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

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

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Shaune Clarke – Shaune@DynamicResponseMarketing.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

Instead. focus on being empathetic. 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. Ask a member of the Target Audience and they‟ll tell you just about anything.” Who exactly IS your Target Audience (TA)? Allow me to explain who it‟s not…. You‟re evaluating the potential selling features for the Target Audience. a good listener. and he thinks the Target Audience will be Chiropractors.perceptions. refrain from offering advice. 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. Give the individual‟s message your full attention… Provide the time and space to merely express themselves Direct your attention so that they feel understood Feel what‟s going on for them…not you During an interview it‟s your job to get them to the place where they trust you.it‟s not that…. “It‟s not this…. 8 .Here‟s a great preliminary exercise: The next time someone is “venting” to you. The bad experiences they‟ve had…hidden objections… Why do they use the product or service…. Well. It‟s not the portion of the market that you‟re targeting. 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.. The information will also enable you to define and make “Not” statements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They‟re structured to provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to achieve an Intimate Interview. 17 . validated.And… Would you feel special. 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. and unique if you were asked to be interviewed? Of course! As An Interviewer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Listed are examples of questions followed by Directive questions found in the interview materials. It‟s typically followed up immediately with at least one or two more directive questions. what have you done.Robert Stover 27:20 “So now that you know this. when you’ve gone into this big huge starving crowd with lots of competition? Have you essentially become another 1 in the pile. pointed question. 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. You‟ll notice that very rarely do I ask one single. how do you apply it? Do you just kind of have your radar up that when you have this kind of…I’ll call it “fear” attention…are you better able to recognize that?” NOTES: 40 . Robert. 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. Brian.Brian Keith Voiles 10:45: “And so. why isn’t everybody choosing it? How do you know it’s a choice? Disc 9 .

You‟re tuned in to their responses. You‟re noting what they‟ve said and how they‟ve said it. Example: “Previously. They were designed to direct your subject‟s focus towards something specific. A: (goes into explanation of how a worker at a nursing home cut her finger on a wheelchair. Example: Disc 1 Sanitizer Product Interviews 53:55 Primary Question: Tell me another story about someone that’s called the office. Maybe it‟s a curious inflection…or word choice…or you sense an underlying emotion. It may even trigger something in you. a gut feeling that this could lead to something interesting or useful. They‟ve tossed an intriguing comment or phrase your way. and their response surprises you. The finger got infected and the worker died three days later from a flesh-eating bacteria) Secondary Question: So she had picked up something from that wheelchair? Listen for times when you‟ve asked them something. Perhaps answered your question with something totally off-topic. Trust your intuition. That‟s a subconscious invitation to follow them down the rabbit hole… You‟ll have to decide whether or not you really want to go there. Many times you will want to follow-up on something interesting or provocative your subject just said. 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.Set up Disc 1 Secondary Questions While Directive Questions are used to clarify your first question…Secondary questions can be described as Digging questions.

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

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

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 .

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

by doing “extra” interviews early on. interview more people than necessary. Plus. This will ensure you get the material you’re looking for. 47 . you will become a better interviewer in a shorter amount of time.Tip: Until you’ve gained a fair amount of experience. you must be able to determine the best time to ask one of the questions from the Secret Six. NOTES: In order to do a great interview…an Intimate 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. 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”. underlying reasons they buy or don‟t buy. A comprehensive understanding of the Intimate Interview Process/Strategy will give you a decided advantage.Revealing Digging .Types of Secret Six Questions Rapport Building . Getting that richer. Your questions must be asked at just the right time. Without interviewing. deeper-than-surface material. When you have built up the “Emotional Bank Account” during the interview. 48 . You can work with surface answers. but deeplyconnecting material comes from the greater depths.Emotional It‟s not enough to just blurt out the question. This makes the timing of “when” the questions are asked very critical. Only the top 10% of copywriters ever actually dig this deep…and they generally do it on autopilot with no conscious idea of how it happens. your subject will feel safe enough to give you emotional.Likeability and Trust Persona . deeper material is the whole purpose for the interview.

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

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

It could help uncover the Compelling Story. 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. how do you know that? What were some of the indications?” His reply was used directly in my copy. You‟re trying to find a common thread of the persona of the Target Audience A Persona Question will identify behavior patterns such as… Definition of a Persona Question: Identifies behavior patterns such as… Why do they make decisions about certain products How does the product fit into the flow of their day Why are they using the product in the first place Does it fulfill a goal they have Does it alleviate a problem Does it improve their lives 51 . 2) Likeability and Trust Questions Begin To Form The Foundational Knowledge of Your Subject What do you most want people to know? What do you most want your customers to get from you? What does your product/service do like no other? What do you know that nobody else knows? Can you give a “before and after” example? How do you know that? –this is a BIGGIE. I asked his client… “When you say there’s a fortune to be made in trading. Example: In an interview I did for a stock trader.Ask these general questions until you can feel a “flow” to the conversation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

” If you become familiar with the common terms. What do you do? You interview one or two bass fishermen first.bream…largemouth. your interview will flow much more smoothly. understanding and empathy for that Target Audience.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. the questions. 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 . 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. You‟ll get to understand the struggles. and the nuances of the questions that they‟d love to ask an expert. Keep your ears tuned for the “language” they use. Create a connection. “Shad. This may occasionally happen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. 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 . Make them more specific. Team them up with a Directive or Secondary question to get the best material. what is something creative you did to lower costs? What steps have you take to achieve ___? How did you know to do that? Create 3 of your own Experience questions you‟d like to ask an expert 1) 2) 3) Regret Looking back.Strategic Questions For Experts Modify these to fit the type of individual and niche.

learning time management skills and ______. positive thinking and never quitting. what would you say is the number one personality trait to develop? What‟s the one thing you seemed to “just figure out” as you went along? What changes do you foresee in ______? How does your vision differ from other people‟s? Create 3 of your own Perception questions you‟d like to ask an expert 1) 2) 3) Advice What would be your number one shortcut? What is your advice to a novice hoping to reduce the learning curve? Besides setting goals.Perception What does it really take? What has been easier/more difficult than you expected? Besides perseverance. what is the best activity/thing you would recommend we get better at? Create 3 of your own Advice questions you‟d like to ask an expert 1) 2) 3) 85 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

I asked the subject. I was certain the interview was over. Needing to regroup my thoughts.Example: On Disc 1. Even the smallest piece of information was tough to extract. 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. He began churning out great content. NOTES: 92 . Just asking that single question elevated the material in the interview from “substantial” to “rich and rewarding”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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



For the interviewee 1)




Preparing For The Interview
Warm up-call/set up time If at all possible, call them yourself to set up a scheduled time as a preinterview strategy. Real life tidbit David, the inventor, was not my client. He was the inventor of the product that my client was distributing. My client felt like he’d already taken up too much of the David’s time, and didn’t want me to bother him. I felt it was indeed necessary to speak to David directly, but my client wanted to ask the questions himself. At this point, I realized my relationship with my client was still very fragile. Instead of pushing him, I carefully worded this statement, “Here are a couple of key questions to ask David. But it would be even better if I had 10-15 minutes with him.” In this manner, I was agreeing to go along with his request, but also indirectly letting him know that I could do a much better job for him if I had direct access to the inventor. My client got the opportunity to look over a couple of key questions. Then he comes back and says, "Shaune, I'm going to be at the office, can you do the interview with David?" You bet. I called David’s office at the appointed time and asked his receptionist to connect me to him. David answers, and I say, “Hi David. It’s Shaune.” …silence….. He had no idea of who I was and the reason for my call. I caught him off-guard. He wasn't ready. He wasn't "on." On the Emotional Bank Account scale of 1 to 7, I was starting at a -3. If I had called David‟s office prior to the appointed interview time, we would have begun on a much better note.


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

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

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

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

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

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