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

69 75 84 87 90 91 93 94 95 97 98 99 103 104


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.


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

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

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

Key points to uncover: What the person is into. 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. 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. If you’re interviewing prominent people to develop your own e-books or articles. You want to dig into their knowledge. 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. the first thing you do is qualify them as part of the Target Audience. Most of the times. it‟s only 1% of the market.What motivates her? What is her unique story? If you‟re interviewing your client‟s customers. Perhaps we could increase that from 1% to 2%. the same philosophy holds true. (Your client should be informed that this is the 9 .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”. 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. If you‟re interviewing a client .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

validated.And… Would you feel special. 17 . 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. Each section that requires you to have a CD player and a corresponding disc will be noted at the beginning of each section/exercise. They‟re structured to provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to achieve an Intimate Interview. and unique if you were asked to be interviewed? Of course! As An Interviewer.

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

Listen to the "momentum" of the call and look for.IE: You notice a change in his tone of voice.looking for opportunities. 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.. 1) Times you feel Foby "shift" -.Disc 6 (pardon the clarity) Make note of what was said." 3) Times when you feel that I'm "exploring" -.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By listening attentively. you‟re able to more clearly see the issues experienced by the other person.next to survival -. co-workers. salespeople. The long-term results in possessing the skill of attentive listening will be felt in both your personal and professional life. Higher self-esteem and respect – An active listener gets along better with others. in turn. This pertains to business as well as relationships. is perceived as confident and gathers more respect. media. Yet -. How can we possibly “listen” to every single message? We can‟t. focusing on listening helps both the talker and the listener remain calm. their output and creativity levels increase. Higher productivity – If people are encouraged to explain problems and start working through them. demanding. so we need to allow our minds to wander. children. The facts aren‟t misconstrued by your own interpretation. Fewer miscommunications – Better listening leads to better information. etc.We’re overloaded and overwhelmed We all lead very busy lives. choose which messages are important and give those our full attention. Or. How many people ever get to “finish” being heard? Just think of how allowing someone else to be heard will affect them. 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. and appreciated. 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.” 30 . Quicker conflict resolution – When dealing with an emotionally charged topic or crisis.the greatest need of a human being is to be understood. The core of the problem is identified much more quickly and the coolingdown process is able to occur. And. affirmed. Preoccupations and distractions are part of our daily lives. parents. elevate your influence because you‟re willing to HEAR them. validated. Think of who we listen to daily…spouses. friends.

you can dig into the core of the material you want to uncover. but the rewards are great. The results you achieve will be nothing short of spectacular! An effective salesman seeks to understand the needs. An amateur sells the product -. 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.the professional sells the solution.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. experience and reasoning. One example of a Softening Statement is “Do you mind if I ask…” Revealing Questions – If you‟re listening. concerns and situations of his customer. 31 . It also provides your interviewee with a specific direction to go. There‟s only one way to do this…Intense Listening.These help lessen the abruptness of your questions. But how does he find out exactly what the customer is looking for? An effective interviewer seeks to understand a person‟s motivations. 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. 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. Softening Statements .

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

Instead they become stepping stones to synergy. Using the various types of questions at the right times is crucial. or uncomfortable with this “new” type of listening… you risk permanently alienating the other person. Chances are slim you‟ll end up with the results you were hoping for. Possible comments to make are… “If I understand you correctly.If you‟ve been able to establish any type of real connection. 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. On the other hand… When we really deeply understand each other. 33 . not to your responses. If you‟ve been able to get them to open up to you . it will most likely be damaged. This Secret Six Intimate Interviews program teaches you how to avoid this. If you‟re stumbling around. 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. Our differences are no longer stumbling blocks to communication and progress. WARNING: Practicing Before You Interview! Whatever you do. we open the door to creative solutions and alternatives. Be attentive to the conversation. You‟ll have to work twice as hard to get them to feel comfortable again. Especially make note of any feelings they may have revealed.one wrong word can make them close up and feel embarrassed. be sure to practice your new listening skills before trying to use them in an important interview. An Intense Listening situation really can be quite delicate…especially if you came together as strangers.

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

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

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

37 . All relationships improve and understanding is achieved. notice how many people are truly “listening”. word will spread that an interview by you is sure to generate positive exposure for them. In your business and personal life… There‟s nothing else like learning to truly listen. 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.If you’re an interviewer… You‟ll get fresh. The next time you‟re in a social situation. Also. provocative insights and comments from the Experts. Daring to be completely open to another person is powerful and instills trust. Then practice Intense Listening. Try this experiment….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 .

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

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

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

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

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

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. It could help uncover the Compelling Story. 2) Likeability and Trust Questions Begin To Form The Foundational Knowledge of Your Subject What do you most want people to know? What do you most want your customers to get from you? What does your product/service do like no other? What do you know that nobody else knows? Can you give a “before and after” example? How do you know that? –this is a BIGGIE. how do you know that? What were some of the indications?” His reply was used directly in my copy. 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 .Ask these general questions until you can feel a “flow” to the conversation. Example: In an interview I did for a stock trader. I asked his client… “When you say there’s a fortune to be made in trading.

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

how would you rate that experience for you personally? Given your preference. how would you have decided? What was wrong with that approach? 53 . but compelling result you see? Other Revealing Questions would be: How would you describe…… Why did you do it that way? What surprised you about the result? What kind of an experience was that for you personally? On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being Fantastic! and 1 being Awful. ask… Is that a common experience for people? What is a not-so-common.They were more likely to try a new product. 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. It was a common personality trait which built resonance with those most likely to buy…that is the real TA. 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.

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

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

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

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

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.


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

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

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

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

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. and what happened from there?” “Tell me a little bit more about that. Their problem and the solution is your focus. How did you come across (product or service). 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. With this type of interview.Interviewing Your Client’s Customer You‟ve been hired to interview your client‟s customers. 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…. does that mean __________?” 65 Digging Directive - Digging - Digging - . allow them to feel your genuine concern and interest. Dig in. Be on the lookout for “odd” or “standout” words and phrases. “Absolutely!” or “Without a doubt!” These are stronger emotional statements. “Had you already tried other things instead?” “Then what happened?” “When you say _________. Your ears should perk up when you hear them say. Find out what‟s behind them. your primary focus will be on the “reasons why”.

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

what would that be?” Keep bringing it back When you‟ve asked a digging/tough question. it‟s good to reiterate the point back to the interviewee. 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 figured let’s try this and see. At the end of their reply.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. Example: Q: “When you say was there anything in particular that drew you to this product over another?” A: I looked up the ingredients. 67 . and the reply was short. Make them feel their input is valuable. Your interview will be much richer for it. what would you say to them?” And. and for whatever reason they were reluctant to try it. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Perception What does it really take? What has been easier/more difficult than you expected? Besides perseverance. positive thinking and never quitting. what is the best activity/thing you would recommend we get better at? Create 3 of your own Advice questions you‟d like to ask an expert 1) 2) 3) 85 . learning time management skills and ______. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

One more opinion.Wrapping Up The Interview Become proficient with graciously closing the interview. Unless you have anything else to add. You‟ve been absolutely brilliant! Thank you for your time. Feel free to use any variation of these options: I want to thank you very much. I‟m grateful for the opportunity to have spoken to you and shared some insights. I truly appreciate your insights. There‟s one more story. an interview that may have appeared to be over still has ten minutes left. Then wrap it up. In essence. Thanks for shining a light on how we can do it different. Thank you!” I wouldn‟t mind if you would read through my site…if you have something nice to say about me. Thanks again. 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. One more very valuable insight. Have an exit strategy in place. I‟d love to include it. Specifically for a client or client’s customer: I‟m going to send an email to you. This was good. This last ten minutes might contain one of the richest pieces of material from the interview 91 . Any thought that comes to 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. Thank you. as I would have expected. feel free to email it on over. 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”. He began churning out great content. NOTES: 92 . I asked the subject. “Is there anything else?” The effect was immediate. I was certain the interview was over.Example: On Disc 1. you’ll hear what is most likely one of the most challenging interviews I’ve ever done. Needing to regroup my thoughts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.


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

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

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

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

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

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful