questions on how the trades come in. 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.what would that be?” “So continue then. ask… What do you mean by “especially”? When an emotion. be especially alert when they use an interesting word or phrase.” “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. At this stage. is expressed. or add vocal emphasis. 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…. when people use the word “especially”.” “Explain to me what you go thru on a daily basis…on a weekly basis…”. but don‟t stop there. ask… How did that make you feel? How do you know that on such an intimate level? 55 .“Give me your quick rundown if I‟m a prospect of yours…. Just go through the basic questions for me. how I get started. if you will. and that type of information. Why do you think you feel/felt that way? Was it because of _____________? Key in on certain words or phrases.give me your presentation. As an example. 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.

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

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

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.


Client – Customer – Expert interviews There are similarities in your approach to interviews with Clients.. The questions you ask will reflect these differences. and the “Reason Why” However… The types of stories you want from each of them will be slightly different. It must be solving a need or problem. dig for background information as well as informative tidbits on their area of expertise. and Experts. 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. In all interviews. you want “The Compelling Story”. What occurred in their lives that motivated them to… Try a product Develop a service 60 . How did it develop? How is it different now? What was their life like before using this product or service? When interviewing an Expert. For example.. their Customers. 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. Get their history. With a Client. The Compelling Story. find what triggered the reasons to develop their product or service. Find what that problem is. How did they develop their knowledge…and why? Be tuned in to the deeper emotional reasons for all of the above. find out why they‟re using that product or service.

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

This has never been the case.” “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 . I‟ve had clients who feel that they don’t have an interesting story. Is that a nagging thought for you? Secondary .“What things bother you. or things you’d like to improve about your business?” Revealing . “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.“What would you attribute your interest in ____________ to?” 62 . It comes down to finding their specific “reasons why”. One of the easiest ways to find their story is to gently start digging into the background.So I’m wondering what led you to Interior Design?” Directive “It seems like you‟ve done a lot of things before Interior Design. what seems common to them may be extremely interesting to others.Do you have this thing in your mind saying that there‟s something you should be doing?” Emotional .Interviewing a Client Your client is an expert in their own business. what would it be?” “How would you describe your clientele? I‟m guessing they‟re somewhat affluent. In fact.“You just said that you‟d love to see your business triple within the next year.

NOTES: 63 . 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 .“Why? If not.Digging Directive - “Tell me about that. “How do you know that on such an intimate level?” “How. How do they feel it…say it…express it? Get it from their heart and soul. then why not?” “What specific benefits do they see in your competitor’s product? Digging - Even when you think you know the answer. exactly. ask them.

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

These are not your typical “It‟s a good product” answer. With this type of interview. 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…. and what happened from there?” “Tell me a little bit more about that. Dig in. Be on the lookout for “odd” or “standout” words and phrases. 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. allow them to feel your genuine concern and interest. Their problem and the solution is your focus. “Had you already tried other things instead?” “Then what happened?” “When you say _________. “Absolutely!” or “Without a doubt!” These are stronger emotional statements. does that mean __________?” 65 Digging Directive - Digging - Digging - . How did you come across (product or service).Interviewing Your Client’s Customer You‟ve been hired to interview your client‟s customers. your primary focus will be on the “reasons why”. Your ears should perk up when you hear them say. Find out what‟s behind them.

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 .“How do you know that? Directive “How do you know that this works better than XYZ product?” Emotional .Emotional .“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 . the day before?” Secondary .“On the day that you bought the product.“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 is the thing of which you’re most appreciative?” “What makes you the perfect customer for this product?” Digging - Digging - Revealing .“What made you really need a solution?” “Have you referred the product to others?” “If so.” Directive “Why is that?” “Of all the things you can now do in your life (because of the problem being solved).“You say that with such certainty. what was motivating you – on that day vs.“What else would you need to know?” 66 .

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.Ask digging questions… “If you were going to recommend the product to someone. ask… “If there was one more thing you‟d say to someone who was reluctant. 67 . it‟s good to reiterate the point back to the interviewee. Your interview will be much richer for it. and for whatever reason they were reluctant to try it. what would that be?” Keep bringing it back When you‟ve asked a digging/tough question. 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. 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”. and the reply was short. At the end of their reply.

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

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

It‟s somewhat assumed that if you‟re there. so there is an “economic relationship”. That‟s win-win! So if an expert feels it‟ll be a fun experience…an engaging interview…and they can get free exposure. you have paid to be there. 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. 70 . 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. Simply put… You will offer others a piece of that expert‟s knowledge. Leverage that relationship to score interviews. They have something they want to spread the word about. You have paid to see them – they appreciate that – and are open to reciprocating if they can. I know because he interviewed me! Leverage Who You Know This is quite simple and straightforward. Whatever your topic or niche. 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. and an interview with helps them accomplish that goal. I once saw a guy who simply brought a Camcorder to an event. In fact. No question about it. then you must be “somebody”. that‟ll usually do it. In exchange. This is particularly true if the expert happens to currently be promoting something. ask others who they know in that particular field. a provocative comment or something “revealing”. Not to mention that they are in “share information” mode. the expert gets introduced to a new audience. At the very least.

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

. She reminded me of a vulture -. I began buying their programs…getting on their mailing lists. or anyone for that matter. as there isn‟t a feeling of being “used”. With an authentic desire to learn from others. When I came across an item or statement that I appreciated. You may encounter reluctance from experts I‟ve been on both sides of being the interviewer and the interviewee. 72 . I‟d be sure to email or call them to let them know. Your experts are most likely doing the same. this was a door-opener. you‟ll need to work to get the interview. Still.just perched there -. A dialogue would develop and before too long. I‟d get a response. Becoming proficient in the Intimate Interview process will raise you up to that level quite quickly. Getting experts. She was a “taker” who had no interest in making the interview a win-win situation.The best way to describe it is to show you how I‟ve done it. A bad experience… A woman asked to interview me. These relationships have been leveraged for mutual benefit.waiting to verify that she really didn‟t “need” to speak to me. A relationship was established due to the previous rapport that had been built. I was able to get them on the phone for an interview. 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. and I gladly agreed. Most times. That single experience has made me much more cautious. She came to the interview with more than just a little arrogance. to hang up the phone after an interview knowing it was a mutually beneficial experience is key. I wrapped up the interview and felt like I‟d been taken advantage of. You don‟t truly appreciate a good interview until you‟ve seen what else is out there. Give them a reason to say “yes”. We all profit from them. Here‟s how it all began for me…. To me. Also they‟d leave the interview with a positive opinion which paved the way for future communication.

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

. your interview will flow much more smoothly. 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 .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.” If you become familiar with the common terms. You‟ll get to understand the struggles. What do you do? You interview one or two bass fishermen first. “Shad.bream…largemouth. This may occasionally happen. Let‟s say that you‟re set up to interview a bass fishing expert – but you‟re not a bass fisherman. the questions. Create a connection. understanding and empathy for that Target Audience. Keep your ears tuned for the “language” they use. and the nuances of the questions that they‟d love to ask an expert. It‟s not the ideal situation but you can still make it work.

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

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

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. You should know more than your audience does Otherwise. disregarding my attempts to divert him. You‟re now able to allow the experts to speak about something you may already know. the result is something they‟ve never said before…new and provocative material. Here‟s what happened to me… I interviewed a copywriting legend. and it was extremely difficult to break him out of his ingrained habit of providing “sound bites”. 77 . Finally he finished his spiel and I was then able to get to the “real” conversation. You need to be at least one step ahead of their learning curve. Be a detective. 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. The great thing about this is that now you notice the subtleties. You have a good working knowledge of the topic. you‟ll bore them to tears. Your ear becomes finely tuned to the interaction from the higher-level experts. bring it back. Many times. While they‟re speaking about something with which you‟re familiar. . For instance. As you become experienced. Once you “hear” something that‟s different. He was running along full steam. The basic material may be too low-level for them. Chances are they‟ve been allowed to run along the same track of patter.Take into account your audience – your listeners. They‟ll quickly realize that your information isn‟t relative to them and move on. Your level of knowledge rises significantly. 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. unless they‟re also just beginning in the same industry. You‟re looking for clues especially if you‟re well-prepared. your interviews become more finely tuned The more interviews you do on a topic. Tune into the tonality in the expert‟s voice. the more you learn.

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

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

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

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

He wasn’t having any of it.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. “HOLD ON!!!” and laughed. But. 82 . Several times I tried. (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. My attempts to slow him down or divert his patter were largely being ignored. It was like trying to stop a runaway train. he was aggressively running through his own conversation. That got his attention. he was used to imposing his own pattern on any conversation. it can turn into a verbal wrestling match…or a power struggle. I yelled.Let‟s say you‟re interviewing a women‟s soccer player. Such as… Experience – What is something they‟ve changed Regrets . the categories for these questions would be the same. Throughout the interview. Example: I interviewed a world-renown icon in the personal-development field. A man of very high intelligence. The end result was to be a promotional marketing piece for his organization. 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. Though these people are prime interviews. The questions you‟ll be asking will vary from those you would ask a naturopath. Finally. My initial attempts to back him up on a subject were useless…so I let him go.

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

Experience What have you done to get to where you are now? Have you taken missteps along the way.Strategic Questions For Experts Modify these to fit the type of individual and niche. 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. Team them up with a Directive or Secondary question to get the best material. 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. Make them more specific.

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 ______. positive thinking and never quitting.Perception What does it really take? What has been easier/more difficult than you expected? Besides perseverance.

learning time management skills and ________. What does it take to be a success (indirect compliment) The best decision you‟ve made A decision you wish you hadn‟t made.Other questions to ask an expert “In all successes there are circumstances – there are variables.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 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 . 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. Fine-tune them for your expert.

in that it is a form of the Set-Up as well. Look for the opportunity to ask your predetermined question/comment. Steps to Follow 1. 87 .. comment or topic. work at increasing EBA. There‟s a risk that the EBA may not recover fully from asking a Set-Up question. 5.***SPECIAL NOTE: This is a highly advanced technique – not to be used early in your interviewing experience. The Predetermined Set-Up is the ULTIMATE payoff –but you should be skilled at asking the basic Digging Questions before attempting this. The Digging Questions will lower the EBA. Remember to look for associated “like” provocative comments – gold nugget – or results from another connected person who you‟ve interviewed. The Set-Up is all about warming up the predetermined question. 2. the better chance of a response. 6. Think of something you want to know – ask – or get out of the interview. From that. you‟re going to ask – say – do – something early in the interview that will potentially create an opportunity. Your accompanying question or comment is a complement to the EBA. It‟ll take courage to ask this type of question. not to stir up hard feelings. The Predetermined Set-Up This is a sometimes risky strategy to use. 4. 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. Keep in mind that this is done with the best of intentions. The Emotional Bank Account comes into play. so you need to be comfortable and familiar with how to increase it as well. As usual. You‟re going to know ahead of time what it is you‟d like to have happen. The warmer it is. Predetermine the provocative comment. Prepare the predetermined question or comment. but can yield provocative material. Look for an authentic compliment or other relevant reference. 3. gold nugget or outcome.

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

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

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

Thanks for shining a light on how we can do it different. In essence. I truly appreciate your insights. Then wrap it up. Thank you. 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‟d love to include it. One more opinion. I‟m grateful for the opportunity to have spoken to you and shared some insights. Have an exit strategy in place. 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. You‟ve been absolutely brilliant! Thank you for your time. Thank you!” I wouldn‟t mind if you would read through my site…if you have something nice to say about me. an interview that may have appeared to be over still has ten minutes left. There‟s one more story.Wrapping Up The Interview Become proficient with graciously closing the interview. Specifically for a client or client’s customer: I‟m going to send an email to you. This last ten minutes might contain one of the richest pieces of material from the interview 91 . Thanks again. Unless you have anything else to add. as I would have expected. Any thought that comes to you. Feel free to use any variation of these options: I want to thank you very much. feel free to email it on over. One more very valuable insight. This was good. I really appreciate your time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

" Again. 98 . This is best accomplished by leaving your own predispositions aside. This type of exploration may lead to a bigger picture. 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. and figure out how it ties into their emotional triggers. Do it in a genuine. Show your interest and validate their emotions. Tune in to what people are NOT saying. view people without judgment. "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. Be cognizant of what questions to ask during the various levels of emotion. Dig for the deeper meaning. There may be instances during an interview when you can express this. feelings and emotional hot buttons. After all. follow up on it. caring way. Dig deeper on abstract statements If a statement is made that is interesting or unique. that matters. and a new realization of what is important to the target market. not yours. They may state something like. which may not be an easy thing to do.Help them achieve confidence To reiterate. Explore their tangents. it‟s their opinion. Follow your instincts. 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. Make them feel comfortable in your presence.

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

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

And think. keep in mind that if you keep going.This emotion wasn‟t openly expressed. I recently interviewed Master Copywriter Terry Dean. I asked (after getting their Emotional Bank Accounts quite high). The end result was that I did get feedback.” “If you were to define what you do in one sentence. and phrased it as such. If you can feel your credit level dropping because you are probing deeply. In these interviews. and I knew he‟d have an opinion of me as a coach/teacher. I sensed he‟d have a positive response. I wanted to know what it was. He‟d purchased my Best of the Best program. but I softened the question so he‟d feel comfortable answering even if the response wasn‟t so positive. Keep in mind how each question affects your Emotional Bank Account. original answer. Q: “If you don’t mind. tell me three things that people say about you. but I knew it was there. Some questions will prove uncomfortable for your subject. and a topic-specific testimonial from him. “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. “So. 101 . They‟ll come back to you with a thoughtful. can you tell me how much money you lost on this venture?” A: <pause> ”…a lot. Truly rich material. your subject will pause. Ask For Specific Numbers Another thing I like to do is ask for a specific number of things. 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. As another example. I was searching for genuine feedback.

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 _____________”


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


List 3 benefits of doing an Intimate Interview For the interviewer 1)



For the interviewee 1)




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.


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

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

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

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

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

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