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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
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
Get provocative comments Give a new or different perspective Create original content Get the interviewee excited
A well-done Intimate Interview is your surest way to develop a Viral Marketing Piece. You‟ll be able to create a “buzz… “You should hear what _____ said about ______!”
THIS IS… The One Skill That Can Benefit Every Part Of Your Online Marketing.
If You’re a Copywriter or Write Copy For Your Business…
Intimate Interviews will help you uncover… Hidden reasons the target audience will buy Hidden reasons the target audience won‟t buy Deep emotional triggers you can‟t find any other way The hidden objections, perceptions and hot buttons And also… Cut your research time by half Trigger your subconscious mind – eliciting your best material Become connected and passionate about the person, product or service . Know that getting “there” is the key to effortless, emotion-driven, multidimensional copy. Copy that feels right, feels believable… Copy that has emotion, strength and clarity.
THIS IS… Copywriting Mastery!
Intimate Interviews also improve client relationships by increasing trust, likeability, respect and value. Imagine pulling off “The Winner”… Envision being successful because of it.
If You’re a Business Owner or Professional…
You have valuable knowledge that others will pay money to obtain. You also have colleagues and associates with knowledge. Information Marketing is a Billion dollar industry. You are in a position to use your knowledge, experience and contacts to tap into it. Through interviewing you can quickly create high-quality, in-demand information products – both written and audio. To create your own product all you have to do is have a colleague or staff member go through the program with you. They interview you and… You interview other colleagues and experts. This begins to collect the necessary information for… Blog posts Emails Newsletters Articles A Manual Even… Your Own Book. With a little editing, your interviews become audio information products.
THIS IS… The Best Way To Leverage Your Assets -- Your Knowledge -- Your Experience -- Your Contacts.
again. I just did this for a multi-faith minister. Here's what she got for hiring me: Two 30 minute interviews Provocative. revealing and informative It‟s on an audio CD Increased exposure from being passed around In fact if you'd like to have me interview you and help you create your own potent self-promotion tool. email me at Shaune@DynamicResponseMarketing. It increases the chances that it‟ll get listened to. With careful editing.com or call toll-free 866-486-4884. she now has an excellent pass-around product. We did two interviews in an hour -. people can listen to it in the car…or while they‟re on the go.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. I‟m sometimes hired to interview others in order to create their own selfpromotional pieces. 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. As an example. The interview is provocative. What they get is… An interview that gives away content but is crafted so that the listener wants to know more. Turn your interviews into promotional tools. making for an excellent sales tool. as well as shared with friends and family. The banter of an interview is excellent for holding attention -.In this case the first interview was richer but there were a few great points that came out in the second interview as well. 6 .
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. desires and motivations of your clients. Interviewing requires being tuned in to this.No matter your goals with interviewing. Take a few moments to figure out what‟s really at the root of your annoyance. or even your friends and family. Your goal is to ingrain these techniques. are you annoyed with your spouse because they spilled coffee. You will gain access to the real issues. not the spot of coffee on the kitchen floor. interviewing is not a passive form of listening. 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. you can accomplish them in a relatively short period of time…if you ingrain these techniques. 7 . The next time you react emotionally to something (like getting angry) ask yourself “Why am I reacting in this way?” You‟ll realize that the minor annoyances are usually masking a deeper issue. It begins with you…. It‟s active participation. study and practice are essential. But like any new skill. That doesn‟t work if you want to get to the deeper objections. studying and ingraining are essential. perceptions and hot buttons. With that realization…. But like any technique. 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. your target market. For example. It‟s being tuned in to what people are “not” saying. Other people are approaching their own issues from their own perspectives. so they become natural and fluid. You see. Forget about running down a list of questions. Dig for the answers. It‟s a tool.
8 . 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. Instead. focus on being empathetic. and he thinks the Target Audience will be Chiropractors. “It‟s not this…. It‟s not the portion of the market that you‟re targeting.perceptions. Ask a member of the Target Audience and they‟ll tell you just about anything. Well. The information will also enable you to define and make “Not” statements.Here‟s a great preliminary exercise: The next time someone is “venting” to you. You‟re evaluating the potential selling features for the Target Audience. 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.” Who exactly IS your Target Audience (TA)? Allow me to explain who it‟s not….. 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. 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. yes and no. a good listener. The bad experiences they‟ve had…hidden objections… Why do they use the product or service…. refrain from offering advice.it‟s not that….
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. it‟s only 1% of the market. Key points to uncover: What the person is into. Perhaps we could increase that from 1% to 2%.Your real Target Audience is the Chiropractor who will actually be LIKELY to buy from you. If you’re interviewing prominent people to develop your own e-books or articles. (Your client should be informed that this is the 9 . their perspectives. Define your presentation for that 2% of the market and forget about the 98% that are not going to buy no matter what. We don‟t want to miss any of the TA. 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. Most of the times.What motivates her? What is her unique story? If you‟re interviewing your client‟s customers. You want to dig into their knowledge. This determination is highly specific to three things… Those who are prone or susceptible to Your particular message Your particular persona Your particular offer What are the factors in their lives that trigger the need for this product or service? Why them and not the other Chiropractors? What‟s their trigger? We should focus exclusively on them…the 1% that is likely to buy. the first thing you do is qualify them as part of the Target Audience. If you‟re interviewing a client . the same philosophy holds true. This leaves the interviewee much more open to providing a testimonial than giving you “an interview”.
figure out what other people would love to know.and what you don’t need to have in the copy. and decreased response. Reasons behind an expert’s rise to the top of her field. You are digging for the deeper reasons! Reasons people buy. To have written copy slanted against these pain relievers would have alienated the TA. I didn’t believe this was the proper approach. Real Life Tidbit One of my clients hired me to write copy for an arthritis product he had developed He was convinced that the copy should educate people about the fact that the (Major Brand Name Pain-Reliever) they were taking were ruining the linings of their stomachs. 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. She doesn‟t need anyone who is just a “testimonial collector”) If you‟re interviewing an Expert. are they pro or con regarding traditional medicine? This is all part of trying to determine the perfect customer…what they need to know…. Reasons a product was developed. When you’re doing interviews with customers. but decided to do some investigation during interviews with his existing customers. In this case. Figure out “where they’re at” The best way to handle a situation like this is to ask the customer. 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. Not just for their arthritis but for other things like headaches.approach you‟re taking with her customers. “Do you take pain medication?” 10 .
Then you can even bring it up with them in an impromptu manner. When you can ask specific questions of your market and get definite. In this case. “How would you feel about the fact that it‟s ruining the lining of your stomach”. thoughts and values. NOTES: 11 .you’re in the rare position to craft a message unique to their emotions. they still weren’t antidoctor. IF the perfect customer was already familiar with natural health. See how open or defensive they get. then I wouldn’t want a Medical Doctor endorsing the product. and was anti-medical establishment. I also found out that once they got to a naturopath. Extremely useful information. heartfelt answers -.
Gesture with your hands. 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.FOCUS 12 . FOCUS - FOCUS . if that‟s how you best communicate. wouldn‟t you say? Rather than focusing on taking notes. jot it down…but that’s the only reason you should need them. All of us have suffered through conversations where the other person was busy with tasks. Recording device for your phone There are subtle nuances and opportunities missed if you‟re scribbling down the conversation. 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. Extremely frustrating and distracting. …not conducive to conversational flow at all. With a real person. you should be directing your attention to the current conversation. Keep it as natural as possible.First things first… In order to be fully present during the interview. Do keep a pen and paper in front of you if there is a point made that you need to get back to. This is a real conversation. and using your other hand to scribble down notes. Picture that person in front of you.
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. 13 . During an interview. It shows you care about what they are saying. When we “label" others. What we‟ve done in those cases is project our own implications or judgments onto others. It ensures you are both on the same wavelength. and realized later that your words were misconstrued? If this happens during an interview. Have you ever said something. we shut down our ability to truly communicate with and see people for who they really are. 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. you‟ll be able to “feel” the disconnection. A small misinterpretation can lead to a breakdown during the interview. get into the habit of occasionally reiterating your own interpretation of what the person has said. It helps you pay attention. don't hesitate to reiterate or ask for an explanation. If you suspect this is happening during the interview. Take a moment to go back and clarify the statements made. or on the highway…we may think we‟re “surrounded by idiots” and our day is ruined. Authentically hearing the other person requires an open mind.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. Also. This may also be true in how you interpret their responses.
NOTES: 14 . Do them a favor.take time for yourself How often have you been talking to someone on the phone. stresses and forms of communication that should not be evaluated according to our skewed perceptions. only to realize that they‟re not fully present? Are you a bit annoyed when this happens? Of course! How do you suppose it feels to a person you‟re interviewing when you have to rush off the phone? Put yourself in their shoes. or flow. need or pain. Clear your calendar so there‟s nothing crowding the time you‟ve scheduled to interview them. Do whatever you need to clear your mind of any distractions.. Unless you have clarity going into the interview.. Empty your own emotional burden so you can be receptive to others.They have their own set of experiences. We‟ve all been the recipients of receiving understanding from others. Pass it along. or get some relaxation time before the call. Go for a walk. there can‟t be a genuine exchange. Leave your baggage out of the interview. to the expressions of desire. Get clear. meditate.
and listening to the recommended CDs will speed your progress toward becoming an expert interviewer Each interview can be broken down into simple steps. A skilled interviewer can ask anybody almost anything. These are outlined in an easy-to-follow manner. Learning to phrase questions in a conversational manner means a more fluid. These Secret Six Questions are the backbone of your interview process. informative response. Practice. By combining Secret Six Questions with Directive and Secondary Questions. After that… A section on Directive Questions and Secondary Questions is provided to help you improve the quality of the interview process. You‟re concerned with “How” to get an interview with an influential person? It‟s really not too difficult.Let’s Get Started! Don‟t expect to be perfect with your first few interviews. Or perhaps…. You are holding an excellent reference in your hands. Instantly. 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. and obtain a reasonable. Being an “interviewer” sets you apart. move on to the Secret Six Questions. Study it. All this and more will be spelled out for you. It's a matter of practicing the techniques laid out here. Breathe. Once you‟ve become familiar with it. Read it. 15 . Relax. Doing the exercises. more connected interview. For example… Learn how to gauge the Emotional Bank Account. you‟re on your way to achieving an Intimate Interview.
I was very attentive and truly wanted to know what he could tell me. It’s best to interview someone who you actually want to learn from. In fact. “I interview people. Something that you‟re comfortable with…that which you have knowledge in…something you find extremely interesting. Imagine this… You‟re speaking to someone and ask them what they do. It‟s a great way to network to the top.In seconds you‟ll have attained instant credibility in that person‟s eyes. Experts love to talk to people who want to listen – who are into what they‟re into. Then make a specific reference to information they‟ve presented that you like and what you now want to know more about. It‟s part of being an expert. I know I‟ll be better in the interview when I have my own “need to know”. and will have gained value and importance. It happens all the time. It‟s instant camaraderie. Why? Personally. Give them an authentic. Wouldn‟t you be curious about who they‟ve interviewed? What they do interviews for? 16 . That real-life authenticity shows that you are into it. They answer.” You‟d think twice about that person. wouldn‟t you? You‟d give them more attention. and that you‟re not just “doing an interview”. How do I Interview an Expert? Begin with your own niche. heartfelt compliment. They want to share their knowledge with others. the opposite was true. They‟ll feel appreciated. 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. especially those who are willing to drink it in. But I wasn‟t informed enough to be bored.
You’re In A Rare Position To Access Experts ARE YOU READY? Begin your journey to successful interviews by completing the following exercise and the rest contained in this manual. Each section that requires you to have a CD player and a corresponding disc will be noted at the beginning of each section/exercise. validated. 17 . and unique if you were asked to be interviewed? Of course! As An Interviewer.And… Would you feel special. They‟re structured to provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to achieve an Intimate Interview.
Disc 1 List the times on the recording as your answers. the time it occurred and especially… any insights that you may have. Now…Listen To Best-Of-The-Best #1 – Discs 2 and 3 (Optional Exercise . 4) What is the turning point and what "opportunity" did I seize as a result? Make note of what was said. 3) How did I respond to those shifts? List examples. (ie: 3:43) 1) Make a note of when I am "letting them talk.Set up: Disc 1 David and Karen Interview Exercises David and Karen Interviews .” 2) At what times you hear either of them “shift” in their emotions.Discs 4 and 5 Also) 18 .
Set up: Disc 6 Foby Interview Exercise Foby Interview. 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. the time* it occurred and especially… any insights you may have.looking for opportunities. Listen to the "momentum" of the call and look for..Disc 6 (pardon the clarity) Make note of what was said." 3) Times when you feel that I'm "exploring" -.. 1) Times you feel Foby "shift" -. Why did it happen? What do you notice happens after the shift in tone? 2) When am I "letting him talk.
You‟re placing a deposit in his Emotional Bank Account. What happens when you ask a strong question? …you get resistance. let him talk. In an interview. But if they‟re at a Level 3 and you ask the same question.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. the better the time to ask a strong question. people will fluctuate between some of the emotional states listed above. (Especially teenagers!) If they‟re at a Level 6. I've created this 7-point system to help you gauge exactly “where” your prospect is throughout the interview. it‟s an opportunity for you as an interviewer. chances are they won‟t respond at all. excited) a person is.completely connected and on topic Notice that even in everyday conversation. you can ask a more intimate (or probing) question and get an answer. Are they getting louder. their tone. monitor your subject‟s changing emotional states. Your Emotional Bank Account is going to drop. more intense? When someone is more “up” or excited. 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 -. 20 . If you have someone excited about a subject. even if it‟s not relevant to the copy or topic of the interview. Listen to their voice. The more emotional (enthusiastic.
You ask him a strong question. and you may be able to ask anything without fear of “going broke." Of course I wanted to hear the specifics…the exact dollar amount. you‟ll have to be discriminative about which question you ask first. It‟ll bring him down to a 5. But if you have him at a 7. At 4 or 5. In this case. You can follow up a strong question with another strong question. You may not get them back up to a 7 before the end of the call. A great way to build that Emotional Bank Account when you feel them drop. At this point. Monitor where they‟re at as far as their changing emotional states. you probably still can't ask the real deep digging questions. There are times when you‟ll need to "budget. He‟s just dropped down to a 3. don‟t count on getting an answer from him. but you‟ll get a great answer. ask that tough question. you risk using it all on just one question. “I want to go back to when you said ___________” “I have another question for you about that” but only after EBA has gone up. knowing if you run out of credit it may be the only one you get to ask. When they are at 2 or 3. 21 . don‟t even attempt the difficult questions. So use your points carefully. But if you know you only have so much credit. This could potentially be great information in the copy." You may want answers to several difficult questions. I just knew he was losing money on it. is to ask a question that brings them back to the spot where they were feeling good. but still not digging too deep emotionally. He‟s talkative.Let‟s say you have him at a 5. His initial response? "A lot of money. Other times everything will go extremely well." Real Life Tidbit I interviewed an inventor (Disc 1) who wasn’t very receptive to speaking with me. I wanted to know how much money it cost to come up with his invention. but you‟ll need to pay close attention to his tone before doing so.
This guy was not very willing to share anything. but would still be useful. I would not be able to ask more Digging questions. Ask those tough questions and lose the interview. I had to make a decision. my account was fragile.But after spending 30 minutes getting him up to a 6 on the emotional scale. In this situation. 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.
So what do you do now? Find a unique achievement that is important to them While listening. Why did I pursue this topic with him? Because I was having trouble connecting with him. interviewer second As well as building rapport. and to get him more involved in the conversation.rebuilding motorcycles. It‟s a struggle to keep it going. I agree with you… let me ask you"… These statements are affirmations. They create bridges from you to your subject. (this does not mean you‟re taking notes through the whole conversation) You may need this later on to get the interviewee more involved. Be a person first. Your Emotional Bank Account is depleting. But that doesn‟t always happen. It was an attempt to show my genuine interest. I found he had a talent for something that wouldn‟t resonate with his typically female market…. rather than just rattling off a list of questions. you‟ll get further in the interview by being authentically interested. You need to raise it up again. It worked. David had invented a product targeted for women. Your conversation and banter may be enough to carry it along…to clear the way for answers to deeper questions. Occasionally the interview is not progressing well. Look for connection. The excitement in his voice rose because I was interested in his unique achievement. This was important to him. 23 .Sustaining the Emotional Bank Account Keeping your subject emotionally involved with the conversation will sustain momentum. "Absolutely. It helps instill a conversational tone to the interview. jot down any points that could trigger energetic conversation. As an example.
It‟s important to stay connected with how they are feeling throughout the interview. And most importantly… Be Empathetic! You may need a few minutes to get into their frame of mind…and stay there.If you feel that the conversation isn‟t flowing . simply ask how he feels about what you‟re discussing. be certain that you are “clear” before beginning the interview. This is not about what YOU feel… it‟s about what HE feels.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. other than to listen to them…without judgment. This may reveal more potent information than anything you had planned to ask. NOTES: 24 . Your subject needs to feel that you have no outside agenda. By following these simple guidelines. You have taken the time to clear your thoughts.back off from the questions . your hectic schedule and any potential bias. Ask yourself…how is this particular person reacting to the questions you are asking or the areas being discussed? To reiterate an earlier point. you should generate and sustain an engaging conversation. To empathize with your subject.
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 -. Can you feel the difference? 25 . Listen to his response when I ask if we can switch the topic. He’s slipped a few points in the Emotional Bank Account. Time: Phrase: Time: Phrase: Time: Phrase: Time: Phrase: Time: Phrase: Set up Disc 12 – Robert Stover Interview Time: 29:00 – 30:20.completely connected and on topic 4) List times and phrases indicative of changes in the Emotional Bank Account. Robert states “I can’t share that one”. Note when the question is asked to divulge some information.
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. Let‟s face it. purchases. when you'd have preferred to talk. Most of us are lazy listeners.” or “I know exactly how you feel!” All well-intentioned of course.are only as good as our level of listening. When we listen automatically…. customers or experts. 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 even more stressed? Feeling like no one else really understands or cares.. or falls flat on its face. Would it be all that surprising to find out that the “automatic” listening we engage in leaves us feeling more isolated.Wisdom is the reward for a lifetime of listening . We‟re distracted.. or statements. We can‟t understand why “they” just can‟t do what they should. Our conversations are punctuated with interruptions. Kaufman THE POWER OF LISTENING IS KEY TO AN INTIMATE INTERVIEW As interviewers. But our interviews – the very basis of our marketing -. our best information comes from speaking to clients. We offer either/or solutions. D J. We dig for the “whys” for their motivations. challenges and statements like “If I were you…. but totally disempowering.. We can‟t wait to give our opinion.
Not an easy thing to do. combined with empathy. It‟s being tuned in to those little bits and pieces that are out-of-the-ordinary and original. Of course. There are numerous papers on the subject in the psychoanalytical field.not thinking about what you‟re going to say next. Intense Listening means leaving yourself behind…and focusing entirely on the other person – what HE‟s saying. what HE‟s feeling.What is it? Intense Listening! There‟s a BIG difference between “hearing” and Intense Listening. Hear people gripe about their relationships. Listening for the nuances. What exactly is Intense Listening? It‟s listening with intent to understand the other person‟s frame of reference and feelings. inflections and tone of voice. Karl Jung pushed his students to master the art. don‟t you? 27 . We go to a whole new level of total understanding of another person. Hear the neighbor‟s dog barking. This has spilled over into other areas of medicine and into the world of marketing. We hear things on the radio.” Think about this… We all know of one person we love to talk to. It‟s a tremendous deposit into another person‟s emotional bank account. Listen for what is not being said. You always seem to come away from the conversation feeling good. It means not judging -. Intense Listening. this isn‟t a new concept. Someone we can really open up with. But we‟re most likely not Listening. It‟s deeply therapeutic and healing and gives someone a way to air their issues. is using your ears. He states… “Empathetic Listening – listening/responding with both the heart and mind to understand the speaker‟s words intent and feelings. your eyes and your heart. “Hearing” is what we do every day. Freud emphasized it. 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.
This takes patience.Have you ever wondered why? It‟s a sure bet they‟re a great listener.is the goal of Intense Listening. Intense Listening isn’t a passive process To truly appreciate what the other person is saying. They had every ounce of your attention – you didn‟t argue or judge. right? When you‟re in that heightened state of listening. If you‟re thinking this is difficult. finish their sentences or offer advice.not just becoming familiar with them -.Make better choices .actively listening. your thoughts become more focused. Ask questions – dig for the deeper meaning – what are they really saying? Gaining true understanding of another person -. The two of you felt like the most important people in the world. undisturbed. Remember your first real love? You clung to every word as if it was gold. because you finally had someone who really listened – someone who really seemed to “get” you. It‟s much more difficult to go through the rest of your life without this skill. Your ability to quickly process information and respond with insightful questions and comments is magnified. Perhaps you wanted to keep on talking late into the night.Deepen intimacy . -. you need to be actively engaged. The depth of your concern. We don‟t interrupt. Feels good. Here‟s a partial list of the almost-instant changes you‟ll experience once you start to practice Intense Listening. you‟re only partly right.Generate respect and rapport 28 . practice and tremendous focused energy on your part.Improve relationships . understanding and empathy is also magnified when you‟re “in the zone”. You will… . That is Intense Listening.
I‟d steer the conversation back to Jennifer. People start out listening. The listening process is short-circuited. 29 . You don‟t offer your opinion. Each time. But we‟re not really Listening. Not an easy thing to do.” Honestly. They were starving to be heard. 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. “Hearing” is what we do every day.Create win-win situations . Hear people gripe about their relationships. what HE‟s feeling. Within 5 minutes. It means leaving yourself behind…and focusing entirely on the other person – what HE‟s saying. Because I was listening. It was apparent that they hadn‟t been able to completely “unload” their experiences. “Wow…I hadn‟t heard about that before. We see it all the time. I was engaged in a deep conversation with my friend. You‟re not expected to “fix” or “change” anything. I had 5 people vying for my attention before I knew it! They each had stories and perspectives to share. Hear the neighbor‟s dog barking. only to unhook and run with their own agenda. Another friend. who is a social worker. We hear things on the radio.Make more money The list could go on and on… There‟s a BIG difference between “hearing” and Intense Listening.not thinking about what you‟re going to say next. She was frustrated with the lack of support from the administration and was recounting some of her reasons for these frustrations. Jennifer. kept butting in with his own stories. Finally. Intense and empathetic listening is about opening up with total understanding of another person.. who works in the very same office. He even said. the other friend started listening to Jennifer as well. It means not judging -.Resolve conflicts more easily . 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.
focusing on listening helps both the talker and the listener remain calm. Think of who we listen to daily…spouses. salespeople. Preoccupations and distractions are part of our daily lives. affirmed. The core of the problem is identified much more quickly and the coolingdown process is able to occur. This pertains to business as well as relationships.We’re overloaded and overwhelmed We all lead very busy lives. Higher self-esteem and respect – An active listener gets along better with others. in turn. you‟re able to more clearly see the issues experienced by the other person. choose which messages are important and give those our full attention. Quicker conflict resolution – When dealing with an emotionally charged topic or crisis. etc. media. And. Fewer miscommunications – Better listening leads to better information. How can we possibly “listen” to every single message? We can‟t. their output and creativity levels increase.” 30 . The long-term results in possessing the skill of attentive listening will be felt in both your personal and professional life. yet subtle and gentle way of being. By listening attentively. The facts aren‟t misconstrued by your own interpretation. 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.next to survival -. friends.the greatest need of a human being is to be understood. Yet -. is perceived as confident and gathers more respect. and appreciated. strong. co-workers. How many people ever get to “finish” being heard? Just think of how allowing someone else to be heard will affect them. parents. validated. so we need to allow our minds to wander. demanding. elevate your influence because you‟re willing to HEAR them. 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. children. Or. Higher productivity – If people are encouraged to explain problems and start working through them.
31 . but the rewards are great. But how does he find out exactly what the customer is looking for? An effective interviewer seeks to understand a person‟s motivations. concerns and situations of his customer. 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.the professional sells the solution. One example of a Softening Statement is “Do you mind if I ask…” Revealing Questions – If you‟re listening. It also provides your interviewee with a specific direction to go. 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. Listening During Interviews When we truly listen during an interview. we‟re better able to use effective interviewing tools like… Directive Questions – This type of question will generate something of relevance from your subject…if it‟s based on what you‟re searching for. How many of us can… Let go of our ego long enough to understand another person‟s perspective -without feeling like we must defend our own position? Remain completely open to another person‟s experiences… without judgment? Leave ourselves and our hectic lives aside while listening to someone else? Become vulnerable to another person‟s emotions? It‟s not easy. experience and reasoning.These help lessen the abruptness of your questions.Intense listening is not for wimps It takes a great deal of security to go into a deep listening experience. Softening Statements . An amateur sells the product -. There‟s only one way to do this…Intense Listening.
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. it is to only indirectly reveal your sincere empathy. Here are a few types of responses we use when we’re not listening effectively… Warning – lecturing – withdrawing – sympathizing – blaming – moralizing – scolding -.It‟s all about viewing the world from another person‟s perspective. Think about this… It‟s much easier than having to live with the problems that result from not giving others you care about the respect they need and deserve. But not nearly as much time as backing up and trying to correct misunderstandings. The result? Any real communication ends. Otherwise. this type of listening takes time to develop. You‟re able to step inside another person‟s shoes -. There have been interviews with Experts where it was necessary for me to stop them. Try to cheer them up – You‟re not taking their emotional state seriously. they may interpret it on a deep level that you think they‟re unable to do so on their own. 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. we all do it. we‟re all guilty of responding in one or more of these ways. The purpose isn‟t for you to engage in your story. don‟t…or do it only sparingly. Granted. Change the subject .praising If we‟re honest. From now on. Keep it brief and not center-stage. Rather.see the world as he does. Using these types of responses is controlling and invasive.You should only do this if the original subject is concluded. it‟ll seem as if the subject isn‟t important to you. Those times are rare. Interrupt – As basic as this sounds. An acknowledgement of understanding should be stated briefly. 32 . though it very well may be to them.
Be attentive to the conversation. Instead they become stepping stones to synergy. Especially make note of any feelings they may have revealed. Our differences are no longer stumbling blocks to communication and progress. You‟ll have to work twice as hard to get them to feel comfortable again. 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. Here are some key points to becoming an effective and intense listener Monitor Your Own Level of Focus Let go of what you‟re going to say next. On the other hand… When we really deeply understand each other. 33 . Possible comments to make are… “If I understand you correctly.one wrong word can make them close up and feel embarrassed. Chances are slim you‟ll end up with the results you were hoping for. we open the door to creative solutions and alternatives. it will most likely be damaged.If you‟ve been able to establish any type of real connection. not to your responses. If you‟re stumbling around. Using the various types of questions at the right times is crucial. If you‟ve been able to get them to open up to you . be sure to practice your new listening skills before trying to use them in an important interview. WARNING: Practicing Before You Interview! Whatever you do. An Intense Listening situation really can be quite delicate…especially if you came together as strangers. or uncomfortable with this “new” type of listening… you risk permanently alienating the other person. This Secret Six Intimate Interviews program teaches you how to avoid this.
mmmmm. these phrases may seem ordinary… but in an active listening situation. This is the emotional content of the words.while the other person is still speaking.things that may be impacting your other senses. a phone ringing or a noisy environment. even your simple presence-confirming comments will carry more emotion." "How about that!" Be Aware Of Their Tonality Pay attention to their tone. but those must take a back seat during the Listening process." "Interesting. A television turned on." "You don't say.Use Presence-Confirming Statements At first glance. These are statements that show them you‟re listening. Clearly. Be Fully Present Instead of really listening. Don‟t let your thoughts drift – focus on the person who is speaking. “Uh huh” “Yes” “Really?" "Mm . a listening connection isn‟t possible when we aren‟t fully present. We all have 100 other things going on in our lives. speed and inflection. You‟re able to respond based on those nuances – what is REALLY being said . External distractions are things that you can see or hear . But if you are able to quiet your own “internal chatter”. They make them feel you‟re “with” them. This is not being fully present and respectful of the conversation. they become extremely valuable. most of us are busy thinking about how we are going to respond – what we‟re going to say next . You will use them naturally. How is this done? 34 .instead of just the “surface” material. you‟ll be able to pick up the little nuances of what is being said… and how they‟re saying it. When you‟re present and tuned in to their tonalities. because you‟re picking up on the subtleties.
It‟s easy to think that we already “know” what someone is going to say. Never Assume We all do it. Come From A Place Of Understanding Try to put yourself in their shoes. If you‟re doing the interview over the phone. Be certain you have their perspective…not yours. There have been times when.Concentrate On The Speaker Face the speaker. Typically this happened when I asked a follow-up question. It could be that we‟ve had a similar experience. what exactly did you mean by that?” IMPORTANT . forget about your own situation and feelings. allow them state their point fully. If you want to truly understand where the speaker is coming from. This will force you to focus. still be attentive to your body language. 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. Increase your efforts to focus on a clear understanding of what‟s being said. Try to see things from their perspective and frame of reference. Questions should be not have an interrogative feel to them." "What did you do then?" "You used the word ________. Whatever the case. 35 . Don‟t angle away from them. It‟s conveyed even if they can‟t see you. Instead. Sounds easy…but it takes practice. Your shoulders and your face should be “open” and facing them completely.Check Your Emotions Be aware of topics and things that trigger your emotions. they surprised me by taking it in a completely different direction. You‟ll receive the whole message and be able to respond in a more open manner. although I thought I knew how someone would answer. Use follow-up clarifying questions such as… "Tell me the whole story.
An individual will see right through you when you‟re not with them emotionally. Notice your responses . Always enter an interview as if you‟re getting together with your best friend. 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. What are your views? If someone has an opposing view. Be authentic. but be brief.For example… A lot of people are passionate about politics or religion. 36 . During An Interview… Seek first to understand – Take yourself out of the picture. whether or not you agree with their point of view. By accepting them.Are you evaluating the other person? Offering advice? These may be typical responses in communication…but an effective listener does none of this. you create a high Emotional Bank Account. perceptions and hot buttons. Have Them Understand That You Understand State your understanding. someone you can trust. Actively share in the speaker‟s efforts to improve your level of understanding. Don‟t allow your ego to get in the way of any valuable information you might obtain. If they feel that you‟re not being open (even subconsciously) they won‟t want to divulge or share any pertinent information. but rather acknowledge an incident that may have been similar to theirs. The Rewards of Intense Listening If you’re a copywriter… You‟ll be able to quickly get to your Target Audience‟s objections. someone who has something wonderful to tell you. 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.
37 . Just don’t be surprised at how many people want to talk to you! NOTES. word will spread that an interview by you is sure to generate positive exposure for them. Also. It‟s going to be rare to find even one. All relationships improve and understanding is achieved. In your business and personal life… There‟s nothing else like learning to truly listen. Try this experiment…. notice how many people are truly “listening”.If you’re an interviewer… You‟ll get fresh. Daring to be completely open to another person is powerful and instills trust. Then practice Intense Listening. provocative insights and comments from the Experts. The next time you‟re in a social situation.
These will be used along with the Secret Six Questions to get the most out of your interviews.What do we want to know? The hidden objections – the compelling story – the hidden desires… Before we start the Secret Six Techniques. 38 . “Were you speeding?” is a very direct question. direct question.” Eventually though. The first question. as well as “softens” the initial question. you will be trying to get to specific information. The Directive Question focuses in on your target. “Were you speeding? Are you in a hurry to get somewhere?” “Yes sir. But by adding the second question. It will generate something of relevance from your subject…if it‟s based on what you‟re searching for. that‟s a bit dramatic but you get the point. My wife is in the back seat having a baby. Avoid this at all costs. Imagine the same question. Disc 9. Correct? “Were you speeding?” “Yes sir. Disc 11 Directive Questions There are times when it‟s good to just let your subject talk – I call this letting him “dump. It also helps define the answer you‟re searching for – which in this case could be the “story” behind the action. Placing a Directive Question directly after your primary question also defines which direction the answer lies. you should first understand how to utilize Directive and Secondary Questions.” Pointed abrupt questions = surface answers. you typically give back a singular answer. If you‟re asked a single. Set up: Disc 8. “Are you in a hurry to get somewhere?” you soften it. It‟s rather intimidating when asked by itself.” Okay. Directive questions will help get you there. asked along with another.
A Directive Question leads them gently down the conversational path. The other person has several topics on her mind. It‟s based on what you‟re searching for.. With the second (or Directive) question.) Try this instead… Q: “How do you know that? Had you already tried the alternative?” Can you “feel” how the disconnecting pause was prevented? To reiterate… The Directive question complements the first question with something relevant to what you want to know. Q: “How do you know that?” A: “How do I know what?” (Natural flow of conversation is immediately halted. She‟ll be trying to guess which venue to go down. She‟s checking her watch.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. Something to think about. “What did he mean by that?” Let‟s assume you‟re in the middle of an interview. define it for your subject.. It‟s too abrupt and interrupts the flow of the conversation. Define it for your subject Don‟t allow them to go on blindly You define the conversation…in a natural manner 39 . Don‟t let them go on blindly. By stating a question…by itself…you will stop that thought process. It prevents the subject from having to pause …then think. slightly annoyed. Let‟s follow this as if in an actual interview…without a Directive question.
Listed are examples of questions followed by Directive questions found in the interview materials. pointed question. how do you apply it? Do you just kind of have your radar up that when you have this kind of…I’ll call it “fear” attention…are you better able to recognize that?” NOTES: 40 . why isn’t everybody choosing it? How do you know it’s a choice? Disc 9 . Excerpts: Disc 8 .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. what have you done. 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 .*Each of the Secret Six Question types can take on the form of a Directive Question. It‟s typically followed up immediately with at least one or two more directive questions.Robert Stover 27:20 “So now that you know this. You‟ll notice that very rarely do I ask one single. when you’ve gone into this big huge starving crowd with lots of competition? Have you essentially become another 1 in the pile. Brian.Brian Keith Voiles 10:45: “And so. Robert.
Maybe it‟s a curious inflection…or word choice…or you sense an underlying emotion. Many times you will want to follow-up on something interesting or provocative your subject just said. and their response surprises you. A: (goes into explanation of how a worker at a nursing home cut her finger on a wheelchair. You‟re noting what they‟ve said and how they‟ve said it. It may even trigger something in you. Example: Disc 1 Sanitizer Product Interviews 53:55 Primary Question: Tell me another story about someone that’s called the office. you used the word “painful” to describe _______…why did you use that particular word?” 41 . To use them effectively… Your “intuitive radar” must be up throughout the interview. Example: “Previously. You‟re tuned in to their responses. Trust your intuition.Set up Disc 1 Secondary Questions While Directive Questions are used to clarify your first question…Secondary questions can be described as Digging questions. 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. a gut feeling that this could lead to something interesting or useful. They were designed to direct your subject‟s focus towards something specific. That‟s a subconscious invitation to follow them down the rabbit hole… You‟ll have to decide whether or not you really want to go there. They‟ve tossed an intriguing comment or phrase your way. Perhaps answered your question with something totally off-topic.
I think my mom preferred having him gone. But I would be looking for something less destructive like: “I’m determined to be a success because my dad never was. This most likely will not include their traumatic childhood…UNLESS it directly pertains to your client‟s product. you may not want to pursue it. The above statement could be a piece of the client‟s Unique Selling Point. explain what you mean by that. The difference is. He‟s driven. I swore that would never happen to me. 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.. As an example: “My dad used to go down to the bar every night.“When you say ______.” Can you feel the difference? It’s emotion-driven. very talkative…and they‟ll go off-track. but not destructive. In fact his business went bankrupt when I was 7 years old.. Let‟s look at it from another point of view… If I had been interviewing my client. The person will become very comfortable. I really didn‟t want him to go there. and he ended working for my grandfather. I‟m searching for his/her reasons that they buy. 42 . If I‟m interviewing one of his customers. 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. During one such interview. I would want a bit of background. 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. He‟s motivated and this is part of the cause for it. Define that .” In this case. I really didn‟t want to go there. It took a couple of tries on my part to bring the conversation back to the subject at hand. Depending on the subject.
that’s something. I think my mom preferred having him gone. Ideally.. Now. Transitional sentences: Getting back to the ___________. could you explain that a bit more? I hope you won‟t mind. You start by acknowledging what they just said.” Bring it back on-topic. or use a transitional sentence to bring them back. I’d like to go back to the article you were telling me about…. 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. “Huh. Then you direct them back to the conversation you want to have.So. you used “___________” to describe _______…why that particular phrase? NOTES: 43 . how do you respond to an off-topic statement like… “My dad used to go down to the bar every night.” Do your best to make it as seamless as possible. Refer to a comment or word. use something they‟ve already stated for the direct tieback.
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 .
and the conversation should begin to develop a natural flow. Offer them an authentic compliment. The next step is getting into the Revealing Questions. start fishing in the smaller ponds. as well as allow you to hone your skills. at least for a short while. They need to feel that what they‟re telling you is of utmost importance. Persona Questions are the starting point to defining your subject. 46 . It goes without saying that your very real interest will elevate their willingness to speak freely. Your job is to really hear them. This helps build their confidence. Who are they not? What are some of their behaviors. or the goodwill you‟ve built with your subject. at this point. Knowing how to ask these questions and at what time provides your interview with great content. Then come the Questions for Emotional Material. start with the “lesser: experts. Once rapport has been established. They‟ll still provide you with great material. Begin your first “live” interview with your client‟s customers. lifestyles or patterns? By now.Overview of the Secret Six Questions Follow the natural. as well as guide the conversation. You‟ll become more familiar with the process. Digging Questions pave the way for emotion-driven responses. Once you feel ready to do a “real” interview. as well as recognize areas for improvement. Open the interview with Rapport-Building questions and feel your subject become more relaxed and open. your conversation should be occurring rather easily. If you‟re interviewing people for your own products. Who Should I Start With? I strongly suggest that you start with at least 6 interviews of friends and family. conversational progression of the interview with the Secret Six. more comfortable with your role as interviewer. the less influential ones. You may need to dip into your Emotional Bank Account. 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. the interview will naturally move into the Likeability and Trust questions. You‟re tuned in and listening to them.
Tip: Until you’ve gained a fair amount of experience. 47 . you will become a better interviewer in a shorter amount of time. This will ensure you get the material you’re looking for. by doing “extra” interviews early on. interview more people than necessary. Plus. you must be able to determine the best time to ask one of the questions from the Secret Six. NOTES: In order to do a great interview…an Intimate Interview.
Only the top 10% of copywriters ever actually dig this deep…and they generally do it on autopilot with no conscious idea of how it happens. deeper-than-surface material. Your questions must be asked at just the right time. but deeplyconnecting material comes from the greater depths. You can work with surface answers.Emotional It‟s not enough to just blurt out the question. 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”. Getting that richer. A comprehensive understanding of the Intimate Interview Process/Strategy will give you a decided advantage. 48 .Revealing Digging .Types of Secret Six Questions Rapport Building .Likeability and Trust Persona . When you have built up the “Emotional Bank Account” during the interview. otherwise you‟ll get a “surface” answer. You will… Know how to control the emotional tempo Recognize when and how to ask the right questions Unearth the deep. underlying reasons they buy or don‟t buy. your subject will feel safe enough to give you emotional. Without interviewing. deeper material is the whole purpose for the interview.
e-zines. you will have access to expert advice. extremely valuable insights and market definition. NOTES: 49 . It can take days and weeks to come up with enough content to create articles. you‟ll uncover the richest material necessary for great copy and product creation. Study and learn the various types of interview questions and their functions. By strategically positioning them within the flow of the interview. blog posts or e-books. you can give yourself license to delve a little deeper if it serves the purpose. But by using the Intimate Interview process. Tip: By positioning the interview as “Market Research”.Without interviewing.
Felt like_____________. As Well As Reflect Your Genuine Interest In Their Product/Service Building rapport may happen in a matter of moments. After you become more proficient and familiar with the purpose of these basic questions. How you_________. Said_______________. or may take 10 minutes. Have you ever… Wanted to___________. It all depends on your approach. Do you__________. as well as your subject‟s personality. Considered__________.Set up: Disc 13 The SECRET SIX Questions Foundational Questions To Get You Started… The following questions are in basic format. I want to know If______________. In this manner. you‟ll gain a clear and concise working knowledge of their purpose. Taking this time to put them at ease will provide great value through the remainder of the interview. If necessary. reference the Client – Customer – Expert Interview sections. 1) Rapport Building Questions These Questions Help Loosen Up Your Interviewee. Follow these up with a Directive Question to gain a more insightful answer. 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…. When you________. use a Secondary Question for further investigation. Can you_________. 50 .
Example: In an interview I did for a stock trader. 3) Persona Questions Your Radar Needs To Be “Up” In Order To Catch Inflections In Their Voice Which Indicate The Deeper Benefits or Key Points The purpose of Persona Questions is to look for material which creates resonance.Ask these general questions until you can feel a “flow” to the conversation. 2) Likeability and Trust Questions Begin To Form The Foundational Knowledge of Your Subject What do you most want people to know? What do you most want your customers to get from you? What does your product/service do like no other? What do you know that nobody else knows? Can you give a “before and after” example? How do you know that? –this is a BIGGIE. I asked his client… “When you say there’s a fortune to be made in trading. It could help uncover the Compelling Story. 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 . how do you know that? What were some of the indications?” His reply was used directly in my copy.
Tell me what you really like about _________. What you‟re trying to find out about your client. ask them. 52 . Example: In conducting interviews for an Arthritis product. That one persona could represent hundreds of people with similar goals and behavior patterns which would benefit from your product or service. product or service is…. I found that a good portion of the TA was living alone. thus more motivated to be self-reliant. there is a small set of personas…. 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. For each product. This will help define if they‟re part of the target market. After they have explained a pertinent “event”. or motivating them. Thinking.one of whom will be the primary focus for your copy. 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. Wanting to ________.We‟re hoping to find out what is triggering their purchase. “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. Attitudes and environments are significant.
ask… Is that a common experience for people? What is a not-so-common. 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.Reasons They Don’t Buy Exactly When They Buy Here are some questions you might ask a business owner or top salesman: Where do most of your sales come from? Why? What‟s your best-selling product? Why do you think that is? What do you find easiest to sell? Who is it easiest to sell to? Why is that? After they explain a product/benefit. but compelling result you see? Other Revealing Questions would be: How would you describe…… Why did you do it that way? What surprised you about the result? What kind of an experience was that for you personally? On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being Fantastic! and 1 being Awful. how would you have decided? What was wrong with that approach? 53 . Tip: There will be times when the line between Persona Questions and Revealing Questions is quite blurry 4) Revealing Questions Reasons They Buy -. how would you rate that experience for you personally? Given your preference.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.
If you had your preference. how would you.” Tune in to when the light “goes on” for them. 5) Digging Questions Open The Door For Emotional Material While digging for information.. Barging in like a news reporter and placing demands upon a person will likely end up with a door being slammed in your face. or their TA. rewarding material to better define and get to know your client. How did that decision strike you? What was your biggest frustration with. or a dial tone in your ear. If you could do that over again. how would you describe them? How do they come in contact with you?” 54 . When do they really “get it”? How did you get to this point? What was the first step in that process? How did you come to this conclusion/result? What‟s the #1 reason that ____________? What‟s the one thing that _____________? How did your life change…for the better? Examples of Questions along with Softeners and Directive Questions from some of my interviews: “Do you mind if I ask how much money you did lose?” “Who do you find are your customers? If you could describe your typical customer. Examples of qualifiers: “Please allow me to ask you…” “If you’d be so kind as to answer this….. That‟s why it‟s best to “soften” these questions.. 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. you‟ll most likely lower your emotional bank account..
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…. At this stage. Just go through the basic questions for me. with answering my basic questions on how the trades come in. if you will. Why do you think you feel/felt that way? Was it because of _____________? Key in on certain words or phrases. As an example.” “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.give me your presentation.” “Explain to me what you go thru on a daily basis…on a weekly basis…”. such as enthusiasm or concern. 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. when people use the word “especially”. ask… What do you mean by “especially”? When an emotion. 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.“Give me your quick rundown if I‟m a prospect of yours…. but don‟t stop there. ask… How did that make you feel? How do you know that on such an intimate level? 55 . be especially alert when they use an interesting word or phrase. is expressed. you‟ll get emotional material from some of the above questions. or add vocal emphasis. As if I‟m a new person. how I get started. and that type of information.
It’s the comfort level that has been achieved which allows an atmosphere of sharing. I sensed a loss of dignity with the ailment. when your emotional bank account is high. As an interviewer. but if you get the chance to do so. grab it. but it goes deeper. When you‟re reviewing your own recorded interviews. __________________(ex: I decided at an early age I wasn‟t going to be like that). When the Emotional Bank Account was high enough. Other potential questions What you just said. Work to bring out the emotion you’re sensing. Why do they think or feel a certain way? This will help to bring out those underlying emotions. it isn’t a specific question that triggers the emotional material. what exactly did you mean? At times. but they hadn’t expressed it verbally. It was “sensed”. This occurs because of your genuine interest in them. your subject may come back with “Absolutely!” Whatever comes next is gold. You‟re tuned in and really listening to them. So in your next interview. In my next interview. This question needs to be asked in an authentic manner. I wanted to find out. “Do you feel a loss of dignity from having arthritis?” BIG difference. do you have a sense of what they‟re feeling? You want to confirm this. I wanted to find out how emotional was it for the Target Audience. 56 .. 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. When in this situation. Example: During an interview with customers of an arthritis product. There will times when you‟ll hit one of your subject‟s hot buttons quite by accident. You’re allowing her to tell you instead of you telling her.This is an adaptation on “How do you know that?”. ask them.
” He expounds.Example: Disc 13 . I asked him if he knew why that was. Do you mind if I ask a few questions about your personal preferences?” Some basic personal questions to choose from: 1. Following are a few more personal questions that may be used. Reminder: Define your interview from the start as “Market Research”. What books are you reading now? 2. Here’s his response… “One of the problems these days. dependent upon the comfort level of the interviewee.to MP3…. Once the interviewee is comfortable.to videos…to movies…. If you could make one change in your life. We‟re getting to know the type of person that (“you” or “your client”) resonates with. and could do whatever you wanted to in those first four hours. what would that be? 3. I‟d like to ask a few of our market research questions. What's the most important lesson you've learned in life? 6. frustrated that people are on the information “highway”…taking in so much information to the point of inaction. This interview is an example of a sharing of ideas. If you woke up tomorrow.Alan Forrest Smith 56:00 Alan and I are discussing the lack of depth in much of today’s copy. what would that be? 5. introduce a few of the following questions (just pick a few) by saying… ”Now. opinions and concepts. Do you have a motto you follow in life? 4. Shaune. as opposed to asking a lot of questions. is that people have handed their brains over…to TV…to radio…to iPod…. What three words best describe you? NOTES: 57 .
WORKSHEET FOR THE SECRET SIX QUESTIONS Come up with 3 of your own questions in the following categories: RAPPORT BUILDING QUESTIONS 1) 2) 3) LIKEABILITY AND TRUST QUESTIONS 1) 2) 3) PERSONA QUESTIONS 1) 2) 3) 58 .Asking questions in a way that is conversational as opposed to a Q & A session is key to obtaining the very best material.
REVEALING QUESTIONS 1) 2) 3) DIGGING QUESTIONS 1) 2) 3) QUESTIONS FOR EMOTIONAL MATERIAL 1) 2) 3) 59 .
dig for background information as well as informative tidbits on their area of expertise. What is that person‟s history? How did they get to where they are now? What were their motivating factors to… Develop their product or service (Client) Try the product or service (Customer) Expand their knowledge in their chosen field (Expert) We’re looking for… Real Life Tidbits. In all interviews. With a Client. How did it develop? How is it different now? What was their life like before using this product or service? When interviewing an Expert. and the “Reason Why” However… The types of stories you want from each of them will be slightly different.. How did they develop their knowledge…and why? Be tuned in to the deeper emotional reasons for all of the above. For example. 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. you want “The Compelling Story”. and Experts. Get their history.. The Compelling Story. find what triggered the reasons to develop their product or service. their Customers. It must be solving a need or problem.Client – Customer – Expert interviews There are similarities in your approach to interviews with Clients. Find what that problem is. find out why they‟re using that product or service. What occurred in their lives that motivated them to… Try a product Develop a service 60 . The questions you ask will reflect these differences.
the rules change slightly. Be attentive to the “feel” of the various interviews on the CD’s as you’re listening to them. With experts. With Clients and Customers. NOTES: 61 .Want to share their knowledge Find that trigger point. the interviewer is the authority of sorts.
Find their past history… Sample Questions to Ask a Client Revealing . This has never been the case.“You just said that you‟d love to see your business triple within the next year. or things you’d like to improve about your business?” Revealing . what seems common to them may be extremely interesting to others. One of the easiest ways to find their story is to gently start digging into the background.So I’m wondering what led you to Interior Design?” Directive “It seems like you‟ve done a lot of things before Interior Design.” “I’d like to hear more about that…” Digging Directive - Digging Directive - Digging - Emotional .“What would you attribute your interest in ____________ to?” 62 . Your job is to find what makes them unique…sets them apart from the competition. I‟ve had clients who feel that they don’t have an interesting story. Is that a nagging thought for you? Secondary .“What things bother you. “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.Do you have this thing in your mind saying that there‟s something you should be doing?” Emotional .Interviewing a Client Your client is an expert in their own business. It comes down to finding their specific “reasons why”. what would it be?” “How would you describe your clientele? I‟m guessing they‟re somewhat affluent. In fact.
NOTES: 63 .Digging Directive - “Tell me about that. 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 . How do they feel it…say it…express it? Get it from their heart and soul. exactly. then why not?” “What specific benefits do they see in your competitor’s product? Digging - Even when you think you know the answer. “How do you know that on such an intimate level?” “How.“Why? If not. ask them.
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 _________. does that mean __________?” 65 Digging Directive - Digging - Digging - . 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…. Your ears should perk up when you hear them say. Be on the lookout for “odd” or “standout” words and phrases. With this type of interview. How did you come across (product or service). your primary focus will be on the “reasons why”. and what happened from there?” “Tell me a little bit more about that. allow them to feel your genuine concern and interest. “Absolutely!” or “Without a doubt!” These are stronger emotional statements. These are not your typical “It‟s a good product” answer. Their problem and the solution is your focus. Find out what‟s behind them.Interviewing Your Client’s Customer You‟ve been hired to interview your client‟s customers. Dig in. 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.
what was motivating you – on that day vs.“What else would you need to know?” 66 . 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 .“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 is the thing of which you’re most appreciative?” “What makes you the perfect customer for this product?” Digging - Digging - Revealing .“How do you know that? Directive “How do you know that this works better than XYZ product?” Emotional .“What would be another reason for you to try it?” “Have you tried a similar product in the past?” “What would prevent you from buying it?” Digging - Digging - Secondary .Emotional .“On the day that you bought the product.“What made you really need a solution?” “Have you referred the product to others?” “If so.“You say that with such certainty.” Directive “Why is that?” “Of all the things you can now do in your life (because of the problem being solved).
At the end of their reply. it‟s good to reiterate the point back to the interviewee. Make them feel their input is valuable. and the reply was short. ask… “If there was one more thing you‟d say to someone who was reluctant. and figured let’s try this and see. and for whatever reason they were reluctant to try it. what would that be?” Keep bringing it back When you‟ve asked a digging/tough question. 67 . 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. Your interview will be much richer for it. 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”. what would you say to them?” And.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 .
Experts love a great interviewer! Ask any expert about their favorite interview. but to heighten confidence as well. When you‟re able to create that experience. practice. No question about it.Read the manual again .Do the exercises in your “weak” areas .Listen to the CD’s . and you‟ll hear just how much they enjoyed it. It really is a memorable experience.Practice. record a few of your practice interviews and review them to find the areas you could improve upon. especially when you consider that you‟ll be using them throughout your whole life! When you do approach an expert. Not just to build your skills. I highly recommend you start with a few practice interviews. and their positive response from that interview.One of the questions I get asked the most is.Do the exercises . be enthusiastic. you will “know” that you have a great experience to offer. “How do I approach experts for interviews?” First let me say this… Once you know how to actually perform an Intimate Interview. as well as what you did well. practice!!! Also.Read this entire manual . You could also mention a person you just interviewed. here‟s their big “Reason Why”… 69 . To get this depth of understanding… . Most Experts Want To Be Interviewed! On top of the engaging experience you have to offer. It doesn‟t take a long time to acquire these skills. you‟ll have a confidence – a knowing – of what you have to offer. They‟ll “sense” that you‟re an above-average interviewer…someone that they want to be interviewed by.
They have something they want to spread the word about. ask others who they know in that particular field. a provocative comment or something “revealing”.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. they‟re always ready for free exposure. Leverage that relationship to score interviews. Simply put… You will offer others a piece of that expert‟s knowledge. In fact. I once saw a guy who simply brought a Camcorder to an event. so there is an “economic relationship”. 70 . I know because he interviewed me! Leverage Who You Know This is quite simple and straightforward. that‟ll usually do it. This is particularly true if the expert happens to currently be promoting something. In exchange. the expert gets introduced to a new audience. Whatever your topic or niche. At the very least. It‟s somewhat assumed that if you‟re there. He hung out in the hotel and used “chance meetings” to pull experts into an unused portion of the hotel restaurant to do video interviews. and an interview with helps them accomplish that goal. then you must be “somebody”. That‟s win-win! So if an expert feels it‟ll be a fun experience…an engaging interview…and they can get free exposure. No question about it. you have paid to be there. 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. You have paid to see them – they appreciate that – and are open to reciprocating if they can. Not to mention that they are in “share information” mode.
They can get you at least “second-tier” interviews. will endorse you to a top-tier expert. The points above are powerful. Once you‟ve done enough of them and created a couple of great pieces from them.com. so if they have something strong to say. especially when it comes to being provocative. 71 . Just perhaps not through the “typical” venues. based on the success of your interview. 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. Eventually one of them. you can start “where you‟re at”. 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. So. you‟ll be building your reputation as an interviewer. (these could be free to generate viral traffic. They want exposure. You can ask them who they might be able to introduce you to. they‟ll be more willing to “let it go”. in some cases you‟ll need to climb the ladder. Keep in mind… Sometimes the second-tier interviews are better. Not to mention that you may be able to get a second-tier expert to reveal something about a top-tier expert. After each “Intimate Interview” – when you know they‟ve enjoyed the experience – their Emotional Bank Account is at a high level.Start by explaining your project “I‟ve put up a website called _________. I‟ll be interviewing experts and offering the recordings. or other places where experts “hang out”? Here’s something else that works… I like to call it “Getting Scrappy”. Provocative and Revealing don‟t have to come from top-tier experts to “go viral”! What if you haven‟t gone to a seminar.
When I came across an item or statement that I appreciated. Getting experts. A dialogue would develop and before too long. You don‟t truly appreciate a good interview until you‟ve seen what else is out there. Your experts are most likely doing the same. or anyone for that matter.waiting to verify that she really didn‟t “need” to speak to me. Becoming proficient in the Intimate Interview process will raise you up to that level quite quickly.. I was able to get them on the phone for an interview. Still. 72 . These relationships have been leveraged for mutual benefit. You may encounter reluctance from experts I‟ve been on both sides of being the interviewer and the interviewee. you‟ll need to work to get the interview. I‟d be sure to email or call them to let them know. I‟d get a response. and I gladly agreed. A relationship was established due to the previous rapport that had been built. to hang up the phone after an interview knowing it was a mutually beneficial experience is key. A bad experience… A woman asked to interview me. 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. With an authentic desire to learn from others. Give them a reason to say “yes”.The best way to describe it is to show you how I‟ve done it. To me.just perched there -. She was a “taker” who had no interest in making the interview a win-win situation. I began buying their programs…getting on their mailing lists. She came to the interview with more than just a little arrogance. That single experience has made me much more cautious. We all profit from them. Most times. She reminded me of a vulture -. this was a door-opener. as there isn‟t a feeling of being “used”. Also they‟d leave the interview with a positive opinion which paved the way for future communication. Here‟s how it all began for me…. I wrapped up the interview and felt like I‟d been taken advantage of.
speak to someone who knows the expert – a secretary. If you don‟t do it well. What are some of their former occupations – hobbies – life experiences? Just a few simple facts are enough. You now have them paying attention to you and out of the “Here I go…another boring interview” mindset. At the same time. you may find some unique traits or interests of theirs. If you can tap into these early in the interview process. They may be able to give you some interesting tidbits about that expert.So if an expert hesitates when you offer to interview them. When I brought that up at the beginning of the interview. It got our interview off to a great start. a friend. 73 . As an example… I happened to learn that one of my clients was an avid animal rights activist. As we were getting ready to wrap up the interview. he delayed some real estate investors in order to spend more time in conversation with me. It clearly was a passion of his. Do the Research If at all possible. It‟s up to you to make it a thought-provoking and enjoyable experience for all involved. you‟ll lose stature. THAT is a sign of a connected Intimate Interview! By doing your homework. You want to keep some surprises for the interview. Be Fluid and Aware WARNING: An interview with a top-tier expert can make or break you. it‟ll get their engine running right away. I learned he was currently involved in a large campaign to end bullfighting. be sensitive to information which they may not have wanted to share. and I found his views highly interesting. etc…. The flip-side also holds true if you‟re able to pull off an engaging Intimate Interview. or could potentially be embarrassing. it‟s possible they‟ve had a bad interview – a bad experience.
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. Keep your ears tuned for the “language” they use.” If you become familiar with the common terms. Create a connection. your interview will flow much more smoothly. the questions. It‟s not the ideal situation but you can still make it work. Let‟s say that you‟re set up to interview a bass fishing expert – but you‟re not a bass fisherman. What do you do? You interview one or two bass fishermen first. “Shad. This may occasionally happen.. understanding and empathy for that Target Audience. and the nuances of the questions that they‟d love to ask an expert.bream…largemouth. 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 . You‟ll get to understand the struggles.
You‟ll be better in the interview when you have your own “need to know”. It can‟t help but show.” Do NOT interview when you‟re bored with a topic. Example: “I really love the model you use for creating viral SEO traffic. Allow experts to be the authority. Brian Keith Voiles.notice the more conversational tone we have. Give yourself some room to be pleasantly surprised by some aspects of their business or personality. 75 . It will be an intimate experience. The rapport and comfort level will come quickly.Interviewing the Experts It‟s best to interview experts in a niche that you are “into”. We're both going to learn something during this time. “I promise this will not be a lame Q & A session. but must have taken you a while to figure it out. When listening to my interviews with the Experts --Alan Forrest Smith. They‟re willing and eager to share insights on their chosen fields. because you‟re both passionate and knowledgeable on that particular subject. realize there‟s a big difference between being “in the know” and “knowing too much” about the person. 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. 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. How? When asking for an interview. but subtly let them know that you have your own knowledge in that area as well. It appears amazingly simple. Robert Stover and Trey Smith -. When doing research on the expert.
This can be done by using the Intimate Interviews techniques.there‟s a different flow to the conversation than when you‟re familiar with the in‟s and out‟s of it. So what does that mean as far as your interview? 76 . The sharing of ideas and perspective will be appreciated. There are experts in every niche with varying degrees of income. personally? Consider this… When you‟re brand new to a topic -.a newbie -. For example… A top horticulturist doesn‟t earn as much income as a professional athlete. What level are you at. canned presentation. not “How To Get Rich” We all know that success doesn‟t always mean money. become fluid and have an Expert interview lined up -.now what? Interview experts on their success. They‟re still considered an expert. 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. We need to give them promotional value in exchange for their time. Use those interviews as examples of using tone of voice to build momentum. Your authentic enthusiasm will ignite the conversation. take your tone about ½ notch higher than theirs. You’ve practiced.More importantly… These are subjects I can‟t get enough of myself! We already have established common ground before going into the interview. Also. Be sure to reflect enthusiasm in your voice when they‟ve said something you appreciate. Mirror their speech patterns and tone to build rapport In order to build or add momentum during the interview. The depth of the interview is a good reason why it‟s SO important to interview people in a niche you‟re interested in. There’s a perfect time to do an interview There are a few things to consider before you do an interview. we‟re looking for something deeper – more revealing than their standard. yet the extensive knowledge base is there.
and it was extremely difficult to break him out of his ingrained habit of providing “sound bites”. While they‟re speaking about something with which you‟re familiar. For instance. Tune into the tonality in the expert‟s voice. Many times. the result is something they‟ve never said before…new and provocative material. unless they‟re also just beginning in the same industry. you‟ll bore them to tears. Your ear becomes finely tuned to the interaction from the higher-level experts. He was running along full steam. You‟re now able to allow the experts to speak about something you may already know. You need to be at least one step ahead of their learning curve. You have a good working knowledge of the topic. Your level of knowledge rises significantly. your interviews become more finely tuned The more interviews you do on a topic. They‟ll quickly realize that your information isn‟t relative to them and move on.Take into account your audience – your listeners. Here‟s what happened to me… I interviewed a copywriting legend. 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. The basic material may be too low-level for them. Chances are they‟ve been allowed to run along the same track of patter. Be a detective. bring it back. 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. As you become experienced. Finally he finished his spiel and I was then able to get to the “real” conversation. Once you “hear” something that‟s different. disregarding my attempts to divert him. the more you learn. You should know more than your audience does Otherwise. You‟re looking for clues especially if you‟re well-prepared. . The great thing about this is that now you notice the subtleties. 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. 77 .
“So what do you think about________?” Self-deprecating comments Every once in a while. Such as… “Well. Getting that provocative comment Picking up on the inflection in their voice can take the interview in a whole new direction. She then said. “I suppose I‟m being a bit much. they‟ll be more wiling to give you what you want. A word of caution… You run the risk of being annoying if you don‟t frame your questions in a softening way…especially if it‟s a sensitive topic for them. Part of building the EBA is allowing them to feel as if these have been met.that it was “neurotic”. a self-taught intellectual expert made a comment on his excessive book-reading -.At the end. That allowed her license to feel free to be herself. For example. Bring up an opposing view without challenging them. but passionate. anybody listening to this is going to be wondering so I need to ask…. I turned that around and said that I didn‟t so much see it as neurotic. You can easily do this by asking a question such as. 78 . then stopped. After that point.” Do not challenge them. Do you see how that relieves them of feeling like they‟re being judged? The same goes for my interview with Karen. your interviewee will make a comment when they “catch” themselves expressing a trait or habit that others have labeled as unusual. (on one of the included CD‟s). Frame your question carefully.” I assured her that perhaps the rest of us should be as concerned as she was. She was starting to go off on her awareness of germs. Decide if it‟s one that you want to follow. “This has been most exciting. he happily told me. I love the way you interview!” The experts have needs Keep in mind that each expert has “promotional needs”. or the interview may be over very quickly.
. “Since most of the people listening to this are (entrepreneurs. refer to your list of back-up questions. You‟ve done some great work with _______. It‟s time to back it up. you can take the interview in another direction. In as gracious a way as possible. I‟d love to know more about that. but you can be prepared on how to deal with them. The Awkward Moments…how to handle them The occasional awkward moment is going to happen. If that doesn‟t work. You‟re thinking that this interview is dying. You‟ve gone into a place where they refuse to follow. In order to do so… Use a softening statement and a directive question that lets them know what you‟re doing. but allows for much richer interaction and communication. “Earlier you were saying _______ about _______. “Now I‟d like to take this in a different direction.. dog groomers) what could you tell them about ________?” 79 . The answers have been lame – short. The EBA is slipping. The interview isn’t going anywhere You have a feeling of dread. Perhaps your questions have caught them off-guard. You may not be able to avoid them completely. As long as it‟s not abrupt. Make a connection.This is what is meant by listening and picking up clues…intense listening with empathy. We‟re allowing people the freedom to speak without being judged. The last few questions have been dead-ends. These can be used at any time during the interview if you feel the energy level dropping.. Not only does it improve the interview.” Or even. 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. go back to an earlier topic that they were excited about. business owners.
The guard is down. I offered to pause the interview. In order for that sensitivity to be triggered. A feeling of refuge where it‟s ok to be more vulnerable. Taken them in a direction they don‟t want to go. They‟re connected. but he said “No. “Are you still there?” When he replied. Try to salvage what you can. There has to be an element of security in the environment you‟ve created during the interview. so I knew that I’d hit a nerve. go back to the topic that they were excited about. 80 . 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. You can either change your approach when you notice this happening.he went silent. What if they cry or get emotional? This is not planned. Then use a bridge from where you‟re at to a safer ground if necessary. I had an experience where I asked an expert about his motivation and drive… and if it was tied to a specific event in his past that we’d been discussing…. I asked.Hint: You can sense the interviewee’s discomfort when the answers start getting shorter. To handle this.40 minute into the interview…when the level of trust has been attained. You touched on a sensitive area in their lives. and can take you by surprise. A good interviewer constructs the safety net. Acknowledge the fact in a soft way. The time it happens is typically 30 .” He did bring himself out of it. just give me a moment. there has to have been some kind of “lowering of the wall”. Offer to pause. They’re annoyed… You caught them off-guard with a comment. or dig into the EBA if you feel there’s a real gem – a provocative statement – behind it. Your interviewee may get emotional. his voice was cracking. but the next few minutes were undeniably awkward. Keep in mind that it isn‟t your fault. There should be no regrets on either side.
don‟t assume you don‟t need to boost their confidence. By doing homework ahead of time. etc) Do your homework to show them you know “who” they are. What this means is that you can‟t be too casual at the start of the interview. The Expert isn’t familiar with a topic you bring up This can create a loss of momentum to the interview. others will take a bit more time. Once you realize it‟s a dead-end. Mr. you‟ll run across an expert who is quite taken with him or herself. Be respectful but still be natural. They also need to feel your genuine interest in what they have to say.. Refer to the Rapport-Building section. Ms. Be your authentic self. 81 . Ask them if you can call them by their first name. 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. Ask questions that show they have valuable information to share Begin the interview with easy questions. Generate questions for experts based on their area of expertise These will be very specific to them and their field of expertise. back off and take it another direction without making the expert feel inadequate. or if they‟d prefer their more formal title (Dr. Some people will ease into it quickly. you‟ll be able to avoid this type of landmine. Use humor only if it pertains.If your Expert has a large ego…little patience Occasionally.
A man of very high intelligence. The end result was to be a promotional marketing piece for his organization. it can turn into a verbal wrestling match…or a power struggle. Such as… Experience – What is something they‟ve changed Regrets . 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. It was like trying to stop a runaway train. Finally. Several times I tried.Let‟s say you‟re interviewing a women‟s soccer player. That got his attention. he was aggressively running through his own conversation. My initial attempts to back him up on a subject were useless…so I let him go. “HOLD ON!!!” and laughed. (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. 82 . The questions you‟ll be asking will vary from those you would ask a naturopath. But. My attempts to slow him down or divert his patter were largely being ignored. he was used to imposing his own pattern on any conversation. He wasn’t having any of it. Throughout the interview. Though these people are prime interviews.Something they wish they hadn‟t spent time on Perception – What does it really take? Advice – What are suggestions for a novice to speed up his learning curve? Ask questions with strategic intent! The Expert-Directed Interview You may come across a top-tier expert with a very strong agenda who‟s used to getting his or her way. the categories for these questions would be the same. Example: I interviewed a world-renown icon in the personal-development field. I yelled.
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. The following day. and he was trying to make the point that people tend to only remember the #1 person in any area. Example: I was interviewing a millionaire. Notes: 83 . Their EBA may not recover. Don’t steal their thunder.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. Save it for the end. I got an email from the expert’s marketing manager… “(Expert) was very impressed about the depth of the interview . etc. and I knew the answer.” I was able to construct a win-win situation out of something that was clearly headed down a one-way street.The interview turned out well and was enjoyed by both of us. He asked me who the #2 golfer in the world was.
Strategic Questions For Experts Modify these to fit the type of individual and niche. and how have you learned from them? What wouldn‟t you do now that you did before? Was there a turning point decision for you? What was that? What circumstances helped create the opportunity? At start-up. 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. Team them up with a Directive or Secondary question to get the best material. Make them more specific. Experience What have you done to get to where you are now? Have you taken missteps along the way. what would you do differently? Have you gambled and lost? What did you learn? Is there something you wish you had done that you didn‟t? What was your most expensive mistake? Create 3 of your own Regrets questions you‟d like to ask an expert? 1) 2) 3) 84 .
what is 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 .Perception What does it really take? What has been easier/more difficult than you expected? Besides perseverance. learning time management skills and ______. what would you say is the number one personality trait to develop? What‟s the one thing you seemed to “just figure out” as you went along? What changes do you foresee in ______? How does your vision differ from other people‟s? Create 3 of your own Perception questions you‟d like to ask an expert 1) 2) 3) Advice What would be your number one shortcut? What is your advice to a novice hoping to reduce the learning curve? Besides setting goals. positive thinking and never quitting.
Other questions to ask an expert “In all successes there are circumstances – there are variables. Fine-tune them for your expert. What does it take to be a success (indirect compliment) The best decision you‟ve made A decision you wish you hadn‟t made. 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 . learning time management skills and ________.what is the best activity/thing you would recommend we get better at?” Use the following as idea-generators for questions along with Directive Questions and Secondary Questions.
The Predetermined Set-Up This is a sometimes risky strategy to use. comment or topic. but can yield provocative material. The Emotional Bank Account comes into play. As usual. 3. not to stir up hard feelings. 5. 87 . Predetermine the provocative comment. Remember to look for associated “like” provocative comments – gold nugget – or results from another connected person who you‟ve interviewed. Steps to Follow 1. Prepare the predetermined question or comment. From that. Look for an authentic compliment or other relevant reference. There‟s a risk that the EBA may not recover fully from asking a Set-Up question. Your accompanying question or comment is a complement to the EBA. The warmer it is.***SPECIAL NOTE: This is a highly advanced technique – not to be used early in your interviewing experience. The Predetermined Set-Up is the ULTIMATE payoff –but you should be skilled at asking the basic Digging Questions before attempting this. the better chance of a response. in that it is a form of the Set-Up as well. Keep in mind that this is done with the best of intentions. Though there‟s no guarantee that we‟ll get a response…it just gives us a bit more of an edge if it is to happen. 6. Think of something you want to know – ask – or get out of the interview. work at increasing EBA. 2. Look for the opportunity to ask your predetermined question/comment. you‟re going to ask – say – do – something early in the interview that will potentially create an opportunity. You‟re going to know ahead of time what it is you‟d like to have happen. 4. The Digging Questions will lower the EBA.. The Set-Up is all about warming up the predetermined question. It‟ll take courage to ask this type of question. so you need to be comfortable and familiar with how to increase it as well. gold nugget or outcome.
I go into this interview knowing that if I can get the EBA high enough. Be conscious about seizing the opportunity. as well as negative. It won‟t be “cold”. Once again. I‟m just looking for an unusual. atypical comment that will make this a rare interview. I‟ll ask this expert what he things about the comments (both positive and negative) To set this up. 88 . The best outcome will be that the expert makes a positive comment then make a negative one as well. I was given the opportunity to interview the expert who was spoken negatively about. this creates a tremendous opportunity for a provocative moment…as well as an opportunity to dramatically lower the EBA.” This enables you to refer back to that person at some point. Example #1 When you first get on the phone. If you‟d like for your name to be passed along to them for a future interview. I had an expert say something positive. Then. I‟ll only do this if it‟s done good-naturedly…not to start a fight. Example #3 I interviewed a millionaire with a diverse portfolio of ventures. Again. use the Intimate Interview process to build 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. Example #2 During an interview. I‟ll reference the positive comment -. Of course. you‟ve already made mention of their name. I‟ll make a comment about the positive comment made. For example. As it turned out. The greatest jewel I can get from him is a stock tip. “I notice that you were working with _____ on the ______ project. Don‟t be too attached to it. Reference that person in passing.then gracefully also bring up the negative comment.7. about another expert. I was intrigued by the way the two of you _________. This should flow within the interview as seamlessly as possible and not be out of sync. This will be done early in the interview.
Also. I compliment him on his success in the stock market. enjoyable and help create lasting relationships. The EBA needs to be high at the right time. (if it‟s true) I‟ll bring up that another expert gave me a similar piece of information. This helps it seem more “normal” to pass along this type of stock tip. I‟ve helped him warm up to the idea. This is information he holds tightly. (a mild form of peer pressure) I‟ll only ask him if it works or flows into the rest of the interview. 89 . I‟ll be looking for opportunities. and wouldn‟t normally give away.Early in the interview. My authentic compliment early in the interview makes my question not so “cold”. Most of all. By bringing up the topic early. It’ll be memorable. to ask specifically what was the last stock he invested in. keep it a win-win situation. During the interview. It‟s going to pause him whenever I do ask him. once the EBA is high. Consider that it‟s already been “framed” as a normal occurrence by another expert.
EXPERT INTERVIEW WORKSHEET What questions could you ask an expert? 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 90 .
Unless you have anything else to add. Have an exit strategy in place. In essence. Thank you. One more opinion. Thanks again. Thanks for shining a light on how we can do it different. Then wrap it up. I truly appreciate your insights. You‟ve been absolutely brilliant! Thank you for your time. Feel free to use any variation of these options: I want to thank you very much. One more very valuable insight. as I would have expected. Any thought that comes to you. There‟s one more story. 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. I really appreciate your time.Wrapping Up The Interview Become proficient with graciously closing the interview. Specifically for a client or client’s customer: I‟m going to send an email to you. Thank you!” I wouldn‟t mind if you would read through my site…if you have something nice to say about me. 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 was good. feel free to email it on over. I‟d love to include it. an interview that may have appeared to be over still has ten minutes left. This last ten minutes might contain one of the richest pieces of material from the interview 91 . I‟m grateful for the opportunity to have spoken to you and shared some insights.
He began churning out great content. NOTES: 92 . Needing to regroup my thoughts. I was certain the interview was over. you’ll hear what is most likely one of the most challenging interviews I’ve ever done. “Is there anything else?” The effect was immediate.Example: On Disc 1. I asked the subject. Just asking that single question elevated the material in the interview from “substantial” to “rich and rewarding”. Even the smallest piece of information was tough to extract.
You need to allow people to speak – be themselves. the woman actually said. What she was really saying was “Are you comfortable with this conversation?” What did I do? I supported her opinion – made her right. Your goal at this point is to… Raise their comfort level Reaffirm that there is value to their information Raise their confidence levels by displaying their knowledge Begin your understanding of their mindset Create connection . Set a Comfortable Tone Begin the interview with easy questions. you’re conducting a lame Question and Answer session You‟ll be able to provide great interviews by embedding these techniques. I just think you‟re very aware and the rest of us should be as well. I said. right? But just being a willing ear isn‟t enough. others will take a bit more time. They also need to feel your genuine interest in what they have to say.Set up: Disc 8 Effective Interview Techniques If you’re not using these techniques. Refer to the Rapport-Building section. 93 . In one particular interview. don’t assume that this isn’t a necessary step. “I don‟t think you‟re a freak at all. “You might think I‟m a freak…” when speaking about her concern with germs. Some people will ease into it quickly.” What happened next was… She dumped even more and really got on my side. Be Present This sounds simple enough.When interviewing an Expert.
it‟s likely that you‟ve dug into uncharted territory. it keeps the interview from feeling rushed. 94 . then what they‟re really saying is _________. clarify it. You may want to throw in a "huh" or a "very good" if the silence feels off. You should anticipate lulls during the interview. magnify it. It‟s all about… Really listening Reading between the lines Knowing how to direct it Realize that when he/she says ___________. it‟s okay to ask a question here just for the sake of keeping it going. If it‟s something positive. Long Pauses Pauses are part of natural conversation. Especially if was a potent comment. Pauses allow them the opportunity to verbalize their emotions and reactions. You‟ll see that pauses will happen and that it's fine. Again.If you can learn how to interpret people…become aware…then you‟ll be successful. These lapses may occur for a number of reasons. This method often releases an avalanche of emotional or deeper hindsight material. But that's it. be sure you‟re not communicating anything other than empathy. If it‟s an objection. Something may be brewing on the other end. but may seem uncomfortable during an interview. For the times when it‟s moving slow. The interviewee may need time to find the necessary descriptions. Also. A little bit of silence from you can encourage them to explore more indepth emotions or insight. this gives the person a chance to breathe…let something surface…give their thoughts a chance to see the light of day. 90% of the time. Give them as much as 15 . overcome it If it‟s a question. Let it go back into silence.30 seconds. But that being said… Once you start unearthing information in an interview. Getting comfortable with this comes with experience.
but you‟re sensitive to the fact that a blunt question would dampen their enthusiasm. 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. Example: “That’s well said! I’m anxious to hear.Go ahead -.allow yourself that few seconds of silence to collect your own thoughts -. That said an interview should rarely be longer than an hour and to many of these pauses can be detrimental. if you’re willing…and if you’re not I completely understand. or practice. You said that…” Ask for permission and soften those tougher questions. 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…. Softening Statements and Getting Permission Let‟s say you have your interview subject into the flow of the conversation. that is touted as being good that you don’t agree with” <long pause> Then “huh” <another pause> “Well.” I said: “Go! That’s a favorite topic of mine…” It gives Brian license to dump at this point. <struggles> Even the formula stuff I hate. You will be surprised how quickly an interview can open up if you just "hang in there long enough.to come back with another question. This is the time to use softening statements. Robert. They‟re willing to give up good information. (then hopefully says) I could rail on swiping a bit. 95 . Example: Disc 8 – Brian Keith Voiles 15:50Thought provoking question: “Is there a copywriting principle. you know we’re all in different places.
I let him run with it though. 96 . He was giving me great information. It really would need to be softened even more. When I first asked him. I’m going to dig here a bit. then brought the question up again. Stay in the flow. The interview was going exceptionally well. but not his definition of the “online sales funnel”. Example: I interviewed a designer who had been on HGTV. but I knew he would feel a bit “pushed”. If you get the change at the end of the interview to ask more pointed questions. This was definitely going to lower his Emotional Bank account. not an interrogation. Doing so would have derailed the interview into a venue that wasn’t pertinent to me. don‟t abruptly insert topics you may have on your list. and I was fine not to bring up that detail within the conversation. 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. “I know this is redundant. do so. I wanted to hear (in his own words) how he would describe the sales funnel for an online business. “Please be patient with me. As long as you‟re getting good material.Keep in mind this is a strategic conversation. He still did feel a bit pushed. Do you mind?” I got permission to ask one last time. I hope you won’t mind. Get what you‟re going to get. he went off on a tangent about Internet Marketing in general – didn’t really answer my question. but what he gave me was gold! Keep it Flowing Having the interview “flow” is extremely important. I had to try a third time. 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. Real Life Tidbit During an interview with a prospective customer for an Internet Marketing program..
I got too excited when he finally divulged a valuable piece of information. but you don‟t allow her the opportunity. You‟ll build up a large amount of emotional credit. They‟re “dumping” information on you. Allow them to get it out of their system. Referring back to my interview with David the inventor. “I love you Canadians!” after asking where I lived. she may lead every question back to that issue. or responses to their comments. Reserved. Tip: While your interviewee is “dumping” their initial baggage. Yet on the other hand. you‟ll need to adapt to the person you‟re speaking with.Be aware of your own “reactions” Not everyone you interview will have the same personality. his secretary proved to be the emotional type. intelligent confirmations. Still. they‟ll have a renewed sense of appreciation for you when you gently guide them back into the interview. Once it‟s passed. With her. you may want to write a note as to the point that you really wanted to capture so it isn’t forgotten. I was able to express appropriate enthusiasm. analytical people prefer low-key. and listen attentively. I knew we were back on solid ground when he said. In fact. which may or may not be relevant to the interview. the following section applies directly to interviewees just like her. It‟s possible that very few people are willing to listen to her on a particular subject. 97 . you need to find the balance between the unloading of their ideas and emotions. His emotional energy went down. Getting too excited while interviewing this type of person can make them uncomfortable. You‟ll figure out what surface stuff can be let go. and he backed up a step. and transitioning them back into the conversation. If you have a subject who wants to expound on a subject. Allow them to lead…for a while Some people will take a subject and run with it. You‟re just waiting to get to that richer substance. Let her run with it. For this reason. then the real material comes out. Because of this. I worked at getting him back with me by going back into an intellectual mode. It made him uncomfortable.
a bit of empathy will help ease them into a secure comfort level. Make them feel comfortable in your presence. and a new realization of what is important to the target market. Tune in to what people are NOT saying. 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. not yours. which may not be an easy thing to do.Help them achieve confidence To reiterate. feelings and emotional hot buttons. Dig for the deeper meaning. caring way. Explore their tangents. Follow your instincts. Be cognizant of what questions to ask during the various levels of emotion. view people without judgment. Let them know that they are more aware than the average person in regards to that particular issue and pay attention to what is important. that matters. This is best accomplished by leaving your own predispositions aside. "You must think I'm crazy/a bit much/too extreme or something’s wrong with me. After all. Do it in a genuine. follow up on it. Show your interest and validate their emotions. Dig deeper on abstract statements If a statement is made that is interesting or unique." Again. 98 . There may be instances during an interview when you can express this. This type of exploration may lead to a bigger picture. They may state something like.
. Pause. Could you fill in the blank for me? Unlike my competitors we do not ___________. and gently assure your subject that what they have to offer is valuable.” What your client says at this point most likely will be “surface” material. With “Not” questions. You may even already know what they‟re going to say.. as well as help frame questions. you can drive a point home. it indirectly suggests that Product B is inferior because it doesn‟t have the same qualities. 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. This type of response is what naturally 99 . I talk about “Not Statements” used in copy. You don't ___________ or ___________.. give them time. the reader is told directly that there is a difference between Product A and Product B. Wait for them to respond so they can take it in and then bring back what was “organic” for them. With a “Not” statement. “Not” questions aren‟t typical in most interviews. and they are silent. during an interview with a client you may want to say something like…. “Let's do this. “Not” questions are a powerful way to gain valuable insights.Advanced Intimate Interview Techniques “NOT” Questions Find the compelling story – motivating desires – hidden objections. Your subject will most likely pause and think before answering. so it may help to get a unique and provocative answer. As an example. More importantly. So. 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. In my Indirect Persuasion piece.. I apply the same principle for interviewing.
Real Life Tidbits Provide Priceless Details Once the flow of the conversation has been established. look for opportunities to prompt them. you may ask the person for stories regarding their experiences. but not expressing. Don’t fall into the trap of feeling like you always have to ask questions. go up or down steps.?” If they agree. Dig Deeper To Hit That Nerve If you‟re sensing a benefit or emotional hot button. people are more likely to reveal subtle “little details” in the framework of a story. “Well. would you say that…. In a friendly. They had to rely on others to open jars.comes up for them -. This ties into the emotional bank account of that person. ask a second question to dig deeper. 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. In interviews with arthritis sufferers. “How did it feel when you got hurt?” was asked. a glimpse into their world. or even get in and out of the bath. The content of this interview was far richer than if the vague. 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. Instead of imparting basic information. 100 . And it‟s these details that will make your writing more honest and real. Not to mention the endless hassles with the insurance company. If they‟re ready to just take it and go. a better “feel” for where they‟re coming from. This type of question is specific if you‟re bringing up a difficult topic. but they‟re not getting to it.it‟s what is important to them – that‟s what they need to talk about. I sensed a loss of dignity as the common thread. trying to evoke a loss they‟re experiencing. You want to evoke those deeper emotions. Stories can give you so much valuable information…Real-life tidbits. questioning voice ask.
Truly rich material. I sensed he‟d have a positive response. I asked (after getting their Emotional Bank Accounts quite high). If you can feel your credit level dropping because you are probing deeply. Q: “If you don’t mind. your subject will pause.” The Emotional Bank Account just experienced a drop. you may have no credit left to probe in another direction. I recently interviewed Master Copywriter Terry Dean. can you tell me how much money you lost on this venture?” A: <pause> ”…a lot. and a topic-specific testimonial from him.This emotion wasn‟t openly expressed. The end result was that I did get feedback. “So. And think. tell me three things that people say about you.” “If you were to define what you do in one sentence. Ask For Specific Numbers Another thing I like to do is ask for a specific number of things. but I knew it was there. 101 . but I softened the question so he‟d feel comfortable answering even if the response wasn‟t so positive. In these interviews. “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. I wanted to know what it was. Keep in mind how each question affects your Emotional Bank Account. I was searching for genuine feedback. original answer. They‟ll come back to you with a thoughtful. keep in mind that if you keep going. Some questions will prove uncomfortable for your subject. He‟d purchased my Best of the Best program. and I knew he‟d have an opinion of me as a coach/teacher. what would it be?” At this point. As another example. and phrased it as such.
At this point, you'll need to decide if you should back off and explore something else which may be more comfortable for them. Don’t Allow Vague Answers Be on the lookout for vagueness in your interviewee‟s replies. “Dr. Miller really helped my dog‟s arthritis.” This is a signal that your questions or conversation aren‟t specific enough. It‟s also a golden opportunity to find out what‟s lying below the surface. Ask a more direct follow-up question such as, “What signs of arthritis did your dog exhibit? How is that different now?” …or even better… ”Can you give me 3 symptoms of your dog‟s arthritis?” Appreciate the answers given. Let your interviewee know that you‟re attentive and their input is extremely worthwhile. Listen with genuine, authentic concern. You may “bring it back” to the topic 2-3 more times to get to the real answer. Phrases to use in instances like this may be, “Please forgive me for being redundant, but I‟d like to clarify _______.” “I know I‟ve already asked this, but _____________”
An Interview is NOT a Question and Answer Period… It’s An Intimate Experience!
ADVANCED INTERVIEWING TECHNIQUES WORKSHEET
List 3 benefits of doing an Intimate Interview For the interviewer 1)
For the interviewee 1)
Preparing For The Interview
Warm up-call/set up time If at all possible, call them yourself to set up a scheduled time as a preinterview strategy. Real life tidbit David, the inventor, was not my client. He was the inventor of the product that my client was distributing. My client felt like he’d already taken up too much of the David’s time, and didn’t want me to bother him. I felt it was indeed necessary to speak to David directly, but my client wanted to ask the questions himself. At this point, I realized my relationship with my client was still very fragile. Instead of pushing him, I carefully worded this statement, “Here are a couple of key questions to ask David. But it would be even better if I had 10-15 minutes with him.” In this manner, I was agreeing to go along with his request, but also indirectly letting him know that I could do a much better job for him if I had direct access to the inventor. My client got the opportunity to look over a couple of key questions. Then he comes back and says, "Shaune, I'm going to be at the office, can you do the interview with David?" You bet. I called David’s office at the appointed time and asked his receptionist to connect me to him. David answers, and I say, “Hi David. It’s Shaune.” …silence….. He had no idea of who I was and the reason for my call. I caught him off-guard. He wasn't ready. He wasn't "on." On the Emotional Bank Account scale of 1 to 7, I was starting at a -3. If I had called David‟s office prior to the appointed interview time, we would have begun on a much better note.
In this case. most likely on their website or promotional materials. 105 . Often. What information are you trying to find? Be specific. Don‟t get in the middle of this. When interviewing your client's customers. they may be even more forthcoming. Your client has already built a relationship with this person – let HIM make the agreement.) Ask that payment be made AFTER the interview. (I recommend $50. Arrange compensation (if necessary) If interviewing customers for a client. Have your client set up the agreement ahead of time. for a 30-60 minute call. but can provide valuable insight. put some time into setting it up. 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. or equivalent in product. 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. Find out why he selected them to be interviewed. Preparation for an interview is essential. most of your interviewees won‟t be “paid” for their services. paying in advance dilutes the enticement. You may find it easier to get an “OK” to use their signatures and testimonials. people have already spent the money by the time you do the interview and thus the value is already gone. If you are interviewing a business owner or product developer. Define your own goals for the interview. Be especially tuned in to areas where you can start digging for information you are looking for. This might only take 5-10 minutes to read. with the client paying for it in most cases. To do this. there should already be some copy material available. try to get some background information on the person you‟re about to interview. ask your client for a little background information on them.Prepare/Research Whenever possible. there are a few necessary steps to you‟ll want to follow. and willing to cooperate. They‟re doing it as a favor of sorts. The truth is.
Call them. Don‟t take such a statement literally. and ask for a good time to talk. Also. find out what their schedule is like. this is (your name). Ease them into the conversation. I'm flexible!" I cringed. At their work.After your client has provided you with the names and phone numbers of people to interview. What do you enjoy about your job? 3. What's your occupation? 2. "Oh. 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. 106 . He said you‟d be willing to speak to me regarding your experience with his company.” Keep the questions simple… 1. call and set up times with these people. and her response was. If it's a choice between interviewing them… a. XYZ Cleaning. On their cell phone. B is the next-preferred option. Real life tidbit I just got off the phone with one of my client's staff members who called back to arrange an interview. be sure to introduce yourself properly. Snyder and XYZ Cleaning Company. 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. When you call. Don't expect them to be immediately available. Try to cater to their schedule. Give them specifics such as the potential length of the interview. and let them know on whose behalf you‟re calling. At their home in the evening… Obviously C is the best choice. c. b. and the types of questions you may be asking. Something to the effect of: “Hi. Give your full name. I asked which time was good for her. Get an exact time and day that would work best for them. I‟m calling on behalf of Mr.
Asking for more sources Listen to see if there are other key people mentioned that you could interview. You may not hear back from the person right away to set up a time for the interview. After several attempts. and would every few days call back with 107 . Leave your phone number in case their schedule changes. a client will mention another person who may have a better view on the matter. as we all do. You‟re asking for their opinions. put it off. Often. Follow-Up Leave your phone number and email. Persist in getting the interview It happens. There are no right or wrong answers. Or they may even know of another client who has a great story.Encourage them. If you think you only need two interviews. They may intend to return your call. Ask your client for more people to interview than you really need. move onto another person to interview. Her memory wasn't the best. It‟s not a test. call again. After that. Not everyone will be amenable to donating their time for this purpose. in case they think of anything else to share. Give people 48 hours to respond. ask if it‟s still a good time to talk. One of my coaching students interviewed a 65 year-old lady (customer of his client). In most cases. Even when you call at the appointed time. You can always go through the process of interviewing. they probably have other things going on. and forget about it. Taking a few minutes with this step before the actual interview will help it proceed much more smoothly. ask for three leads. This doesn‟t mean that they‟re not willing to speak to you. Reassure them you want to know when they come up with new or different information. and then decide if you really need that third person.
it should be a rewarding experience for everyone involved. I hope it was productive for you and your clients as well. At the very least. She'd be at home. get their email address and send them a “thank you” for their time.more information. Always good stories. Also. these secondary insights can prove worthwhile. Instead. recall more use tidbits. especially if you‟ve done your job and established rapport. Learn how to do an interview that will prompt your subject to thank you for it! Actual Email from an Interviewee: Hi Shaune. Trish 108 . (Oprah…Barbara Walters…Shaune Clarke…) and I really enjoyed our talk. In that email. Thanks for a lively and enriching experience. which made it all the more worthwhile for me. you‟ll have more questions upon reviewing your interviews afterwards. They‟ll never deny you that information. Many times. and call. Don’t have just a Q & A session. All the best. You are a very talented interviewer. ask the person how they prefer to be contacted in the event you have a few more questions. 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 mentioned to Allen that I had a few revelations about what makes me tick. I wanted to thank you for the interview Wednesday evening. At the end of the interview.
. Shaune writes and teaches No-Hype Ad Copy. guide the prospect to a buying decision. yet powerfully. empathy and Indirect Persuasion TM to sell.” Write Down Your Three Most Pressing Questions About Interviewing.com 109 . Years as a talk show host have given Shaune a unique appreciation for human nature and what moves people to respond.com Copywriters interested in advanced coaching should visit www. He uses his interviewing skills to uncover the hidden emotions that trigger prospects to buy. He says… “I prefer to use the power of connection.DynamicResponseMarketing.NewCopySecrets.com Shaune Clarke is… A Canadian talk show host turned marketing consultant and advertising copywriter. www. Call Shaune. Rather than creating resistance and „closing‟ you can respectfully. and He’ll Answer Them For You… Toll Free 1-866-486-4884 Or Email him at Shaune@DynamicResponseMarketing..My "New Copy Secrets" Newsletter and "Maximum Website Profits” Checklist Are Available For FREE at.
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