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

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Shaune Clarke – Shaune@DynamicResponseMarketing.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

or even your friends and family. desires and motivations of your clients. For example. 7 . It‟s being tuned in to what people are “not” saying. not the spot of coffee on the kitchen floor. you can accomplish them in a relatively short period of time…if you ingrain these techniques. are you annoyed with your spouse because they spilled coffee. It begins with you….No matter your goals with interviewing. Then you‟ll be able to turn your full attention to the conversation you are having… which is the key to a brilliant Intimate Interview. You will gain access to the real issues. Your goal is to ingrain these techniques. so they become natural and fluid. With that realization…. Take a few moments to figure out what‟s really at the root of your annoyance. interviewing is not a passive form of listening. perceptions and hot buttons. Interviewing requires being tuned in to this. study and practice are essential. Other people are approaching their own issues from their own perspectives. That doesn‟t work if you want to get to the deeper objections. But like any technique. 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 target market. You see. It‟s active participation. But like any new skill. It‟s a tool. Doing just one Intimate Interview a week will make a world of difference in your business…and it‟s fun! You Won't Master This Overnight In these pages you'll find interview techniques and the secret strategies I‟ve used for years to extract potent emotional and useful information. The next time you react emotionally to something (like getting angry) ask yourself “Why am I reacting in this way?” You‟ll realize that the minor annoyances are usually masking a deeper issue. Forget about running down a list of questions. studying and ingraining are essential. Dig for the answers.

Well. Ask a member of the Target Audience and they‟ll tell you just about anything. “It‟s not this….” Who exactly IS your Target Audience (TA)? Allow me to explain who it‟s not…. refrain from offering advice. a good listener.it‟s not that…. It‟s not the portion of the market that you‟re targeting. The bad experiences they‟ve had…hidden objections… Why do they use the product or service…. Instead. 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. 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. focus on being empathetic. and he thinks the Target Audience will be Chiropractors.perceptions.. 8 . The information will also enable you to define and make “Not” statements. 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. You‟re evaluating the potential selling features for the Target Audience. 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.Here‟s a great preliminary exercise: The next time someone is “venting” to you.

it‟s only 1% of the market. 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. We don‟t want to miss any of the TA. the same philosophy holds true. their perspectives. Most of the times. or not into What do they like about the alternative What don‟t they like about the alternative Where stage they‟re at in their lives Validate exactly what their “hot buttons” are. What 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. Define your presentation for that 2% of the market and forget about the 98% that are not going to buy no matter what. (Your client should be informed that this is the 9 . If you‟re interviewing a client . Perhaps we could increase that from 1% to 2%. This determination is highly specific to three things… Those who are prone or susceptible to Your particular message Your particular persona Your particular offer What are the factors in their lives that trigger the need for this product or service? Why them and not the other Chiropractors? What‟s their trigger? We should focus exclusively on them…the 1% that is likely to buy.Your real Target Audience is the Chiropractor who will actually be LIKELY to buy from you. If you’re interviewing prominent people to develop your own e-books or articles. You want to dig into their knowledge. Key points to uncover: What the person is into. This leaves the interviewee much more open to providing a testimonial than giving you “an interview”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

validated. 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.And… Would you feel special. They‟re structured to provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to achieve an Intimate Interview. Each section that requires you to have a CD player and a corresponding disc will be noted at the beginning of each section/exercise. 17 .

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

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. 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 .Set up: Disc 6 Foby Interview Exercise Foby Interview.looking for opportunities. 1) Times you feel Foby "shift" -. Listen to the "momentum" of the call and look for." 3) Times when you feel that I'm "exploring" -.IE: You notice a change in his tone of voice..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

why isn’t everybody choosing it? How do you know it’s a choice? Disc 9 . Brian. what have you done. Excerpts: Disc 8 .Brian Keith Voiles 10:45: “And so. Listed are examples of questions followed by Directive questions found in the interview materials.*Each of the Secret Six Question types can take on the form of a Directive Question.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. pointed question.Robert Stover 27:20 “So now that you know this. It‟s typically followed up immediately with at least one or two more directive questions. You‟ll notice that very rarely do I ask one single. Robert. when you’ve gone into this big huge starving crowd with lots of competition? Have you essentially become another 1 in the pile. or have you somehow differentiated yourself to attract your section of that niche market?” “How did it happen? Why did it happen? Who used to do that? Who’s the master of artful writing from the past?” Disc 11 . 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 .

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

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

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

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 .

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

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

Likeability and Trust Persona . underlying reasons they buy or don‟t buy. deeper material is the whole purpose for the interview.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. Getting that richer. 48 . When you have built up the “Emotional Bank Account” during the interview. 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”. but deeplyconnecting material comes from the greater depths. A comprehensive understanding of the Intimate Interview Process/Strategy will give you a decided advantage. your subject will feel safe enough to give you emotional. deeper-than-surface material. otherwise you‟ll get a “surface” answer. This makes the timing of “when” the questions are asked very critical. You can work with surface answers. You will… Know how to control the emotional tempo Recognize when and how to ask the right questions Unearth the deep.Revealing Digging . Your questions must be asked at just the right time.Emotional It‟s not enough to just blurt out the question.

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

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

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

Tell me what‟s behind what you were just… Saying. What you‟re trying to find out about your client. Attitudes and environments are significant. Thinking. I found that a good portion of the TA was living alone. “Why do you think that happened?” This will give you deep insight as to their perceptions and frame of mind in regards to that experience. product or service is…. For each product.We‟re hoping to find out what is triggering their purchase. or motivating them. 52 . Tell me what you really like about _________. there is a small set of personas…. ask them. How does this relate to the target audience? Who is the target audience? What does it mean to them? What is it “not” to them? What is it like? How is it similar? Get the customer to “dump” their perspective to you so you can tell where they‟re coming from. Example: In conducting interviews for an Arthritis product. thus more motivated to be self-reliant. Wanting to ________. That one persona could represent hundreds of people with similar goals and behavior patterns which would benefit from your product or service. After they have explained a pertinent “event”. What‟s your best experience with that? Directly follow up the moments where you can feel emotion coming from them. This will help define if they‟re part of the target market.one of whom will be the primary focus for your copy.

ask… Is that a common experience for people? What is a not-so-common. is that the way you prefer to work? Why? Did you receive adequate credit for your efforts? Why do you think the situation was approached in that way? What was the most difficult part of that for you? Why? What did you think of that? Did that make sense to you? Should that have been done differently? Was that your preference? How would you like to have seen it done differently? If it was your call to make. It was a common personality trait which built resonance with those most likely to buy…that is the real TA. 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. 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.Reasons They Don’t Buy Exactly When They Buy Here are some questions you might ask a business owner or top salesman: Where do most of your sales come from? Why? What‟s your best-selling product? Why do you think that is? What do you find easiest to sell? Who is it easiest to sell to? Why is that? After they explain a product/benefit. how would you have decided? What was wrong with that approach? 53 .

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

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

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

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

WORKSHEET FOR THE SECRET SIX QUESTIONS Come up with 3 of your own questions in the following categories: RAPPORT BUILDING QUESTIONS 1) 2) 3) LIKEABILITY AND TRUST QUESTIONS 1) 2) 3) PERSONA QUESTIONS 1) 2) 3) 58 .Asking questions in a way that is conversational as opposed to a Q & A session is key to obtaining the very best material.

REVEALING QUESTIONS 1) 2) 3) DIGGING QUESTIONS 1) 2) 3) QUESTIONS FOR EMOTIONAL MATERIAL 1) 2) 3) 59 .

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

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

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

Digging Directive - “Tell me about that. then why not?” “What specific benefits do they see in your competitor’s product? Digging - Even when you think you know the answer. 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 . How do they feel it…say it…express it? Get it from their heart and soul. NOTES: 63 .“Why? If not. exactly. “How do you know that on such an intimate level?” “How. ask them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A bad experience… A woman asked to interview me. you‟ll need to work to get the interview. She was a “taker” who had no interest in making the interview a win-win situation. Becoming proficient in the Intimate Interview process will raise you up to that level quite quickly. I‟d get a response. A relationship was established due to the previous rapport that had been built. We all profit from them. You may encounter reluctance from experts I‟ve been on both sides of being the interviewer and the interviewee. or anyone for that matter.. When I came across an item or statement that I appreciated. With an authentic desire to learn from others. this was a door-opener. Here‟s how it all began for me…. You don‟t truly appreciate a good interview until you‟ve seen what else is out there. Also they‟d leave the interview with a positive opinion which paved the way for future communication. These relationships have been leveraged for mutual benefit. Give them a reason to say “yes”. Still. Your experts are most likely doing the same. To me. I wrapped up the interview and felt like I‟d been taken advantage of. 72 . She reminded me of a vulture -. She didn‟t allow me to make a single point without letting me know that she “already knew that”…even though she was furiously scribbling notes the whole time. to hang up the phone after an interview knowing it was a mutually beneficial experience is key. Most times.waiting to verify that she really didn‟t “need” to speak to me. She came to the interview with more than just a little arrogance.The best way to describe it is to show you how I‟ve done it. as there isn‟t a feeling of being “used”. I‟d be sure to email or call them to let them know. I was able to get them on the phone for an interview. Getting experts. and I gladly agreed.just perched there -. That single experience has made me much more cautious. I began buying their programs…getting on their mailing lists. A dialogue would develop and before too long.

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

This may occasionally happen.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.” If you become familiar with the common terms. understanding and empathy for that Target Audience. your interview will flow much more smoothly. 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 . Let‟s say that you‟re set up to interview a bass fishing expert – but you‟re not a bass fisherman. It‟s not the ideal situation but you can still make it work. Keep your ears tuned for the “language” they use.. “Shad. the questions. You‟ll get to understand the struggles.bream…largemouth. and the nuances of the questions that they‟d love to ask an expert. What do you do? You interview one or two bass fishermen first. Create a connection.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I got an email from the expert’s marketing manager… “(Expert) was very impressed about the depth of the interview . Save it for the end. It completely destroyed the point he was trying to make and I had to work at getting the EBA built back up. Example: I was interviewing a millionaire. Notes: 83 . and I knew the answer. Don’t steal their thunder. He asked me who the #2 golfer in the world was.he asked a lot of questions about you.The interview turned out well and was enjoyed by both of us. etc. Their EBA may not recover. 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. 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.

Make them more specific. 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. Experience What have you done to get to where you are now? Have you taken missteps along the way. what is something creative you did to lower costs? What steps have you take to achieve ___? How did you know to do that? Create 3 of your own Experience questions you‟d like to ask an expert 1) 2) 3) Regret Looking back. what would you do differently? Have you gambled and lost? What did you learn? Is there something you wish you had done that you didn‟t? What was your most expensive mistake? Create 3 of your own Regrets questions you‟d like to ask an expert? 1) 2) 3) 84 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remember…

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

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

2)

3)

For the interviewee 1)

2)

3)

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

104

(I recommend $50. or equivalent in product. most of your interviewees won‟t be “paid” for their services.Prepare/Research Whenever possible. people have already spent the money by the time you do the interview and thus the value is already gone. and willing to cooperate. If you are interviewing a business owner or product developer. In this case. ask your client for a little background information on them. This might only take 5-10 minutes to read.) Ask that payment be made AFTER the interview. Preparation for an interview is essential. Often. Have your client set up the agreement ahead of time. Be especially tuned in to areas where you can start digging for information you are looking for. there are a few necessary steps to you‟ll want to follow. try to get some background information on the person you‟re about to interview. with the client paying for it in most cases. What information are you trying to find? Be specific. To do this. Don‟t get in the middle of this. Arrange compensation (if necessary) If interviewing customers for a client. You may find it easier to get an “OK” to use their signatures and testimonials. for a 30-60 minute call. there should already be some copy material available. The truth is. Don‟t give them the reward before they‟ve done the work! Preliminary Contact You need to begin the interview at a Level 3 or 4. But 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. but can provide valuable insight. 105 . When interviewing your client's customers. Your client has already built a relationship with this person – let HIM make the agreement. Define your own goals for the interview. most likely on their website or promotional materials. they may be even more forthcoming. put some time into setting it up. Find out why he selected them to be interviewed. They‟re doing it as a favor of sorts. paying in advance dilutes the enticement.

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

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

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

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

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