Why a Well-Done Intake Interview is Vitally Important to Writing Copy

intake-interview-importanceWhen working with a new client, we always perform what we call an “Intake Interview.” This interview is valuable in a number of ways.

Get the Facts

First, it provides us with the facts we need about a company’s products, services, customer service policies, history, background, target customer audience and goals.

Get the Tone

Second, it gives us the opportunity to “hear” the company owner. We listen not just for the facts but for how the owner represents the business. Does he or she speak using technical language? Are the sentences long or short? Is there humor? This helps us to write in “their voice,” not our own, and is especially helpful when writing a speech the interviewee will be delivering. Most of the time our client remarks, “It sounds just like me!”

Get the Customer

Listening also helps us to uncover problems the owner may be having in the business, or issues their customers might be having. These can and should be addressed when creating good copy.

We have a standard list of basic questions we ask a new client, but then we stop referring to our list and put ourselves in the shoes of the company’s customers to ask further questions. What is it the customer needs to know about the business, what is it the customer wants to know about the business, and what is it the customer isn’t aware they need to know? That special sauce that sets this business apart.

Behaving as if you were a customer of the business while performing the intake interview reveals items that should appear in the marketing copy, whether it’s for a website, brochure or other marketing collateral. And often, we find that the business owner is too close to the business to see what we can see with our outsider’s eye. Our recommendations are heartily accepted.

Get the Reason Why

Every business owner should have a reason why they are in business. Why did they choose this field? Why is their product or service of value to their customers? There are a number of “why” questions that apply. Often, the why is the most important part of any marketing copy.

Get the Human Qualities

The client’s favorite part of our intake interview is our psychological quiz that helps us humanize any business. People don’t buy things, they buy how things make them feel. And these human qualities can make the difference between a lukewarm looker and an excited customer. Knowing that someone “gets them” can turn good copy in to great copy when it addresses a customer’s needs, wants and desires. This segment of our intake interview always opens up the conversation to reveal the heart of any business.

Throughout my career as a feature writer for publications as well as a business copywriter, I have interviewed thousands of subjects. What makes a good feature story is the heart. The details that bring it to life. And the compelling elements that make it irresistable. It is the same for good business copy.

Make Sure Your Copywriter Incorporates an Intake Interview

If the copywriter you’re interviewing doesn’t do an intake interview, it is you, not them who will be missing out. They will never be able to capture the true essence of your business. And this is what compels people to choose you, not just the facts.

For great copywriting, contact All the Buzz. We are experts at creating copy that sells.



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