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

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Shaune Clarke – Shaune@DynamicResponseMarketing.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And… Would you feel special. 17 . 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. validated. Each section that requires you to have a CD player and a corresponding disc will be noted at the beginning of each section/exercise. and unique if you were asked to be interviewed? Of course! As An Interviewer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ask these general questions until you can feel a “flow” to the conversation. It could help uncover the Compelling Story. I asked his client… “When you say there’s a fortune to be made in trading. 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. Example: In an interview I did for a stock trader. how do you know that? What were some of the indications?” His reply was used directly in my copy. You‟re trying to find a common thread of the persona of the Target Audience A Persona Question will identify behavior patterns such as… Definition of a Persona Question: Identifies behavior patterns such as… Why do they make decisions about certain products How does the product fit into the flow of their day Why are they using the product in the first place Does it fulfill a goal they have Does it alleviate a problem Does it improve their lives 51 .

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

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.They were more likely to try a new product. It was a common personality trait which built resonance with those most likely to buy…that is the real TA. how would you have decided? What was wrong with that approach? 53 . but compelling result you see? Other Revealing Questions would be: How would you describe…… Why did you do it that way? What surprised you about the result? What kind of an experience was that for you personally? On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being Fantastic! and 1 being Awful. ask… Is that a common experience for people? What is a not-so-common. how would you rate that experience for you personally? Given your preference. is that the way you prefer to work? Why? Did you receive adequate credit for your efforts? Why do you think the situation was approached in that way? What was the most difficult part of that for you? Why? What did you think of that? Did that make sense to you? Should that have been done differently? Was that your preference? How would you like to have seen it done differently? If it was your call to make. Tip: There will be times when the line between Persona Questions and Revealing Questions is quite blurry 4) Revealing Questions Reasons They Buy -.

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

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

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

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

Asking questions in a way that is conversational as opposed to a Q & A session is key to obtaining the very best material. 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 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

“On the day that you bought the product.” Directive “Why is that?” “Of all the things you can now do in your life (because of the problem being solved).“Fill in the blank – I wouldn‟t: try it if ________” “What’s: the one thing you’ve have to know for sure before spending money on this?” Persona - Secondary . the day before?” Secondary . what was motivating you – on that day vs.“What else would you need to know?” 66 .Emotional .“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 . what have you said to them? Digging Directive - Sample Questions for Prospective Customers Digging “What would be your greatest motivation to try this product?” Secondary .“How do you know that? Directive “How do you know that this works better than XYZ product?” Emotional . 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. he was aggressively running through his own conversation. The end result was to be a promotional marketing piece for his organization. It was like trying to stop a runaway train. he was used to imposing his own pattern on any conversation. “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. But. Example: I interviewed a world-renown icon in the personal-development field. My attempts to slow him down or divert his patter were largely being ignored. He wasn’t having any of it. My initial attempts to back him up on a subject were useless…so I let him go. Throughout the interview. I yelled. Such as… Experience – What is something they‟ve changed Regrets . That got his attention. it can turn into a verbal wrestling match…or a power struggle.Let‟s say you‟re interviewing a women‟s soccer player. It was only when I felt that the EBA had been built up enough that I could really try to put the brakes on him. Though these people are prime interviews. Finally. (though I don’t recommend that approach until you’re highly skilled) We were then able to progress through the rest of the interview in a more relaxed manner and he allowed me to get some rather interesting and provocative material from him. A man of very high intelligence. 82 . Several times I tried.

The interview turned out well and was enjoyed by both of us. 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. Save it for the end. Notes: 83 . Example: I was interviewing a millionaire. 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. He asked me who the #2 golfer in the world was. The following day. Don’t steal their thunder.” I was able to construct a win-win situation out of something that was clearly headed down a one-way street. and I knew the answer.he asked a lot of questions about you. It completely destroyed the point he was trying to make and I had to work at getting the EBA built back up. Their EBA may not recover. etc.

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

learning time management skills and ______.Perception What does it really take? What has been easier/more difficult than you expected? Besides perseverance. 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 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. Fine-tune them for your expert. What is one of the things that has happened to you…opportunities you have created around “unique circumstances”? It‟s something that could only have happened due to a certain chain of events…” “Besides setting goals. What 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. learning time management skills and ________. What does it take to be a success (indirect compliment) The best decision you‟ve made A decision you wish you hadn‟t made.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remember…

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

102

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

2)

3)

For the interviewee 1)

2)

3)

103

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.

104

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

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

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

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

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

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