EP130: Stacey Hanke - How Your Brand Can Attract Clients

How is your brand communicating to others?

Today’s fast-paced business environment requires leaders who can create impact and influence others with sound communication practices.

Our guest, Stacey Hanke has trained over 15,000 executives to influence, persuade, sell, or simply effectively communicate face-to-face with a clear brand message.

She runs Stacey Hanke Inc. which is a company that exists to equip leaders within organizations to communicate with confidence, presence and authenticity, day in and day out.

She is also the author of Influence Redefined: Be the Leader You Were Meant to Be Monday to Monday. It provides a step-by-step method for improving communication and producing the ideal type of influence that moves people to action long after an interaction is over.

During this interview, you'll discover...

  • How to navigate through transitions

  • The importance of consistency in your personal brand

  • How to create effective value ads

To view Stacey's website, click here.

To look at her LinkedIn page, visit this link.

To get her book, Influence Redefined: Be the Leader You Were Meant to Be Monday to Monday, visit here.


Michael Palmer: 01:23 Welcome back to The Successful Bookkeeper podcast. I am your host, Michael Palmer, and today's show is going to be a fun one. Our guest runs Stacy Honky Inc, which is a company that exists to equip leaders within organizations to communicate with confidence, presence and authenticity day in and day out. She is also the author of influence, redefined be the leader you were meant to be Monday to Monday. Stacy Hanke, welcome to the podcast.

Stacey Hanke: 01:56 That was well done things. Michael its my honor. I appreciate it.

MP: 02:00 Hey, it is our honor and thank you so much for agreeing to be on the show and I know that our listeners are going to get a lot out of it today, but before we get into it, please tell us a little bit about yourself and how you ended up being Stacey Hanke of today. That's like such a loaded, yeah,

MP: 02:19 always a loaded question, right?

SH: 02:23 It is.

MP: 02:24 I feel sorry for you. I want to ask you that.

SH: 02:26 How much time do you have in your really, we, we just turned 16 years. The business turned 16 years in, in August and our main focus is really helping individuals, mostly leaders. We tend to play in that spot of directors to the CEO, helping them become more aware of how much influence they have rather than what they believe to be true. And I fell into it, Michael. I wanted to be in radio. I wanted to be a TV broadcaster coming right out of college. Obviously, that did not work because we're talking today. So my steps before the 16 run with the business started, I was always in corporate world and did a lot of training for some big corporations. Target being one of them. And what I found was no matter what I would train and I was, I was the Goto for everything from customer service to time management, leadership skills, broad topic areas.

SH: 03:18 What I've realized that no matter how smart someone would be with any of those topics, if they weren't able to communicate it in a way that whoever they were trying to influence could understand them, act upon their message, it didn't matter how smart they were. And that's really where I started to get really intrigued with body language, get treated with, you know, why do some people have this ability connected and when others don't and then 16 years later have a lot of research, we continue to innovate ourselves. Here we are. And it really evolved to after the book that you announced influence, redefined, came out last year. That is a book of that many years of research and mentoring and working with clients to really identify, okay, what is influence and what is it not?

MP: 04:08 I love the title and I, I was watching one of the videos on your website and I really liked this concept of do you realize how little influence you have? And I think when I watched it I'm like, oh wow. I mean it's such a jolting question that I, I think for me it's like, wow. Yeah, I don't really think of it that way. I mean we go about our day doing the things that we do, but are we really influencing people in a way that we want to be? And I'm sure our listener be the same thing. It's like, are you actually influencing the clients that you have in your business, your staff? You know, when you stop, sit back and think about that. It's a really brilliant question. When did you start thinking about that?

SH: 04:53 It's the experience of the more and more individuals, specifically leaders, because you think of a leader, someone who has most likely years of experience in a specific industry or across industries. They've got a very prestigious and impressive title. Yet, when I would sit down with these individuals, mentoring them one-on-one, all of this truth came out. Michael, truth around, I'm not confident in front of my board or I know how to start a conversation. I just don't know sometimes how to navigate through transitions and points that really resonate with my listeners. I don't have the confidence that people believe that I do have, oh, another one that I heard a lot was, I know the feedback I get is not real. Everyone always tells me how good I am, but now it's starting to get lonely on the top because I really don't know how I come across.

SH: 05:44 When we continuously heard feedback or we continuously experienced it through our eyes of working with leaders, I realize, wow, people are really have this misperception. Most people believe that influence means you turn it on, you really focus, you put on your a game right before the big Gig or the high stakes conversation. However, our listeners might define that and it, to me, it's not that. To me, it really is. Having this consistency of a personal brand that you're proud of, that truly communicates influence every day of the week, but it doesn't matter if you're on a podcast. It doesn't matter if you're in a corporate call. Always having a conversation that is extremely impromptu influence really is the consistency that Monday to Monday, people perceive you as trustworthy, confident people want to follow your lead and Michael, by that definition, you can tell that you just naturally don't have that. Most people, I don't know anyone that naturally is born being influential. It's a skill like any athlete's skills, you have to work at it and you have to constantly get constructive feedback to determine, am I going in the right direction or am I distracting my listeners from getting an opportunity to really hear and understand what I'm saying?

MP: 07:05 It's beautiful. I mean it's such an interesting concept and this whole idea, I'm just sitting here thinking, you know, are you born with influence? And I'm thinking, well, I think maybe we're born with influence, but then we quickly lose it because mind three and a half year old has a lot of influence over me. Right. That's your way. I just guess it's top of mind, right? It's like every morning it's like I am influenced by every day and all day every night, but eventually I think we lose that somewhere along the way.

SH: 07:36 I think we do too, and it goes back to something that you were stating earlier in this podcast. We are caught up in the noise. We are receiving messages 24 seven there's tons of ways that we can communicate from the many mediums through social media to the typical email that I really think we're starting to lose the true art of connecting and engaging with people. We're running through this task list. We're sprinting. One thing to prove that I was sharing Michael with a client the other day that I'm noticing at conferences that I'm presenting at there usually is another speaker they're presenting on the topic of mindfulness or meditation. I get a lot of our leaders that we mentor, they talk a lot about how they've got to start focusing on their own health. They need to start focusing on meditation so that they can get through the many tasks that they have throughout the day, but do it effectively and have be productive through that and I think it just, it goes right back to we have so many messages getting thrown at us. There's a lot more competition because of that. For you to be memorable in the eyes of everyone around you. No wonder we've really start losing this concept of is your communication both verbally and non verbally, does it have influence behind it or are you just checking the box every day?

MP: 09:15 Yeah, you're absolutely right. I mean if someone isn't present with themselves, it's going to be impossible to be present with others foundational type stuff and, and exciting that it's becoming more and more talked about and embraced within mainstream corporate as well. Small businesses. Right. Our listeners here on this show, I think that there's a couple of challenges that they, they face when it comes to communication is that they're working with people often, virtually. And if they do get an opportunity to be face to face or be around them, uh, it, you know, it's, it's a limited amount of time typically. So we're, we're in this noisy world and then stack on top of that. The, the old saying, out of sight, out of mind. So how do we maintain influence when maybe we're not being seen or there's not opportunities to always be in front of somebody to influence them?

SH: 10:17 I think that's where you have to be creative and you think about the email that you send to someone. Do you sound like every other message that that person receives? I think we have to, especially through email, we call them value ads. If you're going to reach out to someone and you want to influence them to either respond your email to return a phone call to act on a project or a task, you have to throw some type of value add out there so we focus heavily. The value adds that we give through our emails. Number two, it's about not wasting people's time. It's about really being short and to that point, whether it's leaving that text message then not saying short and doesn't make sense. I mean short message with brevity and clarity or leaving that voicemail message. If anyone's still does that or leaving that, that email message you getting to the point when we can't see the individual, we have to be creative through the value add and we have to make sure we don't waste their time because suddenly you create the reputation that every time I receive an email from Michael, there's really no point behind it.

SH: 11:24 Suddenly I just stopped opening it and that's what I mean by there. There's so much noise, so many messages that get sent our way in a day. What are you going to do that's going to allow you to stay out from the noise and sometimes it might just be something that you're sending through that value add that is a strong reputation of your brand and what you believe in and what your values are. As long as that listener sees the value is for them as well.

MP: 11:51 Mm, that's, that's excellent. Creativity. Do you find like with your clients, because keep being creative takes time. It's one of those things and we live in this fast paced world. How do people stop to actually spend that time and do, do what's necessary in order to have that creative idea too, to make sure that they're communicating in a way that's influential?

SH: 12:15 You know, I think it goes back to focus. I don't think it's a matter of creativity. It's about being focused in the moment that you're not just responding to an email to respond to it, and we're all guilty of it, me as well, but it's really taking a minute, two minutes to think through what is this person really asking? Or depending on the type of email you're creating, what do I really want from them and how am I going to influence them to do it? Say I don't see it as the creativity that takes the time. It's put the focus, be conscious that it's not a task of just sending off a message, responding to messages, checking the box, but it truly is focusing on word. It's focusing on what is important for this person to receive from me via email. What can I do to grab their attention?

MP: 13:05 Hmm. Well that's, that's great.

SH: 13:07 I mean it's three. It's like, what do we want to accomplish? How do we accomplish it and the most effective way to get the outcomes for both ourselves and and and the opposite, you know? So yeah, that is, I mean it's like we, where we go about our day all the time. I think of myself, it's like what is my focus here? What am, what's my outcome that I'm looking for me? That would be an improvement right there.

SH: 13:31 And Michael, it could even be something as simple. Instead of sending the email, what if you got up out of your desk, away from your desk and you just saw if that person was a couple of doors down in the office, I dunno, you could save a lot of time by having one conversation versus 20 via email or is that we don't just call even if you have to leave a voicemail message, the power of them hearing your voice, since your voice is an essence of truly who you are is still going to have more power than the email. You can always follow up the voicemail with an email. So even something like that is creative because it's different. We don't always get voicemails anymore. It's a simple email. I mean, I'll give you an example. I received an email today, Michael, from a new potential client and there's no, there's no way for me to contact this person to call.

SH: 14:23 I, there's, there's never an a phone number attached. I'm, I'm going around about way on their website. Like he, he must be a virtual employee, but he's a partner, which is crazy how many times we've gone back in email because his emails are so crypt at that I can't even understand them. And from the very first email, I always say, I just want to honor your time. Let's schedule a call, 30 minute call, and we can get it accomplished. And that it's just not working for him. He's, he's sending me or most of these messages and I'm thinking it's already creating this reputation where I start thinking, do we really want to work with someone like that?

MP: 15:03 Yeah, absolutely. I mean, they could help use your help. It's that by the sounds of it, they need it. They need it badly. Um, I mean, you just have to send people back their emails with an invoice, you know, it's like, here he goes, this is, let's get started. Um, that's a good point. It's, it is interesting in that I, it's one of the things that I've noticed with a lot of people's emails is that very same issue. It's like the, there's no signature line. Doesn't have like a phone number or even an email. I mean, people, people get that, oh, I've sent the emails. So they, they think that that already have the American just respond. But like thinking about our users, who's going to be the recipient of that? For me it's like I gotta go, sir, I gotta Click in, I gotta figure out how to cut and paste it versus just grabbing it right from the email or the, the telephone number, uh, right from the, the signature line. So there's something happening where people are going either that don't know the technology's there to be able to enable that or they've turned it on. I remember back in the day, when am I say back in the day, I mean like just 10 years ago, 15 years ago, like the evening meal, email signature was almost a thing. It was like, you know, people write them. You'd have to send it out to a graphic designer to, you know, oh, I got them to build my, but they've seem to disappeared. What's up with that?

SH: 16:21 I know and it just, I don't know. I think you know everything that we do, Michael, it has our name on it, which means your reputation gets created by everything that you do. And that includes an email. So the best is when you see an email that the signature line says, forgive my typos. What do you mean? Forgive your typos? Why? If you're on the phone, we should forgive your typos. Like I never understood that concept. And the same thing with the signature by just your name and as I'm in the full name, sometimes it'll just be the name, there'll be nothing else there. It's, you got to keep in mind that what you're always sending out there, every time you send it, it's building the reputation. Whether that's in a positive way or a negative way. That's what I mean where we, when we started with this whole idea of focus, Michael is something as simple as that because if you're contact information, there's no way to find you in that email. You've now lost the opportunity to have any type of influence that they're not going to waste the time to try to find it.

MP: 17:25 Well that's, that's exactly it.

SH: 17:27 Right. And I would say in this industry, there are, I speak with so many bookkeepers and CPAs that they talk about deals that they haven't won or you know, that that didn't progress. And I, my questions will, how many times did you follow up? And it's like nothing. Zero. Often the answer is zero. It's like I send my thing, the proposal, the email, whatever it was, and they didn't respond. And so it's, it's done. And so if you think of the person on the receiving end of that, it's like, well what are they communicating? I mean, they could be communicating a million different things, but guess what? You don't know what that is. They could just be busy. They could be on a vacation, they could be, you know, dealing with a life critical life issue. We, you don't know until you follow up.

SH: 18:14 And so I think that's one example of just stopping and focusing on, well what's the outcome? What, you know, thinking about it, being mindful about what might be going on can create whole bunch of different outcomes in life for both parties. Yeah, exactly. I have to, I have to say though that I jumped over the, the, you know, the Typo, excuse me for my typos. I mean when we start to think about that, what does that actually communicating? It's saying that, hey, I didn't read my own message to you and I don't know how to spell and I this phone, because I think where it comes from is back when phones, you know, blackberry went, not, didn't have spell check, I don't have to spell it. I, my spell check doesn't work on my phone. So it's maybe to be more authentic around the communication would be to say all of that.

MP: 18:57 Yes, exactly. Too Funny. That is such an interesting, I've never thought of it that way, but I better make sure my phone doesn't have that on that.

SH: 19:08 Exactly. I know mine doesn't, but now we're talking about this. I'm going to go back and double, double, double-check.

MP: 19:14 Absolutely. Well, here's, we've already given incredible gold here today, which is if you're on your phone and you're on your computer, I don't need to know what you're on. I need to know what I need to know, which is how do I get back in touch with you and who you are and you know your signature line and all emails should have us do a signature line. Make it easy for me to communicate back with you.

SH: 19:36 I think that just goes all around general when it comes to communication is I challenge your listeners to just take a look this week. What are you doing? What are you saying? Or is it something like a tool like email that is causing it difficult or causing your listener to work hard to follow through with you to listen to you. Those are the changes that you need to make.

MP: 20:05 Beautiful.

MP: 20:06 Now Monday to Monday, tell us a little bit more about the philosophy of Monday to Monday.

SH: 20:11 Yeah. I really believe that if we're going to have true influence, it needs to be consistent. Monday to Monday you can't be seen as confident and credible by some and then on some days you're not. So for example, it's two parts. It's making sure that the body language and the messaging Michael are consistent. That if you're saying whatever message it is you need to look at and you need to sound like you truly mean what you're saying and I, I can give you so many examples of, for example, taking too long to get to the point that's not consistent. It's a lot of filler words and ums and Ahs and long sentences. It's the gestures, the facial expressions, what you're doing with your eyes. None of that's consistent with your message. Influence cannot occur. The second part is where I started. The whole idea of Monday to Monday is how you behave on a Monday morning in that board meeting really needs to be consistent with how you managed your team call later that day. I think we have all seen it. We've heard it where you'll see someone up on a stage, this is the easiest example. You see someone present on a stage and you can tell they practiced and they are polished. Yet the minute they get off the stage and you catch them in the hallway later, it feels like you're talking to someone that's not the same person you just saw a few minutes ago.

MP: 21:38 Hmm. This is valuable. How do people actually, because I would say most people do not act this way and don't, aren't practicing Monday to Monday, but how do you get them to get there? I mean it's, it's like there's, there's where the, where we are today. I mean, I could probably look back and listen to my podcast episodes and I always hear me rambling on about something or using an almond or are and so with the people that you work with, what's that journey look like to, to change it?

SH: 22:09 The only way I know how is through video and audio playbacks really truly believe Michael, that if you're going to make a change, first you have to increase your awareness of how does everyone around you experienced you without seeing through their eyes and through their ears. There's no way. There's a very strong probability if we're not taking that step. We believe our level of influence is based on how we feel rather than on fact because the camera doesn't lie because the camera is always on. It really is the eyes and ears of anyone else around you. Once you see for yourself and your, you're hearing what it sounds like, you'll start to make the change without that component. I don't know how to prove it now. That's a big step because the majority of people aren't willing to do it. And there's the excuses of, I don't like watching myself on a playback and my point there as well, don't you? Don't you rather want to know on what everyone is saying behind your back?

MP: 23:14 Yeah, good point. And it is such an interesting angle. I mean, uh, it's not foreign to me. I mean, I've can think back to early age, hearing myself on a tape recorder and not wanting to listen to it and assist now thinking about that right now. I mean today in today's, yeah, like listening to myself flub up is not, is not enjoyable and I don't know what it stems from because like my voice sounds probably just like your voice, your voice through my ears sounds the same as my voice through your ears, right? Uh, maybe pro likely. But why is it that it creates aversion for so many people?

SH: 23:56 Because it's the truth. And when we, when we're in a conversation, we truly, most of us, if we're not doing this constant video and audio playback, we really hear ourselves. We see ourselves differently than what reality states will. Suddenly, when you observe yourself through everyone else's eyes and ears, it looks different. It sounds different. Now, that doesn't mean you don't like it. You might actually like it better once you see it on a playback. Now that's the power of the playback. Again, another reason for doing or taking that action, but we don't like the truth all the time. And a lot of times we just, we see ourselves in a different light, in a different perspective when we watch the playback and if it's something that we don't like, that's where we go into that shallow of, or I'd rather not watch it. So instead I rather just walk around life guessing what people are saying. Yeah, head in the sand type of, for us right now,

MP: 24:54 I would imagine that this becomes more impactful when you have someone like yourself who's understands what, what's a pro and what's a con of the behavior, and then get coaching and mentoring around modifying the behavior. Have you? What's been your experience when you've worked with people to actually look at what you know? Do people think everything's bad or do they think they're, what's bad is good? Do you find any correlations there?

SH: 25:20 I don't. You know, it's across the board. You'll get the individual that will watch the playback with me and say, that's not as bad as I thought. I actually liked that to the other person that will say, I had no idea or no wonder, no wonder it takes me forever to get my message across, whatever it might be, but without that video playback, we just live in this world of, well, it feels right. Everyone says I'm good. I'll just keep doing it. Another example is in sales. I in the prospect or the process of pitching to a pharmaceutical company here in Chicago and the leaders are all in. They're struggling with how do we position it with the sales team because it's a senior sales team. They've been around the block for awhile and their mentality, Michael is, well, we've got strong products. Our numbers are right on target. We're right on goal again this year. What, why do I need development? And to me that's the group that needs development and it's more convincing someone like that who a leader who's been around the block a while, who has as success that having influence Monday to Monday is a constant learning. It's not something that you suddenly just accomplish.

MP: 26:34 Yeah. So with what you're proposing, our listeners run small, medium-size businesses, some many, many operate by themselves. But yet communication is still a critical and important piece of their businesses. And, and this can be a really big leverage point for their businesses, but yet they're not running fortune 500 companies either. So it's like you gotta measure where you, where you make your investments. Well if they listening right now want it to start doing this to get a better impact, would it be reading your book? Would it be starting to record themselves on some calls? What would be some actions they could take that could start to open up the improvement in this area?

SH: 27:19 Yeah. Cause your thinking that you know all of the above. Reading the book is going to give them a lot of recommendations on how they can practice on their own and develop. It literally is a step by step proven fact in research of what we have found has worked to help individuals increase their awareness and grow their influence. Number two, there's also steps in the book that talk about how do you do this video recording, audio recording, how do you even get your arms around that? So yes to the video and audio recording. I always tell anyone that I interact with, if there's one step you take on at least a weekly, at least a monthly basis, is audio and record yourself. You'll make changes without that. I don't know how you can enhance how you're coming across because you can ask for feedback until though you see it. It's hard to even take the feedback whether it's very positive feedback or constructive feedback, meaning feedback that requires your development is in great need. You've got to almost see it for yourself to believe it.

MP: 28:34 Wow. I think it's an exciting opportunity for many of the listeners right now to try this and to see what, what can come of it. I mean the, the the, the why is huge. I mean increase conversions, clients doing what you want them to do, just being more confident in, in your communication and in your, in your business. And there's a lot of reasons to do this and I'm thinking for myself, it is to listen differently when I'm listening to a podcast episode is to listen for what, what can I do better? But as well maybe I get a coach that can say what, what, what I could do better, right?

MP: 29:13 And sometimes your coach is your family. Sometimes your coaches, your friends because they know your natural self and they also usually have no filter. Another easy way for your listeners on this podcast to record, do it on your phones. The fact that we now have the technology to easily record ourselves, there really isn't room for excuses that you don't have the cables.

SH: 29:39 I need to do it. You're absolutely right there. We can do it. Video, audio fourK , it's pretty much, you know, anything we want, it's there. It's not a technology issue anymore. It's just a, uh, doing it issue.

MP: 29:53 Exactly. That's right. And isn't that all what life is? It's the difference between someone who's influential and someone who's not consistently influential. The person who's influential Monday to Monday, they do the work. That's it. They're disciplined and they do the work. That's safe to say about anything though in life, isn't it? Isn't it?

MP: 30:13 Now, when you've seen this happen, when you've seen the people, you've worked with tens of thousands of, uh, people helping them do this type of work, what have been some of the transformations you've seen?

SH: 30:26 Oh, the level of awareness is huge. That they start realizing what's maybe taking up too much time in their meetings. How can they shorten that timeframe? It will, it might be someone who's in sales who, which we all are in sales. Correct. Is trying to get someone to buy into their ideas, their service, their product, and they're really been trying to connect to engage with this person. And finally, now it's happening. Now this individual is willing to have the conversation with them. It's, I mean, no sales is a big one. A productivity is a big one and the other one is changes within the team. Finally getting that team to be cohesive, to be following your action. I also get a lot of calls, Michael from individuals who I had worked with and then shortly after got promoted and I get a lot of calls from companies saying, you know, this individual, there's super, super smart, crazy smart, we really want to invest in them. But if they cannot learn how to communicate more consistently and effectively, they will not be promoted to the CFO position. We work with individuals in that situation a lot.

SH: 31:37 You know, I, I can see how this would be very beneficial from your, from a staff and team member perspective, is that what people see often, you know, there's no communication right into salt lake. You if you're a team member or a staff member, it's all ego. Uh, you know, you could probably communicate a little nicer. He could probably, you know, slide 10 really liked the way you handle that yourself in the meeting like that, that way, that channel of communication, it's not going that direction. And, and, and yet in most small businesses, there is none of that feedback. So if I were to guess many small businesses, I mean we have a lot of bookkeepers, CPAs that listened to this podcast, but all of their clients in small business, this is probably a rampant, huge rapid problem. That little bit of recording and feedback could really show how just a few alterations could reduce the altercations. Right?

MP: Exactly. This is, this is exciting. I think this is a book that our listeners, uh, definitely want to pick up influence, redefined. How do you think, sorry, influence redefined be the leader you were meant to be Monday to Monday and not only for themselves but for their clients. A great gift for their clients to actually start improving because their clients are small to medium sized business owners.

MP: 33:02 Right? And when you think about it, no matter what company you are owning, no matter how long you've been in your industry, what industry that it is, everyone communicates both personally and professionally, that the book is really designed for anyone.

SH: 33:15 There's a lot of examples in the book, Michael, of our work with leadership. There's definitely though crossover to what we do in our personal lives cause I think you know as a, as a parent, a mother, father, husband, wife, significant other, whatever our role is best friend in our personal life, we owe it to those people to be able to communicate effectively as well.

MP: 33:42 Mm. Don't wait. Absolutely be, be better at that and business will come, come naturally. That's true. This has been just fantastic. Is Stacy, if people wanted to learn more about you and get access to some of the resources you've mentioned, what's the best way for them to do that?

SH: 34:01 Thank you, Michael. It's right on our website which is Stacey with n, e y h a n k, e, I n, z.com.

MP: 34:12 Beautiful. And of course the book. I'm sure you can find it there, but are there other places? Is it on Amazon and those sorts of things?

SH: 34:19 Yes. Yeah, it's on Amazon and our website.

MP: 34:22 Excellent. Well, on behalf of our listeners, I want to thank you for your generosity of giving us your time and your wisdom to help our listeners be better at what they do.

SH: 34:33 Thank you so much, Michael. It was an honor. Good luck to you.

MP: 34:36 Thank you. And with that, we wrap up another episode of The Successful Bookkeeper podcast. To learn more about today's fabulous guest and to get access to all sorts of valuable free business-building resources, you can go to Thesuccessfulbookkeeper.com. Until next time,

MP: 34:52 goodbye.