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The Secret Six™
And The Power Of Intimate Interviews
The Art And Mastery Of The Intimate Interview Turning the Art of the Intimate Interview into a Service Reasons to do Intimate Interviews First Things First - Equipment To Get the Most from an Intimate Interview Let’s Get Started Worksheet –Intimate Interview Exercise Seven Point Emotional Bank Account Sustaining the Emotional Bank Account Worksheet – Seven point Emotional Bank Account The Power of Listening Directive Questions Secondary Questions Worksheet – Directive and Secondary Questions Overview of Secret Six Questions Types of Secret Six Questions The Secret Six Questions Rapport-Building Questions Likeability and Trust Questions Persona Questions Revealing Questions Digging Questions Emotional Questions Worksheet – Secret Six Questions Client – Customer – Expert Interviews Interviewing a Client Worksheet – Client Interview Interviewing Your Client’s Customer Worksheet – Customer Interview 3 6 8 12 13 15 18 20 23 25 26 38 41 44 46 48 50 50 51 51 53 54 55 58 60 62 64 65 68
Approaching Experts Interviewing Experts Strategic Questions for Experts The Predetermined Set-Up Worksheet – Expert Interview Wrapping up the Interview Effective Interview Techniques Long pauses Softening Statements Allow them to lead Dig deeper Advanced Interview Techniques Worksheet – Advanced Interview Techniques Preparing for the Interview
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Shaune Clarke – Shaune@DynamicResponseMarketing.com
When is an interview not a Q & A session? When it’s an Intimate Interview!
The Art and Mastery Of The Intimate Interview
An Intimate Interview is not merely a matter of asking the right questions at the right time… It‟s FEELING what and when to ask.
You Do Not Want Just… “An Interview” You Want INTIMATE INTERVIEWS…
. Who will benefit? Literally everyone. Copywriters…Internet Marketers…Writers...Business Owners…the list goes on and on. If there is one skill that will improve your business, interviewing is it! As an example…
If You’re An Internet Marketer, a single interview can bring….
Increased viral traffic Powerful SEO traffic Article content creation Increased trust, offline and online Added credibility Potential JV opportunities and list exposure
Get provocative comments Give a new or different perspective Create original content Get the interviewee excited
A well-done Intimate Interview is your surest way to develop a Viral Marketing Piece. You‟ll be able to create a “buzz… “You should hear what _____ said about ______!”
THIS IS… The One Skill That Can Benefit Every Part Of Your Online Marketing.
If You’re a Copywriter or Write Copy For Your Business…
Intimate Interviews will help you uncover… Hidden reasons the target audience will buy Hidden reasons the target audience won‟t buy Deep emotional triggers you can‟t find any other way The hidden objections, perceptions and hot buttons And also… Cut your research time by half Trigger your subconscious mind – eliciting your best material Become connected and passionate about the person, product or service . Know that getting “there” is the key to effortless, emotion-driven, multidimensional copy. Copy that feels right, feels believable… Copy that has emotion, strength and clarity.
THIS IS… Copywriting Mastery!
Intimate Interviews also improve client relationships by increasing trust, likeability, respect and value. Imagine pulling off “The Winner”… Envision being successful because of it.
If You’re a Business Owner or Professional…
You have valuable knowledge that others will pay money to obtain. You also have colleagues and associates with knowledge. Information Marketing is a Billion dollar industry. You are in a position to use your knowledge, experience and contacts to tap into it. Through interviewing you can quickly create high-quality, in-demand information products – both written and audio. To create your own product all you have to do is have a colleague or staff member go through the program with you. They interview you and… You interview other colleagues and experts. This begins to collect the necessary information for… Blog posts Emails Newsletters Articles A Manual Even… Your Own Book. With a little editing, your interviews become audio information products.
THIS IS… The Best Way To Leverage Your Assets -- Your Knowledge -- Your Experience -- Your Contacts.
I‟m sometimes hired to interview others in order to create their own selfpromotional pieces. she now has an excellent pass-around product. 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. as well as shared with friends and family. 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.com or call toll-free 866-486-4884. people can listen to it in the car…or while they‟re on the go. 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. Here's what she got for hiring me: Two 30 minute interviews Provocative. email me at Shaune@DynamicResponseMarketing.again. I just did this for a multi-faith minister. making for an excellent sales tool. 6 . It increases the chances that it‟ll get listened to. The banter of an interview is excellent for holding attention -. We did two interviews in an hour -.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. The interview is provocative. Turn your interviews into promotional tools. As an example.
Take a few moments to figure out what‟s really at the root of your annoyance. Forget about running down a list of questions. are you annoyed with your spouse because they spilled coffee. It‟s being tuned in to what people are “not” saying. With that realization…. For example. That doesn‟t work if you want to get to the deeper objections. The next time you react emotionally to something (like getting angry) ask yourself “Why am I reacting in this way?” You‟ll realize that the minor annoyances are usually masking a deeper issue. interviewing is not a passive form of listening. It‟s a tool. you can accomplish them in a relatively short period of time…if you ingrain these techniques. desires and motivations of your clients. so they become natural and fluid. studying and ingraining are essential. It begins with you…. not the spot of coffee on the kitchen floor. or even your friends and family. But like any technique. Interviewing requires being tuned in to this. 7 .No matter your goals with interviewing. Dig for the answers. perceptions and hot buttons. your target market. Your goal is to ingrain these techniques. You see. But like any new skill. Other people are approaching their own issues from their own perspectives. It‟s active participation. 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. 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. 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. study and practice are essential. You will gain access to the real issues.
8 . It‟s not the portion of the market that you‟re targeting. “It‟s not this….. and he thinks the Target Audience will be Chiropractors. Well. Instead. focus on being empathetic. The information will also enable you to define and make “Not” statements. a good listener. 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…. 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. The bad experiences they‟ve had…hidden objections… Why do they use the product or service…. and perhaps dump something on you that is pure marketing gold! Reasons to do Intimate Interviews One of the key things you are looking for are the desires of the Target Audience.” Who exactly IS your Target Audience (TA)? Allow me to explain who it‟s not…. yes and no. You‟re evaluating the potential selling features for the Target Audience. Ask a member of the Target Audience and they‟ll tell you just about anything.perceptions. 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. refrain from offering advice.
the same philosophy holds true. 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 . the first thing you do is qualify them as part of the Target Audience. Define your presentation for that 2% of the market and forget about the 98% that are not going to buy no matter what.What motivates her? What is her unique story? If you‟re interviewing your client‟s customers. Perhaps we could increase that from 1% to 2%. Most of the times. it‟s only 1% of the market. If you’re interviewing prominent people to develop your own e-books or articles. 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. You want to dig into their knowledge. If you‟re interviewing a client . their perspectives.Your real Target Audience is the Chiropractor who will actually be LIKELY to buy from you. We don‟t want to miss any of the TA. Key points to uncover: What the person is into. This leaves the interviewee much more open to providing a testimonial than giving you “an interview”. This determination is highly specific to three things… Those who are prone or susceptible to Your particular message Your particular persona Your particular offer What are the factors in their lives that trigger the need for this product or service? Why them and not the other Chiropractors? What‟s their trigger? We should focus exclusively on them…the 1% that is likely to buy.
try to figure out how they feel about alternatives. figure out what other people would love to know.approach you‟re taking with her customers. but decided to do some investigation during interviews with his existing customers. She doesn‟t need anyone who is just a “testimonial collector”) If you‟re interviewing an Expert. You are digging for the deeper reasons! Reasons people buy. Reasons a product was developed. As far as the (Major Brand Name Pain-Reliever)…the customers really liked having these over-the-counter options. Not just for their arthritis but for other things like headaches. To have written copy slanted against these pain relievers would have alienated the TA. I didn’t believe this was the proper approach. “Do you take pain medication?” 10 . are they pro or con regarding traditional medicine? This is all part of trying to determine the perfect customer…what they need to know….and what you don’t need to have in the copy. Figure out “where they’re at” The best way to handle a situation like this is to ask the customer. What differing perspectives do they have? How did they get to be where they are now? Why do they do what they do? The techniques of Intimate Interviewing will work in any type of situation. Reasons behind an expert’s rise to the top of her field. and decreased response. Real Life Tidbit One of my clients hired me to write copy for an arthritis product he had developed He was convinced that the copy should educate people about the fact that the (Major Brand Name Pain-Reliever) they were taking were ruining the linings of their stomachs. In this case. When you’re doing interviews with customers.
and was anti-medical establishment. “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. In this case.Then you can even bring it up with them in an impromptu manner. NOTES: 11 . IF the perfect customer was already familiar with natural health. See how open or defensive they get. heartfelt answers -.you’re in the rare position to craft a message unique to their emotions. When you can ask specific questions of your market and get definite. Extremely useful information. they still weren’t antidoctor. I also found out that once they got to a naturopath. thoughts and values.
With a real person. This is a real conversation. and using your other hand to scribble down notes. FOCUS - FOCUS . Gesture with your hands. Picture that person in front of you. if that‟s how you best communicate. jot it down…but that’s the only reason you should need them. Keep it as natural as possible. All of us have suffered through conversations where the other person was busy with tasks. Extremely frustrating and distracting. 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. 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. you should be directing your attention to the current conversation.FOCUS 12 . Do keep a pen and paper in front of you if there is a point made that you need to get back to. …not conducive to conversational flow at all. Recording device for your phone There are subtle nuances and opportunities missed if you‟re scribbling down the conversation. wouldn‟t you say? Rather than focusing on taking notes.First things first… In order to be fully present during the interview.
If you suspect this is happening during the interview. Authentically hearing the other person requires an open mind.To Get The Most From An Intimate Interview Clear Concise Communication How you think the interviewee understood one of your questions may be quite different from how they actually processed it. 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. Also. don't hesitate to reiterate or ask for an explanation. This may also be true in how you interpret their responses. and realized later that your words were misconstrued? If this happens during an interview. Think about this…how many times during the course of each day do we make decisions about other people? When someone cuts in front of us in the grocery store. What we‟ve done in those cases is project our own implications or judgments onto others. During an interview. we shut down our ability to truly communicate with and see people for who they really are. or on the highway…we may think we‟re “surrounded by idiots” and our day is ruined. When we “label" others. you‟ll be able to “feel” the disconnection. It ensures you are both on the same wavelength. get into the habit of occasionally reiterating your own interpretation of what the person has said. It helps you pay attention. Have you ever said something. Take a moment to go back and clarify the statements made. put aside your own judgments. A small misinterpretation can lead to a breakdown during the interview. It shows you care about what they are saying. 13 .
We‟ve all been the recipients of receiving understanding from others. Do them a favor. Do whatever you need to clear your mind of any distractions. need or pain. Empty your own emotional burden so you can be receptive to others.They have their own set of experiences. 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. stresses and forms of communication that should not be evaluated according to our skewed perceptions.. there can‟t be a genuine exchange. Get clear. or get some relaxation time before the call. NOTES: 14 . to the expressions of desire. Pass it along. Leave your baggage out of the interview. or flow.take time for yourself How often have you been talking to someone on the phone. Unless you have clarity going into the interview. Clear your calendar so there‟s nothing crowding the time you‟ve scheduled to interview them.. meditate. Go for a walk.
and obtain a reasonable. You are holding an excellent reference in your hands. By combining Secret Six Questions with Directive and Secondary Questions. You‟re concerned with “How” to get an interview with an influential person? It‟s really not too difficult. more connected interview. A skilled interviewer can ask anybody almost anything. For example… Learn how to gauge the Emotional Bank Account. After that… A section on Directive Questions and Secondary Questions is provided to help you improve the quality of the interview process. you‟re on your way to achieving an Intimate Interview. Being an “interviewer” sets you apart. These Secret Six Questions are the backbone of your interview process. Practice. All this and more will be spelled out for you. informative response. 15 . Breathe. Read it. Learning to phrase questions in a conversational manner means a more fluid. 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. These are outlined in an easy-to-follow manner. Once you‟ve become familiar with it. Relax. Instantly.Let’s Get Started! Don‟t expect to be perfect with your first few interviews. move on to the Secret Six Questions. and listening to the recommended CDs will speed your progress toward becoming an expert interviewer Each interview can be broken down into simple steps. It's a matter of practicing the techniques laid out here. Study it. Or perhaps…. Doing the exercises.
It‟s instant camaraderie. Wouldn‟t you be curious about who they‟ve interviewed? What they do interviews for? 16 . Something that you‟re comfortable with…that which you have knowledge in…something you find extremely interesting. especially those who are willing to drink it in. 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. Experts love to talk to people who want to listen – who are into what they‟re into.” You‟d think twice about that person. In fact. They‟ll feel appreciated. and that you‟re not just “doing an interview”. It happens all the time. I know I‟ll be better in the interview when I have my own “need to know”. “I interview people. wouldn‟t you? You‟d give them more attention. heartfelt compliment. I was very attentive and truly wanted to know what he could tell me. That real-life authenticity shows that you are into it. the opposite was true. Give them an authentic. Why? Personally. Imagine this… You‟re speaking to someone and ask them what they do. It’s best to interview someone who you actually want to learn from. Then make a specific reference to information they‟ve presented that you like and what you now want to know more about. It‟s part of being an expert. It‟s a great way to network to the top.In seconds you‟ll have attained instant credibility in that person‟s eyes. They want to share their knowledge with others. They answer. How do I Interview an Expert? Begin with your own niche. and will have gained value and importance. But I wasn‟t informed enough to be bored.
Each section that requires you to have a CD player and a corresponding disc will be noted at the beginning of each section/exercise. and unique if you were asked to be interviewed? Of course! As An Interviewer. validated. 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. 17 .And… Would you feel special. They‟re structured to provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to achieve an Intimate Interview.
Discs 4 and 5 Also) 18 . the time it occurred and especially… any insights that you may have.” 2) At what times you hear either of them “shift” in their emotions.Set up: Disc 1 David and Karen Interview Exercises David and Karen Interviews . (ie: 3:43) 1) Make a note of when I am "letting them talk. Now…Listen To Best-Of-The-Best #1 – Discs 2 and 3 (Optional Exercise . 3) How did I respond to those shifts? List examples.Disc 1 List the times on the recording as your answers. 4) What is the turning point and what "opportunity" did I seize as a result? Make note of what was said.
1) Times you feel Foby "shift" -.." 3) Times when you feel that I'm "exploring" -. 4) What do you feel is the "Pivotal Moment" in the Interview? Now…Listen To The Foby Interview Coaching Call – Disc 7 19 .IE: You notice a change in his tone of voice. 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.Set up: Disc 6 Foby Interview Exercise Foby Interview.looking for opportunities..Disc 6 (pardon the clarity) Make note of what was said. Listen to the "momentum" of the call and look for.
completely connected and on topic Notice that even in everyday conversation. The more emotional (enthusiastic. You‟re placing a deposit in his Emotional Bank Account. it‟s an opportunity for you as an interviewer. (Especially teenagers!) If they‟re at a Level 6. Listen to their voice. If you have someone excited about a subject.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. I've created this 7-point system to help you gauge exactly “where” your prospect is throughout the interview. excited) a person is. 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 -. What happens when you ask a strong question? …you get resistance. chances are they won‟t respond at all. you can ask a more intimate (or probing) question and get an answer. But if they‟re at a Level 3 and you ask the same question. let him talk. Your Emotional Bank Account is going to drop. In an interview. the better the time to ask a strong question. their tone. 20 . even if it‟s not relevant to the copy or topic of the interview. Are they getting louder. people will fluctuate between some of the emotional states listed above. more intense? When someone is more “up” or excited. monitor your subject‟s changing emotional states.
and you may be able to ask anything without fear of “going broke. When they are at 2 or 3. Other times everything will go extremely well. you risk using it all on just one question. ask that tough question. knowing if you run out of credit it may be the only one you get to ask. you‟ll have to be discriminative about which question you ask first. This could potentially be great information in the copy. but you‟ll need to pay close attention to his tone before doing so. but you‟ll get a great answer. It‟ll bring him down to a 5. I just knew he was losing money on it. In this case.Let‟s say you have him at a 5." Of course I wanted to hear the specifics…the exact dollar amount. 21 . A great way to build that Emotional Bank Account when you feel them drop. There are times when you‟ll need to "budget. He‟s just dropped down to a 3." Real Life Tidbit I interviewed an inventor (Disc 1) who wasn’t very receptive to speaking with me. don‟t even attempt the difficult questions. I wanted to know how much money it cost to come up with his invention. At 4 or 5. At this point. Monitor where they‟re at as far as their changing emotional states. is to ask a question that brings them back to the spot where they were feeling good. but still not digging too deep emotionally. don‟t count on getting an answer from him. You may not get them back up to a 7 before the end of the call. You can follow up a strong question with another strong question." You may want answers to several difficult questions. He‟s talkative. So use your points carefully. “I want to go back to when you said ___________” “I have another question for you about that” but only after EBA has gone up. But if you know you only have so much credit. you probably still can't ask the real deep digging questions. His initial response? "A lot of money. But if you have him at a 7. You ask him a strong question.
NOTES: 22 .But after spending 30 minutes getting him up to a 6 on the emotional scale. I opted for asking multiple questions and gleaning useful information rather than shut him down as a resource altogether. my account was fragile. This guy was not very willing to share anything. but would still be useful. I had to make a decision. In this situation. Ask those tough questions and lose the interview. or have him answer multiple questions that may not have rich content. I would not be able to ask more Digging questions.
David had invented a product targeted for women. It worked. Your conversation and banter may be enough to carry it along…to clear the way for answers to deeper questions. Occasionally the interview is not progressing well. Your Emotional Bank Account is depleting. The excitement in his voice rose because I was interested in his unique achievement. and to get him more involved in the conversation. So what do you do now? Find a unique achievement that is important to them While listening. (this does not mean you‟re taking notes through the whole conversation) You may need this later on to get the interviewee more involved. jot down any points that could trigger energetic conversation. This was important to him. interviewer second As well as building rapport.Sustaining the Emotional Bank Account Keeping your subject emotionally involved with the conversation will sustain momentum. Look for connection. you‟ll get further in the interview by being authentically interested. They create bridges from you to your subject. 23 . But that doesn‟t always happen. It‟s a struggle to keep it going. Be a person first. I found he had a talent for something that wouldn‟t resonate with his typically female market…. rather than just rattling off a list of questions. As an example. I agree with you… let me ask you"… These statements are affirmations.rebuilding motorcycles. Why did I pursue this topic with him? Because I was having trouble connecting with him. It helps instill a conversational tone to the interview. You need to raise it up again. It was an attempt to show my genuine interest. "Absolutely.
be certain that you are “clear” before beginning the interview. To empathize with your subject. And most importantly… Be Empathetic! You may need a few minutes to get into their frame of mind…and stay there. simply ask how he feels about what you‟re discussing. This is not about what YOU feel… it‟s about what HE feels. NOTES: 24 . They‟re going to tell you much more than you can imagine if they feel that you‟re just there to hear them. This may reveal more potent information than anything you had planned to ask.back off from the questions . other than to listen to them…without judgment. your hectic schedule and any potential bias. Ask yourself…how is this particular person reacting to the questions you are asking or the areas being discussed? To reiterate an earlier point. You have taken the time to clear your thoughts. you should generate and sustain an engaging conversation. It‟s important to stay connected with how they are feeling throughout the interview. By following these simple guidelines.If you feel that the conversation isn‟t flowing .see if casual talk helps lower their resistance to you. Your subject needs to feel that you have no outside agenda.
He’s slipped a few points in the Emotional Bank Account.The Seven Point Emotional Bank Account Worksheet 1) Choose any one of the interview CD’s 2) Listen carefully for dips and fluctuations of tone 3) Gauge the progress of the interview on the Emotional Bank Account scale 1 = They‟ve just “checked out” 2 = Watching the clock 3 = Participating out of duty 4 = Interested 5 = Talkative 6 = Emotional 7 = Don't want to stop talking -. 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. Time: Phrase: Time: Phrase: Time: Phrase: Time: Phrase: Time: Phrase: Set up Disc 12 – Robert Stover Interview Time: 29:00 – 30:20. Robert states “I can’t share that one”. Note when the question is asked to divulge some information. Can you feel the difference? 25 .
purchases.are only as good as our level of listening. customers or experts.. 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. but totally disempowering.Wisdom is the reward for a lifetime of listening . When we listen automatically…. We offer either/or solutions. or even more stressed? Feeling like no one else really understands or cares.. or statements.” or “I know exactly how you feel!” All well-intentioned of course. 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 . Most of us are lazy listeners. challenges and statements like “If I were you…. Kaufman THE POWER OF LISTENING IS KEY TO AN INTIMATE INTERVIEW As interviewers. We dig for the “whys” for their motivations. Would it be all that surprising to find out that the “automatic” listening we engage in leaves us feeling more isolated.. We can‟t understand why “they” just can‟t do what they should. But our interviews – the very basis of our marketing -. D J. We‟re distracted. Let‟s face it. Our conversations are punctuated with interruptions. our best information comes from speaking to clients. when you'd have preferred to talk. We can‟t wait to give our opinion. or falls flat on its face.
It‟s a tremendous deposit into another person‟s emotional bank account. Listening for the nuances. Someone we can really open up with.What is it? Intense Listening! There‟s a BIG difference between “hearing” and Intense Listening. Karl Jung pushed his students to master the art. He states… “Empathetic Listening – listening/responding with both the heart and mind to understand the speaker‟s words intent and feelings. “Hearing” is what we do every day. Freud emphasized it. But we‟re most likely not Listening. You always seem to come away from the conversation feeling good. Intense Listening means leaving yourself behind…and focusing entirely on the other person – what HE‟s saying. What exactly is Intense Listening? It‟s listening with intent to understand the other person‟s frame of reference and feelings. There are numerous papers on the subject in the psychoanalytical field. this isn‟t a new concept. Listen for what is not being said.not thinking about what you‟re going to say next. your eyes and your heart. Intense Listening. don‟t you? 27 . is using your ears. It‟s being tuned in to those little bits and pieces that are out-of-the-ordinary and original. combined with empathy. We go to a whole new level of total understanding of another person. It means not judging -. what HE‟s feeling. It‟s deeply therapeutic and healing and gives someone a way to air their issues. Of course. Not an easy thing to do. 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. Hear people gripe about their relationships.” Think about this… We all know of one person we love to talk to. We hear things on the radio. This has spilled over into other areas of medicine and into the world of marketing. Hear the neighbor‟s dog barking. inflections and tone of voice.
Ask questions – dig for the deeper meaning – what are they really saying? Gaining true understanding of another person -. -. Perhaps you wanted to keep on talking late into the night. If you‟re thinking this is difficult. you‟re only partly right.is the goal of Intense Listening. because you finally had someone who really listened – someone who really seemed to “get” you. You will… . Here‟s a partial list of the almost-instant changes you‟ll experience once you start to practice Intense Listening. It‟s much more difficult to go through the rest of your life without this skill.not just becoming familiar with them -. undisturbed.Make better choices .actively listening. The depth of your concern. They had every ounce of your attention – you didn‟t argue or judge. understanding and empathy is also magnified when you‟re “in the zone”. Remember your first real love? You clung to every word as if it was gold. your thoughts become more focused.Generate respect and rapport 28 . you need to be actively engaged. Intense Listening isn’t a passive process To truly appreciate what the other person is saying. right? When you‟re in that heightened state of listening.Deepen intimacy . finish their sentences or offer advice. Feels good. We don‟t interrupt. practice and tremendous focused energy on your part. That is Intense Listening. Your ability to quickly process information and respond with insightful questions and comments is magnified.Improve relationships . The two of you felt like the most important people in the world. This takes patience.Have you ever wondered why? It‟s a sure bet they‟re a great listener.
He even said. 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. We see it all the time. Intense and empathetic listening is about opening up with total understanding of another person. I was engaged in a deep conversation with my friend. People start out listening. Not an easy thing to do. Another friend. only to unhook and run with their own agenda. “Hearing” is what we do every day. 29 . But we‟re not really Listening.. Hear people gripe about their relationships. You don‟t offer your opinion. who is a social worker. Jennifer.Create win-win situations .Make more money The list could go on and on… There‟s a BIG difference between “hearing” and Intense Listening. You‟re not expected to “fix” or “change” anything. It was apparent that they hadn‟t been able to completely “unload” their experiences. It means not judging -.Resolve conflicts more easily . “Wow…I hadn‟t heard about that before. They were starving to be heard. Hear the neighbor‟s dog barking. Because I was listening. kept butting in with his own stories. The listening process is short-circuited. I‟d steer the conversation back to Jennifer. Within 5 minutes. Finally. 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. I had 5 people vying for my attention before I knew it! They each had stories and perspectives to share. what HE‟s feeling. We hear things on the radio.not thinking about what you‟re going to say next. Each time. She was frustrated with the lack of support from the administration and was recounting some of her reasons for these frustrations. the other friend started listening to Jennifer as well.” Honestly. It means leaving yourself behind…and focusing entirely on the other person – what HE‟s saying. who works in the very same office.
is perceived as confident and gathers more respect. affirmed. 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. The long-term results in possessing the skill of attentive listening will be felt in both your personal and professional life. Or. salespeople. in turn. etc.We’re overloaded and overwhelmed We all lead very busy lives. their output and creativity levels increase. parents. media. This pertains to business as well as relationships.next to survival -. choose which messages are important and give those our full attention. you‟re able to more clearly see the issues experienced by the other person. yet subtle and gentle way of being. Quicker conflict resolution – When dealing with an emotionally charged topic or crisis. And. Think of who we listen to daily…spouses. The core of the problem is identified much more quickly and the coolingdown process is able to occur. Yet -. demanding.the greatest need of a human being is to be understood. moving about in it delicately without making judgments… To be with another in this way means that for the time being you lay aside the views and values you hold for yourself in order to enter the other’s world without prejudice…a complex. How many people ever get to “finish” being heard? Just think of how allowing someone else to be heard will affect them. validated. How can we possibly “listen” to every single message? We can‟t. Higher productivity – If people are encouraged to explain problems and start working through them. elevate your influence because you‟re willing to HEAR them. By listening attentively. Preoccupations and distractions are part of our daily lives. so we need to allow our minds to wander. friends.” 30 . co-workers. strong. focusing on listening helps both the talker and the listener remain calm. children. The facts aren‟t misconstrued by your own interpretation. Fewer miscommunications – Better listening leads to better information. Higher self-esteem and respect – An active listener gets along better with others. and appreciated.
Listening During Interviews When we truly listen during an interview. The results you achieve will be nothing short of spectacular! An effective salesman seeks to understand the needs.Intense listening is not for wimps It takes a great deal of security to go into a deep listening experience. you can dig into the core of the material you want to uncover. How many of us can… Let go of our ego long enough to understand another person‟s perspective -without feeling like we must defend our own position? Remain completely open to another person‟s experiences… without judgment? Leave ourselves and our hectic lives aside while listening to someone else? Become vulnerable to another person‟s emotions? It‟s not easy. 31 . but the rewards are great. But how does he find out exactly what the customer is looking for? An effective interviewer seeks to understand a person‟s motivations.These help lessen the abruptness of your questions. 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. experience and reasoning. 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. Softening Statements . There‟s only one way to do this…Intense Listening. It also provides your interviewee with a specific direction to go. concerns and situations of his customer. One example of a Softening Statement is “Do you mind if I ask…” Revealing Questions – If you‟re listening. An amateur sells the product -.
though it very well may be to them. From now on. Compare what they’re talking about to something similar in your own life Comparing what they‟re talking about to something similar in your life isn‟t the same thing as letting them know you understand. it‟ll seem as if the subject isn‟t important to you.It‟s all about viewing the world from another person‟s perspective. this type of listening takes time to develop. The purpose isn‟t for you to engage in your story. Otherwise. Keep it brief and not center-stage. Using these types of responses is controlling and invasive. we‟re all guilty of responding in one or more of these ways. The result? Any real communication ends. 32 . An acknowledgement of understanding should be stated briefly. There have been interviews with Experts where it was necessary for me to stop them. You‟re able to step inside another person‟s shoes -.You should only do this if the original subject is concluded. Interrupt – As basic as this sounds. Try to cheer them up – You‟re not taking their emotional state seriously. Granted. Rather. But not nearly as much time as backing up and trying to correct misunderstandings.praising If we‟re honest. 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. it is to only indirectly reveal your sincere empathy.see the world as he does. Those times are rare. Change the subject . they may interpret it on a deep level that you think they‟re unable to do so on their own. we all do it. don‟t…or do it only sparingly. 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. Here are a few types of responses we use when we’re not listening effectively… Warning – lecturing – withdrawing – sympathizing – blaming – moralizing – scolding -.
If you‟ve been able to get them to open up to you . it will most likely be damaged. Instead they become stepping stones to synergy. On the other hand… When we really deeply understand each other. 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. If you‟re stumbling around. Possible comments to make are… “If I understand you correctly. not to your responses. Be attentive to the conversation. Chances are slim you‟ll end up with the results you were hoping for. we open the door to creative solutions and alternatives. Our differences are no longer stumbling blocks to communication and progress. An Intense Listening situation really can be quite delicate…especially if you came together as strangers.If you‟ve been able to establish any type of real connection. Using the various types of questions at the right times is crucial. 33 . WARNING: Practicing Before You Interview! Whatever you do. You‟ll have to work twice as hard to get them to feel comfortable again. or uncomfortable with this “new” type of listening… you risk permanently alienating the other person. This Secret Six Intimate Interviews program teaches you how to avoid this. be sure to practice your new listening skills before trying to use them in an important interview.one wrong word can make them close up and feel embarrassed. Especially make note of any feelings they may have revealed. 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.
things that may be impacting your other senses. But if you are able to quiet your own “internal chatter”. these phrases may seem ordinary… but in an active listening situation. “Uh huh” “Yes” “Really?" "Mm . You will use them naturally.instead of just the “surface” material. These are statements that show them you‟re listening." "How about that!" Be Aware Of Their Tonality Pay attention to their tone. speed and inflection. Clearly. but those must take a back seat during the Listening process." "Interesting. When you‟re present and tuned in to their tonalities. a phone ringing or a noisy environment. How is this done? 34 . Don‟t let your thoughts drift – focus on the person who is speaking. This is the emotional content of the words. A television turned on. a listening connection isn‟t possible when we aren‟t fully present. You‟re able to respond based on those nuances – what is REALLY being said . even your simple presence-confirming comments will carry more emotion.while the other person is still speaking. This is not being fully present and respectful of the conversation. External distractions are things that you can see or hear . they become extremely valuable. most of us are busy thinking about how we are going to respond – what we‟re going to say next . They make them feel you‟re “with” them. We all have 100 other things going on in our lives. because you‟re picking up on the subtleties." "You don't say. Be Fully Present Instead of really listening.mmmmm.Use Presence-Confirming Statements At first glance. you‟ll be able to pick up the little nuances of what is being said… and how they‟re saying it.
It‟s conveyed even if they can‟t see you. Sounds easy…but it takes practice. Don‟t angle away from them. Typically this happened when I asked a follow-up question. Instead." "What did you do then?" "You used the word ________. If you‟re doing the interview over the phone. Your shoulders and your face should be “open” and facing them completely. allow them state their point fully. Try to see things from their perspective and frame of reference. It could be that we‟ve had a similar experience. If you want to truly understand where the speaker is coming from. Be certain you have their perspective…not yours. what exactly did you mean by that?” IMPORTANT . You‟ll receive the whole message and be able to respond in a more open manner. This will force you to focus. There have been times when. although I thought I knew how someone would answer. Whatever the case. It‟s easy to think that we already “know” what someone is going to say.Concentrate On The Speaker Face the speaker. Come From A Place Of Understanding Try to put yourself in their shoes.Check Your Emotions Be aware of topics and things that trigger your emotions. forget about your own situation and feelings. Never Assume We all do it. Use follow-up clarifying questions such as… "Tell me the whole story. Increase your efforts to focus on a clear understanding of what‟s being said. they surprised me by taking it in a completely different direction. 35 . still be attentive to your body language. Questions should be not have an interrogative feel to them. 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.
This saves you time and quickly gets you directly into copy that pulls a higher response.Are you evaluating the other person? Offering advice? These may be typical responses in communication…but an effective listener does none of this. The Rewards of Intense Listening If you’re a copywriter… You‟ll be able to quickly get to your Target Audience‟s objections. someone who has something wonderful to tell you. 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. Be authentic. perceptions and hot buttons. Notice your responses . Communicating is not just saying words… it’s creating true understanding. Have Them Understand That You Understand State your understanding. 36 . Actively share in the speaker‟s efforts to improve your level of understanding. What are your views? If someone has an opposing view. whether or not you agree with their point of view. If they feel that you‟re not being open (even subconsciously) they won‟t want to divulge or share any pertinent information. By accepting them.For example… A lot of people are passionate about politics or religion. An individual will see right through you when you‟re not with them emotionally. someone you can trust. During An Interview… Seek first to understand – Take yourself out of the picture. Always enter an interview as if you‟re getting together with your best friend. but be brief. but rather acknowledge an incident that may have been similar to theirs. you create a high Emotional Bank Account. Don‟t allow your ego to get in the way of any valuable information you might obtain. You don‟t need to get into a full-blown story of your own life.
Then practice Intense Listening. 37 . notice how many people are truly “listening”.If you’re an interviewer… You‟ll get fresh. All relationships improve and understanding is achieved. In your business and personal life… There‟s nothing else like learning to truly listen. Also. The next time you‟re in a social situation. Just don’t be surprised at how many people want to talk to you! NOTES. Try this experiment…. provocative insights and comments from the Experts. It‟s going to be rare to find even one. Daring to be completely open to another person is powerful and instills trust. word will spread that an interview by you is sure to generate positive exposure for them.
that‟s a bit dramatic but you get the point. Imagine the same question.” Eventually though. It also helps define the answer you‟re searching for – which in this case could be the “story” behind the action. Avoid this at all costs. you will be trying to get to specific information. asked along with another. Set up: Disc 8.” Pointed abrupt questions = surface answers. Directive questions will help get you there. It‟s rather intimidating when asked by itself. as well as “softens” the initial question. If you‟re asked a single. “Were you speeding? Are you in a hurry to get somewhere?” “Yes sir. Disc 9. “Are you in a hurry to get somewhere?” you soften it. The Directive Question focuses in on your target. direct question. These will be used along with the Secret Six Questions to get the most out of your interviews. Disc 11 Directive Questions There are times when it‟s good to just let your subject talk – I call this letting him “dump. “Were you speeding?” is a very direct question. Correct? “Were you speeding?” “Yes sir. It will generate something of relevance from your subject…if it‟s based on what you‟re searching for. The first question. But by adding the second question. Placing a Directive Question directly after your primary question also defines which direction the answer lies. 38 .” Okay. you typically give back a singular answer.What do we want to know? The hidden objections – the compelling story – the hidden desires… Before we start the Secret Six Techniques. My wife is in the back seat having a baby. you should first understand how to utilize Directive and Secondary Questions.
Don‟t let them go on blindly.. She‟s checking her watch. A Directive Question leads them gently down the conversational path. It‟s based on what you‟re searching for. She‟ll be trying to guess which venue to go down.The Directive Question will: Pinpoint the answer Soften the edge of that first question Help maintain the flow and momentum of the call Ask your first question. Define it for your subject Don‟t allow them to go on blindly You define the conversation…in a natural manner 39 . With the second (or Directive) question. slightly annoyed. define it for your subject. Let‟s follow this as if in an actual interview…without a Directive question. It‟s too abrupt and interrupts the flow of the conversation.. Q: “How do you know that?” A: “How do I know what?” (Natural flow of conversation is immediately halted. By stating a question…by itself…you will stop that thought process. The other person has several topics on her mind. “What did he mean by that?” Let‟s assume you‟re in the middle of an interview. Something to think about.) 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.
Brian Keith Voiles 2:40 How do you know that? How does somebody know it if they’re not…? 7:40 – How do you know that? If it’s such a choice.Brian Keith Voiles 10:45: “And so. Brian. Robert. Excerpts: Disc 8 .Robert Stover 27:20 “So now that you know this. It‟s typically followed up immediately with at least one or two more directive questions. what have you done. why isn’t everybody choosing it? How do you know it’s a choice? Disc 9 . Listed are examples of questions followed by Directive questions found in the interview materials. when you’ve gone into this big huge starving crowd with lots of competition? Have you essentially become another 1 in the pile. 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 . 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 . You‟ll notice that very rarely do I ask one single.*Each of the Secret Six Question types can take on the form of a Directive Question. pointed question.
Many times you will want to follow-up on something interesting or provocative your subject just said. That‟s a subconscious invitation to follow them down the rabbit hole… You‟ll have to decide whether or not you really want to go there. They were designed to direct your subject‟s focus towards something specific. 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.Set up Disc 1 Secondary Questions While Directive Questions are used to clarify your first question…Secondary questions can be described as Digging questions. A: (goes into explanation of how a worker at a nursing home cut her finger on a wheelchair. Maybe it‟s a curious inflection…or word choice…or you sense an underlying emotion. To use them effectively… Your “intuitive radar” must be up throughout the interview. It may even trigger something in you. Example: Disc 1 Sanitizer Product Interviews 53:55 Primary Question: Tell me another story about someone that’s called the office. You‟re tuned in to their responses. They‟ve tossed an intriguing comment or phrase your way. Perhaps answered your question with something totally off-topic. Example: “Previously. you used the word “painful” to describe _______…why did you use that particular word?” 41 . a gut feeling that this could lead to something interesting or useful. Trust your intuition. and their response surprises you. You‟re noting what they‟ve said and how they‟ve said it.
I think my mom preferred having him gone. Define that . If I‟m interviewing one of his customers. Depending on the subject. In fact his business went bankrupt when I was 7 years old. I struggled to bring my subject back on topic… I was interviewing one of my client‟s customers and he was starting to delve into past emotional issues. explain what you mean by that.” In this case. It doesn‟t mean I‟d be interested in hearing about dad‟s failed business…if it was coming from my client and not one of his customers. This most likely will not include their traumatic childhood…UNLESS it directly pertains to your client‟s product.. I really didn‟t want him to go there. The person will become very comfortable. During one such interview. He‟s driven. As an example: “My dad used to go down to the bar every night.. Let‟s look at it from another point of view… If I had been interviewing my client. 42 . I swore that would never happen to me. The above statement could be a piece of the client‟s Unique Selling Point. and he ended working for my grandfather. I would want a bit of background.“When you say ______. but not destructive. It took a couple of tries on my part to bring the conversation back to the subject at hand. What does that mean to you?” Dragging them back out of the rabbit hole There will be times when the emotional bank account is going to be high. I really didn‟t want to go there. I‟m searching for his/her reasons that they buy. He‟s motivated and this is part of the cause for it. you may not want to pursue it. very talkative…and they‟ll go off-track.” Can you feel the difference? It’s emotion-driven. The difference is. But I would be looking for something less destructive like: “I’m determined to be a success because my dad never was.
” Do your best to make it as seamless as possible. that’s something. I think my mom preferred having him gone. You start by acknowledging what they just said. or use a transitional sentence to bring them back.So. Refer to a comment or word. “Huh.. how do you respond to an off-topic statement like… “My dad used to go down to the bar every night. Then you direct them back to the conversation you want to have. you used “___________” to describe _______…why that particular phrase? NOTES: 43 . use something they‟ve already stated for the direct tieback. I’d like to go back to the article you were telling me about…. could you explain that a bit more? I hope you won‟t mind. Transitional sentences: Getting back to the ___________.” Bring it back on-topic. Now. 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.
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 .
Digging Questions pave the way for emotion-driven responses. 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. Who are they not? What are some of their behaviors. more comfortable with your role as interviewer. the less influential ones. You may need to dip into your Emotional Bank Account. They‟ll still provide you with great material. the interview will naturally move into the Likeability and Trust questions. start fishing in the smaller ponds. conversational progression of the interview with the Secret Six. at least for a short while. Your job is to really hear them. Persona Questions are the starting point to defining your subject. Once you feel ready to do a “real” interview. Begin your first “live” interview with your client‟s customers. The next step is getting into the Revealing Questions. and the conversation should begin to develop a natural flow. as well as recognize areas for improvement. They need to feel that what they‟re telling you is of utmost importance. Then come the Questions for Emotional Material. at this point. Knowing how to ask these questions and at what time provides your interview with great content. as well as allow you to hone your skills. your conversation should be occurring rather easily. This helps build their confidence. If you‟re interviewing people for your own products. It goes without saying that your very real interest will elevate their willingness to speak freely. Open the interview with Rapport-Building questions and feel your subject become more relaxed and open. Who Should I Start With? I strongly suggest that you start with at least 6 interviews of friends and family. 46 . lifestyles or patterns? By now. start with the “lesser: experts. Once rapport has been established.Overview of the Secret Six Questions Follow the natural. You‟re tuned in and listening to them. You‟ll become more familiar with the process. or the goodwill you‟ve built with your subject. Offer them an authentic compliment. as well as guide the conversation.
This will ensure you get the material you’re looking for. Plus. interview more people than necessary. you will become a better interviewer in a shorter amount of time.Tip: Until you’ve gained a fair amount of experience. NOTES: In order to do a great interview…an Intimate Interview. 47 . 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.
You can work with surface answers. Effectively prepare for what could happen during the interview by understanding: What will decrease the emotional bank account What will increase it How to prevent your subject from emotionally disconnecting Approaching this strategically will give you pure “interview gold”. Your questions must be asked at just the right time. You will… Know how to control the emotional tempo Recognize when and how to ask the right questions Unearth the deep. Getting that richer. underlying reasons they buy or don‟t buy. your subject will feel safe enough to give you emotional.Revealing Digging . deeper-than-surface material.Likeability and Trust Persona . A comprehensive understanding of the Intimate Interview Process/Strategy will give you a decided advantage. 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. This makes the timing of “when” the questions are asked very critical. otherwise you‟ll get a “surface” answer. Without interviewing. but deeplyconnecting material comes from the greater depths.Emotional It‟s not enough to just blurt out the question. deeper material is the whole purpose for the interview. 48 . When you have built up the “Emotional Bank Account” during the interview.Types of Secret Six Questions Rapport Building .
By strategically positioning them within the flow of the interview. It can take days and weeks to come up with enough content to create articles. NOTES: 49 . you‟ll uncover the richest material necessary for great copy and product creation. extremely valuable insights and market definition.Without interviewing. Study and learn the various types of interview questions and their functions. Tip: By positioning the interview as “Market Research”. you will have access to expert advice. you can give yourself license to delve a little deeper if it serves the purpose. But by using the Intimate Interview process. blog posts or e-books. e-zines.
Have you ever… Wanted to___________.Set up: Disc 13 The SECRET SIX Questions Foundational Questions To Get You Started… The following questions are in basic format. Follow these up with a Directive Question to gain a more insightful answer. Felt like_____________. If necessary. 50 . When you________. Considered__________. use a Secondary Question for further investigation. Said_______________. you‟ll gain a clear and concise working knowledge of their purpose. In this manner. or may take 10 minutes. As Well As Reflect Your Genuine Interest In Their Product/Service Building rapport may happen in a matter of moments. It all depends on your approach. 1) Rapport Building Questions These Questions Help Loosen Up Your Interviewee. 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…. as well as your subject‟s personality. reference the Client – Customer – Expert Interview sections. I want to know If______________. Do you__________. How you_________. Taking this time to put them at ease will provide great value through the remainder of the interview. Can you_________. After you become more proficient and familiar with the purpose of these basic questions.
You‟re trying to find a common thread of the persona of the Target Audience A Persona Question will identify behavior patterns such as… Definition of a Persona Question: Identifies behavior patterns such as… Why do they make decisions about certain products How does the product fit into the flow of their day Why are they using the product in the first place Does it fulfill a goal they have Does it alleviate a problem Does it improve their lives 51 . 2) Likeability and Trust Questions Begin To Form The Foundational Knowledge of Your Subject What do you most want people to know? What do you most want your customers to get from you? What does your product/service do like no other? What do you know that nobody else knows? Can you give a “before and after” example? How do you know that? –this is a BIGGIE. I asked his client… “When you say there’s a fortune to be made in trading. It could help uncover the Compelling Story.Ask these general questions until you can feel a “flow” to the conversation. Example: In an interview I did for a stock trader. 3) Persona Questions Your Radar Needs To Be “Up” In Order To Catch Inflections In Their Voice Which Indicate The Deeper Benefits or Key Points The purpose of Persona Questions is to look for material which creates resonance. how do you know that? What were some of the indications?” His reply was used directly in my copy.
one of whom will be the primary focus for your copy. or motivating them. Tell me what you really like about _________. Tell me what‟s behind what you were just… Saying. For each product. Attitudes and environments are significant. there is a small set of personas…. thus more motivated to be self-reliant.We‟re hoping to find out what is triggering their purchase. That one persona could represent hundreds of people with similar goals and behavior patterns which would benefit from your product or service. ask them. Thinking. product or service is…. 52 . This will help define if they‟re part of the target market. What you‟re trying to find out about your client. Example: In conducting interviews for an Arthritis product. 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. I found that a good portion of the TA was living alone. “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. After they have explained a pertinent “event”. Wanting to ________. What‟s your best experience with that? Directly follow up the moments where you can feel emotion coming from them.
how would you rate that experience for you personally? Given your preference. ask… Is that a common experience for people? What is a not-so-common. It was a common personality trait which built resonance with those most likely to buy…that is the real TA. 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.They were more likely to try a new product. is that the way you prefer to work? Why? Did you receive adequate credit for your efforts? Why do you think the situation was approached in that way? What was the most difficult part of that for you? Why? What did you think of that? Did that make sense to you? Should that have been done differently? Was that your preference? How would you like to have seen it done differently? If it was your call to make. Tip: There will be times when the line between Persona Questions and Revealing Questions is quite blurry 4) Revealing Questions Reasons They Buy -. how would you have decided? What was wrong with that approach? 53 .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.
If you had your preference. Examples of qualifiers: “Please allow me to ask you…” “If you’d be so kind as to answer this….. When do they really “get it”? How did you get to this point? What was the first step in that process? How did you come to this conclusion/result? What‟s the #1 reason that ____________? What‟s the one thing that _____________? How did your life change…for the better? Examples of Questions along with Softeners and Directive Questions from some of my interviews: “Do you mind if I ask how much money you did lose?” “Who do you find are your customers? If you could describe your typical customer. how would you describe them? How do they come in contact with you?” 54 . How did that decision strike you? What was your biggest frustration with. or a dial tone in your ear. 5) Digging Questions Open The Door For Emotional Material While digging for information. Barging in like a news reporter and placing demands upon a person will likely end up with a door being slammed in your face.. or their TA. you‟ll most likely lower your emotional bank account. If you could do that over again. how would you approach it? Revealing Questions will provide you with rich.” Tune in to when the light “goes on” for them. rewarding material to better define and get to know your client... Use qualifiers so your subject realizes that you‟re sensitive to the fact that the question may be unsettling for them. how would you. That‟s why it‟s best to “soften” these questions.
what would that be?” “So continue then. if you will. As an example. but don‟t stop there. such as enthusiasm or concern. Why do you think you feel/felt that way? Was it because of _____________? Key in on certain words or phrases. At this stage. is expressed.“Give me your quick rundown if I‟m a prospect of yours…. or add vocal emphasis. and that type of information. ask… How did that make you feel? How do you know that on such an intimate level? 55 . 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. with answering my basic questions on how the trades come in. what category would you put that?” “So if you had one big tip to give to people…one thing that you‟ve learned thru your experience….give me your presentation.” “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. be especially alert when they use an interesting word or phrase. ask… What do you mean by “especially”? When an emotion. how I get started.” “Explain to me what you go thru on a daily basis…on a weekly basis…”. As if I‟m a new person. Just go through the basic questions for me. 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. you‟ll get emotional material from some of the above questions. when people use the word “especially”.
do you have a sense of what they‟re feeling? You want to confirm this. In my next interview. So in your next interview. 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. This occurs because of your genuine interest in them. Work to bring out the emotion you’re sensing.. it isn’t a specific question that triggers the emotional material. This question needs to be asked in an authentic manner. When the Emotional Bank Account was high enough. 56 .This is an adaptation on “How do you know that?”. I wanted to find out. It was “sensed”. your subject may come back with “Absolutely!” Whatever comes next is gold. When in this situation. When you‟re reviewing your own recorded interviews. It’s the comfort level that has been achieved which allows an atmosphere of sharing. but if you get the chance to do so. Example: During an interview with customers of an arthritis product. “Do you feel a loss of dignity from having arthritis?” BIG difference. You’re allowing her to tell you instead of you telling her. when your emotional bank account is high. grab it. but they hadn’t expressed it verbally. what exactly did you mean? At times. I sensed a loss of dignity with the ailment. Why do they think or feel a certain way? This will help to bring out those underlying emotions. but it goes deeper. Other potential questions What you just said. There will times when you‟ll hit one of your subject‟s hot buttons quite by accident. As an interviewer. __________________(ex: I decided at an early age I wasn‟t going to be like that). ask them. You‟re tuned in and really listening to them. I wanted to find out how emotional was it for the Target Audience.
introduce a few of the following questions (just pick a few) by saying… ”Now.Alan Forrest Smith 56:00 Alan and I are discussing the lack of depth in much of today’s copy. I asked him if he knew why that was. is that people have handed their brains over…to TV…to radio…to iPod…. This interview is an example of a sharing of ideas. Shaune. Following are a few more personal questions that may be used. If you could make one change in your life. what would that be? 3. Do you mind if I ask a few questions about your personal preferences?” Some basic personal questions to choose from: 1. opinions and concepts. frustrated that people are on the information “highway”…taking in so much information to the point of inaction. Do you have a motto you follow in life? 4. Reminder: Define your interview from the start as “Market Research”. as opposed to asking a lot of questions.to MP3…. what would that be? 5. and could do whatever you wanted to in those first four hours. Here’s his response… “One of the problems these days.Example: Disc 13 . We‟re getting to know the type of person that (“you” or “your client”) resonates with. What three words best describe you? NOTES: 57 .” He expounds. What books are you reading now? 2. I‟d like to ask a few of our market research questions. dependent upon the comfort level of the interviewee. If you woke up tomorrow. Once the interviewee is comfortable. What's the most important lesson you've learned in life? 6.to videos…to movies….
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 .
How did it develop? How is it different now? What was their life like before using this product or service? When interviewing an Expert. What occurred in their lives that motivated them to… Try a product Develop a service 60 . you want “The Compelling Story”.Client – Customer – Expert interviews There are similarities in your approach to interviews with Clients. Is it a family-owned business that was handed down? Or was it something they started because it could fill a void in people‟s lives? From your client‟s Customers. find out why they‟re using that product or service. their Customers. For example. and Experts. The questions you ask will reflect these differences. The Compelling Story. Get their history. find what triggered the reasons to develop their product or service. and the “Reason Why” However… The types of stories you want from each of them will be slightly different. dig for background information as well as informative tidbits on their area of expertise. It must be solving a need or problem. 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.. 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. Find what that problem is.
Be attentive to the “feel” of the various interviews on the CD’s as you’re listening to them. NOTES: 61 . With experts. With Clients and Customers. the rules change slightly.Want to share their knowledge Find that trigger point. the interviewer is the authority of sorts.
“What would you attribute your interest in ____________ to?” 62 .“What things bother you.“You just said that you‟d love to see your business triple within the next year. Find their past history… Sample Questions to Ask a Client Revealing .Interviewing a Client Your client is an expert in their own business. or things you’d like to improve about your business?” Revealing . I‟ve had clients who feel that they don’t have an interesting story.” “I’d like to hear more about that…” Digging Directive - Digging Directive - Digging - Emotional .Do you have this thing in your mind saying that there‟s something you should be doing?” Emotional . One of the easiest ways to find their story is to gently start digging into the background. what would it be?” “How would you describe your clientele? I‟m guessing they‟re somewhat affluent. “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. Your job is to find what makes them unique…sets them apart from the competition. what seems common to them may be extremely interesting to others. In fact. It comes down to finding their specific “reasons why”. This has never been the case. Is that a nagging thought for you? Secondary .So I’m wondering what led you to Interior Design?” Directive “It seems like you‟ve done a lot of things before Interior Design.
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 .Digging Directive - “Tell me about that. “How do you know that on such an intimate level?” “How. NOTES: 63 . then why not?” “What specific benefits do they see in your competitor’s product? Digging - Even when you think you know the answer. How do they feel it…say it…express it? Get it from their heart and soul. ask them.“Why? If not. exactly.
CLIENT INTERVIEW WORKSHEET What other questions could you ask a client? 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 64 .
With this type of interview. your primary focus will be on the “reasons why”. Their problem and the solution is your focus. Follow up on these statements by asking… “What do you mean by _______” “Could you define _______” Sample Questions for Current Customers Revealing Directive “Tell me that story…. Find out what‟s behind them. Be on the lookout for “odd” or “standout” words and phrases. Your ears should perk up when you hear them say. and what happened from there?” “Tell me a little bit more about that. Dig in. “Had you already tried other things instead?” “Then what happened?” “When you say _________.Interviewing Your Client’s Customer You‟ve been hired to interview your client‟s customers. Why did they feel the need to try this product What problem is it solving What have they already done to try to solve the problem What emotions does having that problem bring up for them What can they do now that they couldn‟t do before using the product What was their life like before using the product Most importantly. does that mean __________?” 65 Digging Directive - Digging - Digging - . “Absolutely!” or “Without a doubt!” These are stronger emotional statements. allow them to feel your genuine concern and interest. These are not your typical “It‟s a good product” answer. How did you come across (product or service).
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 .“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 else would you need to know?” 66 . what was motivating you – on that day vs.“How do you know that? Directive “How do you know that this works better than XYZ product?” 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 made you really need a solution?” “Have you referred the product to others?” “If so.” Directive “Why is that?” “Of all the things you can now do in your life (because of the problem being solved).“On the day that you bought the product. the day before?” Secondary .Emotional .“You say that with such certainty. what is the thing of which you’re most appreciative?” “What makes you the perfect customer for this product?” Digging - Digging - Revealing .
Your interview will be much richer for it. and figured let’s try this and see. Example: Q: “When you say was there anything in particular that drew you to this product over another?” A: I looked up the ingredients. At the end of their reply.Ask digging questions… “If you were going to recommend the product to someone. 67 . it‟s good to reiterate the point back to the interviewee. ask… “If there was one more thing you‟d say to someone who was reluctant. Q: Had you tried other products containing any of these same types of ingredients? How have those worked?” Reasons to reiterate (or “bring it back”) It keeps the conversation going Acknowledges the point they just made Helps them to feel like you‟re “with” them They‟re still present to that point – their mind is able to search for other comments connected to it. if they‟ve already told others… “What did you say to your friends and family when you told them about the product?” Keep in mind this is the “dumping”. what would that be?” Keep bringing it back When you‟ve asked a digging/tough question. and for whatever reason they were reluctant to try it. what would you say to them?” And. Make them feel their input is valuable. and the reply was short.
CUSTOMER INTERVIEW WORKSHEET What other questions could you ask your client’s customer? 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 68 .
but to heighten confidence as well. practice!!! Also. here‟s their big “Reason Why”… 69 .Read this entire manual .Do the exercises in your “weak” areas . It doesn‟t take a long time to acquire these skills. When you‟re able to create that experience. I highly recommend you start with a few practice interviews.One of the questions I get asked the most is.Do the exercises . Experts love a great interviewer! Ask any expert about their favorite interview. you‟ll have a confidence – a knowing – of what you have to offer. Most Experts Want To Be Interviewed! On top of the engaging experience you have to offer. you will “know” that you have a great experience to offer. especially when you consider that you‟ll be using them throughout your whole life! When you do approach an expert. and you‟ll hear just how much they enjoyed it. be enthusiastic. You could also mention a person you just interviewed. Not just to build your skills. They‟ll “sense” that you‟re an above-average interviewer…someone that they want to be interviewed by. record a few of your practice interviews and review them to find the areas you could improve upon. practice. To get this depth of understanding… . “How do I approach experts for interviews?” First let me say this… Once you know how to actually perform an Intimate Interview. and their positive response from that interview. as well as what you did well. It really is a memorable experience.Practice.Listen to the CD’s .Read the manual again . No question about it.
They have something they want to spread the word about. No question about it. you have paid to be there. He hung out in the hotel and used “chance meetings” to pull experts into an unused portion of the hotel restaurant to do video interviews. I know because he interviewed me! Leverage Who You Know This is quite simple and straightforward. 70 . In exchange. That‟s win-win! So if an expert feels it‟ll be a fun experience…an engaging interview…and they can get free exposure. At the very least. ask others who they know in that particular field. This is particularly true if the expert happens to currently be promoting something. that‟ll usually do it. In fact. then you must be “somebody”. Simply put… You will offer others a piece of that expert‟s knowledge. and an interview with helps them accomplish that goal. they‟re always ready for free exposure. You have paid to see them – they appreciate that – and are open to reciprocating if they can. the expert gets introduced to a new audience. Whatever your topic or niche. so there is an “economic relationship”. Leverage that relationship to score interviews. Not to mention that they are in “share information” mode. 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.All experts know the power of exposure – the power of sharing a piece of themselves as a sample of who they are and what they do. a provocative comment or something “revealing”. I once saw a guy who simply brought a Camcorder to an event. It‟s somewhat assumed that if you‟re there.
com. Just perhaps not through the “typical” venues. 71 . based on the success of your interview. or other places where experts “hang out”? Here’s something else that works… I like to call it “Getting Scrappy”. So. After each “Intimate Interview” – when you know they‟ve enjoyed the experience – their Emotional Bank Account is at a high level. They want exposure.Start by explaining your project “I‟ve put up a website called _________. They can get you at least “second-tier” interviews. in some cases you‟ll need to climb the ladder. You can ask them who they might be able to introduce you to. 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. Provocative and Revealing don‟t have to come from top-tier experts to “go viral”! What if you haven‟t gone to a seminar. Eventually one of them. Once you‟ve done enough of them and created a couple of great pieces from them. they‟ll be more willing to “let it go”. especially when it comes to being provocative. so if they have something strong to say. I‟ll be interviewing experts and offering the recordings. Keep in mind… Sometimes the second-tier interviews are better. The points above are powerful. Not to mention that you may be able to get a second-tier expert to reveal something about a top-tier expert. 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. you‟ll be building your reputation as an interviewer. (these could be free to generate viral traffic. will endorse you to a top-tier expert. you can start “where you‟re at”.
Also they‟d leave the interview with a positive opinion which paved the way for future communication. and I gladly agreed. When I came across an item or statement that I appreciated. To me. I began buying their programs…getting on their mailing lists.The best way to describe it is to show you how I‟ve done it. You may encounter reluctance from experts I‟ve been on both sides of being the interviewer and the interviewee. She came to the interview with more than just a little arrogance.waiting to verify that she really didn‟t “need” to speak to me.. You don‟t truly appreciate a good interview until you‟ve seen what else is out there. I‟d be sure to email or call them to let them know. I‟d get a response. A bad experience… A woman asked to interview me. She reminded me of a vulture -. With an authentic desire to learn from others. A relationship was established due to the previous rapport that had been built. as there isn‟t a feeling of being “used”. you‟ll need to work to get the interview. Still. She was a “taker” who had no interest in making the interview a win-win situation. Here‟s how it all began for me…. Getting experts. We all profit from them. Give them a reason to say “yes”. I was able to get them on the phone for an interview. Most times. She didn‟t allow me to make a single point without letting me know that she “already knew that”…even though she was furiously scribbling notes the whole time. to hang up the phone after an interview knowing it was a mutually beneficial experience is key. I wrapped up the interview and felt like I‟d been taken advantage of. 72 . That single experience has made me much more cautious. Your experts are most likely doing the same. A dialogue would develop and before too long. this was a door-opener.just perched there -. or anyone for that matter. These relationships have been leveraged for mutual benefit. Becoming proficient in the Intimate Interview process will raise you up to that level quite quickly.
You now have them paying attention to you and out of the “Here I go…another boring interview” mindset. If you can tap into these early in the interview process.So if an expert hesitates when you offer to interview them. Do the Research If at all possible. It‟s up to you to make it a thought-provoking and enjoyable experience for all involved. You want to keep some surprises for the interview. It got our interview off to a great start. When I brought that up at the beginning of the interview. As we were getting ready to wrap up the interview. What are some of their former occupations – hobbies – life experiences? Just a few simple facts are enough. At the same time. 73 . you‟ll lose stature. speak to someone who knows the expert – a secretary. it‟s possible they‟ve had a bad interview – a bad experience. I learned he was currently involved in a large campaign to end bullfighting. Be Fluid and Aware WARNING: An interview with a top-tier expert can make or break you. you may find some unique traits or interests of theirs. a friend. If you don‟t do it well. he delayed some real estate investors in order to spend more time in conversation with me. THAT is a sign of a connected Intimate Interview! By doing your homework. and I found his views highly interesting. etc…. The flip-side also holds true if you‟re able to pull off an engaging Intimate Interview. be sensitive to information which they may not have wanted to share. As an example… I happened to learn that one of my clients was an avid animal rights activist. or could potentially be embarrassing. it‟ll get their engine running right away. It clearly was a passion of his. They may be able to give you some interesting tidbits about that expert.
This may occasionally happen. It‟s not the ideal situation but you can still make it work. You‟ll get to understand the struggles. 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 .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. understanding and empathy for that Target Audience. Create a connection. and the nuances of the questions that they‟d love to ask an expert. the questions. What do you do? You interview one or two bass fishermen first. Let‟s say that you‟re set up to interview a bass fishing expert – but you‟re not a bass fisherman.” If you become familiar with the common terms. your interview will flow much more smoothly..bream…largemouth. “Shad. Keep your ears tuned for the “language” they use.
Interviewing the Experts It‟s best to interview experts in a niche that you are “into”. 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. It will be an intimate experience. 75 . How? When asking for an interview. When listening to my interviews with the Experts --Alan Forrest Smith. Brian Keith Voiles. because you‟re both passionate and knowledgeable on that particular subject. When doing research on the expert. They‟re willing and eager to share insights on their chosen fields. Give yourself some room to be pleasantly surprised by some aspects of their business or personality. Allow experts to be the authority. give them a reason to say yes! Let them know this isn‟t going to be a “typical” interview. The rapport and comfort level will come quickly. It appears amazingly simple. realize there‟s a big difference between being “in the know” and “knowing too much” about the person. but subtly let them know that you have your own knowledge in that area as well. We're both going to learn something during this time.notice the more conversational tone we have. 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. Robert Stover and Trey Smith -. It can‟t help but show.” Do NOT interview when you‟re bored with a topic. Example: “I really love the model you use for creating viral SEO traffic. but must have taken you a while to figure it out. “I promise this will not be a lame Q & A session. You‟ll be better in the interview when you have your own “need to know”.
What level are you at.there‟s a different flow to the conversation than when you‟re familiar with the in‟s and out‟s of it. yet the extensive knowledge base is there. One thing to be conscious of is that they may have done many interviews around the same subject matter and have a rhythm to their interviews. we‟re looking for something deeper – more revealing than their standard. They‟re still considered an expert. There are experts in every niche with varying degrees of income. 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. personally? Consider this… When you‟re brand new to a topic -. We need to give them promotional value in exchange for their time. Mirror their speech patterns and tone to build rapport In order to build or add momentum during the interview. Also.a newbie -. not “How To Get Rich” We all know that success doesn‟t always mean money. This can be done by using the Intimate Interviews techniques.now what? Interview experts on their success. become fluid and have an Expert interview lined up -. canned presentation. Your authentic enthusiasm will ignite the conversation. The depth of the interview is a good reason why it‟s SO important to interview people in a niche you‟re interested in. Be sure to reflect enthusiasm in your voice when they‟ve said something you appreciate. For example… A top horticulturist doesn‟t earn as much income as a professional athlete. You’ve practiced. The sharing of ideas and perspective will be appreciated. There’s a perfect time to do an interview There are a few things to consider before you do an interview. Use those interviews as examples of using tone of voice to build momentum. take your tone about ½ notch higher than theirs.
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. Chances are they‟ve been allowed to run along the same track of patter. your interviews become more finely tuned The more interviews you do on a topic. For instance. the more you learn. you‟ll bore them to tears. While they‟re speaking about something with which you‟re familiar. bring it back. He was running along full steam. and it was extremely difficult to break him out of his ingrained habit of providing “sound bites”. disregarding my attempts to divert him. unless they‟re also just beginning in the same industry. You‟re now able to allow the experts to speak about something you may already know.Take into account your audience – your listeners. They‟ll quickly realize that your information isn‟t relative to them and move on. Finally he finished his spiel and I was then able to get to the “real” conversation. Your level of knowledge rises significantly. the result is something they‟ve never said before…new and provocative material. As you become experienced. Many times. You need to be at least one step ahead of their learning curve. Tune into the tonality in the expert‟s voice. The great thing about this is that now you notice the subtleties. You should know more than your audience does Otherwise. 77 . . 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. Your ear becomes finely tuned to the interaction from the higher-level experts. You‟re looking for clues especially if you‟re well-prepared. You have a good working knowledge of the topic. The basic material may be too low-level for them. 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. Once you “hear” something that‟s different. Be a detective. Here‟s what happened to me… I interviewed a copywriting legend.
your interviewee will make a comment when they “catch” themselves expressing a trait or habit that others have labeled as unusual. he happily told me. 78 . Part of building the EBA is allowing them to feel as if these have been met. they‟ll be more wiling to give you what you want.” Do not challenge them. After that point. Such as… “Well. 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. (on one of the included CD‟s). Frame your question carefully. “So what do you think about________?” Self-deprecating comments Every once in a while. Bring up an opposing view without challenging them. That allowed her license to feel free to be herself.At the end. She was starting to go off on her awareness of germs. I turned that around and said that I didn‟t so much see it as neurotic. 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.that it was “neurotic”. a self-taught intellectual expert made a comment on his excessive book-reading -. For example.” I assured her that perhaps the rest of us should be as concerned as she was. “This has been most exciting. but passionate. Do you see how that relieves them of feeling like they‟re being judged? The same goes for my interview with Karen. anybody listening to this is going to be wondering so I need to ask…. She then said. Decide if it‟s one that you want to follow. Getting that provocative comment Picking up on the inflection in their voice can take the interview in a whole new direction. You can easily do this by asking a question such as. or the interview may be over very quickly. then stopped.
but allows for much richer interaction and communication. The interview isn’t going anywhere You have a feeling of dread. You‟ve done some great work with _______. Perhaps your questions have caught them off-guard. 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 . These can be used at any time during the interview if you feel the energy level dropping. I‟d love to know more about that. The Awkward Moments…how to handle them The occasional awkward moment is going to happen. If that doesn‟t work. 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. “Now I‟d like to take this in a different direction. “Since most of the people listening to this are (entrepreneurs.. We‟re allowing people the freedom to speak without being judged. You may not be able to avoid them completely. As long as it‟s not abrupt. It‟s time to back it up. Make a connection. The last few questions have been dead-ends.. go back to an earlier topic that they were excited about. but you can be prepared on how to deal with them. “Earlier you were saying _______ about _______. Not only does it improve the interview.. business owners. In as gracious a way as possible. you can take the interview in another direction.” Or even. The answers have been lame – short.This is what is meant by listening and picking up clues…intense listening with empathy. You‟ve gone into a place where they refuse to follow. refer to your list of back-up questions. You‟re thinking that this interview is dying. The EBA is slipping.
A feeling of refuge where it‟s ok to be more vulnerable.” He did bring himself out of it. Keep in mind that it isn‟t your fault. Your interviewee may get emotional. 80 . Did they use interesting or provocative words to describe something? Did you feel there was more to an answer that could be explored? Or you could even find out the history behind a particular achievement. his voice was cracking. Offer to pause. What if they cry or get emotional? This is not planned. I had an experience where I asked an expert about his motivation and drive… and if it was tied to a specific event in his past that we’d been discussing…. so I knew that I’d hit a nerve. and can take you by surprise. They‟re connected. “Are you still there?” When he replied. In order for that sensitivity to be triggered. To handle this. Then use a bridge from where you‟re at to a safer ground if necessary. I offered to pause the interview. go back to the topic that they were excited about.Hint: You can sense the interviewee’s discomfort when the answers start getting shorter. Acknowledge the fact in a soft way. but he said “No. You touched on a sensitive area in their lives. there has to have been some kind of “lowering of the wall”. The time it happens is typically 30 . Try to salvage what you can. just give me a moment. I asked. There has to be an element of security in the environment you‟ve created during the interview. Taken them in a direction they don‟t want to go.40 minute into the interview…when the level of trust has been attained. They’re annoyed… You caught them off-guard with a comment. but the next few minutes were undeniably awkward. A good interviewer constructs the safety net. The guard is down. There should be no regrets on either side. or dig into the EBA if you feel there’s a real gem – a provocative statement – behind it.he went silent. You can either change your approach when you notice this happening.
Ask them if you can call them by their first name. Once you realize it‟s a dead-end. or if they‟d prefer their more formal title (Dr. Be your authentic self. back off and take it another direction without making the expert feel inadequate. 81 . What this means is that you can‟t be too casual at the start of the interview.. don‟t assume you don‟t need to boost their confidence. etc) Do your homework to show them you know “who” they are. Ask questions that show they have valuable information to share Begin the interview with easy questions. By doing homework ahead of time. They also need to feel your genuine interest in what they have to say. Use humor only if it pertains. 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. Refer to the Rapport-Building section. Generate questions for experts based on their area of expertise These will be very specific to them and their field of expertise. others will take a bit more time.If your Expert has a large ego…little patience Occasionally. Some people will ease into it quickly. Ms. you‟ll be able to avoid this type of landmine. The Expert isn’t familiar with a topic you bring up This can create a loss of momentum to the interview. you‟ll run across an expert who is quite taken with him or herself. Be respectful but still be natural. Mr.
The questions you‟ll be asking will vary from those you would ask a naturopath. That got his attention. 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. “HOLD ON!!!” and laughed.Something they wish they hadn‟t spent time on Perception – What does it really take? Advice – What are suggestions for a novice to speed up his learning curve? Ask questions with strategic intent! The Expert-Directed Interview You may come across a top-tier expert with a very strong agenda who‟s used to getting his or her way. My initial attempts to back him up on a subject were useless…so I let him go. A man of very high intelligence. Finally. The end result was to be a promotional marketing piece for his organization. Such as… Experience – What is something they‟ve changed Regrets . He wasn’t having any of it. My attempts to slow him down or divert his patter were largely being ignored. I yelled. Example: I interviewed a world-renown icon in the personal-development field. But. (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. it can turn into a verbal wrestling match…or a power struggle. the categories for these questions would be the same. Several times I tried. It was like trying to stop a runaway train. he was aggressively running through his own conversation. Though these people are prime interviews. 82 . he was used to imposing his own pattern on any conversation. Throughout the interview.Let‟s say you‟re interviewing a women‟s soccer player.
” I was able to construct a win-win situation out of something that was clearly headed down a one-way street.The interview turned out well and was enjoyed by both of us. The following day. Don’t steal their thunder. Example: I was interviewing a millionaire. Their EBA may not recover.he asked a lot of questions about you. etc. Notes: 83 . 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. It completely destroyed the point he was trying to make and I had to work at getting the EBA built back up. Save it for the end. I got an email from the expert’s marketing manager… “(Expert) was very impressed about the depth of the interview . and he was trying to make the point that people tend to only remember the #1 person in any area. He asked me who the #2 golfer in the world was. and I knew the answer.
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. Make them more specific. Experience What have you done to get to where you are now? Have you taken missteps along the way.Strategic Questions For Experts Modify these to fit the type of individual and niche. Team them up with a Directive or Secondary question to get the best material. what would you do differently? Have you gambled and lost? What did you learn? Is there something you wish you had done that you didn‟t? What was your most expensive mistake? Create 3 of your own Regrets questions you‟d like to ask an expert? 1) 2) 3) 84 . what is something creative you did to lower costs? What steps have you take to achieve ___? How did you know to do that? Create 3 of your own Experience questions you‟d like to ask an expert 1) 2) 3) Regret Looking back.
what is the best activity/thing you would recommend we get better at? Create 3 of your own Advice questions you‟d like to ask an expert 1) 2) 3) 85 . what would you say is the number one personality trait to develop? What‟s the one thing you seemed to “just figure out” as you went along? What changes do you foresee in ______? How does your vision differ from other people‟s? Create 3 of your own Perception questions you‟d like to ask an expert 1) 2) 3) Advice What would be your number one shortcut? What is your advice to a novice hoping to reduce the learning curve? Besides setting goals. learning time management skills and ______. positive thinking and never quitting.Perception What does it really take? What has been easier/more difficult than you expected? Besides perseverance.
Other questions to ask an expert “In all successes there are circumstances – there are variables. What did you learn from that? Something you‟d like to learn A challenge in your life A miracle you‟d like to see happen A person who motivates you The best piece of advice you received Notes: 86 . learning time management skills and ________. What is 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. Fine-tune them for your expert. What does it take to be a success (indirect compliment) The best decision you‟ve made A decision you wish you hadn‟t made.what is 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.
Predetermine the provocative comment. Prepare the predetermined question or comment. The Emotional Bank Account comes into play. comment or topic. Think of something you want to know – ask – or get out of the interview. From that. 87 . There‟s a risk that the EBA may not recover fully from asking a Set-Up question. Keep in mind that this is done with the best of intentions. Steps to Follow 1.***SPECIAL NOTE: This is a highly advanced technique – not to be used early in your interviewing experience. The Set-Up is all about warming up the predetermined question. You‟re going to know ahead of time what it is you‟d like to have happen. gold nugget or outcome. you‟re going to ask – say – do – something early in the interview that will potentially create an opportunity. Your accompanying question or comment is a complement to the EBA. 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. The warmer it is. The Digging Questions will lower the EBA. Remember to look for associated “like” provocative comments – gold nugget – or results from another connected person who you‟ve interviewed. 3. 4.. The Predetermined Set-Up is the ULTIMATE payoff –but you should be skilled at asking the basic Digging Questions before attempting this. It‟ll take courage to ask this type of question. 2. in that it is a form of the Set-Up as well. not to stir up hard feelings. As usual. work at increasing EBA. Look for an authentic compliment or other relevant reference. but can yield provocative material. 5. the better chance of a response. so you need to be comfortable and familiar with how to increase it as well. 6. The Predetermined Set-Up This is a sometimes risky strategy to use.
use the Intimate Interview process to build the EBA. It won‟t be “cold”. Again.7. 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. you‟ve already made mention of their name. Example #2 During an interview. As it turned out. I had an expert say something positive. Example #1 When you first get on the phone. I go into this interview knowing that if I can get the EBA high enough. I‟ll make a comment about the positive comment made. Example #3 I interviewed a millionaire with a diverse portfolio of ventures. I‟ll only do this if it‟s done good-naturedly…not to start a fight. Reference that person in passing. about another expert. 88 . The best outcome will be that the expert makes a positive comment then make a negative one as well. “I notice that you were working with _____ on the ______ project. For example. Of course. atypical comment that will make this a rare interview. This will be done early in the interview. Don‟t be too attached to it. I‟ll reference the positive comment -. this creates a tremendous opportunity for a provocative moment…as well as an opportunity to dramatically lower the EBA. Be conscious about seizing the opportunity. Then. I was given the opportunity to interview the expert who was spoken negatively about. Once again. I‟m just looking for an unusual. I was intrigued by the way the two of you _________. This should flow within the interview as seamlessly as possible and not be out of sync.then gracefully also bring up the negative comment. as well as negative.” 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. The greatest jewel I can get from him is a stock tip. I‟ll ask this expert what he things about the comments (both positive and negative) To set this up.
It’ll be memorable. and wouldn‟t normally give away. This is information he holds tightly. Consider that it‟s already been “framed” as a normal occurrence by another expert. keep it a win-win situation. I‟ll be looking for opportunities. (a mild form of peer pressure) I‟ll only ask him if it works or flows into the rest of the interview. to ask specifically what was the last stock he invested in. I‟ve helped him warm up to the idea. This helps it seem more “normal” to pass along this type of stock tip. 89 . It‟s going to pause him whenever I do ask him. During the interview. once the EBA is high. I compliment him on his success in the stock market. By bringing up the topic early. Most of all. The EBA needs to be high at the right time. Also.Early in the interview. (if it‟s true) I‟ll bring up that another expert gave me a similar piece of information. My authentic compliment early in the interview makes my question not so “cold”. enjoyable and help create lasting relationships.
EXPERT INTERVIEW WORKSHEET What questions could you ask an expert? 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 90 .
Unless you have anything else to add. Specifically for a client or client’s customer: I‟m going to send an email to you. as I would have expected. You‟ve been absolutely brilliant! Thank you for your time. Thank you. Have an exit strategy in place. There‟s one more story. Thank you!” I wouldn‟t mind if you would read through my site…if you have something nice to say about me. I‟m going to thank you for your time and let you get back to (whatever they may have mentioned they were doing earlier) Genuine compliment – You are an underground copywriting secret! I can‟t thank you enough for doing this interview and confirming for me and a lot of other people that what we‟re doing is extremely valid. Thanks again. I‟d love to include it. In essence. Thanks for shining a light on how we can do it different.Wrapping Up The Interview Become proficient with graciously closing the interview. I really appreciate your time. One more opinion. Then wrap it up. This last ten minutes might contain one of the richest pieces of material from the interview 91 . I‟m grateful for the opportunity to have spoken to you and shared some insights. One more very valuable insight. Any thought that comes to you. 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. an interview that may have appeared to be over still has ten minutes left. This was good. Feel free to use any variation of these options: I want to thank you very much. feel free to email it on over. I truly appreciate your insights.
you’ll hear what is most likely one of the most challenging interviews I’ve ever done. I was certain the interview was over. “Is there anything else?” The effect was immediate. Even the smallest piece of information was tough to extract. I asked the subject.Example: On Disc 1. Just asking that single question elevated the material in the interview from “substantial” to “rich and rewarding”. NOTES: 92 . Needing to regroup my thoughts. He began churning out great content.
Be Present This sounds simple enough.” What happened next was… She dumped even more and really got on my side. In one particular interview.When interviewing an Expert. Set a Comfortable Tone Begin the interview with easy questions. I said. 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 . I just think you‟re very aware and the rest of us should be as well. 93 . You need to allow people to speak – be themselves. Some people will ease into it quickly.Set up: Disc 8 Effective Interview Techniques If you’re not using these techniques. What she was really saying was “Are you comfortable with this conversation?” What did I do? I supported her opinion – made her right. don’t assume that this isn’t a necessary step. “You might think I‟m a freak…” when speaking about her concern with germs. you’re conducting a lame Question and Answer session You‟ll be able to provide great interviews by embedding these techniques. Refer to the Rapport-Building section. They also need to feel your genuine interest in what they have to say. others will take a bit more time. right? But just being a willing ear isn‟t enough. the woman actually said. “I don‟t think you‟re a freak at all.
Something may be brewing on the other end. You may want to throw in a "huh" or a "very good" if the silence feels off. It‟s all about… Really listening Reading between the lines Knowing how to direct it Realize that when he/she says ___________. 94 . If it‟s something positive. Again. Also. this gives the person a chance to breathe…let something surface…give their thoughts a chance to see the light of day. If it‟s an objection. overcome it If it‟s a question. it keeps the interview from feeling rushed. For the times when it‟s moving slow. but may seem uncomfortable during an interview. it‟s likely that you‟ve dug into uncharted territory. 90% of the time. You should anticipate lulls during the interview. You‟ll see that pauses will happen and that it's fine. But that's it. Give them as much as 15 . Let it go back into silence. Long Pauses Pauses are part of natural conversation. Especially if was a potent comment. then what they‟re really saying is _________. The interviewee may need time to find the necessary descriptions. A little bit of silence from you can encourage them to explore more indepth emotions or insight. This method often releases an avalanche of emotional or deeper hindsight material. But that being said… Once you start unearthing information in an interview. magnify it. it‟s okay to ask a question here just for the sake of keeping it going.If you can learn how to interpret people…become aware…then you‟ll be successful. These lapses may occur for a number of reasons. Pauses allow them the opportunity to verbalize their emotions and reactions. be sure you‟re not communicating anything other than empathy.30 seconds. Getting comfortable with this comes with experience. clarify it.
but you‟re sensitive to the fact that a blunt question would dampen their enthusiasm.allow yourself that few seconds of silence to collect your own thoughts -. Example: “That’s well said! I’m anxious to hear. You said that…” Ask for permission and soften those tougher questions. 95 . <struggles> Even the formula stuff I hate. or practice. This is the time to use softening statements. That said an interview should rarely be longer than an hour and to many of these pauses can be detrimental. you know we’re all in different places. 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. if you’re willing…and if you’re not I completely understand.to come back with another question.Go ahead -. 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…. They‟re willing to give up good information. that is touted as being good that you don’t agree with” <long pause> Then “huh” <another pause> “Well. Robert. Example: Disc 8 – Brian Keith Voiles 15:50Thought provoking question: “Is there a copywriting principle. You will be surprised how quickly an interview can open up if you just "hang in there long enough.” I said: “Go! That’s a favorite topic of mine…” It gives Brian license to dump at this point. Softening Statements and Getting Permission Let‟s say you have your interview subject into the flow of the conversation. (then hopefully says) I could rail on swiping a bit.
I wanted to hear (in his own words) how he would describe the sales funnel for an online business. I let him run with it though. Get what you‟re going to get. “Please be patient with me. I’m going to dig here a bit. Doing so would have derailed the interview into a venue that wasn’t pertinent to me.Keep in mind this is a strategic conversation. but what he gave me was gold! Keep it Flowing Having the interview “flow” is extremely important. He still did feel a bit pushed. Real Life Tidbit During an interview with a prospective customer for an Internet Marketing program. don‟t abruptly insert topics you may have on your list. When I first asked him. not an interrogation. Stay in the flow. but not his definition of the “online sales funnel”. It really would need to be softened even more. Do you mind?” I got permission to ask one last time. This was definitely going to lower his Emotional Bank account. Example: I interviewed a designer who had been on HGTV. 96 . All of what you just said is great. he went off on a tangent about Internet Marketing in general – didn’t really answer my question. but could I ask you to define the sales funnel? I really want to see how you would word it. but I knew he would feel a bit “pushed”. I hope you won’t mind. and I was fine not to bring up that detail within the conversation. “I know this is redundant. He was giving me great information. The interview was going exceptionally well. If you get the change at the end of the interview to ask more pointed questions.. then brought the question up again. 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. As long as you‟re getting good material. I had to try a third time. do so.
I knew we were back on solid ground when he said. you need to find the balance between the unloading of their ideas and emotions. Getting too excited while interviewing this type of person can make them uncomfortable. you may want to write a note as to the point that you really wanted to capture so it isn’t forgotten. Because of this. you‟ll need to adapt to the person you‟re speaking with. Reserved. I worked at getting him back with me by going back into an intellectual mode. It made him uncomfortable. You‟re just waiting to get to that richer substance. analytical people prefer low-key. and he backed up a step. With her. If you have a subject who wants to expound on a subject. 97 . Yet on the other hand.Be aware of your own “reactions” Not everyone you interview will have the same personality. which may or may not be relevant to the interview. Allow them to get it out of their system. It‟s possible that very few people are willing to listen to her on a particular subject. In fact. and listen attentively. You‟ll figure out what surface stuff can be let go. the following section applies directly to interviewees just like her. intelligent confirmations. His emotional energy went down. or responses to their comments. but you don‟t allow her the opportunity. “I love you Canadians!” after asking where I lived. Still. his secretary proved to be the emotional type. then the real material comes out. For this reason. They‟re “dumping” information on you. and transitioning them back into the conversation. Referring back to my interview with David the inventor. I was able to express appropriate enthusiasm. Tip: While your interviewee is “dumping” their initial baggage. You‟ll build up a large amount of emotional credit. they‟ll have a renewed sense of appreciation for you when you gently guide them back into the interview. Allow them to lead…for a while Some people will take a subject and run with it. I got too excited when he finally divulged a valuable piece of information. Let her run with it. she may lead every question back to that issue. Once it‟s passed.
and a new realization of what is important to the target market. caring way. follow up on it. There may be instances during an interview when you can express this. Dig deeper on abstract statements If a statement is made that is interesting or unique. that matters. which may not be an easy thing to do. This type of exploration may lead to a bigger picture. and figure out how it ties into their emotional triggers. 98 . 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. not yours. This is best accomplished by leaving your own predispositions aside. They may state something like." Again. Dig for the deeper meaning. "You must think I'm crazy/a bit much/too extreme or something’s wrong with me. Explore their tangents.Help them achieve confidence To reiterate. Follow your instincts. Show your interest and validate their emotions. After all. Tune in to what people are NOT saying. 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. 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. Do it in a genuine. it‟s their opinion. Make them feel comfortable in your presence. view people without judgment. feelings and emotional hot buttons.
during an interview with a client you may want to say something like…. I talk about “Not Statements” used in copy. Pause. Wait for them to respond so they can take it in and then bring back what was “organic” for them. as well as help frame questions.. “Not” questions are a powerful way to gain valuable insights. In my Indirect Persuasion piece. and gently assure your subject that what they have to offer is valuable. so it may help to get a unique and provocative answer. you can drive a point home.. So. So now would be a good time to follow up with a qualifying question such as… “I can see that you're quite different from your competition. 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. You don't ___________ or ___________. “Let's do this. Your subject will most likely pause and think before answering.Advanced Intimate Interview Techniques “NOT” Questions Find the compelling story – motivating desires – hidden objections.” What your client says at this point most likely will be “surface” material. give them time. More importantly. With “Not” questions. With a “Not” statement.. and they are silent. it indirectly suggests that Product B is inferior because it doesn‟t have the same qualities. the reader is told directly that there is a difference between Product A and Product B. I apply the same principle for interviewing. “Not” questions aren‟t typical in most interviews. As an example. You may even already know what they‟re going to say.. Could you fill in the blank for me? Unlike my competitors we do not ___________. This type of response is what naturally 99 .
a glimpse into their world. This type of question is specific if you‟re bringing up a difficult topic. “How did it feel when you got hurt?” was asked. They had to rely on others to open jars. go up or down steps. And it‟s these details that will make your writing more honest and real. let them. would you say that…. Not to mention the endless hassles with the insurance company. look for opportunities to prompt them.it‟s what is important to them – that‟s what they need to talk about. If they‟re ready to just take it and go. Dig Deeper To Hit That Nerve If you‟re sensing a benefit or emotional hot button. Real life tidbit A Chiropractic patient related how she misaligned the vertebra in her neck while working as a stage hand for a theater group. but not expressing. people are more likely to reveal subtle “little details” in the framework of a story. The content of this interview was far richer than if the vague. ask a second question to dig deeper.?” If they agree. This ties into the emotional bank account of that person. 100 . In interviews with arthritis sufferers.comes up for them -. trying to evoke a loss they‟re experiencing. 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. I sensed a loss of dignity as the common thread. Stories can give you so much valuable information…Real-life tidbits. Real Life Tidbits Provide Priceless Details Once the flow of the conversation has been established. Don’t fall into the trap of feeling like you always have to ask questions. you may ask the person for stories regarding their experiences. a better “feel” for where they‟re coming from. You want to evoke those deeper emotions. questioning voice ask. but they‟re not getting to it. or even get in and out of the bath. “Well. Instead of imparting basic information. In a friendly.
Ask For Specific Numbers Another thing I like to do is ask for a specific number of things. I recently interviewed Master Copywriter Terry Dean. He‟d purchased my Best of the Best program. Q: “If you don’t mind. The end result was that I did get feedback. original answer. and a topic-specific testimonial from him. Some questions will prove uncomfortable for your subject. “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. As another example. If you can feel your credit level dropping because you are probing deeply. Truly rich material.This emotion wasn‟t openly expressed. 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. I sensed he‟d have a positive response. They‟ll come back to you with a thoughtful.” “If you were to define what you do in one sentence. but I softened the question so he‟d feel comfortable answering even if the response wasn‟t so positive. I was searching for genuine feedback. I wanted to know what it was. And think. but I knew it was there. I asked (after getting their Emotional Bank Accounts quite high).” The Emotional Bank Account just experienced a drop. your subject will pause. can you tell me how much money you lost on this venture?” A: <pause> ”…a lot. 101 . In these interviews. what would it be?” At this point. keep in mind that if you keep going. Keep in mind how each question affects your Emotional Bank Account. tell me three things that people say about you. “So. and phrased it as such.
At this point, you'll need to decide if you should back off and explore something else which may be more comfortable for them. Don’t Allow Vague Answers Be on the lookout for vagueness in your interviewee‟s replies. “Dr. Miller really helped my dog‟s arthritis.” This is a signal that your questions or conversation aren‟t specific enough. It‟s also a golden opportunity to find out what‟s lying below the surface. Ask a more direct follow-up question such as, “What signs of arthritis did your dog exhibit? How is that different now?” …or even better… ”Can you give me 3 symptoms of your dog‟s arthritis?” Appreciate the answers given. Let your interviewee know that you‟re attentive and their input is extremely worthwhile. Listen with genuine, authentic concern. You may “bring it back” to the topic 2-3 more times to get to the real answer. Phrases to use in instances like this may be, “Please forgive me for being redundant, but I‟d like to clarify _______.” “I know I‟ve already asked this, but _____________”
An Interview is NOT a Question and Answer Period… It’s An Intimate Experience!
ADVANCED INTERVIEWING TECHNIQUES WORKSHEET
List 3 benefits of doing an Intimate Interview For the interviewer 1)
For the interviewee 1)
Preparing For The Interview
Warm up-call/set up time If at all possible, call them yourself to set up a scheduled time as a preinterview strategy. Real life tidbit David, the inventor, was not my client. He was the inventor of the product that my client was distributing. My client felt like he’d already taken up too much of the David’s time, and didn’t want me to bother him. I felt it was indeed necessary to speak to David directly, but my client wanted to ask the questions himself. At this point, I realized my relationship with my client was still very fragile. Instead of pushing him, I carefully worded this statement, “Here are a couple of key questions to ask David. But it would be even better if I had 10-15 minutes with him.” In this manner, I was agreeing to go along with his request, but also indirectly letting him know that I could do a much better job for him if I had direct access to the inventor. My client got the opportunity to look over a couple of key questions. Then he comes back and says, "Shaune, I'm going to be at the office, can you do the interview with David?" You bet. I called David’s office at the appointed time and asked his receptionist to connect me to him. David answers, and I say, “Hi David. It’s Shaune.” …silence….. He had no idea of who I was and the reason for my call. I caught him off-guard. He wasn't ready. He wasn't "on." On the Emotional Bank Account scale of 1 to 7, I was starting at a -3. If I had called David‟s office prior to the appointed interview time, we would have begun on a much better note.
most likely on their website or promotional materials. Preparation for an interview is essential. If you are interviewing a business owner or product developer. Find out why he selected them to be interviewed.) Ask that payment be made AFTER the interview. people have already spent the money by the time you do the interview and thus the value is already gone. there should already be some copy material available.Prepare/Research Whenever possible. Often. To do this. put some time into setting it up. When interviewing your client's customers. Don‟t get in the middle of this. 105 . Arrange compensation (if necessary) If interviewing customers for a client. they may be even more forthcoming. or equivalent in product. with the client paying for it in most cases. In this case. and willing to cooperate. (I recommend $50. Your client has already built a relationship with this person – let HIM make the agreement. 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. for a 30-60 minute call. 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. most of your interviewees won‟t be “paid” for their services. Define your own goals for the interview. ask your client for a little background information on them. but can provide valuable insight. Have your client set up the agreement ahead of time. paying in advance dilutes the enticement. You may find it easier to get an “OK” to use their signatures and testimonials. The truth is. This might only take 5-10 minutes to read. Be especially tuned in to areas where you can start digging for information you are looking for. They‟re doing it as a favor of sorts. there are a few necessary steps to you‟ll want to follow. try to get some background information on the person you‟re about to interview. What information are you trying to find? Be specific.
be sure to introduce yourself properly. I'm flexible!" I cringed. this is (your name). At what time are they most available and relaxed enough to give you the time you need? ALWAYS give them a reminder phone call or email the day before the scheduled interview. Give your full name. Give them specifics such as the potential length of the interview.After your client has provided you with the names and phone numbers of people to interview. On their cell phone. and ask for a good time to talk. At their work. c. What's your occupation? 2.” Keep the questions simple… 1. When you call. I asked which time was good for her. 106 . Real life tidbit I just got off the phone with one of my client's staff members who called back to arrange an interview. Don‟t take such a statement literally. b. Snyder and XYZ Cleaning Company. How long have you been a customer of XYZ Cleaning? My experience has found that most people are a little nervous when you first contact them. Also. find out what their schedule is like. Ease them into the conversation. and the types of questions you may be asking. At their home in the evening… Obviously C is the best choice. and let them know on whose behalf you‟re calling. B is the next-preferred option. If it's a choice between interviewing them… a. Try to cater to their schedule. He said you‟d be willing to speak to me regarding your experience with his company. What do you enjoy about your job? 3. Get an exact time and day that would work best for them. I‟m calling on behalf of Mr. call and set up times with these people. XYZ Cleaning. Don't expect them to be immediately available. and her response was. Something to the effect of: “Hi. Call them. "Oh.
Even when you call at the appointed time. It‟s not a test. Leave your phone number in case their schedule changes. One of my coaching students interviewed a 65 year-old lady (customer of his client). ask for three leads. and would every few days call back with 107 . This doesn‟t mean that they‟re not willing to speak to you. Ask your client for more people to interview than you really need. Often. If you think you only need two interviews. After several attempts. a client will mention another person who may have a better view on the matter. There are no right or wrong answers. Not everyone will be amenable to donating their time for this purpose. You may not hear back from the person right away to set up a time for the interview. they probably have other things going on. They may intend to return your call. You‟re asking for their opinions. Asking for more sources Listen to see if there are other key people mentioned that you could interview. After that. call again. Her memory wasn't the best. Taking a few minutes with this step before the actual interview will help it proceed much more smoothly. In most cases. move onto another person to interview.Encourage them. and then decide if you really need that third person. You can always go through the process of interviewing. Follow-Up Leave your phone number and email. put it off. Give people 48 hours to respond. ask if it‟s still a good time to talk. in case they think of anything else to share. as we all do. Reassure them you want to know when they come up with new or different information. and forget about it. Persist in getting the interview It happens. Or they may even know of another client who has a great story.
At the end of the interview. Trish 108 . 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. All the best. Instead. Thanks for a lively and enriching experience. these secondary insights can prove worthwhile. it should be a rewarding experience for everyone involved. Learn how to do an interview that will prompt your subject to thank you for it! Actual Email from an Interviewee: Hi Shaune. you‟ll have more questions upon reviewing your interviews afterwards.more information. especially if you‟ve done your job and established rapport. I hope it was productive for you and your clients as well. You are a very talented interviewer. and call. She'd be at home. get their email address and send them a “thank you” for their time. I mentioned to Allen that I had a few revelations about what makes me tick. Always good stories. which made it all the more worthwhile for me. recall more use tidbits. They‟ll never deny you that information. (Oprah…Barbara Walters…Shaune Clarke…) and I really enjoyed our talk. At the very least. Don’t have just a Q & A session. ask the person how they prefer to be contacted in the event you have a few more questions. In that email. Also. I wanted to thank you for the interview Wednesday evening. Many times.
Shaune writes and teaches No-Hype Ad Copy. and He’ll Answer Them For You… Toll Free 1-866-486-4884 Or Email him at Shaune@DynamicResponseMarketing. Years as a talk show host have given Shaune a unique appreciation for human nature and what moves people to respond.DynamicResponseMarketing.. He uses his interviewing skills to uncover the hidden emotions that trigger prospects to buy. guide the prospect to a buying decision. He says… “I prefer to use the power of connection.com 109 .com Copywriters interested in advanced coaching should visit www.My "New Copy Secrets" Newsletter and "Maximum Website Profits” Checklist Are Available For FREE at. yet powerfully. Call Shaune. Rather than creating resistance and „closing‟ you can respectfully.. www.com Shaune Clarke is… A Canadian talk show host turned marketing consultant and advertising copywriter. empathy and Indirect Persuasion TM to sell.” Write Down Your Three Most Pressing Questions About Interviewing.NewCopySecrets.