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

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

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Shaune Clarke – Shaune@DynamicResponseMarketing.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

8 . 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. The bad experiences they‟ve had…hidden objections… Why do they use the product or service….perceptions. refrain from offering advice. focus on being empathetic. Give the individual‟s message your full attention… Provide the time and space to merely express themselves Direct your attention so that they feel understood Feel what‟s going on for them…not you During an interview it‟s your job to get them to the place where they trust you. “It‟s not this….it‟s not that…. Well.” Who exactly IS your Target Audience (TA)? Allow me to explain who it‟s not…. You‟ll be able to use these interviews to help your client sell more of her products and services by defining the qualities that have resonance with that particular market. and he thinks the Target Audience will be Chiropractors. Ask a member of the Target Audience and they‟ll tell you just about anything.Here‟s a great preliminary exercise: The next time someone is “venting” to you. It‟s not the portion of the market that you‟re targeting. a good listener.. It‟s not the piece of the market you FEEL you should target (that TA specifically is most likely to buy from you anyway) This is best illustrated with an example – Let‟s just say that you have a client with a program to market to alternative health doctors. yes and no. Instead. The information will also enable you to define and make “Not” statements. You‟re evaluating the potential selling features for the Target Audience.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And… Would you feel special. and unique if you were asked to be interviewed? Of course! As An Interviewer. 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. validated. 17 . You’re In A Rare Position To Access Experts ARE YOU READY? Begin your journey to successful interviews by completing the following exercise and the rest contained in this manual.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

pointed question. Robert. what have you done. Listed are examples of questions followed by Directive questions found in the interview materials. or have you somehow differentiated yourself to attract your section of that niche market?” “How did it happen? Why did it happen? Who used to do that? Who’s the master of artful writing from the past?” Disc 11 .Brian Keith Voiles 2:40 How do you know that? How does somebody know it if they’re not…? 7:40 – How do you know that? If it’s such a choice. Brian.Brian Keith Voiles 10:45: “And so. how do you apply it? Do you just kind of have your radar up that when you have this kind of…I’ll call it “fear” attention…are you better able to recognize that?” NOTES: 40 . Excerpts: Disc 8 .Robert Stover 27:20 “So now that you know this.*Each of the Secret Six Question types can take on the form of a Directive Question. You‟ll notice that very rarely do I ask one single. when you’ve gone into this big huge starving crowd with lots of competition? Have you essentially become another 1 in the pile. why isn’t everybody choosing it? How do you know it’s a choice? Disc 9 . It‟s typically followed up immediately with at least one or two more directive questions.

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

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

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

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 .

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

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. you will become a better interviewer in a shorter amount of time. Plus. interview more people than necessary. NOTES: In order to do a great interview…an Intimate Interview. by doing “extra” interviews early on.Tip: Until you’ve gained a fair amount of experience. 47 .

When you have built up the “Emotional Bank Account” during the interview.Revealing Digging . This makes the timing of “when” the questions are asked very critical. Only the top 10% of copywriters ever actually dig this deep…and they generally do it on autopilot with no conscious idea of how it happens. You can work with surface answers. Without interviewing. Your questions must be asked at just the right time.Emotional It‟s not enough to just blurt out the question. Getting that richer. deeper-than-surface material. 48 . your subject will feel safe enough to give you emotional. Effectively prepare for what could happen during the interview by understanding: What will decrease the emotional bank account What will increase it How to prevent your subject from emotionally disconnecting Approaching this strategically will give you pure “interview gold”. but deeplyconnecting material comes from the greater depths.Types of Secret Six Questions Rapport Building .Likeability and Trust Persona . deeper material is the whole purpose for the interview. You will… Know how to control the emotional tempo Recognize when and how to ask the right questions Unearth the deep. underlying reasons they buy or don‟t buy. otherwise you‟ll get a “surface” answer. A comprehensive understanding of the Intimate Interview Process/Strategy will give you a decided advantage.

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

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

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. It could help uncover the Compelling Story. Example: In an interview I did for a stock trader. 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. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

“You say that with such certainty. the day before?” 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.“On the day that you bought the product.Emotional .“What else would you need to know?” 66 . 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 .“Fill in the blank – I wouldn‟t: try it if ________” “What’s: the one thing you’ve have to know for sure before spending money on this?” Persona - Secondary . what is the thing of which you’re most appreciative?” “What makes you the perfect customer for this product?” Digging - Digging - Revealing .” Directive “Why is that?” “Of all the things you can now do in your life (because of the problem being solved).“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 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So what happens if… I have an interview that I just can’t pass up but don’t have much knowledge about the subject matter. You‟ll get to understand the struggles. 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.” If you become familiar with the common terms.. It‟s not the ideal situation but you can still make it work. the questions. Create a connection. Keep your ears tuned for the “language” they use. What do you do? You interview one or two bass fishermen first. This may occasionally happen. and the nuances of the questions that they‟d love to ask an expert. “Shad. understanding and empathy for that Target Audience. your interview will flow much more smoothly.bream…largemouth.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Their EBA may not recover. He asked me who the #2 golfer in the world was.The interview turned out well and was enjoyed by both of us.” I was able to construct a win-win situation out of something that was clearly headed down a one-way street. and I knew the answer. The following day.he asked a lot of questions about you. Example: I was interviewing a millionaire. Don’t steal their thunder. Notes: 83 . 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. Expert Interview “Don’ts” Don’t ask a question with the wrong intention – don‟t try to annoy them or “stump” them Don’t have scripted comments – it‟s not authentic and it‟s easily detected Don’t slow the momentum by dealing with contact details. I got an email from the expert’s marketing manager… “(Expert) was very impressed about the depth of the interview . and he was trying to make the point that people tend to only remember the #1 person in any area. etc.

and how have you learned from them? What wouldn‟t you do now that you did before? Was there a turning point decision for you? What was that? What circumstances helped create the opportunity? At start-up. Make them more specific. 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. Team them up with a Directive or Secondary question to get the best material. Experience What have you done to get to where you are now? Have you taken missteps along the way. 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 .Strategic Questions For Experts Modify these to fit the type of individual and niche.

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. 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 . learning time management skills and ______.Perception What does it really take? What has been easier/more difficult than you expected? Besides perseverance.

What does it take to be a success (indirect compliment) The best decision you‟ve made A decision you wish you hadn‟t made. Fine-tune them for your expert.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. 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 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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



For the interviewee 1)




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


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

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

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

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

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

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