Episode 132

Make More Sales by Looking Backwards with Shannon Stone

September 13th, 2023


Just like we do with our processes, reflecting is so important. And looking back to make more sales is something the fabulous Shannon joins us today to talk about.
We dive into:
  • Understanding your current client journey
  • Creating referral partners
  • Sales systems and strategies
  • Nothing is ever set and forget

About Shannon
Shannon Stone is an award-winning Business & Marketing Consultant based in Brisbane, Australia. With over a decade of experience, she helps business owners with their sales, marketing and strategy, with many of her clients tripling their revenue in 90 days.
Since 2015, Shannon has launched two successful businesses, grown teams with local and global employees and has worked alongside a full suite of businesses ranging from interior designers and photographers to mortgage brokers and marketing agencies, all with the common desire to make more sales and grow their business.
Shannon is a champion of people in business and loves to support them to achieve their business and lifelong goals.


Connect with Shannon on Instagram and LinkedIn
Listen to the Good Marketing Good Business Podcast
Connect with Nicole on Instagram and LinkedIn


Welcome to Take Control with Nicole. As business owners, we experience firsthand the fine line between our personal and business lives. During our conversations, we will look at simple hints and tips to create time, reduce overwhelm, and help you to navigate through your journey to where you want to be.

If you are looking for smarter ways to work and create space and time freedom in your day, then you’re in the right place. All right, let’s go. Hello. I’m Nicole Smith, COO, operations specialist and systems designer over here at the Artisans Business Solutions and welcome to take control with Nicole.

Today. I am speaking with the fabulous Shannon Stone and we will be exploring the power. of looking backwards to make more sales. But firstly, let me introduce you to Shannon. Shannon is an award-winning business and marketing consultant based in Brisbane, Australia. With over a decade of experience, she helps business owners with their sales, marketing, and strategy.

With many of her clients, tripling their revenue in 90 days, since 2015, Shannon has launched two successful businesses, growing teams with local and global employees, and has worked alongside a full suite of businesses, ranging from interior designers and photographers to mortgage brokers and marketing agencies.

All with the common desire to make more sales and grow their businesses. Shannon is a champion of people in business and loves to support them to achieve their business and lifelong goals. Well, hello. I love that for an introduction. That is amazing. And I’m so excited to have you on here today. We connected a number of years ago, I believe in one of the.

You know, joint communities were in, so it’s fabulous. And I think it was COVID time as well when we connected. So definitely everyone was online and you being in Melbourne, it made good. Yeah. I think that was one of the really amazing things that did come out of that time is people having that opportunity to connect with people.

In different states, in different countries, and it was just normal, wasn’t it? Yeah, definitely. Definitely. Yeah. Well, I’d love to start with you to share a little bit about your journey. Uh, what brought you to this point right now and all the fabulous things. So, over to you. Yeah, definitely. Well, expanding on the bio, I guess.

So, I am a business and marketing consultant. I’m also a, a mum. I used to say I’m a young mum, but I’m in my early thirties now. So, I’m a middle age ish. Mom, young ish I’m in between at the moment, but this October will be my eight years in business. So I’m fully absorbed in the marketing space. And I tell people I’ve done basically every role in marketing from an intern to a manager, um, you know, to being a consultant now.

So I really worked my way up the ranks and I started my business for a few different reasons, but the main one being because I am. A mom and a single mom as well. And so I needed that flexibility and that flexibility is something I wasn’t really getting from workplaces, especially, you know, 2015 and prior.

I started in 2015 businesses. They’re a lot different now, a lot more flexible. I think COVID really helped catapult that flexibility, but yeah, I started it probably for a lot of reasons, but there was one pivotal moment where. I put in annual leave in my workplace for one day on the school holidays and, um, my boss comes in the next day and basically says that annual leave we can’t do, we’re just too busy and rejected my one day off.

And I thought. Oh my God, like it would have been easier just to throw a sickie. And I thought, you know, I’m doing the right thing, but also in that moment, I thought I actually don’t have control over how much I earn. I don’t have control over my time and I don’t have control over how much I see my daughter and what that looks like.

So that was one of those like really pivotal moments where I said, you know what? I have to find a way to, you know, make some changes. And I did look at other workplaces, but. Like I mentioned, nothing was really out there back then. Uh, and so I took the skills I had in marketing and thought, you know what, I’ll make my own job.

I’ll get my own clients. And here we are now, a few years later. I love that. I think we’ve all had one of those experiences. I remember back, it was actually probably around the same time. To be honest, around that sort of 2014 15 year, um, we had just built our home and I remember there was a day that we had some tradies coming to do something or other and I was in a role in a position in that business where I was in charge of the IT, right?

So I had a laptop, we had VPN all set up, like I structured that so the business can work remotely wherever they want it. It was a full sort of sales team. And I said, Oh, can I possibly work from home so that, and it was rejected. I was told I had to take annual leave. And I think that was that first moment of that, Oh, no, yeah.

You know, like let’s support our people to be humans, you know, number of years. And I have had another role since then, which, you know, restored my faith into how businesses can be run. It was fully flexible, you know, worked around my, me and my son Sebastian when he was born. And it sort of restored that faith in what can be and.

Yeah, it was the catapult to me starting my business as well. So those moments are really important. Aren’t they? They are really important. And I think as well, looking back, you know, at the time it probably felt it, you know, not pleasant, but then being pivotal moments, we did something with it and it was a reason we started business.

And I love what you said about restoring your faith in how businesses can be, which is really important. And I. I think for, you know, the work the two of us do in our own unique fields, it’s like we see so many positive ways to run business. And I think, you know, the business space, small business space has gone through evolutions now.

So all caught up, I think, or catching up. Yeah. It’s exciting, isn’t it? When you see businesses that are innovating and evolving and shifting when they learn things new. I actually heard a stat, I was at an event on Tuesday night. Um, now I don’t know the source, so we’ll have to find that, but 85 percent of businesses in Australia, I believe, that’s what’s the world, are not innovating, are not shifting.

Like that is such a number of, so many businesses and so many humans that are connected to those businesses that are impacted by that non innovation, whatever that word might be. Right. And being really reactive. Yeah. Imagine if what we’re doing is supporting people to see there is another way and how it can be easy to make those shifts.

And I recorded a couple of podcasts just before. And so if you’ve been listening the last couple of weeks, you’ll hear me say tweak the technology TT. I love it. So like, but it’s, it’s really exciting when you’re in a position to. Consultant support our business people to see a new way. Yeah, definitely. I do have a book recommendation on that point of innovation and things like that.

I don’t know if you’ve read, uh, who moved my cheese by, I think it’s Dr. Morgan Spencer. But who moved my cheese? It’s a very small book. You can read it in half an hour or an hour, but it’s incredible. And it really changed. I’ve sent it to so many people now since having read it, but it talks a lot about being proactive and noticing when changes happen and, and adapting to it.

And then on the contrary, how we can be left so far behind when things are happening around us and we don’t take notice or we don’t take it seriously. AI is probably a good example at the moment, you know, and, and I think at the same time, it’s like, we can be annoyed that this is the situation. We can be annoyed in COVID, we can be annoyed at AI, but.

It’s here and this is the reality of it. And so are you going to ignore it or are you going to step up and embrace it and be more innovative? Yeah. Such opportunity isn’t there. Yeah. Just curious, just curious, curious, curiosity mindset. Yeah, I love it. I feel like you’ve told me about that book before and I haven’t yet bought it, so I, I’ll have to, uh, jump on Amazon afterwards or go to local bookshop and buy it.

sorry. Definitely. Let me know how you go. Yeah, fantastic. Well, I think that sort of brings us into the topic of today around sort of that innovative way of, of looking at how we’re operating and in particular, how we’re connecting with potential clients and, you know, doing that transactional. Supporting them to work with us, et cetera.

And something that you mentioned to me is around that looking backwards at what we have been doing to actually inform what we’re going to be doing. Right. I do that all the time from an operations lens, but I’d love to have that conversation with you from a sales lens. The sales for me has always been, feels a bit icky, you know?

Yeah. But not, Ooh, so I do it in my way, but yeah, let’s talk about it. Yeah, let’s talk about it definitely. And I love that you do it from an operational perspective, so it’s actually not going to be too different from a sales perspective as well. But I do find, you know, one of the top goals for businesses is to grow.

It is to make more sales, it’s to expand their team and all those kinds of things. And so getting more sales through the business is really important, which always raises the question of, well, how do we do that? And I always find the question I often get asked is, you know, what are the latest marketing strategies?

And, you know, I kind of laugh on the inside because I’m like, it almost doesn’t matter what the latest marketing strategies are. And it also doesn’t matter what’s out there in the air, though, out there in the world. It’s like, if you just brought more of your attention to your business and your clients, and one of the great exercises I give to a lot of people and my clients is.

Go back and find out where did your last 10 clients come from? You can go beyond 10, but 10 is a great number. Really dissect what are all the steps they went through in order to come work with you. So how did they find you? How did they inquire? Did they talk to someone? You know, really go through with a fine toothcomb.

And if you want to take it to the next level, talk to those clients as well. They’ll, they’ll be, you know, it’s looking at two levels of it. It’s like, quantitative, what are like the really metric type of things? And then what’s the qualitative, maybe they were like feeling things, like they said things, they were feeling certain things, there was an instant that caused them to reach out.

I’ve got an example on that one, I call them trigger moments. So I had a financial advisor a few years ago, And my brother at the time was also looking for financial advice and guidance. And so I connected the two of them and for whatever reason, they didn’t kind of move forward, um, in working together at that point in time.

Um, but a few months later, my financial advisor said, Oh, I like randomly heard back from your brother, just like out of the blue. Like, do you know, like what caused him to reach out now? Because we did talk a few months ago and I said, Oh, well. He’s like expecting another child now. So like, you know, that is like in that kind of field, in that kind of space, a lot of people might say, wow, I need to get my finances in order.

And so like a trigger moment in that industry is when people are. Expanding their family, growing their family. They do often think about their finances. And so it’s like, how can you look for the trigger moments in your client’s pathway before they came to you to find out, okay, like they did this thing.

And then that catapulted them to pick up the phone and move forward and work with you. It’s really interesting, isn’t it? It’s, it’s, I think that’s, well, we had an example of that earlier, didn’t we? With the story we both just shared around that moment in time that shifted our view and, and sent us off into the different trajectory, right?

So that’s really interesting and something that I’m starting to ask our clients, like, how did you find us? Yeah. Where have you come through? When it’s like a referral, someone sent them, more than likely I’ve heard from the person who sent them my way, because that’s a real beautiful relationship there, isn’t it?

Where someone has trusted you with your, with their clients, but that’s a really important relationship there. When you have. Uh, trust in your community to refer, but those other sort of ways are really interesting to understand, aren’t they? And what have you been doing in that space to have you stand out as the person that they want to come and connect with and those steps?

So did they go to your website? Have they come and listen to the podcast because we never know who’s listening out there. So if you’re listening, please tag us in the story so we can come say hi. What are those steps that they’ve gone through? Because before they booked a call, I’m sure they’ve done a trillion different things beforehand.

Yeah, definitely. And it’s all very true and incredible exercise and great questions to ask, you know, how’d you hear about us or what prompted you to reach out or, you know, what prompted you to reach out right now, even going back through, you know, tell me where you were six months ago. Like, did you know of us, you know, different questions you can ask.

To them, then what I like to suggest is once you’ve gone back and dissected, then we can be more basically, that’s your proven strategy because these are the clients who’ve come to work with you. So instead of looking at, well, what are the latest marketing strategies out there? Let’s see what’s actually worked for you already.

And now let’s be really intentional about it. So if you do get 50 percent of your clients from referrals, okay, they particular referrals. Do you want to nurture those relationships more? Do you want to establish more referrals? You know, you want to then be more intentional about what’s worked, not just use it as, Oh, well, that’s good awareness.

How can we turn it into something? Yeah, I think it’s exactly, I always say when I have guests on it, it’s like the moment, the conversations that are happening in my space right now, that we’re sharing with the world, but, uh, that’s something, yeah, it’s amazing, isn’t it? Um, universe doing things, but that’s something that’s really visible to me right now.

I’ve had a fabulous referral source for my, all that jazz clients, like just coming on through, but with my virtual COO offer, which is a high touch point partnership. Support program we’ve, I’ve just had the first referral through from a trusted person and we’ve been conversing together with the client to be able to really shape what that experience looks like.

And I sat back after the call and I was like, ah, yes, this is. This is the experience, right? Because we’ve got somebody that is in a position in a business that already has a trusted advisor that is referring because there is an identified issue or identified problem in the business that we can support them to resolve.

And that’s just a beautiful experience and a beautiful exchange, beautiful conversation, to be honest. So yeah. Yeah, it’s exciting. It’s really, yeah, very exciting, very powerful. And how amazing. And it’s like, you get to grow your business in whatever way that you want to. And I think you’re very similar in the way it has to align with you and you don’t want sales to feel icky.

You don’t want it to, you don’t want to have to be jumping on Tik TOK or dancing on reels. Like if that doesn’t work for you, if it does, it does. But there’s so many different ways to produce more sales in your business. But I do love looking back first, because why wouldn’t you? It’s already worked for you.

Try it and test it, test any solution or system or tech piece of tech you’re putting in. I was talking to someone yesterday about this, the testing phase, a lot of people brush on over it, but it’s actually the most powerful part of any shift that you’re making in the ways that you work, implementing a piece of tech, you know, new connection, testing it out.

What works, what’s not working, what can we enhance? What are we? Removing what are we moving away from and then that end product, which never set in stone, but we’ve done a real good test and we’ve got that data to back up out any decisions that we’re moving or making moving forward. So, yeah, I do love testing and encouraging that.

And I think people need to know that there is a testing phase and even the same goes for sales as well. And also understanding like in business, I think a lot of the time we have to take. A lot of our emotions out. And, you know, if you become more intentional about say, creating more referral partners and, you know, it’s not feeling really good, just keep going.

It’s like, take the emotion out. It’s already worked for you. It’s like, get out of your head and just follow the strategy and it’ll probably thrive after that. It’s really interesting when you talk about referral partners, because I had somebody approach me not that long ago, wanting to set something up with me, where I would work with my clients and then forward them on to them and they would pay me, right, to do that.

And it’s just not aligned with me at all. Because I’m a connector, right? So if I have a conversation, I did it yesterday. I was talking to someone. I think I had about six different people that I thought he should connect with. Yeah. My mind just does the things I’m like, Oh, trigger word. You should hit.

Yeah. Do this, do this. And that’s the same with my clients. It’s talking about that experience we just talked about then, you know, they’re my, in my space. It’s, I care about them. I want to make sure that they’ve got the most fabulous experience with whoever they’re working with. So it’s really based on who are they as a human.

And then scanning my brain for the service that they’re looking for, and then making that introduction and making that connection. The most important thing is that experience exchange. It’s not monetary for me at all. And I think it will be. Yeah. Yeah. Really important point. I spoke to a client about setting up referrals and things like that, or what that looks like in her business.

And I said, you know, there’s so many different ways that you can do it. And, but we also stepped into the shoes of like, well, how do you refer people? Like, what is your process when you go through that? And both her and I were on the same page of when I. Say someone wants systems, for example, Nicole is the first person that comes to mind.

It’s focused on, I know Nicole will do good by this person I’m going to send to them. It’s not focused on who has referral things set up and who’s going to pay me at 10, 20%. Like, never crosses my mind. It’s more about who can I trust? To do the best work by this person. And so we use that as, okay, well, in your business, if you want to set up referral partners, how do you want to set that up with people?

Do you want it to be more of a mutual understanding? Is there a possibility that you do pay them based on those referrals coming in? You explore all the different options, then choose a one that feels the best for you. And I guess as well, like if you’re in the course realm or the product realm, you may have that affiliate type program, which is.

Similar, I guess, to a referral fee. Right. So that feels okay. Like that feels easier. Right. Whereas when it’s a one to one client interaction, very boutique style, which is a lot of the service based businesses. Yeah. Yeah. That’s it. Um, I’d love to. Obviously talk about systems, the sales systems in particular, how do you support your clients to find out what their sales system or strategy looks like for them?

Cause I know we’re all beautifully unique and, you know, individual is a, yeah. I’d love to, love to hear from you a little bit about your process there. Yeah, definitely. I love that it lights you up because it really lights me up as well. I don’t know if, if my clients geek out on it as much as I do, they love what comes out the other side, which is, you know, the improved systems that get them, you know, easier sales and more sales.

So the way that I do it is everyone’s got a sales system set up to some degree. We’ve all worked with people before, so you’ve got something in place. So it always starts with. Assessing, well, what do you have in place and having, you know, that business walk me through what happens from the time someone reaches out to you, you know, through to them becoming a client.

And then even after they’re a client as well, because like the way I approach businesses is very holistic. It’s not just about new clients. It’s about, you know, are they retainer clients? Can they work with you ongoing after this particular project? It’s all dependent on that type of business. So always auditing, what do you have in place right now?

And I don’t think I’ve met anyone where it’s perfect, which it doesn’t have to be perfect by any means. And I think even after we add the improvements in, you know, give it a spin in six months time, we’ll learn new things and we may need to improve it again. It’s just this never ending improvement journey that we do in business.

It’s like better business as usual. It’s not going to be over because we went through at one time. That’s it, that’s the whole iteration of business, right? Yeah. You design a system that’s, that’s fabulous for now, for right now. Yeah. Right? Because tomorrow you’ve learnt something new. You’ve worked with a new client, you’ve had a conversation with someone, and all of a sudden your mind’s open a little bit wider.

Doesn’t mean we need to make the changes straight away. Yeah, awareness is there, right? And so you have that opportunity to iterate. I know for us internally, we’ve just elevated our proposal experience. I’ve introduced a system that I’ve been like wooling for a couple of years. It’s called Quilla.

Beautiful. But to, to enhance that surprise, surprise I’ve got. It’s starting to click up automations, create the thing, come back in the link store. And it’s a beautiful for me. I love it. The experience is great. The clients are loving it too. So that’s a win, but that was a, a long wooing process before I had iterated to get to that phase.

So sorry, jumping in. You go. I love it. A lot. No, I’m the same. So first and foremost, it is that assessment. And then it’s like first iteration of the improvement. So I can always see, okay. And usually we’re always optimizing for two things, one for more sales or higher conversions or the third, how can we like improve the time perspective in there?

Cause sometimes, you know, Someone might be like, I’m personally not a huge fan of proposals, but I know a lot of businesses do send proposals, but a proposal piece in a sale system can add a lot of extra time in there. And so can we eliminate that extra time? Possibly being wasted and also delaying that person from actually signing up with you.

So it’s having a look to see how can we improve some of those metrics of more sales, faster sales, and less wasted time. So it’s like pinpointing some of those, and then it is the long term or the ongoing regular enhancements. It’s like, okay, well now we’re seeing this enhanced sales process. How can we make it even better?

How can we, you know, improve more things? So again, those same metrics are getting stronger, more sales, quicker sales, less time wasted. So it is, it is quite a continual never ending process. And do you find, depending on the different clients that they’re looking to attract, it may have a different experience.

So EG, EG, who am I, example,

a high touch point client. So like, you know, let’s use it in my world, right. Yeah. Bigger investment on time, financial, you know, energies. Uh, therefore, they may want more information to make that decision versus maybe a lower price point would be a more simpler process, potentially. Is that what you’ve seen, or?

Oh yeah, definitely, definitely. So it does have to match the person, you know, the type of business, the thing that they’re actually selling. I had a client in particular who had, Two offers in her business. One was a high ticket coaching style in the health space coaching style package. It was about 6, 000 and she also had a low ticket membership option as well.

And, you know, for a membership on a low ticket, you wouldn’t be doing sales calls for that, you know, for a 30 a month, 50 a month type thing. It’s, it’s not. The wisest use of your time. So those sales calls would be more reserved for the high ticket thing. So everything has to match up. And I think to your point on, if they need more information to make that decision, again, it’s like that whole sales process.

Where are we providing that more information? Is there a possibility that we can provide some of that information before the sales call? So when they come to that sales call, they’ve already been clued up on a lot of the information. So we’re making. Quicker decisions on that call, even if you do send a proposal afterwards and they still need to review it or take it to, you know, the board or the higher up or whatever it may be, but yeah, some, you know, it’s, it’s all very bespoke and it does depend on the business, the person and what you’re selling.

Yeah, you just put an earworm in my, in my ear there on my mind around taking it to people for approval, right? So when you are working with a bigger organization, they may have a board that they need to run past any sort of cost proposals or, um, business, create a business case, right? So it is really about supporting them to make that journey easier for them to be able to talk and get that thing approved.

So, you know. As I shared, I’m using Quilla, one of my recent intro calls. Exactly shared that she’s gotta take that proposal to talk. So I said, easy. I will export that as a P D F for you so that you can easily transfer that information across. Yeah, and so I think it is about listening on those calls as well, isn’t it Listening, number one skill.

Like if you listen, it’s like, I think you’d be ultra successful. Yeah, in all areas. And, you know, when someone has to take you, you know, your service to their higher up, it happens in all different cases. But what ends up happening is they have to sell you. On behalf of you. So you’re no longer present.

You’re not there to answer any questions. You know, you just end up in some cases being a bit of a paper or a PDF. And so how can we make sure we equip that person on the call or with whatever you’re providing them that it’s really going to sell for, you know, on your behalf, because now you’re not in the picture.

Or, you know, can we bring that higher up person to the call? Do we schedule a follow up call with that person as well? Yeah, it’s all very independent. Um, I do like the fact that you can, you know, you have that structured system, your sales system. Right. But that is there like any systems that we’re building for our businesses.

It’s there to support you to be able to make those shifts and changes. So, you know, those examples you just said is some recent examples I’ve been through, I’ve had a conversation with person and they’re like, Oh, I’d really actually like to bring in trusted advisor from within the business to meet you.

Fabulous. Let’s jump on another call. That’s easy. You know, and that, that’s a really amazing thing to be able to offer to, to build that relationship because ultimately you’re a person, I’m a person, they’re a person, and we’re here to come into your business, which is a really, such a privilege to be invited into the inner sanctum of someone’s operations of their business or their sales.

Yeah. It’s like someone’s top undie draw.

Yeah, exactly. So, you know, being able to, to move and shake it up to support what your client is needing. It’s, um, it just feels really, really natural. Doesn’t it really easy. Yeah, yeah, definitely, definitely. And if it is a recurring thing, I find, you know, they do need to have that conversation with the, you know, the key influencer within that company.

Maybe it’s in the, almost like the onboarding of that sales call. You know, are they filling out a form who needs to come along to that, make sure that, you know, they’re clued in on when we’re making a time for this initial sales call, not that you tell them all it’s a sales call, whatever it actually is called out there to the world.

But we know internally that is a sales call of the sales conversation. Yeah. How do we transform that word from sales to be something that’s exciting and doesn’t feel icky? I’m asking for a friend. I’m asking for a friend. Yeah. Yeah. It’s so funny because like I have, Like what, what’s the complete opposite?

180. I’ve completely 180’d my relationship with sales. I was someone who, you know, I wanted to be that person to, again, I started my business because I wanted a job for myself on my terms. And so my thought process was, I’ll just pay someone else to do the sales and I’ll do the work. And I was completely terrible at sales, but I, Had a business coach who trained me phenomenally and now I train people on sales.

It’s, it’s crazy. So I do love the word sales, but I also understand I’ve been in the shoes of the ickiness of it as well. So I, I, I don’t know if there’s one particular word, but I just see it as helping people. How can I help someone? Yeah. Yeah. I love that. Interrupting this week’s episode for a special story.

A man was once with his wife’s family for Thanksgiving. During the preparation of the meal, he observed his wife cutting the back off a ham before putting it in the oven. Curious, he asked her why she cut the back off the ham. She responded, It’s tradition. It’s the way we’ve always done it in our family.

Her mother just arrived, so he took the opportunity to go over and ask why they cut off the back of a ham. She said, It’s tradition. It’s the way we’ve always done it. Fortunately, his wife’s grandma was also there, so over he went and asked the same. question. She replied, once upon a time, the pan was just too small and it was the only way to get the ham to fit in the pan.

What a curious question and ponder to have a look at in your business and the ways that you are operating. That response, we’ve always done it that way. Imagine how many more ham sandwiches this family could have enjoyed over the year. The fabulous thing is that you have the opportunity right now to lead your team and show them how there is a new, better, and simpler way to operate.

If your goal is to streamline your business, then systemizing your operations is a fabulous When you’re ready, this is how the artisans support our clients each and every day. And we look forward to exploring how we can support you to shape that experience for your business. I think, you know, cause we’ve all had or heard of those sales experiences that are not fabulous.

And they’re really about. The transaction, the money exchange that, you know, I’ve heard of a recent story. A colleague of mine was looking for a new system and she jumped on this call because she was recommended this particular thing. She jumped on the call with the salespeople and she felt she had to buy it on the call.

Yeah. And she got off the call and realized this is not what we need for the business. 2, 000 plus ride this and to get out of it was a whole thing in itself. Right. So, you know, I think those experiences kind of muddy the water into what it can be. I know when I’m talking to my potential clients, it’s actually all about them.

Yeah. Right. It’s all about them learning about who you are, what your business is, what are you looking to achieve by working with us? How is it connected with your bigger picture, with your biggest strategy? What are those things that are feeling a little bit icky right now? And of course, what tech are you using?

Cause like, you know, we always look at that and it feels really natural. And then by the time we get to the, do you have any questions? It’s a really easy conversation because I already know what they’re looking to achieve. We talk about what their budget’s going to be, have, have you looked at my services page?

Yes or no. Okay, fabulous. So then I shift and then we go down the track that, you know, what they need to know and answer any questions. And so it isn’t, it is, I love it. Because it’s people to people, right? Yeah, it’s just a conversation to you and that’s how I see it as well. But I’ve had to like, I love the role that I’m in because in a lot of ways I’ve had to go through the same thing my clients go through.

Um, cause I also built a marketing agency with a team of five as well. So I know what it’s like to have a few different roles in this field. Yeah, it is just that conversation with people. And I think it’s probably always going to exist where there are those cases where there are those bad sales experiences and you on the receiving end.

And actually what happens for a lot of businesses is if you have even a half decent sales call or conversation process, or you just be a human on those sales calls compared to what, you know, they’re. Potentially experiencing from other people that can be really refreshing. And so, like, I don’t really dive into the world of competitors.

I, I don’t really believe in that kind of thing, but, uh, you know, we kind of do have them at the same time, you know, potential clients are talking to other. You know, service providers who are just like us as well. And so it can be really easy to stand out when you, you know, you just act like a human. You ask the right questions.

You don’t push them to make the decision on that call. You allow them to go away, think about it, all those kinds of things. But I think equal to that. Just having a simple system or a simple framework or going through your end to end of your sales process, that can be really simple things that increase your conversions and increase the number of sales that you have as well, without really changing like the goodness of that person of like, I just want to talk to the person.

I just want to ask what tech are you using? And I want to geek out on that with them. Yeah, I think more often than not in the calls, I’ll be like, sorry, not sorry. I’m getting excited about, yeah, because that is me, right? If you’re, you’re wanting to work with me in those conversations, it’s you in our calls, when we’re working, there will be workflows.

And I will be looking up to the right, thinking about where we’re going next and how, and coming back and being like, Oh, Oh, we could do, and they’re probably going, what the hell is going on? And I’m like, it’s exciting. Look at, look at this, look at this thing we’ve just created together. Like it’s so exciting.

Yeah. If you don’t want that, then I’m not your person. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m the same. And I think it is those sound effects of like, it’s a little bit like a circus and like all the ideas are going and it’s like all the things I could be doing. I think you and me, Nicole, are very similar. And I think it’s just, So much geeking out on the stuff we do with people.

And my problem is like, how do I just simplify that? It’s like, we don’t have to throw a hundred ideas at them. Cause I would never, ever run out of ideas. It’s like, okay, what’s the highest and best use, like what’s the priority and we’ll start with that. It’s a real skill, isn’t it? And I’ve had to practice it a lot over the years, as the last, you know, years being in business.

It’s because the world is, anything’s possible. But my, our minds can see it all. It’s like floating up there. It’s like, okay, well, that’s the thread we’re going to pull on through because you’ve said this and that’s how we’re going to connect it together. Yeah. And then allowing them to be able to go on that journey of seeing, Oh, I can see.

That is a thing, and it’s possible for me in my world. Mm. Such a great experience, isn’t it? Yeah, so good. Yeah. I’d love it. Oh, so good. I would love to talk about, cause I know with marketing, um, I’ve been having this conversation a lot this week. So it’s actually again, perfect timing, social media, right?

Everyone feels like making assumptions, but it’s the place to be all the time. I feel like constant scrolling, you know, constant hamster wheel of creation of dah, dah, dah. I’ve actually just made a decision this week to, um. Join Mia Fileman’s campaign classroom. So to kind of go, I haven’t seen this. I’ll have to check it out.

She’s lovely. So going at a, uh, sharing a single message out in a sort of a campaign style, but I’d love to know what your thoughts are around. Social media and the part it plays in really our overall strategy, and I know it’s going to be different for everyone, but yeah, definitely social media is such a big topic.

And I do have a love hate relationship with it because 1, it just pulls you in so much and it can be such a rabbit hole, but, you know, as businesses, we also social media is equally an incredible tool to, and it’s free. In, you know, you can pay for it, but in so many ways, people leave reviews on your Facebook page, they can check all that out.

So we are extremely lucky to have access to all these different platforms where they’ve actually built the audience of people. So I think being grateful in it as well. So with social media, because it just becomes a web, I always come back to what is the role it’s playing in your business right now. And that comes back to when you dissected your last 10 clients.

Where did they come from and to what degree? So I think a lot of people think that, okay, I’m going to use social media because my ideal clients are going to see every single one of my posts. And at post number 10, they’re going to book a call. And it’s almost like a bit of a crazy thought process, but that doesn’t happen by any means.

What you’ll probably find happens, especially in, you know, service based businesses, small, small businesses, this boutique style of businesses as well. Is that, you know, you might meet someone say that, you know, your referral partner says, okay, this person needs to talk to Nicole, you know, they’ve got your, you know, trusted recommendation, but that person is probably still going to check you out on Instagram or Facebook.

They’re just going to make sure that that person said everything that, you know, does all the dots line up and they might check your reviews. They might watch a few videos. They might see some of your testimonials. So they’re almost using it in most cases. Cases as like a shop display, like at the time they need it.

So first and foremost, it’s recognizing what’s the part social media is playing in my business and then matching your strategy or your input and your expectations to that. So it’s like, okay. Person is not going to book a call on post number 10, or just cause I’m selling something, maybe it’s that. And this is just an example.

You’ve got to find how is it playing a role in your world, in your business? Maybe it is that it comes from a referral and they’re just using it as a, well, that’s a tick of approval. So you reset your expectations based on how social media is already working for you, and then let that. So then you how to use it moving forward.

So then you can say, okay, well, when I do put out 10 posts. Maybe over the course of a month, for example, someone may not come to me directly off the back of that. And that’s why I need other strategies from, you know, what I pulled from my last 10 clients. I need to make sure I’m having coffees with my referral partners or I’m checking in with them on a consistent basis.

So I believe social media, it’s like it’s already worked for you in some kind of way. Let’s find out how it’s already worked for you. And then moving forward, if you want social media to play a bigger part for you, as far as bringing clients into you, that’s like your next step. That’s like the next thing to figure out of, okay, well, maybe I do need to build my audience.

What would that look like? And maybe I can improve my content. What would that look like? But it all starts with what are we already working with now? And that’s like the data of like the last clients who’ve come to you. That feels so good. Yeah, and I think it’s like a big permission slip of like reduce the expectations like back to neutral and just like take your emotions out of how you’re judging the performance of your social media and just look and see how it’s already working.

And it’s not to say any kind of way is wrong because sometimes there are cases you’ll put up your content. People will reach out straight off that you’ll put up a lead magnet, like a post about your lead magnet, people will opt in, but is it only for people in the moment you posted, or is it also for people, you know, a month from now, three months from now, six months from now.

And so we can become more intentional about it. And you can also probably repurpose a lot of your content. It’s like, okay, well, here’s like. Maybe the top 20 FAQs I get from people. And I’m just going to repurpose and go through that cycle, you know, every 20 weeks, because, you know, someone in that cycle will need to see that post from me.

So it’s like, yeah, what do people need to see from me? And I’ll just make sure I pop that into the schedule. I think it’s also being clever with your system, right? Your strategy. Oh, yeah. Yeah. And you’re being clear on your messaging as well. Like I know over the, over the past years, I look at my Instagram and we’ve been posting five days a week for go back as long as you want.

Right. Yeah. And I’m all about ease. So in what I do, it’s about designing the most enjoyable and easy systems for our people to work in. And then I’m looking at what are we doing on marketing? And I’m like, that doesn’t match up. That doesn’t feel like it aligns, so I’m, we’re doing again, iterating, iterating, right?

Where are our people? Who are we wanting to talk to? Where are they playing? You know, we’re looking at the messaging again, reviewing the website again, you know, bringing that up. So my brand position. Is moving up to where I am and have always been playing, but I’ve been attracting a different group of people, which I still love supporting as well, but it’s about, okay, how do they align?

Yeah, it’s like nothing is ever set and forget, especially like. Especially in business, especially in marketing. It’s like, you can’t just hopefully land on a strategy and then say, okay, well, that’s all we’re ever going to have to do. It’s like one inspiring post, one educating posts and one, you know, other kinds of posts.

It’s never just going to be that simple. And if it works now, amazing, but is that always going to work? And yeah, I love how you mentioned it is holistic in the way of. Is everything lining up? It’s like, okay, well, we’re doing this over here and we’re doing that over here, but actually in the business, we’re working with these kinds of people and we want to attract those kinds of people.

So it’s, it’s nothing is ever in isolation. We’ve got to look at it all together and just marry them up just like you do in systems. Oh, and I had to plug you in there, but it feels so good when it is aligned, when it is connected and it’s a really enjoyable experience from all sides. So. Yeah. Inspiration.

What’s your space? Things are moving and shaking over here. It’s exciting. Yeah, I love it. So if you could give one piece of advice to business owners that are listening today around, you know, how they use their past sales data to make more sales or, or anything that you’d like to share, what would it be?

Yeah, good question. So one piece of advice to help them to use their sales data. I think, honestly, it’s looking at it very black and white and without judgment. It’s like when you go through those past 10 clients and you list it all out there. Almost like leave your emotions, your feelings and what everyone else is doing in your industry to the side and just keep that laser focus on you, your business, and what’s already worked.

I think if we use that more as a rule of thumb of like. If I just look at my business and my clients and my ideal clients and not look at anything else and not judge anything for any reason, like why did that post get zero likes, you know, if we just put all that to the side, I think we would go a lot further.

Sometimes the best way to do it, isn’t it? Strip all the back and just focus on what it’s actually telling us. Yeah. Yeah. Love it. Well, before we jump into the questions. You have a new podcast, the good marketing, good business podcast. So I want to love you to share with our humans here because they’re obviously liking podcasts because they’re listening to us in their ears right now.

Tell us a little bit about it. They are good people. Yeah, definitely. So, um, the good marketing, good business podcast. I recently brought that to life, which feels. So exciting and like, not to give myself a pat on the back, but I think as businesses we get so in the trenches of doing our work that can we do something that is, I guess, I don’t know, a little bit different, a little bit, I don’t know, it was a creative project in a lot of ways.

So the good marketing, good business podcast is super new and it’s where I share practical strategies to help service based businesses grow. So some of the topics we have for episodes on the podcast are. Using your Calendly, so your booking system to make more sales calls, why you need to look at things holistically, which is a lot of, you know, what we’ve covered here today, how you can increase your prices and really specifics around it as well.

So with the podcast, I really wanted to give people like the step by step instructions of like, here’s how to actually do it. I wanted to be really intentional to not feel like people had to. Keep going, searching for more information of, okay, how do I, as a service based business, actually increase my prices?

Like over the next 30 days, like what are the actual steps I need to take? So that’s been my, almost like my guiding light for the podcast and just really sharing really practical strategies for businesses. I love that practical application, right? I was having a conversation with someone the other day as we were looking at the things and You know, I know what i’m really good at is transforming the strategy into an executional action plan right making it live Uh, and it’s when you do know that you have people that can support you to Do the thing, take the action, make it simple.

It’s great. So pop on over and listen is what we’re all saying here. I’ll put the links to the podcast in the show notes as well. Yeah. Thank you. Good marketing, good business. It’s a fun place to hang out. Yeah. Congratulations as well. It’s such, it’s such an achievable moment when you have these ideas and these projects in, in the works and they’re finally.

You’re able to share them with the world. And I do love what you did on your social media with the, the nine tiles, it was nine tiles that like splash bang, like we’re here. Come on. Yeah. It’s great. Yeah. Oh, I love it. If you check out me on Instagram, Shannon stone, it might. It depends how many posts I’ve posted, but you know, sometimes it shuffles about, but yeah, I’d love to make a statement and split the photo into nine and throw it on the grid.

So good. So impactful. Right. And it comes back to what we’re just talking about around social media is that you can really, if you’re creative with the way that you use these and utilize these platforms, it can be really impactful, like what you’ve done there. So yeah. Yeah. And I’m not that active on Instagram, but I actually get clients from Instagram.

It’s like. Yeah. Surprise, surprise, simple and easy though. Right. I’m going to take a read out of your book. Watch this space, people. I’m excited. It’s going to be a thing. Okay. Three questions. Are you ready? Ready. Super excited. What is your go to app that creates ease in your day? It’s definitely my Google Calendar for sure.

I live and die by that thing. Awesome. So good being organized, knowing what you’re doing. Yep. Online, paper or hybrid to do list lover? Ooh, I would say hybrid, but it would be like 60, 70 percent paper. And then like 30 ish percent digital. Yeah, I also see the whiteboard in the background there, so there’s a lot of planning and things.

Yes, oh yeah, and there’s, I love my whiteboards. I love, I’m a visual cue kind of person, and also love to tick off, you know, things you’ve done as well, but yeah. So good. Final question. What would you do if you created more space in your world? Yeah, this is actually such a great question because I was actually really thinking about it before our conversation.

And if I had more space, it’s going to sound so strange, but if I had more space in my days. I would actually just bring more project and ideas to life. Like I would fill that space with more, more things to do, but it’s actually things I love to do. And so I am like off the back of just launching the podcast.

And that was a project that was an idea, but it genuinely really lit me up. And like another idea I have is to create entrepreneur dinners. In Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney, and you know, just a table of 20 entrepreneurs or business owners coming together. So yeah, I would bring more of those ideas that just like, I’d love to do that one day.

I would just bring them to life because I know how much the podcast has lit me up. And it’s like, Like I say this to people in, in business, it’s like, things have to be of like equal service to you as it is to other people, because otherwise you won’t stick with it. And so I know the podcast is valuable to other people, obviously it’s an asset to business, it’s going to be great and all those things, but I equally love it as well, and so that’s what I would do if I had more space in my days.

I love that. You know, there’s, I think that question, I love asking this question because the answers are so varied from all of our guests and there is no one answer, you know, because each of us are beautifully unique and, um, I love the idea of those entrepreneurial dinners or I’m going to be sharing that with me and I’m up on the Gold Coast in September.

So maybe that could be a first one. Well, I’d love to come to you. It’s kind of like a double winded thing. Let me bring dinners to people where I want to go. Okay. Amazing and you get service as well. It’s beautiful. Love it. So thanks for joining me today. It’s been such a fabulous conversation. I knew it would be, where can our people find you?

Yeah, so I’d love for the podcast to be the first point of call, but when you’re done with that, Shannon Stone on pretty much everywhere, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, I’m on threads, haven’t opened the app in a little while though, but, um, you’ll find me in all those places. I always say Shannon Stone, not Sharon Stone, but.

I, I, I go by both names apparently. Yeah. I love it. Uh, well, thanks so much. It’s been such a glorious conversation and please everyone go and have a listen to the podcast if you want really practical application and tips and things to get, get on moving with your sales and your marketing and go on and say hello and connect and look out for those entrepreneurial dinners that are coming soon.

Yeah. You might get an invite. Thank you everyone for joining us today. And I hope you have the most fabulous rest of your week, creating clever systems for your business. Bye now. Well, there we go. Thank you so much for joining me today. It’s been such a pleasure having you on board. Have we connected on the socials yet?

If not, please come on over. I’m on all the platforms at the artisan solutions. So I’d really look forward to seeing you over there. And if you enjoyed today’s episode, don’t forget to tag me. And I’d love it if you could leave a review and of course, share this with others so others can come and join us next time.

All right, then everyone have a fabulous rest of the week. And until next time, see you then.



Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.