Time. Never enough of it for busy professionals and entrepreneurs.
Relationships. More important to build them than ever.
Even though I know that nothing takes the place of being face- to- face, eye- to- eye, with a colleague, prospect, or client, meeting one- to- one with people is very time-consuming.
This is where I bless technology every day.
My favorite solution? Video Skype.
I have networked face to face over Skype.
I have worked with clients 3 time zones away, face to face, over skype.
I have given presentations to a networking group 3,000 miles away via Skype.
There is no reason not to be face- to- face with people AND save time now that we have video Skype.
I am going to give you 5 ways to use this very effective, no-cost tool so you can optimize your time and enhance your level of connection with people simultaneously.
Before I list these tips for growing your business or practice, you will need to do a little set up. The difficulty level of Skype set up, in my opinion, is around 2 or 3 on a scale of 1-10. I am not a techie and I found it a snap.
You can use Skype for audio and/or video communications. You will need a computer with a built in microphone (or you can connect a separate microphone) for the audio, and a video cam in your computer (or you can purchase a video cam very cheaply at an electronics store or online) Again installation difficulty, in my view, is around 2-3.
Downloading Skype at www.skype.com is very easy. Once installed you will have the ability to chat, phone, and/or video. Instruction buttons are very easy to understand and read.
If you want to Skype with someone, you will need to invite them to your Skype list. Everyone has a Skype name so you invite someone to connect with you over Skype by asking them their Skype name and sending a connection invite (My Skype name is NancyFox – so invite me:)
So here are my 5 favorite ways to use Skype to grow my business.
1. Skype for follow up to networking – I can save anywhere from 1 hour to 2 hours by not driving to a follow up breakfast or lunch. Having a video-Skype follow up is wonderful, easy, and the next best thing to being there. And we both save money on lunch or breakfast. Double benefit.
2. Skype for collaboration on projects – You can work on projects with colleagues or virtual staff through video Skype and there is a file share button allowing you to share files during your session.
3. Video Skype with prospects: Give prospects a much deeper, more connected, more influential experience of working with you by using video Skype.
4. Skype with distant clients – This is a huge benefit. Your georgraphical footprint just expanded globally, instantaneously and inexpensively. You get to see their body language as well as hear them. Total relationship builder.
5. Lead videoconferences with groups: Skype allows you to conference with more than one person at a time. Ideal for conferences with 2 or 3 others. The video screen is just split with several people at once. You can purchase a day pass (under $10) or get a yearly subscription.
Other tools and advantages:
Skype sessions can be audio and video recorded although you will have to purchase outside tools.
By searching online for “Audio Record Skype Sessions” or “Video Record Skype Sessions” a number or different downloadable software tools will come up to assist you in taking maximum advantage of these sessions. I have recorded client sessions to enhance their notetaking.
Sometimes, when I lead a role play exercise with a client, I can record and send this back to them for analysis and debriefing.
I have found Skype to be an outstanding way to enhance value add with colleagues, clients, and contacts.
A word on security and privacy. As with all tools based in the “cloud” there are security and privacy issues. Skype is a reputable resource and certainly has addressed security issues. That being said, no online system is foolproof. Read more about Skype privacy here: http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/security/security-privacy/
Skype it out. This is a winner tool with very little downside.
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