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Unlock Your INFLUENCE (It’s Already Within You!)

Stacey Hanke is a two time author and her books provide practical and immediate skills and techniques that have given thousands the ability to enhance their influence Monday to Monday. She has trained and presented to thousands to rid business leaders of bad body language habits and to choose words wisely in the financial industry to the healthcare industry to government and everyone in between.

In this episode of the Salesman Podcast, Stacey shares how the humble B2B sales professional can become highly influential in any business setting.

You'll learn:

Sponsored by:
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Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Stacey Hanke
Expert in Executive Presence & Influence

Resources:

Transcript 

Will Barron:

Coming up on today’s episode of the Salesman podcast…

 

Stacey Hanke:

I think with everything in life it’s all about experience, so it’s a learned technique. When we work with individuals, whether it’s groups or individuals one on one, what we are going to do is first increase their awareness. And I always tell individuals once you understand why do you behave the way you behave, why do you say what you say, which is all defining influence or not defining influence, once you’re more aware of yourself you’re more aware of others.

 

Will Barron:

Hello sales nation I’m Will Barron, host of the Salesman podcast, the world’s most listened to B2B sales show. If you haven’t already, make sure to click subscribe. And with that, let’s meet today’s guest.

 

Stacey Hanke:

Hi, I’m Stacey Hanke. I’m based in Chicago. I’ve been running a company for 16 years called Stacey Hanke Inc. And my team helps leaders, directors to CEOs and sales professionals, how to make sure that they know how much influence they really have, rather than what they believe to be true. And we do that through communication behaviour and messaging.

 

Will Barron:

On this episode, with the legend that is Stacey, we’re diving into influence. How you can become more influential in the corporate world. Essentially what you could do to not really raise your status because that’s one thing that’s given to you with a job title, how with any job title, even a job title as a humble B2B [inaudible [00:01:16] carrying sales professional like you and I, how we can become highly influential in any corporate B2B setting. Let’s jump right in.

 

Is the Ability to Influence Others a Trait We’re Born with or is this Something We Can All Learn? · [01:28]

 

Will Barron:

Is the ability to influence, is this something that we are born with? Is this in our DNA? Are some people just better influencers and leaders than others? Or is this a skillset that we can learn? Or is this perhaps something that we can uncover that we already have even?

 

Stacey Hanke:

I wish it was that easy, just wake up and suddenly boom, I’m influential. It is not, no leader is born with it. What I have learned over the past 16 years is those that we perceive as having influence consistently Monday to Monday truly are those that work with it.

 

Stacey Hanke:

To answer your second question, yes it is something, influence, that you can accomplish and sustain. My big comment though when we get clients asking us, “Hey, can you teach our executives how to be more influential? And will it work?” My first response is, “It’ll work if,” there’s always an if, “are they willing to do the work? And are they willing to be consistent at it?”

 

“I think growing influence is a life long journey, and that’s what makes influence Monday to Monday so difficult.” – Stacey Hanke · [02:44] 

 

Stacey Hanke:

Because I think even once you get more aware of how much influence you have, how much influence you don’t have, and then what to do to make sure you’re constantly growing the influence, you start to feel that consistency. And then lo and behold, you just keep floating on the comfort level not realising there’s other areas of opportunities. My point here, I think growing influence is a long life journey. And that’s what makes influence Monday to Monday so difficult.

 

Understanding Influence and How it Affects Our Daily Interactions · [02:55] 

 

Will Barron:

So we’ll come onto how we grow it in ourselves in a second, but just to flip the script slightly, is perceived influence, when we see it in other people, is this something that is hard wired into our brains? Or is this something that we learn over time? That this person is influential, we should treat them a certain way, or respect or whatever it is.

 

“Once you understand why you behave the way you behave, why you say what you say, which is all defining influence or not defining influence, once you’re more aware of yourself you’re more aware of others.” – Stacey Hanke · [03:29] 

 

Stacey Hanke:

I think with everything in life it’s all about experience. So it’s a learned technique. When we work with individuals, whether it’s groups or individuals one on one, what we are going to do is first increase their awareness. And I always tell individuals once you understand why do you behave the way you behave, why do you say what you say, which is all defining influence or not defining influence, once you’re more aware of yourself you’re more aware of others.

 

Stacey Hanke:

You may not realise now that someone drives you crazy during that meeting because they take so long to get to the point, which causes you to always divert to your emails on your phone. But once you increase your awareness of, “Gosh, how do I come across?” You’re going to start to notice in others what is it about their body language, what is it about their messaging, that makes you trust them? That makes you perceive them as, “Wow, they always seem so confident, so credible, they always have this impact, the way they connect and engage.” That’s not something that you just fall out of bed one morning and you’ve got these skills. It’s because either they’ve been coached… I’ll guarantee it, either they’ve been gotten feedback, or another technique that we use is they’ve been video recorded.

 

Is Influence a Conscious or a Subconscious Action · [04:28] 

 

Will Barron:

Yes. On this front then I’m intrigued, because there’s multiple levels to all this clearly. And I’ll stick to the CEO, the executive level for a second and then we’ll bring it back to us humble quota carrying sales professionals, but for some one in the C suite… perhaps they’ve had some coaching, they’re in a fortune 500 company, whatever it is, they’ve had some coaching on this and they go into a room with another man, woman, whoever it is, that have also had coaching on this, and they’re both trying to be influential in the same room. Do they look at the person and go, “Okay, they’re doing X, Y, Z, and so they must have influence. They must be influential.” Or do they still go, in their gut and their subconscious processing of what’s going on, go, “That person has influence.” Does that make sense?

 

Will Barron:

Is this something that we are consciously thinking about, or is this something that’s, even in two trained individuals, still happening in our subconscious?

 

Stacey Hanke:

I think a trained individual is definitely more conscious, because they know what to look for. The person who isn’t trained doesn’t understand, “Why is this person so boring every time I have to do a meeting with them? Why is it internally when this individual starts having a conversation with me I know it’s okay, in my mind, to check email instead and I’ll pretend I’m listening?”

 

“The more you’re trained, or someone gives you feedback around your level of influence, the more conscious you are of what is it, what is this person doing or saying, body language and messaging, that makes me perceive them as more competent, more credible, which all equals to having more influence.” – Stacey Hanke · [05:39] 

 

Stacey Hanke:

So I think the more that you’re trained, or someone gives you feedback around your level of influence, the more conscious you are of what iS iT, what is this person doing or saying, body language and messaging, that makes me perceive them as more competent, more credible, which all equals to having more influence?

 

Stacey Hanke:

And I think that applies to whether it’s the CEO, or it’s the CEO’s executive assistant, sales professionals, and everyone between. I’ve learned over the years, shockingly because a lot of my clients will say, “Well you work with CEO, they must all know how to communicate effectively.” But here’s the deal, they’re coming to me because they don’t. And it’s this as you climb the ladder it starts to get lonely at the top. Who’s going to tell the CEO that they take too long to get to the point? [inaudible [00:06:26] I will.

 

“The challenge with sales professionals is they get so comfortable with their content, with their product knowledge, with their levels of years of experience, their success rate, that they don’t know what they don’t know when it comes to how do I really come across? Unless they’re being trained or they’re getting constructive feedback from someone in their life that’s saying to them, “Here’s what’s working for you, here’s what’s not. Here’s how you can correct it.” – Stacey Hanke · [06:28] 

 

Stacey Hanke:

I think that the challenge with sales professionals going into your network, the challenge with sales professionals, they get so comfortable with their content, with their product knowledge, with their levels of years of experience, their success rate, that I find with sales professionals they especially don’t know what they don’t know when it comes to how do I really come across? Unless, again you’re right, they’re being trained or they’re getting constructive feedback from someone in their life that’s saying to them, “Here’s what’s working for you, here’s what’s not. Here’s how you can correct it.”

 

The Difference Between Status and Someone Who’s Truly Influential · [07:05] 

 

Will Barron:

Okay, so final thing before we get onto the practical element of the show here, and you mentioned this in fewer words. What’s the difference between perhaps status and then someone who is truly influential? Because if it’s a CEO and I’m a sales person, some kind of internal meeting perhaps, I’m not getting my phone out and checking my emails if the CEO is talking and staring at me. But doesn’t mean that I think they’re always perhaps influential, I might think that they’re an idiot, whatever reason. They’re probably not if they’re in that position and the company’s successful. But, obviously exaggerating here, but what’s the difference between someone who’s just high status who we’ve got to respect because of the corporate ladder, versus someone that we are truly wrapped up in? Someone who is charismatic, someone who has this influence over us that we want to be led by. What’s the difference between that individual and someone who just has the title?

 

Stacey Hanke:

I think with the title, and I’m only speaking from experience from what people have shared with me, I have been in groups before where when we’re doing the training, increasing their awareness, they’ll make a comment, “Our CEO is such a bad communicator.” You know how many times I hear that? I hear that a lot.

 

“Respect to me is trust. And those two have to go together. Someone who’s influential could be your Uber driver, someone that you always call. It could be… I don’t know, whatever or whoever it is, and there’s just this level of you know that every time you meet with them you actually look forward to meeting with them. You know that they’re not going to waste your time because they always get to the point, that they make you feel good. When people start making you feel good, and I mean connecting, engaging, that’s a good sign that you’re trusting them.” – Stacey Hanke · [08:28] 

 

Stacey Hanke:

Now I think from a standpoint of yes, if those two were in a conversation together they would respect the CEO by not going on their phone. I shouldn’t say respect, they probably would listen and pay attention. Because to respect to me is trust. And those two have to go together.

 

Stacey Hanke:

Now someone who’s influential, it could be your Uber driver, someone that you always call. It could be… I don’t, whatever or whoever it is, and there’s just this level of you know that every time you meet with them you actually look forward to meeting with them. You know that they’re not going to waste your time because they always get to the point, that they just, they make you feel good. When people start making you feel good, and I mean connecting, engaging, that’s a good sign that you’re trusting them.

 

“Our title does not determine the level of influence that we have.” – Stacey Hanke · [09:07] 

 

Stacey Hanke:

I think there’s an extreme difference, and in the book Influence Redefined, I talk about how our title does not determine the level of influence that we have. I really believe that. And that’s really just the multitude of individuals I’ve had the opportunity to work with where I worked with an executive’s assistant who I admire so much more than perhaps the executive I’m working with. And it just comes down to their inability to convey a message that you really feel like they’re knowledgeable, you can trust them. You feel that connection. I keep bringing up connection, because I think that’s a word that we’re starting to lose. And perhaps it is because we spend so much time on our phones, that we’re all guilty of it. That the level, to be able to connect and engage, I think it’s a real art to be able to do that consistently.

 

Will Barron:

And it’s a real-

 

Stacey Hanke:

Because you can’t-

 

Why Having Influence is so Important in a Sales Environment Where Salespeople are Spamming the Heck Out of Prospects · [09:54] 

 

Will Barron:

Sorry to interrupt but I feel we should double down on this point of in sales, particularly, it’s a real differentiator, right? If all your competition are spamming cold emails or just doing weird cold calls or whatever it is, and you’ve got the opportunity even better to [inaudible [00:10:07] walk into an office and shake hands with someone, but you’ve got that ability to have that… be that influential person within a space, even if you are quote, unquote a thought leader or whatever it is, and you can position yourself appropriately within your market, why would anyone deal with all these schmucks when they can deal with you? It immediately sets you up for success, right?

 

“You can be the smartest person in your industry but if you cannot connect and engage, if you cannot communicate the value of that product to solve the problem, I don’t think it matters how smart you are.” – Stacey Hanke · [10:30] 

 

Stacey Hanke:

So true. I’ve always said to sales professionals, “You can be the smartest person in your industry, if you cannot connect engage, if you cannot communicate the value of that product to solve the problem, I don’t think it matters how smart you are.” And sales especially, because we tend to all get comfortable. My whole push is get comfortable beyond uncomfortable, constantly check-in and get feedback on, “How do I really come across?” Rather than what everyone else is saying.

 

Stacey Hanke:

Now sales, most sales individuals that we work with understand that they’re the profit centre of the company. They also understand their ability to build relationships with people, to have influence on the buyer, determines how much money they have in their pocket.

 

“The number one challenge I hear from sales teams is, “Can you help me with brevity? I get so excited, so passionate about my product, I tend to say more than I need to. And suddenly I sound like I have been saying the same pitch 550 times in one day.” – Stacey Hanke · [11:20] 

 

Stacey Hanke:

So they tend to be a, I’m stereotyping here, they tend to be a little bit more aware of this idea of, “Okay how am I approaching this person? How do I come across?” Probably the number one challenge I hear from sales teams is, “Can you help me with brevity? I get so excited, so passionate about my product, I tend to say more than I need to. And suddenly I sound like I have been saying the same pitch 550 times in one day.”

 

Why Salespeople are More Aware of Themselves than Professionals in Other Industries · [11:40] 

 

Will Barron:

Yes. I think, just to double down on this again, salespeople probably have more awareness than someone sat in HR, for example, as or accountant, whoever, because if you’re an idiot and you’re calling on potential customers, they’ll probably tell you that you’re an idiot. Right? If you’ve got feedback being thrown at you, good, bad, rejection, positivity, all the time. So maybe that leads to a bit more self awareness from sales people who haven’t doubled down on it consciously. Almost without recourse, it’s coming back at them all the time.

 

“If you really want to accelerate your development, always prepare the feedback. For example, if you and I prior to getting on the live recording here, I would have said to you, “Here’s what I’m working on, would you listen for it? Or would you watch for it? And then afterwards can you give me feedback?” – Stacey Hanke · [12:27] 

 

Stacey Hanke:

Yeah, that might be it. I want to, I’m going to go off of what you just have said. Just a tip for all of our listeners, this whole idea of feedback. And maybe it’s more of a friendly reminder: if you really want to accelerate your development, always prepare the feedback. For example, if you and I prior to getting on the live recording here, I would have said to you, “Here’s what I’m working on, would you listen for it? Or would you watch for it? And then afterwards can you give me feedback?”

 

“The more we can prepare for the feedback, the more likely you’re actually going to get feedback that will accelerate your development. Because otherwise feedback is, “Good, nice job. That was great.” And what do you do with that? There’s absolutely nothing you can do with that.” – Stacey Hanke · [13:10] 

 

Stacey Hanke:

Now if you are in a situation, I’m thinking sales, I’ve done some ride alongs with some of my clients and in that situation I’ll always instruct the director or the regional sales manager, interactively coach. So when you’re in the car, you’re in this one on one conversation, interactively coach whatever they want coaching on. If it’s something we cannot do interactive coaching, like the scenario right here, then I’d ask you five mins after our podcast can you give me feedback on… fill in the blank. The more we can prepare for the feedback, the more likely you’re actually going to get feedback that will accelerate your development. Because otherwise feedback is, “Good, nice job. That was great.” And what do you do with that? There’s absolutely nothing you can do with that.

 

The First Step Towards Developing Self-awareness · [13:27] 

 

Will Barron:

Okay, so what is step one, to get super practical here, what is step one to understand perhaps what we should even be working on? How do we get that self awareness from the get go?

 

“The more you can see yourself, observe yourself through the eyes and ears of your listeners, the more you are going to constantly develop. Because you’re your worst and your best critic. I really believe that if we’re not recording ourselves, experiencing ourselves through the eyes and ears of our listeners, we start to rely on how we feel we come across, the level of influence we have, rather than what everyone else is seeing around us.” – Stacey Hanke · [13:54] 

 

Stacey Hanke:

Yeah. The biggest one, outside of the feedback, I think these two go together, is start recording yourself. Mean you get this, how many podcasts do you do and how many times you’ve heard yourself on a playback… and it’s whether it’s video, it’s audio, do it on your smartphone. We’ve got technology to do it. The more that you can see yourself, observe yourself, through the eyes and ears of your listeners, the more you are going to constantly develop. Because you’re your worst and your breast critic. Otherwise, I really believe that if we’re not recording ourselves, experiencing ourselves through the eyes and ears of our listeners, we start to rely on how we feel we come across. The level of influence we have, rather than what everyone else is seeing around us. That’s huge. Really if that’s just one idea, one concept that your listeners can take away from this episode today, highly recommend it. It will change not only the way you do business, it’ll change the types of relationships you’re creating and sustaining.

 

Will Barron:

And I’ll link to these in the [inaudible [00:14:36] this episode, and I’m sure you maybe aware of a couple of these for sales people, but if you’re doing a lot of calls there is gong.io chorus.ai and jiminney.com that will track your calls, will give you data on how much time you were speaking versus the person that you were chatting to was speaking, and depending on the different platform will give you different insights. And also allow you to share the content with a sales manager, who can perhaps then give you insights, also in real time, on some of these platforms as well.

 

How to Know if You’re Good or Bad at Influencing People in In-person Meetings · [15:06] 

 

Will Barron:

But phone calls is one thing, how do we know what we’re good, bad at? Perhaps at an in-person meeting. Maybe we can record it, I’m sure it won’t be appropriate to record every meeting that we go into. But say that we can record it and we’re viewing back the footage, do we treat this like we’re playing American football and we’re running back the plays and we’re trying to suss out what went right or wrong? How do we decode? I guess two questions here, how do we decode whether we have influence, whether we are influential? How kind of, and if that’s quantifiable at all? And then how do we code where we’re going wrong?

 

“When your sales start to negatively get impacted or positively impacted, I would guess, I would bet, that it really comes down to how you make people feel. In addition, you still have to have a good product, you got to have a product that people want. From that point, now it’s up to you to really represent it.” – Stacey Hanke · [16:06] 

 

Stacey Hanke:

I think with sales it’s definitely quantifiable, and I’m just speaking from experience in the work that we do. I know that if I’m not landing sales, something’s not working. And it’s probably not the product, it’s definitely me. If I’m not able to… My whole goal is I really just want to create relationships, that’s my first goal. Because I want to know too if the client’s the right fit for us. From a sales standpoint, your sales start to negatively get impacted or positively get impacted. I would guess, I would bet, that it really comes down to how you make people feel.

 

“When you do get a chance to either do (analyse) audio or video, the first thing you want to do is when you listen to the playback, keep in mind of how you felt during the recording rather than what reality states. And those two might be completely separate. If it’s a video, I always watch it first. I just watch everything. Second time around I get rid of the sound and I only watch me, which is always very eye opening. The third time, I don’t watch it and I only listen. And the fourth time I put it all together. If I’ve got audio, I’d listen to it several times with the mindset of what did I want to say? How did it come across? What am I willing to change and commit to? So, with both video and audio, it’s one thing to sit and watch and listen, it’s another thing to take action.” – Stacey Hanke · [16:30] 

 

Stacey Hanke:

In addition, you still have to have a good product, I’m not… you got to have a product that people want. From that point, now it’s up to you to really represent it. From a standpoint of when you do get a chance to either audio or video, the first thing you want to do is when you listen to the playback, keep in mind of how you felt during the recording rather than what reality states. And those two might be completely separate.

 

Stacey Hanke:

If it’s a video, I always watch it first. I just watch everything. Second time around I get rid of the sound and I only watch me, which is always very eye opening. The third time, I don’t watch it and I only listen. And the fourth time I put it all together. That’s if you’ve got video.

 

Stacey Hanke:

If you’ve got audio, I’d listen to it several times with the mindset of what did I want to say? How did it come across? What am I willing to change and commit to? With both video and audio it’s one thing to sit and watch and listen, it’s another thing to take action.

 

Stacey Hanke:

And I’ll do something really simple with my coaches after getting feedback, I’ll create three columns. What worked, what didn’t work, what am I will to change? That’s the most powerful column.

 

Stacey Hanke:

I find that the more I watch myself on playback, the harder it is. So I would lie if I said, “Oh it’s so easy now to watch myself, I love it.” No, it’s harder because you pick up more. Yet I’m always amazed at… I have several coaches in my life, I’ll accomplish what they want me to accomplish and then I’ve got another habit, a bad habit I picked up somewhere. I don’t realise I’m doing it, and this is something I study every day. That’s why it’s so critical for your listeners, start recording. And I’m sure, a lot of our sales clients, they do a lot of role playing initially in the initial onboarding process. And there’s usually video playbacks that go with that. Yet I find the companies that are calling us are for their sales teams that have been around for a while. When I start to ask what’s the latest training they’ve been doing, it usually is, “Well they did that with the onboarding, and now it’s truly solely based on the success, the profit that they’re bringing in for the company.”

 

How to Be More Influential and Make Prospects Feel Good About Having a Conversation with You · [18:35] 

 

Will Barron:

You said something really sobering here Stacey, I made a note of it of, “It’s not the product.” I’m paraphrasing, but “It’s not the product, it’s you.” And I never really thought about this before, but if… I was always in the middle of the pack in sales. I would always hit my target but I wouldn’t really crush it. But I was not rubbish enough to get sacked, I was always the safe bet to hit target and kind of… No one was really partying, no one was throwing Rolex’s at me or there was no holidays or anything thrown my way, but I would always hit target.

 

Will Barron:

If someone else in the organisation is crushing it, the only variable other than… And maybe this is over multiple years you can gather this data, you might just have a terrible year in your territory because of X, Y, Z, or whatever it is. But over multiple years the only other variable is you, isn’t it? And I’ve never really thought about it like that before, and that’s really sobering and humbling.

 

Will Barron:

And then when you added that layer on top of all we’re really doing, if it’s the same product if it’s the same or similar marketing, all we’re doing… and I love the way you’ve narrowed this down, is making people feel different. So if that’s the case, and we want to become more influential and make people feel seemingly good… that’s to use a mild words to sum up how we should be interacting and people should leave conversations feeling great and happy that they’ve conversed with us, how do we go about doing that? Because it’s a simple question, but seemingly real profound results from it.

 

Stacey Hanke:

I wanted to clarify, how do we get to that point? [crosstalk [00:20:15]

 

Will Barron:

How do we make people, and in the context of sales, how do we make people feel good and want to just engage with us? Because we could use all these words of we could become influential, we can have high status, we can do all this other stuff, we can just be charismatic, but if the end result that we’re looking for with all of these is just to make someone feel, “Oh I really enjoyed speaking with Will this afternoon.” What’s the process of achieving that?

 

“(To be influential) make it easy for your listeners to listen to you, and make it impactful and interesting that they don’t want to check their email.” – Stacey Hanke · [20:39] 

 

Stacey Hanke:

Okay so big high level, make it easy for your listeners to listen to you. Make it impactful and interesting that they don’t want to check their email. Now how do you do that? That’s where I really break down to there about eight delivery skills, think body language, that make all that happen.

 

Stacey Hanke:

One is brevity. I highly recommend for any sales professional to say less, listen more. This is just basic 101, but we have fallen in the trap of, “You need to know all 25 years of my experience.” No they don’t. They don’t care. I hate to tell you, they don’t care! It’s really making sure that you have lots of pauses, your sentences are short and to the point, to allow your listener to always follow your script every step of the way.

 

“We all have good eye contact but not eye connection. The bottom line to eye connection is only speak when you see eyes. No eyes, no talk. Now, why that’s important is eye connection is the only skill that builds trust. That’s where you get the connection, engagement. ” – Stacey Hanke · [21:48] 

 

Stacey Hanke:

My friend most of us, we speak in paragraphs. I talk a lot about what we do with our eyes, how many times… I’m going to demonstrate now, how many times that you’re in a conversation and the person that you’re talking to is talking someplace else. And already you can feel how different this podcast feels. And that to me is we all have good eye contact but not eye connection. I talk about that in the book. The bottom line to eye connection is only speak when you see eyes. No eyes, no talk.

 

Stacey Hanke:

I’ve seen it a lot of times where sales individuals will have something on their iPads, or some type of marketing pieces if I’ve got in front of me right now, and half the time I’m spending talking to an object rather than connecting with my listener. Now why that’s important, eye connection is the only skill that builds trust. That’s where you get the connection, engagement. The other piece is you’re going to wait… I guess you can kind of see my gestures, every time you gesture you want to make sure there’s purpose versus… I’m going to demonstrate right now, a lot of times people just gesture to gesture. And it’s because we’re not aware of it. Well if I did this for this entire time this podcast, this is going to get pretty annoying after a while.

 

Will Barron:

And just for everyone who’s listening, Stacey’s waving her arms around. For anyone who wasn’t watching the video side of things. As you’re going through that.

 

“In the world of competition that we live in and the amount of noise that we now compete against, it’s not that your product just stands alone. The product is attached to who is this buyer going to build a relationship with.” – Stacey Hanke · [23:16] 

 

Stacey Hanke:

And we do, we look like we’re going to knock each other out by all those gestures that we use. I talk a lot about having a very open posture. I talk a lot about making sure that every movement you make through your body language, it is consistent. You’ll notice I have a lot of facial expressions, you’ll hear the different tone in my voice, especially for those that aren’t watching the video right now. If I were to say to you I think influence is really important and all of your listeners should start videotaping themselves, you’d hear the total difference. And that’s what I mean by my comment earlier about it’s not just your product, in the world of competition that we live and the amount of noise that we now compete against, it’s not that your product just stands alone. The product is attached to who is this buyer going to build a relationship with?

 

Stacey Hanke:

Now there’s a whole nother side of it is all the word choice. Are you saying words that they really get, they understand? Are you saying what you just told the 20 people that you tried to sell to prior? And without pausing, constantly thinking on your feet, there’s no way you can be constantly analysing, adapting your message on the fly.

 

Stacey Hanke:

Those are some of the highlights, some of the highlights to your question. There’s a lot… And I think about an athlete, I think about a tennis player or a golf professional, how much focus they have in every strength swing that they take a shot at. Communication is the same way. And unfortunate we have forgotten that it’s not just our words that are going to influence. It’s the full package of how people experience us.

 

Will Barron:

You did something, and it obviously came natural to you as well Stacey which I think is incredibly useful for the audience, and I wish more guests on the show would do it. When I ask a confusing question or just a terrible question, a lot of the guests will try and BS an answer back at me just because they don’t want to look like they’re not sure what’s going on. But you tried to clarify what I was asking you. And just even that process made your answer a lot more useful than if you’d just tried to come back from it.

 

Why It’s Okay to Ask for Clarification When a Prospect Asks About Something You Don’t Understand Instead of Trying to BS Your Way Through · [24:54] 

 

Will Barron:

And I see sales people do this regularly as well of they’ll go back and forth, they won’t quite understand something. And I don’t know whether it is… I don’t know what it is, but people seemingly are reluctant to, on top of everything else you described which is awesome, people seem to be reluctant to even just reiterate a statement or ask someone to qualify what they were describing. And I feel like that is something you just glossed over and you just did naturally yourself, is something that we can really focus on as well.

 

Stacey Hanke:

That’s because I’m not a good liar. I’m not a good BS’er, I can’t do it. And it is, it to me it’s all my focus right now is on making you look good, making sure that your viewers get something out of this. I really focus a lot outward during my communication rather than getting stuck in, “Oh I want to make sure that they hear me say this,” or, “I want to make sure that they hear this about me.” I really, I put that stuff to the side. Therefore, when you ask me a question I want to make sure that what you’re asking is something I can even answer.

 

Stacey Hanke:

Trust. Clarification with Q&A. That to me, that’s a big trust part of it. And Q&A’s a tough one, with sales you live and breathe Q&A. Objections, challenging questions. I get a lot of questions asking, “Well what if I don’t know the answer?” You could not be more humble by simply saying, “I don’t know, but I’ll find out. Let me find out for you.” Or I was on a sales call right before this podcast and someone was asking me about how to vision board. I don’t even know what that is, I have no idea what that is. But I started to laugh, and they go, “Well can you teach vision board?” I said to them, “I have no idea what that is, which is telling you I probably am not the right person to be teaching that.” But once they described it, it’s a total jargon that they use inside their company on what we really do do, but I didn’t know what a vision board was.

 

Stacey Hanke:

To me it just brings you down to that level of you’re really putting all your effort in to make sure that you’re not wasting this individual’s time and you’re giving it every possible umph of energy to give it value.

 

The Things Stacey Does Before a Meeting to Help Her Focus on Giving Value to the Customer · [27:10]

 

Will Barron:

Love it. Is there anything you do before you perhaps get on a call, go to a meeting, to seem as… And I’m hesitant of the word to use here, I don’t want this to sound wishy washy or kind of like hippy. I don’t expect that you would sit on a round stone for 20 minutes before you get on a phone call or you do some, I don’t know, Tony Robbins spin round and clap your hands and all that kind of stuff. Maybe you do, I don’t know but…

 

Stacey Hanke:

I, that’s right.

 

Will Barron:

Well what do you do to, not necessarily get yourself in the frame of mind of I’m excited, I can help this person get my energy levels up. Do you do anything just to go, right I need to get out of my own head because I’m here to help this individual, genuinely, I’m here to hear them out, to go back and forth, to consult with them. Do you do anything to get yourself in that frame of mind? Because on the show we talk about getting ourselves excited and raising our energy levels, especially if we’re doing the same call every day, day in day out. But it seems like the real skill is to be able to just be there for someone.

 

Stacey Hanke:

Mm-hmm (affirmative)

 

Stacey Hanke:

And I’m not perfect at this, I am a work in progress like everyone else is. I really got to shut down the distractions, the things that distract me. The stuff that is on my desk right now. The open folders. I got to get rid of that. I got to shut down that email, or I will… I’m like anyone else, I will check my email if I’m not live. I try to do our sales calls, our interactions with our clients, with my web cam on as much as possible because it forces me to not multitask. That’s a big part. I’ve gotten so much better with mindfulness that when I feel like I’m starting to tip over I truly do walk away from it a lot. A lot more often than I have in the past. And that’s just… And maybe it’s five minutes, if that. That’s helped me a lot. So now I’m going to get a little personal with you, I think meditation has been huge. I teach that a lot with some of my more sales, top leadership.

 

Will Barron:

Yes.

 

Stacey Hanke:

This whole idea of if you’re able to meditate and you know what happens in that moment, you’re able to also pull that in when you’re in a conversation because you’re more aware of, “Whoa I just went to dinner last night. I need to be here right now.” Because that helps a lot. And it’s all mind over matter. It’s friendly reminders too, where I literally have to tell myself all right, you can’t resolve that problem right now. I’ve got to make it worth this person’s time.

 

“The fact that our name is on everything that we do every day, that’s enough for me not to want to mess up.” – Stacey Hanke · [29:47] 

 

Stacey Hanke:

I think big picture, if I could put a stamp on top of everything I’ve just given you, the fact that our name is on everything that we do every day, that’s enough for me not to want to mess up. Because we know that-

 

The Respect and Reputation Stacey Wants to Create for Herself in the Industry · [29:57] 

 

Will Barron:

And what does that mean to you? And is this legacy? Is this just your level of respect within the industry? What does that mean on a longer term scale?

 

Stacey Hanke:

Yeah, it’s the respect of the reputation I want to create. I don’t want to be known as, “If you get Stacey on our podcast, half the time she’s multitasking. She rambles, she does most of the talking, you can’t even get a word in.” I am so… I’ve always been like that, I’m very protective of my reputation. And I really do, I want to make people feel good. I want people to want to have conversations with me versus they see my name on their Outlook in the morning, their calendar, and they’d rather have a root canal than have a conversation with me.

 

Stacey Hanke:

And I push that a lot with sales. You’re the face of your company. And everything you do, it has your name on it. Even though you might work for IBM, or Apple, whatever it is, you’re still the one that they interact with. Here’s the good news, you get to decide every day what reputation you want to create.

 

Meditation Apps/Books Stacey Would Recommend for Salespeople · [31:10]

 

Will Barron:

Love it. Okay, so on the meditation front, and we’ll… I’ve got one thing I want to ask after that and then we’ll wrap up with this. But is there any apps you recommend? Is there any books you recommend? For someone who wants to get into meditation what would be the first port of call?

 

Stacey Hanke:

Yeah I stumbled on this, it’s called Ziba, Z-I-B-A, Ziba Online. I have a mind… My mind just stopped, I just… Emily! Emily Fletcher. Emily Fletcher is her name. And she’s got… just check her up, she just has a really interesting story, And when I first found her over a year ago it was a 15 day training with her online. And it just has changed the way I feel, it’s changed my focus. I have a lot of work to do. A lot of practise to do. But I’ve lived and breathed that one. I know there’s a lot of apps, but I like… Why I chose hers, it’s so interactive. And once you buy into her group, you are constantly getting information from her and resources. That you’re not just relying on a app. I need a live body to help me commit.

 

Will Barron:

Good. The reason I ask is I always recommend headspace.com or the Headspace app.

 

Stacey Hanke:

Yes.

 

Will Barron:

Super simple. Andy has been on the show, he… the founder of it all. And dead easy, it’s the only thing that I’ve ever listened to. He’s a ex-monk but you would never really know it other than his beautiful gentle voice.

 

Stacey Hanke:

I didn’t know that.

 

Will Barron:

And I get on well with that as a meditation. But for context, and this is something that came to mind in a conversation a couple of days ago… So billionaires, when you look at the likes of Jeff Bezos who meditates every day, he’s… I can’t remember the number, I’ll butcher it now, but it was something like for every ten minutes, maybe it was every minute Amazon makes $11 million. So Jeff Bezos is willing to take 20 minutes out of his day, whatever 11 times 20 is, that amount of cash, to meditate.

 

Will Barron:

So clearly if a billionaire like that is doing it, and there’s plenty of other billionaires that are doing it as well… There’s plenty of science that show the benefits of it, it isn’t some kind of hippy thing that we, my grandparents did in the ’60s or whatever filled to the brim with drugs, it’s something that is the people at the top of the game of business in the corporate world, they’re doing it and they’re willing to put a bit of, perhaps take a bit of cash off the table for that time to invest, to then earn more on the back of it. I’m not explaining this very well. I probably need some coaching from yourself on how I communicate on this front. But that’s context for me, if someone like that is doing it, if the multiple billionaires are doing it, then there’s got to be something to it.

 

Stacey’s Advise to Will on How to Uncover More Influence on the Show and Get Better at Striking Conversations · [33:56] 

 

Will Barron:

And with that Stacey final thing to wrap up on here, because we’ve gone back and forth here, is there anything you’d recommend for me, and this might be useful for the people especially who are listening to this show, is there any way I can uncover a little bit more influence on the show? Whether it’s the way I speak, the body language, the communication that we’re going back and forth of how I’m making you feel, hopefully I’m making you feel comfortable and you’re enjoying the conversation so far, is there anything I could do to improve myself from what you’ve seen in this conversation?

 

Stacey Hanke:

My gosh, I’m getting totally put on the spot. The first thing that comes to mind… Yes you’re making me feel very comfortable and I think what it was is you and I had a chance to talk, not about business, we just talked. Got a chance to know each other. And everyone… Some people like that, some people don’t. And from a sales professionals perspective, figure it out. You know how to do that, that’s just sales 101.

 

Will Barron:

Sure.

 

Stacey Hanke:

My first thought was you’re in an opportunity of all the podcasts that you do, is just keep watching your playbacks. Watching the playback through video, watching the playback through audio. And always focus on just one thing.

 

Stacey Hanke:

So you’ve got so much energy in your voice, you’re very personal through your facial expressions, I feel like I’m kind of sitting in your studio, which says a lot. Sometimes I don’t and sometimes I want to literally look up because I can’t figure out where are they looking? What’s going on up there? But from a perspective of the best advice I could give you, just keep watching the recordings that you’re doing.

 

Will Barron:

And am I watching my self? Or am I listening to what I’m saying and watching your face to see your expression and whether I’m keeping your attention?

 

Stacey Hanke:

That’s a good point, I would do all of it. I would watch the recording several times. I think about, you brought up a football coach and you know we’re big with football here, and one of my friends, her brother is a football coach for the Atlanta Falcons. And I was asking her, “What does he do? Like how does he get there?” And she said, “He will watch the playbacks for hours and hours in a week.” Even if he gets… He finds a solution or a strategy off of, “Finally okay by Wednesday I get it,” he’ll still watch it until the next game that they play.

 

Stacey Hanke:

So take it into series. First watching yourself, getting rid of the audio, getting rid of the visual. And then yes, watching my expression too. Or your other guest on your podcast.

 

Will Barron:

And do you know what, I’ve never done it without the audio. It might be really weird to watch. I might do that tomorrow morning, as a kind of experiment on this.

 

Stacey Hanke:

It’s odd. It is so odd. That was the first coaching session I ever did, my coach sat down with me and he sat and he got rid of the audio. And he looks at me and he says, “Would you want to sit through that?” I remember thinking, “Oh gosh, okay I’m never going to forget this moment. But there’s a learning here.” And it does, and I still do it where I’ll get rid of the audio as I watch my playback. It’s humbling, to say the least.

 

Will Barron:

Yeah, and as I think about this, if you’re engaging with someone and there’s no sound, and you’ve got a big visual mouth on you and you’re not moving your arms somewhat, you’re going to look like a psychopath. Even if what the words that are coming out your mouth sound somewhat interesting, you’re probably missing out half the battle there aren’t you?

 

“In a sales situation, when you listen, you still either have it or you don’t have influence. People tend to forget that it’s not only when you speak, it’s from the minute you show up. How do you stay show up? And then what do you leave behind?” – Stacey Hanke · [37:08] 

 

Stacey Hanke:

Yeah. Well here’s why I think that’s important, because in a sales situation, if I bought up earlier that we should talk less… we know this it’s 101, listen more. When you listen, you still either have it or you don’t have influence.

 

Will Barron:

Got it.

 

Stacey Hanke:

People tend to forget that it’s not only when you speak, it’s from the minute you show up. How do you stay show up? And then what do you leave behind?

 

Stacey’s Advise to Her Younger Self on How to Become Better at Selling · [37:32]

 

Will Barron:

Love it. Well I’ve got one final question Stacey, it’s one that I ask everyone that comes on this show and that is, if you could go back in time and speak to your younger self and you could give her one piece of advice, what advice would you give her to help her become better at selling?

 

Stacey Hanke:

I would of been better with getting comfortable being uncomfortable. Through asking for more feedback, getting more coaches earlier in my career, and really practising everything I preach now as far as videotaping. I just look back and think there’s so many people that I interacted with in my earlier sales days and I’m thinking, they’re probably wondering how in the world is she doing now?

 

Stacey Hanke:

If I would have gotten more with just get comfortable being uncomfortable, knowing that those are the moments where you’re going to have the greatest development.

 

Why Being Uncomfortable is a Never-ending Journey Towards Self-improvement · [38:18]

 

Will Barron:

And just on that, just to clarify, if videoing makes us uncomfortable and then we do it, clearly our comfort zone, for want of a better description, expands and encompasses being on video. Are you saying that we then need to find the next thing to be uncomfortable? And then the next thing to be uncomfortable? And that it’s a never ending journey of improvement?

 

Stacey Hanke:

Yes. Because you won’t get… Let’s say for example there’s someone on this podcast that’s thinking, “Wow, I use um and ah a lot, I need to get rid of that.” You’ll get rid of it. If you start focusing on it, you have someone pointing it out to you, bringing to your attention every time you um and ah, it will become annoying and you’ll stop. Then you’ll find another way to [inaudible [00:39:00]. What I have found though, by taking all these techniques that you and I have talked about, you are always increasing your awareness. That you’ll recognise the distraction that you’re creating, either through your messaging or through your body language, as you continue to go through this process.

 

Stacey Hanke:

So it’s a very much of a stepping stone. I go back to that professional athlete, or actor, actress, or musician. Why do they never stop getting feedback? Yeah living the corporate world, or the association world depending where you’re coming from, why don’t we work on our development? We have more impact on people than an athlete does. In sales, depending on the product that you’re selling, you could be changing lives. And with all that on your shoulders, there should be no question to why are we not focusing on how people experience us?

 

Will Barron:

I feel like we need to put our heads together and build a product that sits in your pocket and electrocutes you every time you go, “Um, ah.” For me I need one that electrocutes me when my posture, when I start slouching. And when I… if I talk, a BPM of talking. Because I talk way too fast. And then also the length of my paragraphs, as you said earlier on in the show, every time I talk for more than four seconds it shocks me. That, we have like a Pavlov dog kind of system.

 

Stacey Hanke:

I love that!

 

Will Barron:

That seems like a… I’m obviously, I’m only half joking as I say that, that seems like something that would give you a bit of a kick start of all of this.

 

Stacey Hanke:

I love that. I need the same with my posture, I’m always working on my posture. Just need a little shocks to my system, when I’m starting to slouch.

 

Parting Thoughts · [40:37]

 

Will Barron:

Love it. Well with that Stacey, we’ve touched on the book. I want you to tell us a little bit more about the book, where we can find it, and then where we can if we want to get some coaching? If we want to learn from yourself personally, we can go about doing that as well.

 

Stacey Hanke:

Yeah go to the website. I can always be the accountability partner from afar as well. We pump resources out there a lot to just help anyone out. And it’s at our website, staceyhankeinc.com The book is there, the book is also on Amazon.

 

Will Barron:

Perfect. Well I’ll link to that. Everything that we’ve talked about in this episode over at salesman.org And with that Stacey, I really enjoyed this conversation and I want to thank you for your time and your insights and for joining us on the Salesman podcast.

 

Stacey Hanke:

Thanks for the opportunity, I had a good time as well.

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