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

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

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Shaune Clarke – Shaune@DynamicResponseMarketing.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clear your calendar so there‟s nothing crowding the time you‟ve scheduled to interview them. meditate. or get some relaxation time before the call. only to realize that they‟re not fully present? Are you a bit annoyed when this happens? Of course! How do you suppose it feels to a person you‟re interviewing when you have to rush off the phone? Put yourself in their shoes. Leave your baggage out of the interview. Do them a favor. We‟ve all been the recipients of receiving understanding from others. or flow. NOTES: 14 .take time for yourself How often have you been talking to someone on the phone. Pass it along.. need or pain. Go for a walk..They have their own set of experiences. to the expressions of desire. Do whatever you need to clear your mind of any distractions. Get clear. Empty your own emotional burden so you can be receptive to others. there can‟t be a genuine exchange. stresses and forms of communication that should not be evaluated according to our skewed perceptions. Unless you have clarity going into the interview.

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

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

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

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

Listen to the "momentum" of the call and look for. the time* it occurred and especially… any insights you may have. 4) What do you feel is the "Pivotal Moment" in the Interview? Now…Listen To The Foby Interview Coaching Call – Disc 7 19 .. 1) Times you feel Foby "shift" -.Set up: Disc 6 Foby Interview Exercise Foby Interview..looking for opportunities." 3) Times when you feel that I'm "exploring" -.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.Disc 6 (pardon the clarity) Make note of what was said.

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

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

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

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

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

Robert states “I can’t share that one”. 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. He’s slipped a few points in the Emotional Bank Account. Can you feel the difference? 25 .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 -. Note when the question is asked to divulge some information. Time: Phrase: Time: Phrase: Time: Phrase: Time: Phrase: Time: Phrase: Set up Disc 12 – Robert Stover Interview Time: 29:00 – 30:20.

challenges and statements like “If I were you…. or statements.. And… We dictate the direction of the conversation! But the good news is… There‟s one skill you can learn that will be the difference between: An “average” interview and a GREAT interview A work project well done and one that requires a re-do A strained relationship or a good one 26 . or falls flat on its face. customers or experts. When we listen automatically….are only as good as our level of listening. Kaufman THE POWER OF LISTENING IS KEY TO AN INTIMATE INTERVIEW As interviewers.. D J. but totally disempowering.Wisdom is the reward for a lifetime of listening . 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.” or “I know exactly how you feel!” All well-intentioned of course. We can‟t wait to give our opinion. Let‟s face it. purchases. We offer either/or solutions. We can‟t understand why “they” just can‟t do what they should. We‟re distracted.. But our interviews – the very basis of our marketing -. our best information comes from speaking to clients. Our conversations are punctuated with interruptions. when you'd have preferred to talk. or even more stressed? Feeling like no one else really understands or cares. Would it be all that surprising to find out that the “automatic” listening we engage in leaves us feeling more isolated. Most of us are lazy listeners. We dig for the “whys” for their motivations.

What exactly is Intense Listening? It‟s listening with intent to understand the other person‟s frame of reference and feelings. combined with empathy. Someone we can really open up with. It‟s a tremendous deposit into another person‟s emotional bank account. Intense Listening means leaving yourself behind…and focusing entirely on the other person – what HE‟s saying. Freud emphasized it. You always seem to come away from the conversation feeling good.What is it? Intense Listening! There‟s a BIG difference between “hearing” and Intense Listening. It‟s deeply therapeutic and healing and gives someone a way to air their issues. Hear people gripe about their relationships. He states… “Empathetic Listening – listening/responding with both the heart and mind to understand the speaker‟s words intent and feelings. inflections and tone of voice. Of course. what HE‟s feeling. There are numerous papers on the subject in the psychoanalytical field. is using your ears. “Hearing” is what we do every day. Hear the neighbor‟s dog barking.” Think about this… We all know of one person we love to talk to. Karl Jung pushed his students to master the art. Stephen Covey felt this subject was so important that Empathetic Listening is listed in his 7 Habits of Highly Successful People as the MOST IMPORTANT type of listening. We hear things on the radio. Not an easy thing to do. Intense Listening. But we‟re most likely not Listening. It means not judging -. Listening for the nuances. We go to a whole new level of total understanding of another person. It‟s being tuned in to those little bits and pieces that are out-of-the-ordinary and original.not thinking about what you‟re going to say next. your eyes and your heart. Listen for what is not being said. this isn‟t a new concept. This has spilled over into other areas of medicine and into the world of marketing. don‟t you? 27 .

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

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

children. Or. yet subtle and gentle way of being. Yet -. Fewer miscommunications – Better listening leads to better information. etc. The long-term results in possessing the skill of attentive listening will be felt in both your personal and professional life. Higher self-esteem and respect – An active listener gets along better with others.” 30 . choose which messages are important and give those our full attention. friends. The facts aren‟t misconstrued by your own interpretation. so we need to allow our minds to wander. The core of the problem is identified much more quickly and the coolingdown process is able to occur. By listening attentively.the greatest need of a human being is to be understood. How can we possibly “listen” to every single message? We can‟t. How many people ever get to “finish” being heard? Just think of how allowing someone else to be heard will affect them. their output and creativity levels increase. elevate your influence because you‟re willing to HEAR them. Preoccupations and distractions are part of our daily lives. focusing on listening helps both the talker and the listener remain calm. media. parents.next to survival -. moving about in it delicately without making judgments… To be with another in this way means that for the time being you lay aside the views and values you hold for yourself in order to enter the other’s world without prejudice…a complex.We’re overloaded and overwhelmed We all lead very busy lives. is perceived as confident and gathers more respect. co-workers. demanding. Think of who we listen to daily…spouses. 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. in turn. validated. And. affirmed. Higher productivity – If people are encouraged to explain problems and start working through them. strong. you‟re able to more clearly see the issues experienced by the other person. salespeople. This pertains to business as well as relationships. and appreciated. Quicker conflict resolution – When dealing with an emotionally charged topic or crisis.

Intense listening is not for wimps It takes a great deal of security to go into a deep listening experience. An amateur sells the product -. But how does he find out exactly what the customer is looking for? An effective interviewer seeks to understand a person‟s motivations. but the rewards are great. Softening Statements . Listening During Interviews When we truly listen during an interview. How many of us can… Let go of our ego long enough to understand another person‟s perspective -without feeling like we must defend our own position? Remain completely open to another person‟s experiences… without judgment? Leave ourselves and our hectic lives aside while listening to someone else? Become vulnerable to another person‟s emotions? It‟s not easy. you can dig into the core of the material you want to uncover. It also provides your interviewee with a specific direction to go. 31 .the professional sells the solution. concerns and situations of his customer. 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. There‟s only one way to do this…Intense Listening. One example of a Softening Statement is “Do you mind if I ask…” Revealing Questions – If you‟re listening.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. The results you achieve will be nothing short of spectacular! An effective salesman seeks to understand the needs.

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

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

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

Your shoulders and your face should be “open” and facing them completely. If you want to truly understand where the speaker is coming from. You‟ll receive the whole message and be able to respond in a more open manner. Never Assume We all do it. Typically this happened when I asked a follow-up question.Concentrate On The Speaker Face the speaker. allow them state their point fully. Sounds easy…but it takes practice. what exactly did you mean by that?” IMPORTANT . 35 . Be certain you have their perspective…not yours. Questions should be not have an interrogative feel to them. Instead. Come From A Place Of Understanding Try to put yourself in their shoes. This will force you to focus. It‟s easy to think that we already “know” what someone is going to say. It‟s conveyed even if they can‟t see you. although I thought I knew how someone would answer.Check Your Emotions Be aware of topics and things that trigger your emotions. It could be that we‟ve had a similar experience. they surprised me by taking it in a completely different direction. forget about your own situation and feelings. If you‟re doing the interview over the phone. still be attentive to your body language." "What did you do then?" "You used the word ________. Whatever the case. Try to see things from their perspective and frame of reference. Use follow-up clarifying questions such as… "Tell me the whole story. There have been times when. Increase your efforts to focus on a clear understanding of what‟s being said. Don‟t angle away from 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. you create a high Emotional Bank Account. Actively share in the speaker‟s efforts to improve your level of understanding. Notice your responses . Always enter an interview as if you‟re getting together with your best friend.For example… A lot of people are passionate about politics or religion. but be brief. During An Interview… Seek first to understand – Take yourself out of the picture. someone who has something wonderful to tell you. What are your views? If someone has an opposing view. someone you can trust. Don‟t allow your ego to get in the way of any valuable information you might obtain. whether or not you agree with their point of view. but rather acknowledge an incident that may have been similar to theirs. By accepting them. 36 . If they feel that you‟re not being open (even subconsciously) they won‟t want to divulge or share any pertinent information. Communicating is not just saying words… it’s creating true understanding. Be authentic. 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. An individual will see right through you when you‟re not with them emotionally. The Rewards of Intense Listening If you’re a copywriter… You‟ll be able to quickly get to your Target Audience‟s objections. Have Them Understand That You Understand State your understanding. perceptions and hot buttons. You don‟t need to get into a full-blown story of your own life.

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

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

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

Listed are examples of questions followed by Directive questions found in the interview materials. 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 .Robert Stover 27:20 “So now that you know this. Brian. why isn’t everybody choosing it? How do you know it’s a choice? Disc 9 . when you’ve gone into this big huge starving crowd with lots of competition? Have you essentially become another 1 in the pile.*Each of the Secret Six Question types can take on the form of a Directive Question. pointed question. what have you done.Brian Keith Voiles 2:40 How do you know that? How does somebody know it if they’re not…? 7:40 – How do you know that? If it’s such a choice. Excerpts: Disc 8 . It‟s typically followed up immediately with at least one or two more directive questions. You‟ll notice that very rarely do I ask one single.Brian Keith Voiles 10:45: “And so. how do you apply it? Do you just kind of have your radar up that when you have this kind of…I’ll call it “fear” attention…are you better able to recognize that?” NOTES: 40 . Robert.

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. Perhaps answered your question with something totally off-topic. To use them effectively… Your “intuitive radar” must be up throughout the interview. It may even trigger something in you. A: (goes into explanation of how a worker at a nursing home cut her finger on a wheelchair. Example: Disc 1 Sanitizer Product Interviews 53:55 Primary Question: Tell me another story about someone that’s called the office. Trust your intuition. They‟ve tossed an intriguing comment or phrase your way. you used the word “painful” to describe _______…why did you use that particular word?” 41 . 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. Maybe it‟s a curious inflection…or word choice…or you sense an underlying emotion. You‟re noting what they‟ve said and how they‟ve said it. a gut feeling that this could lead to something interesting or useful.Set up Disc 1 Secondary Questions While Directive Questions are used to clarify your first question…Secondary questions can be described as Digging questions. They were designed to direct your subject‟s focus towards something specific. Example: “Previously. You‟re tuned in to their responses. Many times you will want to follow-up on something interesting or provocative your subject just said. and their response surprises you.

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

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

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

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

and the conversation should begin to develop a natural flow. your conversation should be occurring rather easily. Persona Questions are the starting point to defining your subject. the interview will naturally move into the Likeability and Trust questions. Your job is to really hear them. Then come the Questions for Emotional Material. It goes without saying that your very real interest will elevate their willingness to speak freely. You‟ll become more familiar with the process. start with the “lesser: experts. Begin your first “live” interview with your client‟s customers. You‟re tuned in and listening to them. They‟ll still provide you with great material. Once rapport has been established. as well as guide the conversation. 46 . 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. at this point. or the goodwill you‟ve built with your subject. This helps build their confidence.Overview of the Secret Six Questions Follow the natural. Once you feel ready to do a “real” interview. Open the interview with Rapport-Building questions and feel your subject become more relaxed and open. The next step is getting into the Revealing Questions. Who Should I Start With? I strongly suggest that you start with at least 6 interviews of friends and family. more comfortable with your role as interviewer. conversational progression of the interview with the Secret Six. the less influential ones. as well as allow you to hone your skills. Digging Questions pave the way for emotion-driven responses. You may need to dip into your Emotional Bank Account. Knowing how to ask these questions and at what time provides your interview with great content. at least for a short while. as well as recognize areas for improvement. Offer them an authentic compliment. If you‟re interviewing people for your own products. start fishing in the smaller ponds. They need to feel that what they‟re telling you is of utmost importance. lifestyles or patterns? By now.

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

A comprehensive understanding of the Intimate Interview Process/Strategy will give you a decided advantage.Types of Secret Six Questions Rapport Building . 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. Without interviewing. but deeplyconnecting material comes from the greater depths. Getting that richer. When you have built up the “Emotional Bank Account” during the interview. otherwise you‟ll get a “surface” answer. underlying reasons they buy or don‟t buy. You will… Know how to control the emotional tempo Recognize when and how to ask the right questions Unearth the deep. You can work with surface answers. deeper material is the whole purpose for the interview.Emotional It‟s not enough to just blurt out the question. 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”. 48 . your subject will feel safe enough to give you emotional.Likeability and Trust Persona . This makes the timing of “when” the questions are asked very critical. Your questions must be asked at just the right time. deeper-than-surface material.Revealing Digging .

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

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

3) Persona Questions Your Radar Needs To Be “Up” In Order To Catch Inflections In Their Voice Which Indicate The Deeper Benefits or Key Points The purpose of Persona Questions is to look for material which creates resonance.Ask these general questions until you can feel a “flow” to the conversation. 2) Likeability and Trust Questions Begin To Form The Foundational Knowledge of Your Subject What do you most want people to know? What do you most want your customers to get from you? What does your product/service do like no other? What do you know that nobody else knows? Can you give a “before and after” example? How do you know that? –this is a BIGGIE. I asked his client… “When you say there’s a fortune to be made in trading. 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 . Example: In an interview I did for a stock trader. It could help uncover the Compelling Story. how do you know that? What were some of the indications?” His reply was used directly in my copy.

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

how would you have decided? What was wrong with that approach? 53 . It was a common personality trait which built resonance with those most likely to buy…that is the real TA. ask… Is that a common experience for people? What is a not-so-common.Reasons They Don’t Buy Exactly When They Buy Here are some questions you might ask a business owner or top salesman: Where do most of your sales come from? Why? What‟s your best-selling product? Why do you think that is? What do you find easiest to sell? Who is it easiest to sell to? Why is that? After they explain a product/benefit. but compelling result you see? Other Revealing Questions would be: How would you describe…… Why did you do it that way? What surprised you about the result? What kind of an experience was that for you personally? On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being Fantastic! and 1 being Awful. how would you rate that experience for you personally? Given your preference. Tip: There will be times when the line between Persona Questions and Revealing Questions is quite blurry 4) Revealing Questions Reasons They Buy -.They were more likely to try a new product. is that the way you prefer to work? Why? Did you receive adequate credit for your efforts? Why do you think the situation was approached in that way? What was the most difficult part of that for you? Why? What did you think of that? Did that make sense to you? Should that have been done differently? Was that your preference? How would you like to have seen it done differently? If it was your call to make.

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

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

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

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

Asking questions in a way that is conversational as opposed to a Q & A session is key to obtaining the very best material. 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 .


The questions you ask will reflect these differences. How did it develop? How is it different now? What was their life like before using this product or service? When interviewing an Expert. find out why they‟re using that product or service. find what triggered the reasons to develop their product or service. and Experts. It must be solving a need or problem. In all interviews. Get their history. With a Client.Client – Customer – Expert interviews There are similarities in your approach to interviews with Clients. The Compelling Story. Find what that problem is. Is it a family-owned business that was handed down? Or was it something they started because it could fill a void in people‟s lives? From your client‟s Customers. For example. you want “The Compelling Story”. How did they develop their knowledge…and why? Be tuned in to the deeper emotional reasons for all of the above... dig for background information as well as informative tidbits on their area of expertise. What is that person‟s history? How did they get to where they are now? What were their motivating factors to… Develop their product or service (Client) Try the product or service (Customer) Expand their knowledge in their chosen field (Expert) We’re looking for… Real Life Tidbits. their Customers. and the “Reason Why” However… The types of stories you want from each of them will be slightly different. What occurred in their lives that motivated them to… Try a product Develop a service 60 .

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

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

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

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

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

“What made you really need a solution?” “Have you referred the product to others?” “If so.“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 .“How do you know that? Directive “How do you know that this works better than XYZ product?” Emotional .” Directive “Why is that?” “Of all the things you can now do in your life (because of the problem being solved). the day before?” Secondary .Emotional .“What else would you need to know?” 66 . what was motivating you – on that day vs.“You say that with such certainty.“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 is the thing of which you’re most appreciative?” “What makes you the perfect customer for this product?” Digging - Digging - Revealing . 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 .“On the day that you bought the product.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

what would you do differently? Have you gambled and lost? What did you learn? Is there something you wish you had done that you didn‟t? What was your most expensive mistake? Create 3 of your own Regrets questions you‟d like to ask an expert? 1) 2) 3) 84 . Team them up with a Directive or Secondary question to get the best material. and how have you learned from them? What wouldn‟t you do now that you did before? Was there a turning point decision for you? What was that? What circumstances helped create the opportunity? At start-up.Strategic Questions For Experts Modify these to fit the type of individual and niche. Make them more specific. 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. Experience What have you done to get to where you are now? Have you taken missteps along the way.

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

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

Remember to look for associated “like” provocative comments – gold nugget – or results from another connected person who you‟ve interviewed. From that. Look for the opportunity to ask your predetermined question/comment. you‟re going to ask – say – do – something early in the interview that will potentially create an opportunity. work at increasing EBA. 2. but can yield provocative material. 3. Prepare the predetermined question or comment. gold nugget or outcome. The warmer it is. The Predetermined Set-Up This is a sometimes risky strategy to use. Predetermine the provocative comment. You‟re going to know ahead of time what it is you‟d like to have happen. There‟s a risk that the EBA may not recover fully from asking a Set-Up question. The Set-Up is all about warming up the predetermined question. The Digging Questions will lower the EBA. not to stir up hard feelings. Your accompanying question or comment is a complement to the EBA. the better chance of a response. 4. Look for an authentic compliment or other relevant reference. Think of something you want to know – ask – or get out of the interview. comment or topic. so you need to be comfortable and familiar with how to increase it as well.***SPECIAL NOTE: This is a highly advanced technique – not to be used early in your interviewing experience.. As usual. Steps to Follow 1. Though there‟s no guarantee that we‟ll get a response…it just gives us a bit more of an edge if it is to happen. The Emotional Bank Account comes into play. 6. 87 . The Predetermined Set-Up is the ULTIMATE payoff –but you should be skilled at asking the basic Digging Questions before attempting this. Keep in mind that this is done with the best of intentions. 5. It‟ll take courage to ask this type of question. in that it is a form of the Set-Up as well.

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

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

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

Thanks for shining a light on how we can do it different. One more opinion. an interview that may have appeared to be over still has ten minutes left. Have an exit strategy in place. One more very valuable insight.Wrapping Up The Interview Become proficient with graciously closing the interview. I‟m grateful for the opportunity to have spoken to you and shared some insights. This last ten minutes might contain one of the richest pieces of material from the interview 91 . as I would have expected. Then wrap it up. Thanks again. I truly appreciate your insights. This was good. 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. There‟s one more story. Before you exit an interview… ALWAYS ASK THIS ONE VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION… “Is there anything else?” This can prompt them to dump some very rich material that they‟d been holding back. Any thought that comes to you. I really appreciate your time. Thank you. Specifically for a client or client’s customer: I‟m going to send an email to you. You‟ve been absolutely brilliant! Thank you for your time. I‟d love to include it. Feel free to use any variation of these options: I want to thank you very much. feel free to email it on over. Unless you have anything else to add. In essence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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



For the interviewee 1)




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


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

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

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

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

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

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