THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

Making the best use of the web in the fibre-based broadband world

My Sky Fibre Broadband arrived a few weeks ago – and after some teething troubles and a £70.00 self-connected booster pack, my web speeds in The Bunker are now epic. Thank goodness also that so many of the cafe bars in Hale village (and around the UK and Ireland) offer fast internet access. Equal congratulations to Hilton Hotels, who offer me the fastest connections free of charge because of my points status. Jeers to the train companies who cannot seem to get it right. First they charge (why?) and second the quality is rubbish. The reality is that any consumer-driven business who charge for internet access nowadays are completely out of line – its like Hale Cafe charging me for the air I breath as well as the breakfast. I simply wouldn’t come here if they did – but its free fast wifi, so I happily buy breakfasts (and bring my family, friends and clients). Over those years, we have experimented with on-line booking systems for client calls and with conference calls, recently we have played around with Camtasia, with Basecamp and a variety of other cloud-based video, CRM and pipeline systems. After some initial market research (thank you to all those who responded on social media) and a beta test, it looks as if we will be going forward with GoToMeeting and GoToWebinars as our primary means of facilitating an increase in our on-line communication with prospects and clients. The majority of my historic and current communication with clients, contacts and team is via email – and my life has been organised to facilitate that for years. I have found that Skype has been clunky and unpredictable, FaceTime limited in usefulness, Google Hangouts pretty good for quality and function – but I’m looking at a very robust way of connecting with people in a way that delivers a deeply valuable experience. A video call is a thousand times better then email (amazing how what you write and what they read can sometimes differ) and a hundred times better than a phone call – because looking someone in the eyes whilst you speak to them is soul to soul, if the relationship is right in the first place. So the next few months will see a transition – from me asking Phillippa to organise phone calls – to me asking her to organise video calls when I’m in an appropriate environment. I’m looking forward to seeing more of you. Moving on – I challenge you to think about how video communication can help you to communicate with those who matter? Here are a few ideas that came up in conversation over the last few days as to how a video call could make you more effective:

  1. attending daily team huddles if you cannot get to the practice early enough because of family ties

  2. presenting treatment plans (live or recorded) to patients who have high levels of business travel or struggle to get into the practice

  3. hosting clinical mentoring meetings for clinicians who work different days or shifts

  4. holding lunch and learn webinars for referring GDP’s and their teams

  5. recording webinars or educative videos and embedding them as a permanent feature on your web site, blog or other social media channels

  6. holding team training sessions for multi-location businesses

  7. arranging sales management meetings for teams who are geographically spread

I’m getting my head around this – and gearing up to help myself and my clients use their time more productively (and spend less time on motorways and in hotels and more time with their families).

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