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The Secret Six™
And The Power Of Intimate Interviews
The Art And Mastery Of The Intimate Interview Turning the Art of the Intimate Interview into a Service Reasons to do Intimate Interviews First Things First - Equipment To Get the Most from an Intimate Interview Let’s Get Started Worksheet –Intimate Interview Exercise Seven Point Emotional Bank Account Sustaining the Emotional Bank Account Worksheet – Seven point Emotional Bank Account The Power of Listening Directive Questions Secondary Questions Worksheet – Directive and Secondary Questions Overview of Secret Six Questions Types of Secret Six Questions The Secret Six Questions Rapport-Building Questions Likeability and Trust Questions Persona Questions Revealing Questions Digging Questions Emotional Questions Worksheet – Secret Six Questions Client – Customer – Expert Interviews Interviewing a Client Worksheet – Client Interview Interviewing Your Client’s Customer Worksheet – Customer Interview 3 6 8 12 13 15 18 20 23 25 26 38 41 44 46 48 50 50 51 51 53 54 55 58 60 62 64 65 68
Approaching Experts Interviewing Experts Strategic Questions for Experts The Predetermined Set-Up Worksheet – Expert Interview Wrapping up the Interview Effective Interview Techniques Long pauses Softening Statements Allow them to lead Dig deeper Advanced Interview Techniques Worksheet – Advanced Interview Techniques Preparing for the Interview
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Shaune Clarke – Shaune@DynamicResponseMarketing.com
When is an interview not a Q & A session? When it’s an Intimate Interview!
The Art and Mastery Of The Intimate Interview
An Intimate Interview is not merely a matter of asking the right questions at the right time… It‟s FEELING what and when to ask.
You Do Not Want Just… “An Interview” You Want INTIMATE INTERVIEWS…
. Who will benefit? Literally everyone. Copywriters…Internet Marketers…Writers...Business Owners…the list goes on and on. If there is one skill that will improve your business, interviewing is it! As an example…
If You’re An Internet Marketer, a single interview can bring….
Increased viral traffic Powerful SEO traffic Article content creation Increased trust, offline and online Added credibility Potential JV opportunities and list exposure
Get provocative comments Give a new or different perspective Create original content Get the interviewee excited
A well-done Intimate Interview is your surest way to develop a Viral Marketing Piece. You‟ll be able to create a “buzz… “You should hear what _____ said about ______!”
THIS IS… The One Skill That Can Benefit Every Part Of Your Online Marketing.
If You’re a Copywriter or Write Copy For Your Business…
Intimate Interviews will help you uncover… Hidden reasons the target audience will buy Hidden reasons the target audience won‟t buy Deep emotional triggers you can‟t find any other way The hidden objections, perceptions and hot buttons And also… Cut your research time by half Trigger your subconscious mind – eliciting your best material Become connected and passionate about the person, product or service . Know that getting “there” is the key to effortless, emotion-driven, multidimensional copy. Copy that feels right, feels believable… Copy that has emotion, strength and clarity.
THIS IS… Copywriting Mastery!
Intimate Interviews also improve client relationships by increasing trust, likeability, respect and value. Imagine pulling off “The Winner”… Envision being successful because of it.
If You’re a Business Owner or Professional…
You have valuable knowledge that others will pay money to obtain. You also have colleagues and associates with knowledge. Information Marketing is a Billion dollar industry. You are in a position to use your knowledge, experience and contacts to tap into it. Through interviewing you can quickly create high-quality, in-demand information products – both written and audio. To create your own product all you have to do is have a colleague or staff member go through the program with you. They interview you and… You interview other colleagues and experts. This begins to collect the necessary information for… Blog posts Emails Newsletters Articles A Manual Even… Your Own Book. With a little editing, your interviews become audio information products.
THIS IS… The Best Way To Leverage Your Assets -- Your Knowledge -- Your Experience -- Your Contacts.
she now has an excellent pass-around product. Turn your interviews into promotional tools. Here's what she got for hiring me: Two 30 minute interviews Provocative. 6 . 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. 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 -. as well as shared with friends and family. The banter of an interview is excellent for holding attention -. making for an excellent sales tool. email me at Shaune@DynamicResponseMarketing.com or call toll-free 866-486-4884. people can listen to it in the car…or while they‟re on the go. 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. It increases the chances that it‟ll get listened to. The interview is provocative. With careful editing.In this case the first interview was richer but there were a few great points that came out in the second interview as well. I‟m sometimes hired to interview others in order to create their own selfpromotional pieces. 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.again. I just did this for a multi-faith minister.
That doesn‟t work if you want to get to the deeper objections. It‟s a tool. You will gain access to the real issues. 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. you can accomplish them in a relatively short period of time…if you ingrain these techniques. Your goal is to ingrain these techniques. so they become natural and fluid. or even your friends and family. For example. 7 . Dig for the answers. desires and motivations of your clients. You see.No matter your goals with interviewing. study and practice are essential. perceptions and hot buttons. not the spot of coffee on the kitchen floor. are you annoyed with your spouse because they spilled coffee. Forget about running down a list of questions. It begins with you…. Interviewing requires being tuned in to this. But like any technique. Doing just one Intimate Interview a week will make a world of difference in your business…and it‟s fun! You Won't Master This Overnight In these pages you'll find interview techniques and the secret strategies I‟ve used for years to extract potent emotional and useful information. The next time you react emotionally to something (like getting angry) ask yourself “Why am I reacting in this way?” You‟ll realize that the minor annoyances are usually masking a deeper issue. interviewing is not a passive form of listening. But like any new skill. your target market. 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. Other people are approaching their own issues from their own perspectives. studying and ingraining are essential. With that realization…. It‟s being tuned in to what people are “not” saying. Take a few moments to figure out what‟s really at the root of your annoyance. It‟s active participation.
Ask a member of the Target Audience and they‟ll tell you just about anything. Well. focus on being empathetic.it‟s not that…. yes and no. It‟s not the piece of the market you FEEL you should target (that TA specifically is most likely to buy from you anyway) This is best illustrated with an example – Let‟s just say that you have a client with a program to market to alternative health doctors. “It‟s not this….perceptions. Give the individual‟s message your full attention… Provide the time and space to merely express themselves Direct your attention so that they feel understood Feel what‟s going on for them…not you During an interview it‟s your job to get them to the place where they trust you. It‟s not the portion of the market that you‟re targeting. refrain from offering advice.Here‟s a great preliminary exercise: The next time someone is “venting” to you.. You‟ll be able to use these interviews to help your client sell more of her products and services by defining the qualities that have resonance with that particular market. Instead. and he thinks the Target Audience will be Chiropractors. 8 . You‟re evaluating the potential selling features for the Target Audience.” Who exactly IS your Target Audience (TA)? Allow me to explain who it‟s not…. The information will also enable you to define and make “Not” statements. The bad experiences they‟ve had…hidden objections… Why do they use the product or service…. 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. a good listener.
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. the first thing you do is qualify them as part of the Target Audience. If you‟re interviewing a client . (Your client should be informed that this is the 9 . their perspectives. This leaves the interviewee much more open to providing a testimonial than giving you “an interview”. 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. Define your presentation for that 2% of the market and forget about the 98% that are not going to buy no matter what. You want to dig into their knowledge. If you’re interviewing prominent people to develop your own e-books or articles. it‟s only 1% of the market. Perhaps we could increase that from 1% to 2%. 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.Your real Target Audience is the Chiropractor who will actually be LIKELY to buy from you. the same philosophy holds true. Most of the times. We don‟t want to miss any of the TA.
To have written copy slanted against these pain relievers would have alienated the TA. 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. What differing perspectives do they have? How did they get to be where they are now? Why do they do what they do? The techniques of Intimate Interviewing will work in any type of situation. She doesn‟t need anyone who is just a “testimonial collector”) If you‟re interviewing an Expert. 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. are they pro or con regarding traditional medicine? This is all part of trying to determine the perfect customer…what they need to know….approach you‟re taking with her customers. Reasons behind an expert’s rise to the top of her field. I didn’t believe this was the proper approach.and what you don’t need to have in the copy. figure out what other people would love to know. In this case. but decided to do some investigation during interviews with his existing customers. and decreased response. You are digging for the deeper reasons! Reasons people buy. 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. “Do you take pain medication?” 10 . When you’re doing interviews with customers. Reasons a product was developed.
“How would you feel about the fact that it‟s ruining the lining of your stomach”. and was anti-medical establishment. NOTES: 11 . thoughts and values. then I wouldn’t want a Medical Doctor endorsing the product. In this case.you’re in the rare position to craft a message unique to their emotions. heartfelt answers -. they still weren’t antidoctor.Then you can even bring it up with them in an impromptu manner. I also found out that once they got to a naturopath. See how open or defensive they get. Extremely useful information. IF the perfect customer was already familiar with natural health. When you can ask specific questions of your market and get definite.
Do keep a pen and paper in front of you if there is a point made that you need to get back to. jot it down…but that’s the only reason you should need them. All of us have suffered through conversations where the other person was busy with tasks. Extremely frustrating and distracting. 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. if that‟s how you best communicate. wouldn‟t you say? Rather than focusing on taking notes. you should be directing your attention to the current conversation. and using your other hand to scribble down notes. Picture that person in front of you. This is a real conversation.First things first… In order to be fully present during the interview. 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. Recording device for your phone There are subtle nuances and opportunities missed if you‟re scribbling down the conversation. FOCUS - FOCUS . Keep it as natural as possible. …not conducive to conversational flow at all. With a real person.FOCUS 12 . Gesture with your hands.
Authentically hearing the other person requires an open mind. 13 . get into the habit of occasionally reiterating your own interpretation of what the person has said. A small misinterpretation can lead to a breakdown during the interview. don't hesitate to reiterate or ask for an explanation. and realized later that your words were misconstrued? If this happens during an interview. Think about this…how many times during the course of each day do we make decisions about other people? When someone cuts in front of us in the grocery store. What we‟ve done in those cases is project our own implications or judgments onto others. Take a moment to go back and clarify the statements made. It ensures you are both on the same wavelength. 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. we shut down our ability to truly communicate with and see people for who they really are. put aside your own judgments. you‟ll be able to “feel” the disconnection. It helps you pay attention. Have you ever said something. It shows you care about what they are saying. If you suspect this is happening during the interview. Also. During an interview.To Get The Most From An Intimate Interview Clear Concise Communication How you think the interviewee understood one of your questions may be quite different from how they actually processed it. or on the highway…we may think we‟re “surrounded by idiots” and our day is ruined. When we “label" others. This may also be true in how you interpret their responses.
or get some relaxation time before the call. Do whatever you need to clear your mind of any distractions. or flow. Empty your own emotional burden so you can be receptive to others. stresses and forms of communication that should not be evaluated according to our skewed perceptions. meditate. need or pain. 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. NOTES: 14 . Clear your calendar so there‟s nothing crowding the time you‟ve scheduled to interview them.. there can‟t be a genuine exchange. Do them a favor. Unless you have clarity going into the interview. We‟ve all been the recipients of receiving understanding from others. Pass it along. to the expressions of desire. Leave your baggage out of the interview.take time for yourself How often have you been talking to someone on the phone. Get clear. Go for a walk.They have their own set of experiences..
you‟re on your way to achieving an Intimate Interview. After that… A section on Directive Questions and Secondary Questions is provided to help you improve the quality of the interview process. Relax. You are holding an excellent reference in your hands. Practice. All this and more will be spelled out for you. These are outlined in an easy-to-follow manner. A skilled interviewer can ask anybody almost anything. It's a matter of practicing the techniques laid out here. 15 . Breathe. You‟re concerned with “How” to get an interview with an influential person? It‟s really not too difficult. informative response. Learning to phrase questions in a conversational manner means a more fluid. By combining Secret Six Questions with Directive and Secondary Questions. Read it. These Secret Six Questions are the backbone of your interview process. Doing the exercises. move on to the Secret Six Questions. Just say these four powerful words… “Can I interview you?” It‟s an outstanding door-opener! There IS no faster way to gain access to the experts you admire. For example… Learn how to gauge the Emotional Bank Account. Or perhaps…. and listening to the recommended CDs will speed your progress toward becoming an expert interviewer Each interview can be broken down into simple steps. Instantly. more connected interview. Being an “interviewer” sets you apart. Once you‟ve become familiar with it. Study it.Let’s Get Started! Don‟t expect to be perfect with your first few interviews. and obtain a reasonable.
wouldn‟t you? You‟d give them more attention.” You‟d think twice about that person. It’s best to interview someone who you actually want to learn from. Why? Personally. It‟s instant camaraderie. They answer. Give them an authentic. I was very attentive and truly wanted to know what he could tell me. They‟ll feel appreciated. “I interview people. the opposite was true. It‟s part of being an expert. heartfelt compliment. and that you‟re not just “doing an interview”.In seconds you‟ll have attained instant credibility in that person‟s eyes. Then make a specific reference to information they‟ve presented that you like and what you now want to know more about. It‟s a great way to network to the top. But I wasn‟t informed enough to be bored. Experts love to talk to people who want to listen – who are into what they‟re into. especially those who are willing to drink it in. In fact. Something that you‟re comfortable with…that which you have knowledge in…something you find extremely interesting. Imagine this… You‟re speaking to someone and ask them what they do. They want to share their knowledge with others. Wouldn‟t you be curious about who they‟ve interviewed? What they do interviews for? 16 . How do I Interview an Expert? Begin with your own niche. and will have gained value and importance. As in the interview with Trey Smith (Disc 10) – I wanted to know for myself – I had enough knowledge to carry on an intelligent and informed conversation and ask good questions. That real-life authenticity shows that you are into it. It happens all the time. I know I‟ll be better in the interview when I have my own “need to know”.
They‟re structured to provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to achieve an Intimate Interview.And… Would you feel special. and unique if you were asked to be interviewed? Of course! As An Interviewer. validated. Each section that requires you to have a CD player and a corresponding disc will be noted at the beginning of each section/exercise. 17 . You’re In A Rare Position To Access Experts ARE YOU READY? Begin your journey to successful interviews by completing the following exercise and the rest contained in this manual.
the time it occurred and especially… any insights that you may have.” 2) At what times you hear either of them “shift” in their emotions. (ie: 3:43) 1) Make a note of when I am "letting them talk.Discs 4 and 5 Also) 18 . 3) How did I respond to those shifts? List examples. 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 . 4) What is the turning point and what "opportunity" did I seize as a result? Make note of what was said.Disc 1 List the times on the recording as your answers.
Disc 6 (pardon the clarity) Make note of what was said.looking for opportunities. 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. 1) Times you feel Foby "shift" -. 4) What do you feel is the "Pivotal Moment" in the Interview? Now…Listen To The Foby Interview Coaching Call – Disc 7 19 .. Listen to the "momentum" of the call and look for.." 3) Times when you feel that I'm "exploring" -. the time* it occurred and especially… any insights you may have.Set up: Disc 6 Foby Interview Exercise Foby Interview.
the better the time to ask a strong question. The more emotional (enthusiastic. Your Emotional Bank Account is going to drop. Listen to their voice. (Especially teenagers!) If they‟re at a Level 6. their tone. monitor your subject‟s changing emotional states. In an interview.The previous exercises prepared you to identify… The Seven Point Emotional Bank Account The Emotional Bank Account refers to the level of interest and involvement from the person you‟re interviewing. If you have someone excited about a subject. What happens when you ask a strong question? …you get resistance. more intense? When someone is more “up” or excited. people will fluctuate between some of the emotional states listed above. 20 . 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 -. let him talk. it‟s an opportunity for you as an interviewer.completely connected and on topic Notice that even in everyday conversation. you can ask a more intimate (or probing) question and get an answer. I've created this 7-point system to help you gauge exactly “where” your prospect is throughout the interview. even if it‟s not relevant to the copy or topic of the interview. You‟re placing a deposit in his Emotional Bank Account. Are they getting louder. excited) a person is. But if they‟re at a Level 3 and you ask the same question. chances are they won‟t respond at all.
He‟s just dropped down to a 3. In this case. “I want to go back to when you said ___________” “I have another question for you about that” but only after EBA has gone up. but still not digging too deep emotionally. So use your points carefully." You may want answers to several difficult questions. don‟t even attempt the difficult questions. You ask him a strong question. He‟s talkative. You can follow up a strong question with another strong question. You may not get them back up to a 7 before the end of the call. A great way to build that Emotional Bank Account when you feel them drop. His initial response? "A lot of money. is to ask a question that brings them back to the spot where they were feeling good. ask that tough question. you risk using it all on just one question. Other times everything will go extremely well. you probably still can't ask the real deep digging questions. It‟ll bring him down to a 5. But if you have him at a 7. Monitor where they‟re at as far as their changing emotional states. I wanted to know how much money it cost to come up with his invention. you‟ll have to be discriminative about which question you ask first. At 4 or 5. and you may be able to ask anything without fear of “going broke." Of course I wanted to hear the specifics…the exact dollar amount. don‟t count on getting an answer from him. At this point. but you‟ll need to pay close attention to his tone before doing so. But if you know you only have so much credit. 21 . knowing if you run out of credit it may be the only one you get to ask. There are times when you‟ll need to "budget. When they are at 2 or 3. but you‟ll get a great answer. This could potentially be great information in the copy.Let‟s say you have him at a 5." Real Life Tidbit I interviewed an inventor (Disc 1) who wasn’t very receptive to speaking with me. I just knew he was losing money on it.
Ask those tough questions and lose the interview.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. my account was fragile. NOTES: 22 . In this situation. This guy was not very willing to share anything. I had to make a decision. I would not be able to ask more Digging questions. I opted for asking multiple questions and gleaning useful information rather than shut him down as a resource altogether. but would still be useful.
It was an attempt to show my genuine interest. Why did I pursue this topic with him? Because I was having trouble connecting with him. and to get him more involved in the conversation. Your Emotional Bank Account is depleting. (this does not mean you‟re taking notes through the whole conversation) You may need this later on to get the interviewee more involved. 23 . This was important to him. I found he had a talent for something that wouldn‟t resonate with his typically female market…. They create bridges from you to your subject.Sustaining the Emotional Bank Account Keeping your subject emotionally involved with the conversation will sustain momentum. David had invented a product targeted for women. Occasionally the interview is not progressing well. rather than just rattling off a list of questions. Your conversation and banter may be enough to carry it along…to clear the way for answers to deeper questions. Look for connection. It worked. interviewer second As well as building rapport. You need to raise it up again. Be a person first. As an example.rebuilding motorcycles. So what do you do now? Find a unique achievement that is important to them While listening. But that doesn‟t always happen. It‟s a struggle to keep it going. "Absolutely. I agree with you… let me ask you"… These statements are affirmations. It helps instill a conversational tone to the interview. The excitement in his voice rose because I was interested in his unique achievement. jot down any points that could trigger energetic conversation. you‟ll get further in the interview by being authentically interested.
Your subject needs to feel that you have no outside agenda.If you feel that the conversation isn‟t flowing . other than to listen to them…without judgment. 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. 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. This may reveal more potent information than anything you had planned to ask. It‟s important to stay connected with how they are feeling throughout the interview. By following these simple guidelines. This is not about what YOU feel… it‟s about what HE feels. your hectic schedule and any potential bias. simply ask how he feels about what you‟re discussing. To empathize with your subject.back off from the questions . You have taken the time to clear your thoughts. you should generate and sustain an engaging conversation. And most importantly… Be Empathetic! You may need a few minutes to get into their frame of mind…and stay there. be certain that you are “clear” before beginning the interview.
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 -. Robert states “I can’t share that one”.completely connected and on topic 4) List times and phrases indicative of changes in the Emotional Bank Account. Time: Phrase: Time: Phrase: Time: Phrase: Time: Phrase: Time: Phrase: Set up Disc 12 – Robert Stover Interview Time: 29:00 – 30:20. He’s slipped a few points in the Emotional Bank Account. Listen to his response when I ask if we can switch the topic. Note when the question is asked to divulge some information. Can you feel the difference? 25 .
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 .. but totally disempowering.are only as good as our level of listening. our best information comes from speaking to clients. We offer either/or solutions. Our conversations are punctuated with interruptions. Let‟s face it. We can‟t wait to give our opinion. When we listen automatically…. We dig for the “whys” for their motivations.” or “I know exactly how you feel!” All well-intentioned of course. Most of us are lazy listeners. when you'd have preferred to talk. D J. or falls flat on its face. or statements.. We can‟t understand why “they” just can‟t do what they should. 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.Wisdom is the reward for a lifetime of listening . But our interviews – the very basis of our marketing -. customers or experts. We‟re distracted. challenges and statements like “If I were you…. Would it be all that surprising to find out that the “automatic” listening we engage in leaves us feeling more isolated. purchases. or even more stressed? Feeling like no one else really understands or cares.. Kaufman THE POWER OF LISTENING IS KEY TO AN INTIMATE INTERVIEW As interviewers.
Hear people gripe about their relationships.not thinking about what you‟re going to say next. inflections and tone of voice. It means not judging -. Of course.” Think about this… We all know of one person we love to talk to.What is it? Intense Listening! There‟s a BIG difference between “hearing” and Intense Listening. what HE‟s feeling. We hear things on the radio. It‟s being tuned in to those little bits and pieces that are out-of-the-ordinary and original. There are numerous papers on the subject in the psychoanalytical field. Intense Listening. It‟s a tremendous deposit into another person‟s emotional bank account. It‟s deeply therapeutic and healing and gives someone a way to air their issues. Not an easy thing to do. don‟t you? 27 . He states… “Empathetic Listening – listening/responding with both the heart and mind to understand the speaker‟s words intent and feelings. But we‟re most likely not Listening. We go to a whole new level of total understanding of another person. Someone we can really open up with. Hear the neighbor‟s dog barking. is using your ears. Freud emphasized it. Karl Jung pushed his students to master the art. “Hearing” is what we do every day. combined with empathy. What exactly is Intense Listening? It‟s listening with intent to understand the other person‟s frame of reference and feelings. Listening for the nuances. this isn‟t a new concept. This has spilled over into other areas of medicine and into the world of marketing. Listen for what is not being said. Intense Listening means leaving yourself behind…and focusing entirely on the other person – what HE‟s saying. 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. your eyes and your heart. You always seem to come away from the conversation feeling good.
Make better choices . you‟re only partly right. If you‟re thinking this is difficult. understanding and empathy is also magnified when you‟re “in the zone”.is the goal of Intense Listening. It‟s much more difficult to go through the rest of your life without this skill. They had every ounce of your attention – you didn‟t argue or judge.not just becoming familiar with them -.actively listening. practice and tremendous focused energy on your part. You will… . This takes patience.Generate respect and rapport 28 . undisturbed. The two of you felt like the most important people in the world. you need to be actively engaged. That is Intense Listening. Intense Listening isn’t a passive process To truly appreciate what the other person is saying. The depth of your concern. finish their sentences or offer advice. -. Perhaps you wanted to keep on talking late into the night. Your ability to quickly process information and respond with insightful questions and comments is magnified. your thoughts become more focused.Improve relationships . Here‟s a partial list of the almost-instant changes you‟ll experience once you start to practice Intense Listening. Feels good. because you finally had someone who really listened – someone who really seemed to “get” you.Have you ever wondered why? It‟s a sure bet they‟re a great listener. Remember your first real love? You clung to every word as if it was gold. Ask questions – dig for the deeper meaning – what are they really saying? Gaining true understanding of another person -.Deepen intimacy . right? When you‟re in that heightened state of listening. We don‟t interrupt.
People start out listening. We see it all the time. She was frustrated with the lack of support from the administration and was recounting some of her reasons for these frustrations. But we‟re not really Listening. You don‟t offer your opinion. It means not judging -. Within 5 minutes. 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.. You‟re not expected to “fix” or “change” anything.Create win-win situations .” Honestly.Make more money The list could go on and on… There‟s a BIG difference between “hearing” and Intense Listening. Hear the neighbor‟s dog barking. Because I was listening. They were starving to be heard. The listening process is short-circuited.not thinking about what you‟re going to say next. 29 . only to unhook and run with their own agenda. We hear things on the radio. “Hearing” is what we do every day. Finally. what HE‟s feeling.Resolve conflicts more easily . who is a social worker. who works in the very same office. “Wow…I hadn‟t heard about that before. 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. kept butting in with his own stories. Not an easy thing to do. Another friend. Jennifer. Hear people gripe about their relationships. It was apparent that they hadn‟t been able to completely “unload” their experiences. Each time. I was engaged in a deep conversation with my friend. Intense and empathetic listening is about opening up with total understanding of another person. He even said. the other friend started listening to Jennifer as well. I had 5 people vying for my attention before I knew it! They each had stories and perspectives to share. It means leaving yourself behind…and focusing entirely on the other person – what HE‟s saying. I‟d steer the conversation back to Jennifer.
The core of the problem is identified much more quickly and the coolingdown process is able to occur. etc. demanding. yet subtle and gentle way of being. How can we possibly “listen” to every single message? We can‟t.the greatest need of a human being is to be understood. choose which messages are important and give those our full attention. The facts aren‟t misconstrued by your own interpretation. media. is perceived as confident and gathers more respect. 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. 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. parents. friends. Or. Preoccupations and distractions are part of our daily lives.” 30 . co-workers. Higher productivity – If people are encouraged to explain problems and start working through them. Quicker conflict resolution – When dealing with an emotionally charged topic or crisis. and appreciated. This pertains to business as well as relationships. Think of who we listen to daily…spouses. you‟re able to more clearly see the issues experienced by the other person. Higher self-esteem and respect – An active listener gets along better with others. And. How many people ever get to “finish” being heard? Just think of how allowing someone else to be heard will affect them. Fewer miscommunications – Better listening leads to better information. their output and creativity levels increase.next to survival -. Yet -. validated. focusing on listening helps both the talker and the listener remain calm. salespeople. By listening attentively.We’re overloaded and overwhelmed We all lead very busy lives. The long-term results in possessing the skill of attentive listening will be felt in both your personal and professional life. affirmed. so we need to allow our minds to wander. in turn. strong. elevate your influence because you‟re willing to HEAR them. children.
experience and reasoning. How many of us can… Let go of our ego long enough to understand another person‟s perspective -without feeling like we must defend our own position? Remain completely open to another person‟s experiences… without judgment? Leave ourselves and our hectic lives aside while listening to someone else? Become vulnerable to another person‟s emotions? It‟s not easy. concerns and situations of his customer. The results you achieve will be nothing short of spectacular! An effective salesman seeks to understand the needs. 31 . One example of a Softening Statement is “Do you mind if I ask…” Revealing Questions – If you‟re listening. you can dig into the core of the material you want to uncover. Softening Statements .These help lessen the abruptness of your questions. but the rewards are great. 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 -. Listening During Interviews When we truly listen during an interview. we‟re better able to use effective interviewing tools like… Directive Questions – This type of question will generate something of relevance from your subject…if it‟s based on what you‟re searching for. It also provides your interviewee with a specific direction to go.the professional sells the solution. But how does he find out exactly what the customer is looking for? An effective interviewer seeks to understand a person‟s motivations. There‟s only one way to do this…Intense Listening.Intense listening is not for wimps It takes a great deal of security to go into a deep listening experience.
Change the subject . 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.It‟s all about viewing the world from another person‟s perspective. Using these types of responses is controlling and invasive.You should only do this if the original subject is concluded. 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. But not nearly as much time as backing up and trying to correct misunderstandings. 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. An acknowledgement of understanding should be stated briefly. Otherwise. The result? Any real communication ends. Rather. You‟re able to step inside another person‟s shoes -. they may interpret it on a deep level that you think they‟re unable to do so on their own. this type of listening takes time to develop. Here are a few types of responses we use when we’re not listening effectively… Warning – lecturing – withdrawing – sympathizing – blaming – moralizing – scolding -.praising If we‟re honest. don‟t…or do it only sparingly. Interrupt – As basic as this sounds. though it very well may be to them. There have been interviews with Experts where it was necessary for me to stop them.see the world as he does. Granted. it is to only indirectly reveal your sincere empathy. 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. From now on. 32 . The purpose isn‟t for you to engage in your story. it‟ll seem as if the subject isn‟t important to you.
Using the various types of questions at the right times is crucial. If you‟ve been able to get them to open up to you . Chances are slim you‟ll end up with the results you were hoping for.If you‟ve been able to establish any type of real connection. Be attentive to the conversation. Instead they become stepping stones to synergy. 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. On the other hand… When we really deeply understand each other. WARNING: Practicing Before You Interview! Whatever you do. it will most likely be damaged. If you‟re stumbling around. 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.one wrong word can make them close up and feel embarrassed. Especially make note of any feelings they may have revealed. You‟ll have to work twice as hard to get them to feel comfortable again. Possible comments to make are… “If I understand you correctly. An Intense Listening situation really can be quite delicate…especially if you came together as strangers. This Secret Six Intimate Interviews program teaches you how to avoid this. we open the door to creative solutions and alternatives. 33 . not to your responses. Our differences are no longer stumbling blocks to communication and progress. or uncomfortable with this “new” type of listening… you risk permanently alienating the other person. be sure to practice your new listening skills before trying to use them in an important interview.
How is this done? 34 . you‟ll be able to pick up the little nuances of what is being said… and how they‟re saying it. You‟re able to respond based on those nuances – what is REALLY being said . But if you are able to quiet your own “internal chatter”. These are statements that show them you‟re listening. A television turned on.things that may be impacting your other senses. When you‟re present and tuned in to their tonalities. You will use them naturally. these phrases may seem ordinary… but in an active listening situation.while the other person is still speaking. but those must take a back seat during the Listening process. even your simple presence-confirming comments will carry more emotion. This is the emotional content of the words.instead of just the “surface” material. they become extremely valuable. This is not being fully present and respectful of the conversation." "How about that!" Be Aware Of Their Tonality Pay attention to their tone." "Interesting. most of us are busy thinking about how we are going to respond – what we‟re going to say next .mmmmm. speed and inflection. Don‟t let your thoughts drift – focus on the person who is speaking. a listening connection isn‟t possible when we aren‟t fully present. External distractions are things that you can see or hear . “Uh huh” “Yes” “Really?" "Mm . Clearly. We all have 100 other things going on in our lives. Be Fully Present Instead of really listening. because you‟re picking up on the subtleties. They make them feel you‟re “with” them. a phone ringing or a noisy environment." "You don't say.Use Presence-Confirming Statements At first glance.
Don‟t angle away from them. what exactly did you mean by that?” IMPORTANT . If you want to truly understand where the speaker is coming from. This will force you to focus. 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. 35 . It‟s easy to think that we already “know” what someone is going to say. Typically this happened when I asked a follow-up question. they surprised me by taking it in a completely different direction. Instead. It‟s conveyed even if they can‟t see you. still be attentive to your body language. forget about your own situation and feelings. Your shoulders and your face should be “open” and facing them completely. There have been times when. You‟ll receive the whole message and be able to respond in a more open manner. although I thought I knew how someone would answer. It could be that we‟ve had a similar experience. Never Assume We all do it. If you‟re doing the interview over the phone. Try to see things from their perspective and frame of reference. Use follow-up clarifying questions such as… "Tell me the whole story. Be certain you have their perspective…not yours." "What did you do then?" "You used the word ________. Whatever the case. allow them state their point fully. Increase your efforts to focus on a clear understanding of what‟s being said.Check Your Emotions Be aware of topics and things that trigger your emotions. Sounds easy…but it takes practice. Come From A Place Of Understanding Try to put yourself in their shoes.Concentrate On The Speaker Face the speaker. Questions should be not have an interrogative feel to them.
Always enter an interview as if you‟re getting together with your best friend. someone who has something wonderful to tell you. Have Them Understand That You Understand State your understanding. 36 . What are your views? If someone has an opposing view. An individual will see right through you when you‟re not with them emotionally. By accepting them. perceptions and hot buttons. someone you can trust. If they feel that you‟re not being open (even subconsciously) they won‟t want to divulge or share any pertinent information. whether or not you agree with their point of view. Notice your responses . During An Interview… Seek first to understand – Take yourself out of the picture. you create a high Emotional Bank Account. You don‟t need to get into a full-blown story of your own life. how does it make you feel? Are you able to put your own perspective aside and really hear someone else‟s? Be An Active Listener Ask questions and seek clarification. but 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.For example… A lot of people are passionate about politics or religion. This saves you time and quickly gets you directly into copy that pulls a higher response. but rather acknowledge an incident that may have been similar to theirs. Don‟t allow your ego to get in the way of any valuable information you might obtain. Be authentic.Are you evaluating the other person? Offering advice? These may be typical responses in communication…but an effective listener does none of this. Communicating is not just saying words… it’s creating true understanding. Actively share in the speaker‟s efforts to improve your level of understanding.
It‟s going to be rare to find even one. word will spread that an interview by you is sure to generate positive exposure for them. Then practice Intense Listening. Daring to be completely open to another person is powerful and instills trust. All relationships improve and understanding is achieved. notice how many people are truly “listening”. The next time you‟re in a social situation. In your business and personal life… There‟s nothing else like learning to truly listen. Just don’t be surprised at how many people want to talk to you! NOTES. Try this experiment…. provocative insights and comments from the Experts.If you’re an interviewer… You‟ll get fresh. 37 . Also.
My wife is in the back seat having a baby.” Pointed abrupt questions = surface answers. Directive questions will help get you there. The first question. Avoid this at all costs. asked along with another. It‟s rather intimidating when asked by itself. But by adding the second question.” Okay. that‟s a bit dramatic but you get the point. you will be trying to get to specific information. “Were you speeding?” is a very direct question. Placing a Directive Question directly after your primary question also defines which direction the answer lies. If you‟re asked a single. as well as “softens” the initial question. Disc 9. “Were you speeding? Are you in a hurry to get somewhere?” “Yes sir. Imagine the same question. you typically give back a singular answer. These will be used along with the Secret Six Questions to get the most out of your interviews. Correct? “Were you speeding?” “Yes sir. “Are you in a hurry to get somewhere?” you soften it. The Directive Question focuses in on your target.What do we want to know? The hidden objections – the compelling story – the hidden desires… Before we start the Secret Six Techniques. you should first understand how to utilize Directive and Secondary Questions. 38 . Set up: Disc 8. It will generate something of relevance from your subject…if it‟s based on what you‟re searching for.” Eventually though. Disc 11 Directive Questions There are times when it‟s good to just let your subject talk – I call this letting him “dump. direct question. It also helps define the answer you‟re searching for – which in this case could be the “story” behind the action.
Q: “How do you know that?” A: “How do I know what?” (Natural flow of conversation is immediately halted. She‟ll be trying to guess which venue to go down. The other person has several topics on her mind. Something to think about. It prevents the subject from having to pause …then think. Don‟t let them go on blindly. It‟s based on what you‟re searching for.. It‟s too abrupt and interrupts the flow of the conversation.. She‟s checking her watch. With the second (or Directive) question. slightly annoyed. 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.) 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. A Directive Question leads them gently down the conversational path. “What did he mean by that?” Let‟s assume you‟re in the middle of an interview. By stating a question…by itself…you will stop that thought process. Let‟s follow this as if in an actual interview…without a Directive question. Define it for your subject Don‟t allow them to go on blindly You define the conversation…in a natural manner 39 .
Listed are examples of questions followed by Directive questions found in the interview materials.Robert Stover 27:20 “So now that you know this. what have you done.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. when you’ve gone into this big huge starving crowd with lots of competition? Have you essentially become another 1 in the pile. why isn’t everybody choosing it? How do you know it’s a choice? Disc 9 . You‟ll notice that very rarely do I ask one single. or have you somehow differentiated yourself to attract your section of that niche market?” “How did it happen? Why did it happen? Who used to do that? Who’s the master of artful writing from the past?” Disc 11 .Brian Keith Voiles 10:45: “And so. Excerpts: Disc 8 . 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. It‟s typically followed up immediately with at least one or two more directive questions.*Each of the Secret Six Question types can take on the form of a Directive Question. Brian. pointed question.
Perhaps answered your question with something totally off-topic. To use them effectively… Your “intuitive radar” must be up throughout the interview. A: (goes into explanation of how a worker at a nursing home cut her finger on a wheelchair. a gut feeling that this could lead to something interesting or useful. 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. It may even trigger something in you.Set up Disc 1 Secondary Questions While Directive Questions are used to clarify your first question…Secondary questions can be described as Digging questions. You‟re noting what they‟ve said and how they‟ve said it. They were designed to direct your subject‟s focus towards something specific. you used the word “painful” to describe _______…why did you use that particular word?” 41 . 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. and their response surprises you. Trust your intuition. They‟ve tossed an intriguing comment or phrase your way. Maybe it‟s a curious inflection…or word choice…or you sense an underlying emotion. Example: Disc 1 Sanitizer Product Interviews 53:55 Primary Question: Tell me another story about someone that’s called the office. Many times you will want to follow-up on something interesting or provocative your subject just said. Example: “Previously. You‟re tuned in to their responses.
As an example: “My dad used to go down to the bar every night.“When you say ______. The difference is. But I would be looking for something less destructive like: “I’m determined to be a success because my dad never was. During one such interview. 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. If I‟m interviewing one of his customers.” Can you feel the difference? It’s emotion-driven. He‟s motivated and this is part of the cause for it.. Depending on the subject. very talkative…and they‟ll go off-track.. Let‟s look at it from another point of view… If I had been interviewing my client. Define that . I really didn‟t want to go there. I‟m searching for his/her reasons that they buy. and he ended working for my grandfather. 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. This most likely will not include their traumatic childhood…UNLESS it directly pertains to your client‟s product. It took a couple of tries on my part to bring the conversation back to the subject at hand. 42 . explain what you mean by that. but not destructive. I swore that would never happen to me. In fact his business went bankrupt when I was 7 years old. 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. I would want a bit of background. The person will become very comfortable. you may not want to pursue it. The above statement could be a piece of the client‟s Unique Selling Point.” In this case. I really didn‟t want him to go there. He‟s driven. I think my mom preferred having him gone.
that’s something. use something they‟ve already stated for the direct tieback. Now. Then you direct them back to the conversation you want to have. 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.” Bring it back on-topic. Ideally. You start by acknowledging what they just said. I’d like to go back to the article you were telling me about….” Do your best to make it as seamless as possible. or use a transitional sentence to bring them back. I think my mom preferred having him gone. Refer to a comment or word. Transitional sentences: Getting back to the ___________.So. could you explain that a bit more? I hope you won‟t mind. how do you respond to an off-topic statement like… “My dad used to go down to the bar every night. “Huh. you used “___________” to describe _______…why that particular phrase? NOTES: 43 ..
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 .
Your job is to really hear them.Overview of the Secret Six Questions Follow the natural. lifestyles or patterns? By now. Once rapport has been established. Who Should I Start With? I strongly suggest that you start with at least 6 interviews of friends and family. Then come the Questions for Emotional Material. or the goodwill you‟ve built with your subject. You‟re tuned in and listening to them. as well as guide the conversation. your conversation should be occurring rather easily. the interview will naturally move into the Likeability and Trust questions. You want to know “Why do you…?” “How…?” As well as “Why not…?” Asking some of these questions may bring them down a notch as far as being willing and open to providing answers. 46 . start fishing in the smaller ponds. They need to feel that what they‟re telling you is of utmost importance. Who are they not? What are some of their behaviors. Digging Questions pave the way for emotion-driven responses. It goes without saying that your very real interest will elevate their willingness to speak freely. You may need to dip into your Emotional Bank Account. as well as recognize areas for improvement. the less influential ones. Open the interview with Rapport-Building questions and feel your subject become more relaxed and open. more comfortable with your role as interviewer. You‟ll become more familiar with the process. Knowing how to ask these questions and at what time provides your interview with great content. The next step is getting into the Revealing Questions. This helps build their confidence. at least for a short while. as well as allow you to hone your skills. start with the “lesser: experts. conversational progression of the interview with the Secret Six. Once you feel ready to do a “real” interview. Offer them an authentic compliment. They‟ll still provide you with great material. and the conversation should begin to develop a natural flow. Persona Questions are the starting point to defining your subject. at this point. If you‟re interviewing people for your own products. Begin your first “live” interview with your client‟s customers.
by doing “extra” interviews early on. 47 . interview more people than necessary. NOTES: In order to do a great interview…an Intimate Interview. Plus. This will ensure you get the material you’re looking for. you must be able to determine the best time to ask one of the questions from the Secret Six. you will become a better interviewer in a shorter amount of time.Tip: Until you’ve gained a fair amount of experience.
deeper material is the whole purpose for the interview. but deeplyconnecting material comes from the greater depths. A comprehensive understanding of the Intimate Interview Process/Strategy will give you a decided advantage. Your questions must be asked at just the right time. underlying reasons they buy or don‟t buy.Emotional It‟s not enough to just blurt out the question.Types of Secret Six Questions Rapport Building .Likeability and Trust Persona . 48 . Getting that richer. This makes the timing of “when” the questions are asked very critical.Revealing Digging . When you have built up the “Emotional Bank Account” during the interview. 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”. your subject will feel safe enough to give you emotional. deeper-than-surface material. Only the top 10% of copywriters ever actually dig this deep…and they generally do it on autopilot with no conscious idea of how it happens. You can work with surface answers. otherwise you‟ll get a “surface” answer. Without interviewing.
Tip: By positioning the interview as “Market Research”. By strategically positioning them within the flow of the interview. But by using the Intimate Interview process. you will have access to expert advice. extremely valuable insights and market definition. you can give yourself license to delve a little deeper if it serves the purpose. NOTES: 49 . Study and learn the various types of interview questions and their functions. e-zines.Without interviewing. you‟ll uncover the richest material necessary for great copy and product creation. blog posts or e-books. It can take days and weeks to come up with enough content to create articles.
50 . Taking this time to put them at ease will provide great value through the remainder of the interview. Why are you doing this? Why is it so important to you? How long have you been doing this? Tell me something you really like about your product/what you do What gets you the most excited about it? Why is that? Here‟s what I really want to know…. When you________. as well as your subject‟s personality. Considered__________. Follow these up with a Directive Question to gain a more insightful answer. reference the Client – Customer – Expert Interview sections. Have you ever… Wanted to___________. or may take 10 minutes. If necessary. you‟ll gain a clear and concise working knowledge of their purpose. use a Secondary Question for further investigation.Set up: Disc 13 The SECRET SIX Questions Foundational Questions To Get You Started… The following questions are in basic format. Do you__________. How you_________. 1) Rapport Building Questions These Questions Help Loosen Up Your Interviewee. Can you_________. In this manner. After you become more proficient and familiar with the purpose of these basic questions. I want to know If______________. It all depends on your approach. Said_______________. Felt like_____________. As Well As Reflect Your Genuine Interest In Their Product/Service Building rapport may happen in a matter of moments.
how do you know that? What were some of the indications?” His reply was used directly in my copy. Example: In an interview I did for a stock trader. I asked his client… “When you say there’s a fortune to be made in trading. 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.Ask these general questions until you can feel a “flow” to the conversation. It could help uncover the Compelling Story. You‟re trying to find a common thread of the persona of the Target Audience A Persona Question will identify behavior patterns such as… Definition of a Persona Question: Identifies behavior patterns such as… Why do they make decisions about certain products How does the product fit into the flow of their day Why are they using the product in the first place Does it fulfill a goal they have Does it alleviate a problem Does it improve their lives 51 . 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.
one of whom will be the primary focus for your copy. thus more motivated to be self-reliant. Tell me what‟s behind what you were just… Saying. What you‟re trying to find out about your client. Wanting to ________. 52 .We‟re hoping to find out what is triggering their purchase. For each product. or motivating them. Attitudes and environments are significant. there is a small set of personas…. Thinking. 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. “Why do you think that happened?” This will give you deep insight as to their perceptions and frame of mind in regards to that experience. What‟s your best experience with that? Directly follow up the moments where you can feel emotion coming from them. product or service is…. ask them. That one persona could represent hundreds of people with similar goals and behavior patterns which would benefit from your product or service. This will help define if they‟re part of the target market. Tell me what you really like about _________. After they have explained a pertinent “event”. Example: In conducting interviews for an Arthritis product. I found that a good portion of the TA was living alone.
but compelling result you see? Other Revealing Questions would be: How would you describe…… Why did you do it that way? What surprised you about the result? What kind of an experience was that for you personally? On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being Fantastic! and 1 being Awful. how would you have decided? What was wrong with that approach? 53 . 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. ask… Is that a common experience for people? What is a not-so-common. how would you rate that experience for you personally? Given your preference.They were more likely to try a new product. Tip: There will be times when the line between Persona Questions and Revealing Questions is quite blurry 4) Revealing Questions Reasons They Buy -.Reasons They Don’t Buy Exactly When They Buy Here are some questions you might ask a business owner or top salesman: Where do most of your sales come from? Why? What‟s your best-selling product? Why do you think that is? What do you find easiest to sell? Who is it easiest to sell to? Why is that? After they explain a product/benefit. It was a common personality trait which built resonance with those most likely to buy…that is the real TA.
how would you describe them? How do they come in contact with you?” 54 . rewarding material to better define and get to know your client. 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. That‟s why it‟s best to “soften” these questions. how would you. Barging in like a news reporter and placing demands upon a person will likely end up with a door being slammed in your face. How did that decision strike you? What was your biggest frustration with. 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 approach it? Revealing Questions will provide you with rich. or their TA. 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..” Tune in to when the light “goes on” for them. or a dial tone in your ear. If you could do that over again.If you had your preference.
As if I‟m a new person. and that type of information. with answering my basic questions on how the trades come in. 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…. or add vocal emphasis. but don‟t stop there. ask… What do you mean by “especially”? When an emotion. Follow up on it by asking Could you please define (interesting word or phrase) for me? 6) Questions for Emotional Material Specific Questions For Deeper Insights Of course. be especially alert when they use an interesting word or phrase. ask… How did that make you feel? How do you know that on such an intimate level? 55 . when people use the word “especially”.“Give me your quick rundown if I‟m a prospect of yours…. if you will. As an example.” “Do you know what your conversion is? How many actually become customers?” “Is it true that even if I have a run of the higher gains. how I get started.give me your presentation. is expressed. such as enthusiasm or concern. At this stage.what would that be?” “So continue then. Just go through the basic questions for me.” “Explain to me what you go thru on a daily basis…on a weekly basis…”. Why do you think you feel/felt that way? Was it because of _____________? Key in on certain words or phrases. you‟ll get emotional material from some of the above questions. 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.
It’s the comfort level that has been achieved which allows an atmosphere of sharing. So in your next interview. but they hadn’t expressed it verbally. It was “sensed”. your subject may come back with “Absolutely!” Whatever comes next is gold. When in this situation. what exactly did you mean? At times. I was able to ask “Sounds like you’ve even lost a sense of yourself…your dignity perhaps (softens it)… Is that so?” Feel the difference in that question as opposed to. but if you get the chance to do so. You‟re tuned in and really listening to them. it isn’t a specific question that triggers the emotional material. I sensed a loss of dignity with the ailment. You’re allowing her to tell you instead of you telling her. 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. but it goes deeper. when your emotional bank account is high. “Do you feel a loss of dignity from having arthritis?” BIG difference. ask them. Work to bring out the emotion you’re sensing. 56 . This occurs because of your genuine interest in them. Example: During an interview with customers of an arthritis product. grab it.This is an adaptation on “How do you know that?”.. I wanted to find out how emotional was it for the Target Audience. When you‟re reviewing your own recorded interviews. Other potential questions What you just said. I wanted to find out. Why do they think or feel a certain way? This will help to bring out those underlying emotions. In my next interview. __________________(ex: I decided at an early age I wasn‟t going to be like that). This question needs to be asked in an authentic manner. do you have a sense of what they‟re feeling? You want to confirm this. As an interviewer.
I‟d like to ask a few of our market research questions.” He expounds. What's the most important lesson you've learned in life? 6. Following are a few more personal questions that may be used. If you woke up tomorrow. introduce a few of the following questions (just pick a few) by saying… ”Now. opinions and concepts.Alan Forrest Smith 56:00 Alan and I are discussing the lack of depth in much of today’s copy. what would that be? 3. I asked him if he knew why that was.to MP3…. Do you mind if I ask a few questions about your personal preferences?” Some basic personal questions to choose from: 1. Shaune. is that people have handed their brains over…to TV…to radio…to iPod…. what would that be? 5. Here’s his response… “One of the problems these days. What books are you reading now? 2. Reminder: Define your interview from the start as “Market Research”. We‟re getting to know the type of person that (“you” or “your client”) resonates with. Once the interviewee is comfortable. as opposed to asking a lot of questions.to videos…to movies…. and could do whatever you wanted to in those first four hours. dependent upon the comfort level of the interviewee.Example: Disc 13 . What three words best describe you? NOTES: 57 . frustrated that people are on the information “highway”…taking in so much information to the point of inaction. This interview is an example of a sharing of ideas. If you could make one change in your life. Do you have a motto you follow in life? 4.
WORKSHEET FOR THE SECRET SIX QUESTIONS Come up with 3 of your own questions in the following categories: RAPPORT BUILDING QUESTIONS 1) 2) 3) LIKEABILITY AND TRUST QUESTIONS 1) 2) 3) PERSONA QUESTIONS 1) 2) 3) 58 .Asking questions in a way that is conversational as opposed to a Q & A session is key to obtaining the very best material.
REVEALING QUESTIONS 1) 2) 3) DIGGING QUESTIONS 1) 2) 3) QUESTIONS FOR EMOTIONAL MATERIAL 1) 2) 3) 59 .
. Is it a family-owned business that was handed down? Or was it something they started because it could fill a void in people‟s lives? From your client‟s Customers. What occurred in their lives that motivated them to… Try a product Develop a service 60 . 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. For example. The questions you ask will reflect these differences.Client – Customer – Expert interviews There are similarities in your approach to interviews with Clients. With a Client. Get their history. you want “The Compelling Story”. their Customers. find what triggered the reasons to develop their product or service.. find out why they‟re using that product or service. 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. The Compelling Story. How did they develop their knowledge…and why? Be tuned in to the deeper emotional reasons for all of the above. In all interviews. It must be solving a need or problem. and Experts. and the “Reason Why” However… The types of stories you want from each of them will be slightly different. dig for background information as well as informative tidbits on their area of expertise.
With Clients and Customers. the interviewer is the authority of sorts. NOTES: 61 . With experts.Want to share their knowledge Find that trigger point. Be attentive to the “feel” of the various interviews on the CD’s as you’re listening to them. the rules change slightly.
In fact.Interviewing a Client Your client is an expert in their own business. Find their past history… Sample Questions to Ask a Client Revealing . One of the easiest ways to find their story is to gently start digging into the background. or things you’d like to improve about your business?” Revealing . “What is your favorite thing to do? If you could wake up tomorrow morning and choose whatever you wanted to do in the next four hours.“What things bother you. Your job is to find what makes them unique…sets them apart from the competition. 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.So I’m wondering what led you to Interior Design?” Directive “It seems like you‟ve done a lot of things before Interior Design.Do you have this thing in your mind saying that there‟s something you should be doing?” Emotional . It comes down to finding their specific “reasons why”.“You just said that you‟d love to see your business triple within the next year. Is that a nagging thought for you? Secondary . I‟ve had clients who feel that they don’t have an interesting story.“What would you attribute your interest in ____________ to?” 62 .” “I’d like to hear more about that…” Digging Directive - Digging Directive - Digging - Emotional . This has never been the case.
exactly. “How do you know that on such an intimate level?” “How. NOTES: 63 . ask them.“Why? If not. How do they feel it…say it…express it? Get it from their heart and soul.Digging Directive - “Tell me about that. would you describe your perfect customer?” (this gives you a sense of their defined Target Audience) “Why did they buy from you at that specific point in time?” (defines motivating factors) “Would they refer you to others?” Digging - Digging - Digging - Secondary . then why not?” “What specific benefits do they see in your competitor’s product? Digging - Even when you think you know the answer.
CLIENT INTERVIEW WORKSHEET What other questions could you ask a client? 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 64 .
does that mean __________?” 65 Digging Directive - Digging - Digging - . and what happened from there?” “Tell me a little bit more about that. “Had you already tried other things instead?” “Then what happened?” “When you say _________. Dig in. Your ears should perk up when you hear them say. your primary focus will be on the “reasons why”. 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…. These are not your typical “It‟s a good product” answer. With this type of interview. Their problem and the solution is your focus. “Absolutely!” or “Without a doubt!” These are stronger emotional statements. 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. How did you come across (product or service). allow them to feel your genuine concern and interest. Find out what‟s behind them.Interviewing Your Client’s Customer You‟ve been hired to interview your client‟s customers. Be on the lookout for “odd” or “standout” words and phrases.
the day before?” Secondary . what was motivating you – on that day vs.“What else would you need to know?” 66 .Emotional .“What made you really need a solution?” “Have you referred the product to others?” “If so. what is the thing of which you’re most appreciative?” “What makes you the perfect customer for this product?” Digging - Digging - Revealing .“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 .“On the day that you bought the product.“You say that with such certainty.“How do you know that? Directive “How do you know that this works better than XYZ product?” Emotional .“What would be another reason for you to try it?” “Have you tried a similar product in the past?” “What would prevent you from buying it?” Digging - Digging - Secondary .” Directive “Why is that?” “Of all the things you can now do in your life (because of the problem being solved). what have you said to them? Digging Directive - Sample Questions for Prospective Customers Digging “What would be your greatest motivation to try this product?” Secondary .
Ask digging questions… “If you were going to recommend the product to someone. At the end of their reply. Make them feel their input is valuable. 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”. it‟s good to reiterate the point back to the interviewee. ask… “If there was one more thing you‟d say to someone who was reluctant. Q: Had you tried other products containing any of these same types of ingredients? How have those worked?” Reasons to reiterate (or “bring it back”) It keeps the conversation going Acknowledges the point they just made Helps them to feel like you‟re “with” them They‟re still present to that point – their mind is able to search for other comments connected to it. and figured let’s try this and see. and for whatever reason they were reluctant to try it. what would that be?” Keep bringing it back When you‟ve asked a digging/tough question. and the reply was short. 67 . Example: Q: “When you say was there anything in particular that drew you to this product over another?” A: I looked up the ingredients. what would you say to them?” And. Your interview will be much richer for it.
CUSTOMER INTERVIEW WORKSHEET What other questions could you ask your client’s customer? 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 68 .
Do the exercises in your “weak” areas . be enthusiastic. It doesn‟t take a long time to acquire these skills. practice!!! Also. practice. Experts love a great interviewer! Ask any expert about their favorite interview. but to heighten confidence as well. record a few of your practice interviews and review them to find the areas you could improve upon. here‟s their big “Reason Why”… 69 . Most Experts Want To Be Interviewed! On top of the engaging experience you have to offer. I highly recommend you start with a few practice interviews. you‟ll have a confidence – a knowing – of what you have to offer.Read the manual again . It really is a memorable experience.Practice. you will “know” that you have a great experience to offer.Do the exercises . 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. They‟ll “sense” that you‟re an above-average interviewer…someone that they want to be interviewed by. especially when you consider that you‟ll be using them throughout your whole life! When you do approach an expert. You could also mention a person you just interviewed. and you‟ll hear just how much they enjoyed it. Not just to build your skills.Listen to the CD’s . To get this depth of understanding… . and their positive response from that interview.One of the questions I get asked the most is. as well as what you did well. When you‟re able to create that experience.Read this entire manual .
Simply put… You will offer others a piece of that expert‟s knowledge. No question about it. the expert gets introduced to a new audience. He hung out in the hotel and used “chance meetings” to pull experts into an unused portion of the hotel restaurant to do video interviews. and an interview with helps them accomplish that goal. I once saw a guy who simply brought a Camcorder to an event.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. Leverage that relationship to score interviews. They have something they want to spread the word about. In fact. 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. That‟s win-win! So if an expert feels it‟ll be a fun experience…an engaging interview…and they can get free exposure. that‟ll usually do it. ask others who they know in that particular field. I know because he interviewed me! Leverage Who You Know This is quite simple and straightforward. a provocative comment or something “revealing”. Not to mention that they are in “share information” mode. You have paid to see them – they appreciate that – and are open to reciprocating if they can. you have paid to be there. then you must be “somebody”. so there is an “economic relationship”. In exchange. At the very least. This is particularly true if the expert happens to currently be promoting something. It‟s somewhat assumed that if you‟re there. Whatever your topic or niche. they‟re always ready for free exposure. 70 .
The points above are powerful. Provocative and Revealing don‟t have to come from top-tier experts to “go viral”! What if you haven‟t gone to a seminar. Not to mention that you may be able to get a second-tier expert to reveal something about a top-tier expert. 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. will endorse you to a top-tier expert. Eventually one of them. so if they have something strong to say. They can get you at least “second-tier” interviews. 71 . Once you‟ve done enough of them and created a couple of great pieces from them. I‟ll be interviewing experts and offering the recordings. in some cases you‟ll need to climb the ladder. So. Keep in mind… Sometimes the second-tier interviews are better. Just perhaps not through the “typical” venues. 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. After each “Intimate Interview” – when you know they‟ve enjoyed the experience – their Emotional Bank Account is at a high level. they‟ll be more willing to “let it go”. you‟ll be building your reputation as an interviewer. You can ask them who they might be able to introduce you to.com. based on the success of your interview. especially when it comes to being provocative. you can start “where you‟re at”.Start by explaining your project “I‟ve put up a website called _________. (these could be free to generate viral traffic. or other places where experts “hang out”? Here’s something else that works… I like to call it “Getting Scrappy”. They want exposure.
to hang up the phone after an interview knowing it was a mutually beneficial experience is key. She was a “taker” who had no interest in making the interview a win-win situation. I wrapped up the interview and felt like I‟d been taken advantage of. you‟ll need to work to get the interview. I was able to get them on the phone for an interview. 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.. To me.waiting to verify that she really didn‟t “need” to speak to me. You may encounter reluctance from experts I‟ve been on both sides of being the interviewer and the interviewee. That single experience has made me much more cautious. When I came across an item or statement that I appreciated. and I gladly agreed.The best way to describe it is to show you how I‟ve done it. Still. These relationships have been leveraged for mutual benefit. I‟d get a response. Also they‟d leave the interview with a positive opinion which paved the way for future communication. A relationship was established due to the previous rapport that had been built. Give them a reason to say “yes”.just perched there -. A bad experience… A woman asked to interview me. I‟d be sure to email or call them to let them know. A dialogue would develop and before too long. You don‟t truly appreciate a good interview until you‟ve seen what else is out there. as there isn‟t a feeling of being “used”. 72 . We all profit from them. She came to the interview with more than just a little arrogance. With an authentic desire to learn from others. Your experts are most likely doing the same. or anyone for that matter. Most times. She reminded me of a vulture -. Becoming proficient in the Intimate Interview process will raise you up to that level quite quickly. Here‟s how it all began for me…. Getting experts. this was a door-opener. I began buying their programs…getting on their mailing lists.
or could potentially be embarrassing. and I found his views highly interesting. If you don‟t do it well. The flip-side also holds true if you‟re able to pull off an engaging Intimate Interview. Do the Research If at all possible. You now have them paying attention to you and out of the “Here I go…another boring interview” mindset. It clearly was a passion of his. you‟ll lose stature. he delayed some real estate investors in order to spend more time in conversation with me. It‟s up to you to make it a thought-provoking and enjoyable experience for all involved. you may find some unique traits or interests of theirs.So if an expert hesitates when you offer to interview them. As an example… I happened to learn that one of my clients was an avid animal rights activist. When I brought that up at the beginning of the interview. It got our interview off to a great start. 73 . As we were getting ready to wrap up the interview. speak to someone who knows the expert – a secretary. THAT is a sign of a connected Intimate Interview! By doing your homework. They may be able to give you some interesting tidbits about that expert. If you can tap into these early in the interview process. What are some of their former occupations – hobbies – life experiences? Just a few simple facts are enough. it‟ll get their engine running right away. At the same time. it‟s possible they‟ve had a bad interview – a bad experience. be sensitive to information which they may not have wanted to share. etc…. Be Fluid and Aware WARNING: An interview with a top-tier expert can make or break you. a friend. You want to keep some surprises for the interview. I learned he was currently involved in a large campaign to end bullfighting.
Keep your ears tuned for the “language” they use. your interview will flow much more smoothly. What do you do? You interview one or two bass fishermen first. Let‟s say that you‟re set up to interview a bass fishing expert – but you‟re not a bass fisherman.. This may occasionally happen. Create a connection.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. You‟ll get to understand the struggles. and the nuances of the questions that they‟d love to ask an expert.” If you become familiar with the common terms. 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 . understanding and empathy for that Target Audience. It‟s not the ideal situation but you can still make it work. “Shad.bream…largemouth. the questions.
realize there‟s a big difference between being “in the know” and “knowing too much” about the person. You‟ll be better in the interview when you have your own “need to know”. It appears amazingly simple. Example: “I really love the model you use for creating viral SEO traffic. but subtly let them know that you have your own knowledge in that area as well. Brian Keith Voiles. because you‟re both passionate and knowledgeable on that particular subject.Interviewing the Experts It‟s best to interview experts in a niche that you are “into”. 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. It will be an intimate experience.” Do NOT interview when you‟re bored with a topic. Allow experts to be the authority. 75 . We're both going to learn something during this time. The rapport and comfort level will come quickly. When doing research on the expert. Give yourself some room to be pleasantly surprised by some aspects of their business or personality. It can‟t help but show. Robert Stover and Trey Smith -. give them a reason to say yes! Let them know this isn‟t going to be a “typical” interview.notice the more conversational tone we have. but must have taken you a while to figure it out. When listening to my interviews with the Experts --Alan Forrest Smith. “I promise this will not be a lame Q & A session. How? When asking for an interview. Preface it with an authentic compliment Make a specific reference to the information that you like Let them know what you want to know more about. They‟re willing and eager to share insights on their chosen fields.
a newbie -. Your authentic enthusiasm will ignite the conversation. we‟re looking for something deeper – more revealing than their standard. For example… A top horticulturist doesn‟t earn as much income as a professional athlete. Use those interviews as examples of using tone of voice to build momentum. yet the extensive knowledge base is there. Mirror their speech patterns and tone to build rapport In order to build or add momentum during the interview. The sharing of ideas and perspective will be appreciated. There are experts in every niche with varying degrees of income. canned presentation. become fluid and have an Expert interview lined up -. 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.More importantly… These are subjects I can‟t get enough of myself! We already have established common ground before going into the interview. What level are you at. You’ve practiced. So what does that mean as far as your interview? 76 . The depth of the interview is a good reason why it‟s SO important to interview people in a niche you‟re interested in. They‟re still considered an expert.now what? Interview experts on their success. not “How To Get Rich” We all know that success doesn‟t always mean money. There’s a perfect time to do an interview There are a few things to consider before you do an interview. Be sure to reflect enthusiasm in your voice when they‟ve said something you appreciate. personally? Consider this… When you‟re brand new to a topic -. This can be done by using the Intimate Interviews techniques. Also. We need to give them promotional value in exchange for their time. take your tone about ½ notch higher than theirs.there‟s a different flow to the conversation than when you‟re familiar with the in‟s and out‟s of it.
and it was extremely difficult to break him out of his ingrained habit of providing “sound bites”. unless they‟re also just beginning in the same industry. Be a detective. 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. While they‟re speaking about something with which you‟re familiar. Chances are they‟ve been allowed to run along the same track of patter. The great thing about this is that now you notice the subtleties. Your ear becomes finely tuned to the interaction from the higher-level experts. 77 . 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. You‟re now able to allow the experts to speak about something you may already know. the result is something they‟ve never said before…new and provocative material. You should know more than your audience does Otherwise. . you‟ll bore them to tears. Once you “hear” something that‟s different. You have a good working knowledge of the topic. Your level of knowledge rises significantly. You‟re looking for clues especially if you‟re well-prepared. They‟ll quickly realize that your information isn‟t relative to them and move on. bring it back. disregarding my attempts to divert him. As you become experienced.Take into account your audience – your listeners. the more you learn. Here‟s what happened to me… I interviewed a copywriting legend. For instance. 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. Finally he finished his spiel and I was then able to get to the “real” conversation. He was running along full steam. You need to be at least one step ahead of their learning curve. Many times. The basic material may be too low-level for them. your interviews become more finely tuned The more interviews you do on a topic.
your interviewee will make a comment when they “catch” themselves expressing a trait or habit that others have labeled as unusual. I love the way you interview!” The experts have needs Keep in mind that each expert has “promotional needs”. After that point. Frame your question carefully. (on one of the included CD‟s). You can easily do this by asking a question such as. or the interview may be over very quickly. he happily told me.” Do not challenge them. “This has been most exciting. they‟ll be more wiling to give you what you want. anybody listening to this is going to be wondering so I need to ask…. 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. but passionate. 78 . “So what do you think about________?” Self-deprecating comments Every once in a while. Do you see how that relieves them of feeling like they‟re being judged? The same goes for my interview with Karen. Bring up an opposing view without challenging them. I turned that around and said that I didn‟t so much see it as neurotic. “I suppose I‟m being a bit much. Such as… “Well. That allowed her license to feel free to be herself. For example. Decide if it‟s one that you want to follow. She was starting to go off on her awareness of germs. Part of building the EBA is allowing them to feel as if these have been met.” I assured her that perhaps the rest of us should be as concerned as she was. She then said.that it was “neurotic”. Getting that provocative comment Picking up on the inflection in their voice can take the interview in a whole new direction. a self-taught intellectual expert made a comment on his excessive book-reading -. then stopped.At the end.
In order to do so… Use a softening statement and a directive question that lets them know what you‟re doing. You‟ve gone into a place where they refuse to follow. We‟re allowing people the freedom to speak without being judged. The last few questions have been dead-ends. “Now I‟d like to take this in a different direction. The answers have been lame – short. The Awkward Moments…how to handle them The occasional awkward moment is going to happen. but you can be prepared on how to deal with them.. go back to an earlier topic that they were excited about. If that doesn‟t work. You‟ve done some great work with _______. These can be used at any time during the interview if you feel the energy level dropping. “Earlier you were saying _______ about _______. You may not be able to avoid them completely. refer to your list of back-up questions. you can take the interview in another direction. It‟s time to back it up. I‟d love to know more about that. Perhaps your questions have caught them off-guard. The interview isn’t going anywhere You have a feeling of dread.This is what is meant by listening and picking up clues…intense listening with empathy.. 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. “Since most of the people listening to this are (entrepreneurs. The EBA is slipping. Not only does it improve the interview. business owners. Make a connection. You‟re thinking that this interview is dying.. As long as it‟s not abrupt. dog groomers) what could you tell them about ________?” 79 . In as gracious a way as possible.” Or even. but allows for much richer interaction and communication.
just give me a moment. There should be no regrets on either side. In order for that sensitivity to be triggered. I asked. so I knew that I’d hit a nerve.Hint: You can sense the interviewee’s discomfort when the answers start getting shorter. There has to be an element of security in the environment you‟ve created during the interview. The time it happens is typically 30 . Keep in mind that it isn‟t your fault. Your interviewee may get emotional. They’re annoyed… You caught them off-guard with a comment. 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. A good interviewer constructs the safety net. Offer to pause. You can either change your approach when you notice this happening. but he said “No. or dig into the EBA if you feel there’s a real gem – a provocative statement – behind it. 80 . but the next few minutes were undeniably awkward. What if they cry or get emotional? This is not planned.” He did bring himself out of it. there has to have been some kind of “lowering of the wall”. I offered to pause the interview. You touched on a sensitive area in their lives. Taken them in a direction they don‟t want to go. A feeling of refuge where it‟s ok to be more vulnerable. They‟re connected. Try to salvage what you can. Then use a bridge from where you‟re at to a safer ground if necessary. and can take you by surprise. The guard is down. “Are you still there?” When he replied. his voice was cracking. 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….40 minute into the interview…when the level of trust has been attained. Acknowledge the fact in a soft way. To handle this.he went silent. go back to the topic that they were excited about.
Some people will ease into it quickly.If your Expert has a large ego…little patience Occasionally. By doing homework ahead of time. Be respectful but still be natural. Ask questions that show they have valuable information to share Begin the interview with easy questions. Once you realize it‟s a dead-end. etc) Do your homework to show them you know “who” they are. you‟ll run across an expert who is quite taken with him or herself. or if they‟d prefer their more formal title (Dr. others will take a bit more time. Your goal at this point is to… Raise their comfort level Reaffirm that there is value to their information Increase their confidence levels by displaying their knowledge Begin your understanding of their mindset Create connection When interviewing an Expert. you‟ll be able to avoid this type of landmine. Ask them if you can call them by their first name. They also need to feel your genuine interest in what they have to say. back off and take it another direction without making the expert feel inadequate. What this means is that you can‟t be too casual at the start of the interview. don‟t assume you don‟t need to boost their confidence. Mr. Refer to the Rapport-Building section. 81 . Generate questions for experts based on their area of expertise These will be very specific to them and their field of expertise. Ms. Be your authentic self.. The Expert isn’t familiar with a topic you bring up This can create a loss of momentum to the interview. Use humor only if it pertains.
My attempts to slow him down or divert his patter were largely being ignored. The end result was to be a promotional marketing piece for his organization. “HOLD ON!!!” and laughed.Something they wish they hadn‟t spent time on Perception – What does it really take? Advice – What are suggestions for a novice to speed up his learning curve? Ask questions with strategic intent! The Expert-Directed Interview You may come across a top-tier expert with a very strong agenda who‟s used to getting his or her way. Finally. Throughout the interview. I yelled. A man of very high intelligence. That got his attention. the categories for these questions would be the same. Several times I tried. 82 . it can turn into a verbal wrestling match…or a power struggle. Example: I interviewed a world-renown icon in the personal-development field. The questions you‟ll be asking will vary from those you would ask a naturopath. he was aggressively running through his own conversation.Let‟s say you‟re interviewing a women‟s soccer player. He wasn’t having any of it. My initial attempts to back him up on a subject were useless…so I let him go. 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. (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. he was used to imposing his own pattern on any conversation. It was like trying to stop a runaway train. But.
I got an email from the expert’s marketing manager… “(Expert) was very impressed about the depth of the interview . The following day.he asked a lot of questions about you. etc.” I was able to construct a win-win situation out of something that was clearly headed down a one-way street. He asked me who the #2 golfer in the world was. and he was trying to make the point that people tend to only remember the #1 person in any area. Save it for the end. Expert Interview “Don’ts” Don’t ask a question with the wrong intention – don‟t try to annoy them or “stump” them Don’t have scripted comments – it‟s not authentic and it‟s easily detected Don’t slow the momentum by dealing with contact details. and I knew the answer.The interview turned out well and was enjoyed by both of us. Example: I was interviewing a millionaire. Notes: 83 . Their EBA may not recover. Don’t steal their thunder. It completely destroyed the point he was trying to make and I had to work at getting the EBA built back up.
Experience What have you done to get to where you are now? Have you taken missteps along the way. what is something creative you did to lower costs? What steps have you take to achieve ___? How did you know to do that? Create 3 of your own Experience questions you‟d like to ask an expert 1) 2) 3) Regret Looking back. what would you do differently? Have you gambled and lost? What did you learn? Is there something you wish you had done that you didn‟t? What was your most expensive mistake? Create 3 of your own Regrets questions you‟d like to ask an expert? 1) 2) 3) 84 . 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. Team them up with a Directive or Secondary question to get the best material. Make them more specific.Strategic Questions For Experts Modify these to fit the type of individual and niche.
Perception What does it really take? What has been easier/more difficult than you expected? Besides perseverance. positive thinking and never quitting. learning time management skills and ______. what is the best activity/thing you would recommend we get better at? Create 3 of your own Advice questions you‟d like to ask an expert 1) 2) 3) 85 . what would you say is the number one personality trait to develop? What‟s the one thing you seemed to “just figure out” as you went along? What changes do you foresee in ______? How does your vision differ from other people‟s? Create 3 of your own Perception questions you‟d like to ask an expert 1) 2) 3) Advice What would be your number one shortcut? What is your advice to a novice hoping to reduce the learning curve? Besides setting goals.
What 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 .what is the best activity/thing you would recommend we get better at?” Use the following as idea-generators for questions along with Directive Questions and Secondary Questions. What is one of the things that has happened to you…opportunities you have created around “unique circumstances”? It‟s something that could only have happened due to a certain chain of events…” “Besides setting goals. What does it take to be a success (indirect compliment) The best decision you‟ve made A decision you wish you hadn‟t made.Other questions to ask an expert “In all successes there are circumstances – there are variables. Fine-tune them for your expert. learning time management skills and ________.
you‟re going to ask – say – do – something early in the interview that will potentially create an opportunity. You‟re going to know ahead of time what it is you‟d like to have happen. The Digging Questions will lower the EBA. Steps to Follow 1. 5. Predetermine the provocative comment. Your accompanying question or comment is a complement to the EBA. Look for the opportunity to ask your predetermined question/comment. Remember to look for associated “like” provocative comments – gold nugget – or results from another connected person who you‟ve interviewed. work at increasing EBA. 3. comment or topic. so you need to be comfortable and familiar with how to increase it as well. the better chance of a response. The Predetermined Set-Up This is a sometimes risky strategy to use. There‟s a risk that the EBA may not recover fully from asking a Set-Up question. 87 . gold nugget or outcome. not to stir up hard feelings. The Emotional Bank Account comes into play. Look for an authentic compliment or other relevant reference. Prepare the predetermined question or comment. in that it is a form of the Set-Up as well. 2. 6. The Predetermined Set-Up is the ULTIMATE payoff –but you should be skilled at asking the basic Digging Questions before attempting this. 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. The Set-Up is all about warming up the predetermined question. Think of something you want to know – ask – or get out of the interview. From that.. As usual. The warmer it is.***SPECIAL NOTE: This is a highly advanced technique – not to be used early in your interviewing experience. 4. but can yield provocative material. It‟ll take courage to ask this type of question. Keep in mind that this is done with the best of intentions.
I go into this interview knowing that if I can get the EBA high enough. Be conscious about seizing the opportunity. I‟ll make a comment about the positive comment made. If you‟d like for your name to be passed along to them for a future interview. This will be done early in the interview. atypical comment that will make this a rare interview. Don‟t be too attached to it. I was given the opportunity to interview the expert who was spoken negatively about. Example #2 During an interview. “I notice that you were working with _____ on the ______ project. 88 . The best outcome will be that the expert makes a positive comment then make a negative one as well.7. I‟m just looking for an unusual. you‟ve already made mention of their name. It won‟t be “cold”.” This enables you to refer back to that person at some point. For example. this creates a tremendous opportunity for a provocative moment…as well as an opportunity to dramatically lower the EBA. Of course. I was intrigued by the way the two of you _________. Again. Example #3 I interviewed a millionaire with a diverse portfolio of ventures. use the Intimate Interview process to build the EBA. This should flow within the interview as seamlessly as possible and not be out of sync. as well as negative. I‟ll ask this expert what he things about the comments (both positive and negative) To set this up. about another expert. I had an expert say something positive. As it turned out. I‟ll only do this if it‟s done good-naturedly…not to start a fight. Once again. The greatest jewel I can get from him is a stock tip. Example #1 When you first get on the phone.then gracefully also bring up the negative comment. Then. 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. Reference that person in passing. I‟ll reference the positive comment -.
(a mild form of peer pressure) I‟ll only ask him if it works or flows into the rest of the interview. I‟ve helped him warm up to the idea. I‟ll be looking for opportunities. keep it a win-win situation. enjoyable and help create lasting relationships. By bringing up the topic early. It’ll be memorable. to ask specifically what was the last stock he invested in. This is information he holds tightly.Early in the interview. Consider that it‟s already been “framed” as a normal occurrence by another expert. Most of all. I compliment him on his success in the stock market. (if it‟s true) I‟ll bring up that another expert gave me a similar piece of information. Also. This helps it seem more “normal” to pass along this type of stock tip. once the EBA is high. 89 . It‟s going to pause him whenever I do ask him. My authentic compliment early in the interview makes my question not so “cold”. The EBA needs to be high at the right time. During the interview. and wouldn‟t normally give away.
EXPERT INTERVIEW WORKSHEET What questions could you ask an expert? 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 90 .
Thanks for shining a light on how we can do it different. Any thought that comes to you. I really appreciate your time. 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. an interview that may have appeared to be over still has ten minutes left. I truly appreciate your insights. I‟m grateful for the opportunity to have spoken to you and shared some insights. Specifically for a client or client’s customer: I‟m going to send an email to you. I‟d love to include it. There‟s one more story. You‟ve been absolutely brilliant! Thank you for your time. feel free to email it on over. Unless you have anything else to add. Before you exit an interview… ALWAYS ASK THIS ONE VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION… “Is there anything else?” This can prompt them to dump some very rich material that they‟d been holding back. Feel free to use any variation of these options: I want to thank you very much. One more very valuable insight. Thank you. Then wrap it up. Thanks again. Have an exit strategy in place. as I would have expected. This last ten minutes might contain one of the richest pieces of material from the interview 91 . This was good. In essence. One more opinion. Thank you!” I wouldn‟t mind if you would read through my site…if you have something nice to say about me.
I was certain the interview was over. NOTES: 92 . you’ll hear what is most likely one of the most challenging interviews I’ve ever done. He began churning out great content. Even the smallest piece of information was tough to extract.Example: On Disc 1. Just asking that single question elevated the material in the interview from “substantial” to “rich and rewarding”. “Is there anything else?” The effect was immediate. I asked the subject. Needing to regroup my thoughts.
When interviewing an Expert. the woman actually said. In one particular interview. Set a Comfortable Tone Begin the interview with easy questions. I just think you‟re very aware and the rest of us should be as well.Set up: Disc 8 Effective Interview Techniques If you’re not using these techniques. I said. “You might think I‟m a freak…” when speaking about her concern with germs. “I don‟t think you‟re a freak at all. don’t assume that this isn’t a necessary step. Refer to the Rapport-Building section. What she was really saying was “Are you comfortable with this conversation?” What did I do? I supported her opinion – made her right. Some people will ease into it quickly. 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.” What happened next was… She dumped even more and really got on my side. 93 . right? But just being a willing ear isn‟t enough. You need to allow people to speak – be themselves. They also need to feel your genuine interest in what they have to say. others will take a bit more time. you’re conducting a lame Question and Answer session You‟ll be able to provide great interviews by embedding these techniques.
You should anticipate lulls during the interview. it‟s okay to ask a question here just for the sake of keeping it going. You‟ll see that pauses will happen and that it's fine. For the times when it‟s moving slow. If it‟s an objection. But that being said… Once you start unearthing information in an interview. 90% of the time. This method often releases an avalanche of emotional or deeper hindsight material. Again. overcome it If it‟s a question. Long Pauses Pauses are part of natural conversation.If you can learn how to interpret people…become aware…then you‟ll be successful. but may seem uncomfortable during an interview. If it‟s something positive. 94 . You may want to throw in a "huh" or a "very good" if the silence feels off. clarify it. Let it go back into silence. it‟s likely that you‟ve dug into uncharted territory. Getting comfortable with this comes with experience. then what they‟re really saying is _________. Give them as much as 15 . Especially if was a potent comment. Also. Pauses allow them the opportunity to verbalize their emotions and reactions. The interviewee may need time to find the necessary descriptions. It‟s all about… Really listening Reading between the lines Knowing how to direct it Realize that when he/she says ___________. Something may be brewing on the other end. But that's it. A little bit of silence from you can encourage them to explore more indepth emotions or insight. These lapses may occur for a number of reasons.30 seconds. be sure you‟re not communicating anything other than empathy. this gives the person a chance to breathe…let something surface…give their thoughts a chance to see the light of day. magnify it. it keeps the interview from feeling rushed.
but you‟re sensitive to the fact that a blunt question would dampen their enthusiasm. This is the time to use softening statements. They‟re willing to give up good information. you know we’re all in different places.allow yourself that few seconds of silence to collect your own thoughts -. (then hopefully says) I could rail on swiping a bit. Softening Statements and Getting Permission Let‟s say you have your interview subject into the flow of the conversation. You will be surprised how quickly an interview can open up if you just "hang in there long enough. 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. <struggles> Even the formula stuff I hate. That said an interview should rarely be longer than an hour and to many of these pauses can be detrimental. 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: “That’s well said! I’m anxious to hear. or practice. that is touted as being good that you don’t agree with” <long pause> Then “huh” <another pause> “Well. 95 . if you’re willing…and if you’re not I completely understand.Go ahead -. You said that…” Ask for permission and soften those tougher questions.to come back with another question. Robert. Example: Disc 8 – Brian Keith Voiles 15:50Thought provoking question: “Is there a copywriting principle.” I said: “Go! That’s a favorite topic of mine…” It gives Brian license to dump at this point.
He was giving me great information. he went off on a tangent about Internet Marketing in general – didn’t really answer my question. All of what you just said is great. I’m going to dig here a bit. Get what you‟re going to get. I let him run with it though.. don‟t abruptly insert topics you may have on your list. but what he gave me was gold! Keep it Flowing Having the interview “flow” is extremely important. I wanted to hear (in his own words) how he would describe the sales funnel for an online business. 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. Doing so would have derailed the interview into a venue that wasn’t pertinent to me. Do you mind?” I got permission to ask one last time. do so. If you get the change at the end of the interview to ask more pointed questions. Example: I interviewed a designer who had been on HGTV. “I know this is redundant. Stay in the flow. Real Life Tidbit During an interview with a prospective customer for an Internet Marketing program. not an interrogation. This was definitely going to lower his Emotional Bank account. but not his definition of the “online sales funnel”. I hope you won’t mind. “Please be patient with me. then brought the question up again. As long as you‟re getting good material.Keep in mind this is a strategic conversation. It really would need to be softened even more. He still did feel a bit pushed. and I was fine not to bring up that detail within the conversation. The interview was going exceptionally well. 96 . When I first asked him. but I knew he would feel a bit “pushed”. but could I ask you to define the sales funnel? I really want to see how you would word it. I had to try a third time.
they‟ll have a renewed sense of appreciation for you when you gently guide them back into the interview. I was able to express appropriate enthusiasm. I got too excited when he finally divulged a valuable piece of information. which may or may not be relevant to the interview. You‟ll figure out what surface stuff can be let go. she may lead every question back to that issue. If you have a subject who wants to expound on a subject. and transitioning them back into the conversation. Allow them to get it out of their system. “I love you Canadians!” after asking where I lived. the following section applies directly to interviewees just like her. Tip: While your interviewee is “dumping” their initial baggage. In fact. Because of this.Be aware of your own “reactions” Not everyone you interview will have the same personality. You‟ll build up a large amount of emotional credit. You‟re just waiting to get to that richer substance. 97 . With her. Referring back to my interview with David the inventor. They‟re “dumping” information on you. Let her run with it. Reserved. analytical people prefer low-key. you need to find the balance between the unloading of their ideas and emotions. and he backed up a step. Allow them to lead…for a while Some people will take a subject and run with it. you‟ll need to adapt to the person you‟re speaking with. but you don‟t allow her the opportunity. His emotional energy went down. For this reason. then the real material comes out. intelligent confirmations. It made him uncomfortable. his secretary proved to be the emotional type. I knew we were back on solid ground when he said. Still. and listen attentively. Once it‟s passed. or responses to their comments. you may want to write a note as to the point that you really wanted to capture so it isn’t forgotten. It‟s possible that very few people are willing to listen to her on a particular subject. Getting too excited while interviewing this type of person can make them uncomfortable. Yet on the other hand. I worked at getting him back with me by going back into an intellectual mode.
Dig for the deeper meaning. Explore their tangents. and a new realization of what is important to the target market. After all. "You must think I'm crazy/a bit much/too extreme or something’s wrong with me. Do it in a genuine. which may not be an easy thing to do. Tune in to what people are NOT saying. Follow your instincts. 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. This type of exploration may lead to a bigger picture. and figure out how it ties into their emotional triggers." Again. Dig deeper on abstract statements If a statement is made that is interesting or unique. that matters. Make them feel comfortable in your presence. This is best accomplished by leaving your own predispositions aside. caring way.Help them achieve confidence To reiterate. 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. a bit of empathy will help ease them into a secure comfort level. Show your interest and validate their emotions. Be cognizant of what questions to ask during the various levels of emotion. feelings and emotional hot buttons. view people without judgment. There may be instances during an interview when you can express this. They may state something like. 98 . it‟s their opinion. follow up on it. not yours.
. give them time. With a “Not” statement. so it may help to get a unique and provocative answer. as well as help frame questions. I talk about “Not Statements” used in copy. Could you fill in the blank for me? Unlike my competitors we do not ___________. I apply the same principle for interviewing. This type of response is what naturally 99 . So. “Not” questions are a powerful way to gain valuable insights.. Wait for them to respond so they can take it in and then bring back what was “organic” for them. With “Not” questions. 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. “Let's do this. the reader is told directly that there is a difference between Product A and Product B. You may even already know what they‟re going to say. and they are silent. during an interview with a client you may want to say something like….Advanced Intimate Interview Techniques “NOT” Questions Find the compelling story – motivating desires – hidden objections. and gently assure your subject that what they have to offer is valuable. As an example. Pause. In my Indirect Persuasion piece. “Not” questions aren‟t typical in most interviews. Your subject will most likely pause and think before answering. You don't ___________ or ___________.” What your client says at this point most likely will be “surface” material... it indirectly suggests that Product B is inferior because it doesn‟t have the same qualities. More importantly. you can drive a point home. 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.
Don’t fall into the trap of feeling like you always have to ask questions. This ties into the emotional bank account of that person. The content of this interview was far richer than if the vague. questioning voice ask. 100 . I sensed a loss of dignity as the common thread. Real Life Tidbits Provide Priceless Details Once the flow of the conversation has been established. or even get in and out of the bath. go up or down steps.it‟s what is important to them – that‟s what they need to talk about. “How did it feel when you got hurt?” was asked. people are more likely to reveal subtle “little details” in the framework of a story. If they‟re ready to just take it and go.comes up for them -. ask a second question to dig deeper. would you say that…. Not to mention the endless hassles with the insurance company. “Well. but not expressing. a better “feel” for where they‟re coming from. She provided details about the trip to the hospital…follow-up treatments from the medical doctors that didn’t help the daily pain…as well as the inability to participate in sports or even do chores. This type of question is specific if you‟re bringing up a difficult topic. You want to evoke those deeper emotions. trying to evoke a loss they‟re experiencing. but they‟re not getting to it. In interviews with arthritis sufferers. 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.?” If they agree. a glimpse into their world. In a friendly. let them. Stories can give you so much valuable information…Real-life tidbits. And it‟s these details that will make your writing more honest and real. you may ask the person for stories regarding their experiences. They had to rely on others to open jars. Instead of imparting basic information. Dig Deeper To Hit That Nerve If you‟re sensing a benefit or emotional hot button. look for opportunities to prompt them.
101 . but I softened the question so he‟d feel comfortable answering even if the response wasn‟t so positive. The end result was that I did get feedback. “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.This emotion wasn‟t openly expressed. and I knew he‟d have an opinion of me as a coach/teacher. Q: “If you don’t mind. I recently interviewed Master Copywriter Terry Dean. They‟ll come back to you with a thoughtful. can you tell me how much money you lost on this venture?” A: <pause> ”…a lot. but I knew it was there. you may have no credit left to probe in another direction. I was searching for genuine feedback. If you can feel your credit level dropping because you are probing deeply. original answer. Truly rich material. In these interviews. I wanted to know what it was. what would it be?” At this point. Some questions will prove uncomfortable for your subject. keep in mind that if you keep going.” The Emotional Bank Account just experienced a drop. tell me three things that people say about you. Keep in mind how each question affects your Emotional Bank Account. And think. As another example. and phrased it as such. I asked (after getting their Emotional Bank Accounts quite high). and a topic-specific testimonial from him. your subject will pause. Ask For Specific Numbers Another thing I like to do is ask for a specific number of things. “So.” “If you were to define what you do in one sentence. He‟d purchased my Best of the Best program. I sensed he‟d have a positive response.
At this point, you'll need to decide if you should back off and explore something else which may be more comfortable for them. Don’t Allow Vague Answers Be on the lookout for vagueness in your interviewee‟s replies. “Dr. Miller really helped my dog‟s arthritis.” This is a signal that your questions or conversation aren‟t specific enough. It‟s also a golden opportunity to find out what‟s lying below the surface. Ask a more direct follow-up question such as, “What signs of arthritis did your dog exhibit? How is that different now?” …or even better… ”Can you give me 3 symptoms of your dog‟s arthritis?” Appreciate the answers given. Let your interviewee know that you‟re attentive and their input is extremely worthwhile. Listen with genuine, authentic concern. You may “bring it back” to the topic 2-3 more times to get to the real answer. Phrases to use in instances like this may be, “Please forgive me for being redundant, but I‟d like to clarify _______.” “I know I‟ve already asked this, but _____________”
An Interview is NOT a Question and Answer Period… It’s An Intimate Experience!
ADVANCED INTERVIEWING TECHNIQUES WORKSHEET
List 3 benefits of doing an Intimate Interview For the interviewer 1)
For the interviewee 1)
Preparing For The Interview
Warm up-call/set up time If at all possible, call them yourself to set up a scheduled time as a preinterview strategy. Real life tidbit David, the inventor, was not my client. He was the inventor of the product that my client was distributing. My client felt like he’d already taken up too much of the David’s time, and didn’t want me to bother him. I felt it was indeed necessary to speak to David directly, but my client wanted to ask the questions himself. At this point, I realized my relationship with my client was still very fragile. Instead of pushing him, I carefully worded this statement, “Here are a couple of key questions to ask David. But it would be even better if I had 10-15 minutes with him.” In this manner, I was agreeing to go along with his request, but also indirectly letting him know that I could do a much better job for him if I had direct access to the inventor. My client got the opportunity to look over a couple of key questions. Then he comes back and says, "Shaune, I'm going to be at the office, can you do the interview with David?" You bet. I called David’s office at the appointed time and asked his receptionist to connect me to him. David answers, and I say, “Hi David. It’s Shaune.” …silence….. He had no idea of who I was and the reason for my call. I caught him off-guard. He wasn't ready. He wasn't "on." On the Emotional Bank Account scale of 1 to 7, I was starting at a -3. If I had called David‟s office prior to the appointed interview time, we would have begun on a much better note.
Prepare/Research Whenever possible. Have your client set up the agreement ahead of time. with the client paying for it in most cases. Preparation for an interview is essential. This might only take 5-10 minutes to read. there are a few necessary steps to you‟ll want to follow. To do this. most likely on their website or promotional materials. 105 .) Ask that payment be made AFTER the interview. Arrange compensation (if necessary) If interviewing customers for a client. there should already be some copy material available. The truth is. What information are you trying to find? Be specific. Your client has already built a relationship with this person – let HIM make the agreement. and willing to cooperate. In this case. put some time into setting it up. people have already spent the money by the time you do the interview and thus the value is already gone. You may find it easier to get an “OK” to use their signatures and testimonials. Often. (I recommend $50. They‟re doing it as a favor of sorts. Be especially tuned in to areas where you can start digging for information you are looking for. they may be even more forthcoming. most of your interviewees won‟t be “paid” for their services. Define your own goals for the interview. If you are interviewing a business owner or product developer. ask your client for a little background information on them. or equivalent in product. Find out why he selected them to be interviewed. for a 30-60 minute call. Don‟t get in the middle of this. 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. but can provide valuable insight. paying in advance dilutes the enticement. 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. When interviewing your client's customers. try to get some background information on the person you‟re about to interview.
b. I‟m calling on behalf of Mr. When you call. Give your full name. Also. 106 . Something to the effect of: “Hi. this is (your name). and let them know on whose behalf you‟re calling.” Keep the questions simple… 1. and the types of questions you may be asking. At their home in the evening… Obviously C is the best choice. What do you enjoy about your job? 3. I asked which time was good for her. XYZ Cleaning. B is the next-preferred option. I'm flexible!" I cringed. Snyder and XYZ Cleaning Company. Try to cater to their schedule. If it's a choice between interviewing them… a. call and set up times with these people. and her response was. find out what their schedule is like. He said you‟d be willing to speak to me regarding your experience with his company.After your client has provided you with the names and phone numbers of people to interview. On their cell phone. Don't expect them to be immediately available. How long have you been a customer of XYZ Cleaning? My experience has found that most people are a little nervous when you first contact them. and ask for a good time to talk. Don‟t take such a statement literally. Call them. Get an exact time and day that would work best for them. be sure to introduce yourself properly. Real life tidbit I just got off the phone with one of my client's staff members who called back to arrange an interview. "Oh. Give them specifics such as the potential length of the interview. 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. c. Ease them into the conversation. At their work. What's your occupation? 2.
You may not hear back from the person right away to set up a time for the interview. Reassure them you want to know when they come up with new or different information. Give people 48 hours to respond. in case they think of anything else to share. If you think you only need two interviews. Taking a few minutes with this step before the actual interview will help it proceed much more smoothly. After that. Ask your client for more people to interview than you really need. and would every few days call back with 107 . and then decide if you really need that third person. One of my coaching students interviewed a 65 year-old lady (customer of his client). ask for three leads. Even when you call at the appointed time. Asking for more sources Listen to see if there are other key people mentioned that you could interview. You‟re asking for their opinions. Persist in getting the interview It happens. and forget about it. Or they may even know of another client who has a great story. as we all do. ask if it‟s still a good time to talk. It‟s not a test. Often. Leave your phone number in case their schedule changes. After several attempts. call again. Not everyone will be amenable to donating their time for this purpose. Follow-Up Leave your phone number and email. They may intend to return your call. Her memory wasn't the best.Encourage them. In most cases. they probably have other things going on. You can always go through the process of interviewing. put it off. move onto another person to interview. a client will mention another person who may have a better view on the matter. There are no right or wrong answers. This doesn‟t mean that they‟re not willing to speak to you.
Always good stories. Thanks for a lively and enriching experience. these secondary insights can prove worthwhile. 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. They‟ll never deny you that information. At the end of the interview. (Oprah…Barbara Walters…Shaune Clarke…) and I really enjoyed our talk. Instead. and call. which made it all the more worthwhile for me. You are a very talented interviewer. Don’t have just a Q & A session. She'd be at home. Learn how to do an interview that will prompt your subject to thank you for it! Actual Email from an Interviewee: Hi Shaune.more information. Also. especially if you‟ve done your job and established rapport. Many times. recall more use tidbits. you‟ll have more questions upon reviewing your interviews afterwards. Trish 108 . In that email. I hope it was productive for you and your clients as well. ask the person how they prefer to be contacted in the event you have a few more questions. I mentioned to Allen that I had a few revelations about what makes me tick. At the very least. get their email address and send them a “thank you” for their time. All the best. I wanted to thank you for the interview Wednesday evening. it should be a rewarding experience for everyone involved.
” 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.com Copywriters interested in advanced coaching should visit www. He uses his interviewing skills to uncover the hidden emotions that trigger prospects to buy.com Shaune Clarke is… A Canadian talk show host turned marketing consultant and advertising copywriter.My "New Copy Secrets" Newsletter and "Maximum Website Profits” Checklist Are Available For FREE at. Call Shaune.com 109 .DynamicResponseMarketing.NewCopySecrets. and He’ll Answer Them For You… Toll Free 1-866-486-4884 Or Email him at Shaune@DynamicResponseMarketing... yet powerfully. Rather than creating resistance and „closing‟ you can respectfully. He says… “I prefer to use the power of connection. Shaune writes and teaches No-Hype Ad Copy. guide the prospect to a buying decision. www.
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