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

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Shaune Clarke – Shaune@DynamicResponseMarketing.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you‟re interviewing a client . it‟s only 1% of the market. or not into What do they like about the alternative What don‟t they like about the alternative Where stage they‟re at in their lives Validate exactly what their “hot buttons” are. This leaves the interviewee much more open to providing a testimonial than giving you “an interview”. the first thing you do is qualify them as part of the Target Audience. their perspectives. 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 client should be informed that this is the 9 . If you’re interviewing prominent people to develop your own e-books or articles. This determination is highly specific to three things… Those who are prone or susceptible to Your particular message Your particular persona Your particular offer What are the factors in their lives that trigger the need for this product or service? Why them and not the other Chiropractors? What‟s their trigger? We should focus exclusively on them…the 1% that is likely to buy. the same philosophy holds true. We don‟t want to miss any of the TA. Perhaps we could increase that from 1% to 2%. Key points to uncover: What the person is into.What motivates her? What is her unique story? If you‟re interviewing your client‟s customers. 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. Most of the times.Your real Target Audience is the Chiropractor who will actually be LIKELY to buy from you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

” 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. 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. the time it occurred and especially… any insights that you may have. 3) How did I respond to those shifts? List examples. Now…Listen To Best-Of-The-Best #1 – Discs 2 and 3 (Optional Exercise .Discs 4 and 5 Also) 18 .Set up: Disc 1 David and Karen Interview Exercises David and Karen Interviews .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 . when you’ve gone into this big huge starving crowd with lots of competition? Have you essentially become another 1 in the pile. 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. pointed question. why isn’t everybody choosing it? How do you know it’s a choice? Disc 9 . Robert.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. Listed are examples of questions followed by Directive questions found in the interview materials.*Each of the Secret Six Question types can take on the form of a Directive Question.Robert Stover 27:20 “So now that you know this. Brian. Excerpts: Disc 8 . It‟s typically followed up immediately with at least one or two more directive questions. You‟ll notice that very rarely do I ask one single. what have you done.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

how do you know that? What were some of the indications?” His reply was used directly in my copy. 2) Likeability and Trust Questions Begin To Form The Foundational Knowledge of Your Subject What do you most want people to know? What do you most want your customers to get from you? What does your product/service do like no other? What do you know that nobody else knows? Can you give a “before and after” example? How do you know that? –this is a BIGGIE. Example: In an interview I did for a stock trader. I asked his client… “When you say there’s a fortune to be made in trading. It could help uncover the Compelling Story. You‟re trying to find a common thread of the persona of the Target Audience A Persona Question will identify behavior patterns such as… Definition of a Persona Question: Identifies behavior patterns such as… Why do they make decisions about certain products How does the product fit into the flow of their day Why are they using the product in the first place Does it fulfill a goal they have Does it alleviate a problem Does it improve their lives 51 . 3) Persona Questions Your Radar Needs To Be “Up” In Order To Catch Inflections In Their Voice Which Indicate The Deeper Benefits or Key Points The purpose of Persona Questions is to look for material which creates resonance.Ask these general questions until you can feel a “flow” to the conversation.

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

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

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

ask… What do you mean by “especially”? When an emotion. Why do you think you feel/felt that way? Was it because of _____________? Key in on certain words or phrases. such as enthusiasm or concern. 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…. As if I‟m a new person.” “Explain to me what you go thru on a daily basis…on a weekly basis…”.“Give me your quick rundown if I‟m a prospect of yours…. if you will.” “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. At this stage. As an example. but don‟t stop there. or add vocal emphasis. Just go through the basic questions for me.what would that be?” “So continue then. be especially alert when they use an interesting word or phrase. with answering my basic questions on how the trades come in. when people use the word “especially”. how I get started. 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. ask… How did that make you feel? How do you know that on such an intimate level? 55 . is expressed. and that type of information. Follow up on it by asking Could you please define (interesting word or phrase) for me? 6) Questions for Emotional Material Specific Questions For Deeper Insights Of course.give me your presentation.

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

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

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 .

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

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

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

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

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

and what happened from there?” “Tell me a little bit more about that.Interviewing Your Client’s Customer You‟ve been hired to interview your client‟s customers. your primary focus will be on the “reasons why”. does that mean __________?” 65 Digging Directive - Digging - Digging - . Dig in. Their problem and the solution is your focus. With this type of interview. How did you come across (product or service). Find out what‟s behind them. Be on the lookout for “odd” or “standout” words and phrases. allow them to feel your genuine concern and interest. Your ears should perk up when you hear them say. “Had you already tried other things instead?” “Then what happened?” “When you say _________. 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. 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. “Absolutely!” or “Without a doubt!” These are stronger emotional statements.

what was motivating you – on that day vs.” Directive “Why is that?” “Of all the things you can now do in your life (because of the problem being solved). the day before?” Secondary .“On the day that you bought the product.“How do you know that? Directive “How do you know that this works better than XYZ product?” Emotional . what is the thing of which you’re most appreciative?” “What makes you the perfect customer for this product?” Digging - Digging - Revealing .“You say that with such certainty.“What else would you need to know?” 66 .“What made you really need a solution?” “Have you referred the product to others?” “If so.Emotional .“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 .“What would be another reason for you to try it?” “Have you tried a similar product in the past?” “What would prevent you from buying it?” Digging - Digging - Secondary . what have you said to them? Digging Directive - Sample Questions for Prospective Customers Digging “What would be your greatest motivation to try this product?” Secondary .

At the end of their reply. it‟s good to reiterate the point back to the interviewee. Make them feel their input is valuable. what would that be?” Keep bringing it back When you‟ve asked a digging/tough question. Example: Q: “When you say was there anything in particular that drew you to this product over another?” A: I looked up the ingredients. Your interview will be much richer for it. what would you say to them?” And. if they‟ve already told others… “What did you say to your friends and family when you told them about the product?” Keep in mind this is the “dumping”. and the reply was short. and figured let’s try this and see. 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 for whatever reason they were reluctant to try it.Ask digging questions… “If you were going to recommend the product to someone. 67 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep your ears tuned for the “language” they use. and the nuances of the questions that they‟d love to ask an expert. understanding and empathy for that Target Audience..So what happens if… I have an interview that I just can’t pass up but don’t have much knowledge about the subject matter. your interview will flow much more smoothly.bream…largemouth. Create a connection. TIPS FOR INTERVIEWING EXPERTS Be authentic and sincere Develop your listening skills Prepare for the interview Keep the objective in mind Write down potential questions as a guideline – not a map Gain permission to ask one more question at the end of the interview Review your recorded interviews – what did you do well…not so well Notes: 74 .” If you become familiar with the common terms. the questions. What do you do? You interview one or two bass fishermen first. This may occasionally happen. “Shad. You‟ll get to understand the struggles. It‟s not the ideal situation but you can still make it work. Let‟s say that you‟re set up to interview a bass fishing expert – but you‟re not a bass fisherman.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make them more specific. 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 . Team them up with a Directive or Secondary question to get the best material. and how have you learned from them? What wouldn‟t you do now that you did before? Was there a turning point decision for you? What was that? What circumstances helped create the opportunity? At start-up. Experience What have you done to get to where you are now? Have you taken missteps along the way. what is something creative you did to lower costs? What steps have you take to achieve ___? How did you know to do that? Create 3 of your own Experience questions you‟d like to ask an expert 1) 2) 3) Regret Looking back.Strategic Questions For Experts Modify these to fit the type of individual and niche.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remember…

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

102

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

2)

3)

For the interviewee 1)

2)

3)

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

104

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

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

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

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

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

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