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

Approaching Experts Interviewing Experts Strategic Questions for Experts The Predetermined Set-Up Worksheet – Expert Interview Wrapping up the Interview Effective Interview Techniques Long pauses Softening Statements Allow them to lead Dig deeper Advanced Interview Techniques Worksheet – Advanced Interview Techniques Preparing for the Interview

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Shaune Clarke – Shaune@DynamicResponseMarketing.com

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

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

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

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

Intimate Interviews…
Get provocative comments Give a new or different perspective Create original content Get the interviewee excited

A well-done Intimate Interview is your surest way to develop a Viral Marketing Piece. You‟ll be able to create a “buzz… “You should hear what _____ said about ______!”

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Relax. Being an “interviewer” sets you apart. move on to the Secret Six Questions. 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. Instantly. 15 . more connected interview. You are holding an excellent reference in your hands. For example… Learn how to gauge the Emotional Bank Account. By combining Secret Six Questions with Directive and Secondary Questions. Breathe. Study it. Practice. and listening to the recommended CDs will speed your progress toward becoming an expert interviewer Each interview can be broken down into simple steps. 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.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. Once you‟ve become familiar with it. These Secret Six Questions are the backbone of your interview process. After that… A section on Directive Questions and Secondary Questions is provided to help you improve the quality of the interview process. Doing the exercises. and obtain a reasonable. informative response. A skilled interviewer can ask anybody almost anything. All this and more will be spelled out for you. Read it. Or perhaps…. you‟re on your way to achieving an Intimate Interview. It's a matter of practicing the techniques laid out here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. you can dig into the core of the material you want to uncover. but the rewards are great. experience and reasoning. 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. It also provides your interviewee with a specific direction to go. There‟s only one way to do this…Intense Listening. 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. concerns and situations of his customer. Softening Statements . One example of a Revealing Question is “What was the most difficult part of that for you?” (these types of questions are explained later in the manual) We‟re able to use these and other interviewing techniques in a more effective and heartfelt manner. An amateur sells the product -.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. 31 . The results you achieve will be nothing short of spectacular! An effective salesman seeks to understand the needs. One example of a Softening Statement is “Do you mind if I ask…” Revealing Questions – If you‟re listening.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. Excerpts: Disc 8 . pointed question. why isn’t everybody choosing it? How do you know it’s a choice? Disc 9 . Robert. Brian. You‟ll notice that very rarely do I ask one single.*Each of the Secret Six Question types can take on the form of a Directive Question.Brian Keith Voiles 10:45: “And so. what have you done. 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 .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. 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 . It‟s typically followed up immediately with at least one or two more directive questions. Listed are examples of questions followed by Directive questions found in the interview materials.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 . It could help uncover the Compelling Story. how do you know that? What were some of the indications?” His reply was used directly in my copy.Ask these general questions until you can feel a “flow” to the conversation. Example: In an interview I did for a stock trader. 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. 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. I asked his client… “When you say there’s a fortune to be made in trading.

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

how would you rate that experience for you personally? Given your preference. how would you have decided? What was wrong with that approach? 53 .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.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. ask… Is that a common experience for people? What is a not-so-common. Tip: There will be times when the line between Persona Questions and Revealing Questions is quite blurry 4) Revealing Questions Reasons They Buy -. 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.

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

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

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

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

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


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

NOTES: 61 . With Clients and Customers.Want to share their knowledge Find that trigger point. With experts. the rules change slightly. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

we‟re looking for something deeper – more revealing than their standard. So what does that mean as far as your interview? 76 . canned presentation. You’ve practiced. Your authentic enthusiasm will ignite the conversation. 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 -. The depth of the interview is a good reason why it‟s SO important to interview people in a niche you‟re interested in. The sharing of ideas and perspective will be appreciated. This can be done by using the Intimate Interviews techniques. There are experts in every niche with varying degrees of income. not “How To Get Rich” We all know that success doesn‟t always mean money.a newbie -. Also. Mirror their speech patterns and tone to build rapport In order to build or add momentum during the interview.now what? Interview experts on their success. For example… A top horticulturist doesn‟t earn as much income as a professional athlete. There’s a perfect time to do an interview There are a few things to consider before you do an interview. What level are you at. take your tone about ½ notch higher than theirs. Be sure to reflect enthusiasm in your voice when they‟ve said something you appreciate.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. yet the extensive knowledge base is there. Use those interviews as examples of using tone of voice to build momentum. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Perception What does it really take? What has been easier/more difficult than you expected? Besides perseverance. learning time management skills and ______. 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 . positive thinking and never quitting. 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 does it take to be a success (indirect compliment) The best decision you‟ve made A decision you wish you hadn‟t made. learning time management skills and ________. Fine-tune them for your expert.what is the best activity/thing you would recommend we get better at?” Use the following as idea-generators for questions along with Directive Questions and Secondary Questions. What did you learn from that? Something you‟d like to learn A challenge in your life A miracle you‟d like to see happen A person who motivates you The best piece of advice you received Notes: 86 .Other questions to ask an expert “In all successes there are circumstances – there are variables. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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